09/10/2013 08:36 BST | Updated 09/10/2013 09:45 BST

Most Think Public Services Improved Under Cuts, But They're Not Over

Budget cuts
Budget cuts

Most people think public services have improved in the last five years, however local councils will struggle to stop public services deteriorating due to the coalition plans to cut council budgets further.

In an ICM poll conducted for the BBC, six out of ten people said they thought public services had improved. However, the confidence in the state of specific public services varies wildly.

Nearly half (48%) think recycling has improved, while only 12% think it got worse. Just over a third (34%) of people think parks and open spaces have improved, while only 15% said they got worse. Other services receive weaker backing, like GP services, with 29% saying they have got better and 28% saying they have worsened.

More people think police services, care for the elderly and road maintenance have got worse over the last five years, the survey found. Road maintenance was the biggest concern among the 1,031 people surveyed, as 66% said roads had got worse while only 11% said they were better maintained.

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Local government minister Brandon Lewis welcomed the findings as proof that "councils can both deliver sensible savings and protect the frontline", however the Local Government Association warned that further cuts would see services suffer more.

The Department for Communities and Local Government's capital budget will drop 36% in 2014-2015, while councils will see funding drop by £2.1 billion in a further 10% cut.

In an official response to the survey, LGA chairman Sir Merrick Cockell said: "Unless local government finance is put on a sustainable footing, these figures will only head in one direction as the noticeable impact of cuts to services becomes a reality for all residents."

An LGA source told the Huffington Post UK: "The government will use this data to say the cuts aren’t impacting on the ground but that’s a fairly simplistic analysis. If they keep cutting, you'll see a lot more red".

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