Response 93981345

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Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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Ticked Organisation

What is your name or your organisation's name?

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Scottish Borders Council

The Scottish Government generally seeks to publish responses to a consultation, in summary and where possible in detail. We would like your permission to publish:

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Ticked Your response along with your full name
Your response only (anonymous)
Please do not publish my response at all

Section A - A Use of SHS

1.. What are the main social survey topics that you use in the SHS? Please tick all that apply. Please distinguish between the topics in your following answers.

Please select all that apply
Household composition & characteristics of all occupants
Ticked Employment status of the highest income householder
Ticked Household income from employment and other sources
Ticked Health /disability
Ticked Transport – cars, fuel spend, and bicycles
Ticked Accommodation - type of property, tenure, housing aspirations
Ticked SHCS social survey - use of heating, repairs, adaptations
Ticked SHCS social survey - energy efficiency and renewables
Ticked Internet access
Ticked Recycling
Ticked Savings and household finances, including housing costs (mortgage and rent)
Ticked Children in the household (childcare, schools, and travel)
Other - please indicate
Please select all that apply
Ticked Key adult characteristics
Ticked Health/disability and caring responsibilities
Ticked Accommodation/housing experiences
Ticked Neighbourhoods and community safety (including perception of local crime rate and local police performance, harassment and discrimination)
Ticked Education - qualifications
Ticked Employment/economic activity
Ticked Transport – Travel Diary
Ticked Transport – use of private/public transport, congestion
Ticked Perceptions of local government and services
Ticked Participation in sports activities
Ticked Participation in cultural activities
Ticked Environment – access to the outdoors, green space, land use
Ticked Environment – climate change
Ticked Internet access and use
Ticked Volunteering
Other - please indicate

2. . What do you use the SHS for? We are particularly interested in how analysis of SHS data is used for informing, monitoring and evaluating policy and practice decisions, including examples of where analysis has influenced decision making. Please be as specific as possible in your answers.

Please explain
The information provided by the Scottish Household Survey is used as an evidence base to inform work, such as our Strategic Assessment, as part of a suite of information. It would be unlikely that SHS data would be the only data used in the decision making process. Data usage can change from year to year depending on work being undertaken.

3.. Are there any alternative evidence sources available for the topics and/or questions you use in the SHS?

Please select one item
Ticked No
Please list alternative evidence sources for each topic
There are no consistent alternatives to sources of data provided by the SHS, which provide a solid, valid comparison across Scotland. It would be difficult to replicate this type of comparison if undertaken locally.

Section B - Views on options for 2017

4.. What would be the impact of SHS option A for your organisation’s use of the SHS? Please distinguish between the different topics you use when answering.

Please explain
The move to a biennial data collection would have an impact for us, e.g. on satisfaction information. However, Scottish Borders Council will work round any changes to the SHS whichever option is taken forward; we will undertake engagement work locally, to supplement SHS data, as and when required.

5.. What would be the impact of SHS option B for your organisation’s use of the SHS? Please distinguish between the different topics you use when answering.

Please explain
As with the response to question 4, Scottish Borders Council will work round any changes to the SHS in line with the consultation outcome and undertake further engagement work locally as and when required.

6.. Do you prefer option A or option B?

Please select one item
Option A
Ticked Option B
What is the reason for your option preference?
The larger sample size over two years proposed through Option B would produce more robust information which would be used for identifying long term trends.

7.. Under option A (biennial) half of the topics would be asked in 2017 (odd year) and half in 2018 (even year) (assuming this is the model adopted for 2018-2021). Do you have any views on what topics should be asked in 2017 and 2018?

Please explain
If Option A is taken forward we would like to see questions relating to sport & culture asked in 2017, this will be used to inform work undertaken through the legacy of the 2016 Olympics. What is required year on year will vary depending on work being undertaken locally, so other than stated above, we have no preference.

9.. In order to contribute to the 4 minute reduction, which of the topics which you use do you think could be:

Please be specific as possible in your answers.
All topic areas are used by Scottish Borders Council. What is required year on year will vary depending on work being undertaken locally, making it difficult to identify specific topics for change.

10.. Under option B (cut in sample size), would you prefer local authority data to be published on a:

Please select one item
Ticked Two year rolling average basis every year
Two year basis every two years (i.e. 2017 and 2018 data would be published in 2019, 2019 and 2020 data would be published in 2021)
What is the reason for your preference?
Both Option A and Option B involve a cut in sample size which would make Scottish Borders area's sample size so low as to be poorly representative of the region. With Option B and a two year rolling average, two years' worth of data would be taken together and published annually. This would allow us to make annual comparisons based on a sample size which is effectively double what it would otherwise have been.

Section C - Looking Ahead

11.. Looking ahead to 2018-2021 , the Scottish Government may need to make further reductions to the SHS. If this is necessary, would you prefer any further changes to the SHS to be based on:

Please explain why.
Scottish Borders Council has not submitted a response to this question but feels that any further changes may result in data not being comparable with data gathered thereafter. It is therefore felt any that changes being made now should anticipate the need for future savings and avoid the requirement for additional change, and consultation, in the future.

12.. What would be the impact on the work of your organisation if there were to be a further:

Please be specific as possible in your answers.
If there were any further changes we would use local engagement work to supplement the information available from the SHS. However, there is a concern that it may get to a point where SHS would lose its usefulness altogether, in which case we would manage without it.

Section D - Any other comments and information about your organisation

13.. Do you have any other comments about the SHS or this consultation?

Please explain
Scottish Borders Council has not submitted a response to question 8 as whichever option is implemented by the Government, following the consultation, we will continue to work with the information provided, undertaking further engagement and survey work locally to supplement the SHS data as and when required. It is regrettable that we are in a position where we are obliged to make these choices.

14.. What sector do you work in?

Please select one item
Central government
Ticked Local government
Other public sector (e.g. NDPB)
Higher/further education (excluding students)
Third sector (Voluntary and charity)
Private sector
Journalists / media
Other (please specify)

15.. What is the main topic area(s) that your organisation as a whole focuses on?

Please select all that apply
Ticked Health
Ticked Housing
Ticked Environment
Ticked Transport
Ticked Income and wealth
Ticked Communities
Ticked Sport
Ticked Culture
Ticked Young People
Ticked Equalities
Other – please state