Surveys

Community survey 2014 – How we have used it

Summary

During February and March 2014 a community survey was carried out of the residents of DG10 and DG11 areas.   This involved a paper survey sent to every home in these areas and an online survey.   The following is a report based on the survey submissions.   We are confident that our analysis of the survey information accurately reflects the needs, wishes and aspirations of our local communities.

This report outlines some of the findings from the community and how we have or will use the information in the future.

Purpose

The purpose of the survey was to allow the Trust to better understand the needs and wishes of the communities we are working for, to provide a current and comprehensive source of information together with a baseline of the needs and wishes of those communities.

While it is desirable to meet as many of the communities wishes as possible, it may not be practicable, sensible, realistic or affordable to do so.

Focus

The survey and subsequent analysis presents the information submitted by all participants in its entirety.   The information gleaned from the survey data has already been used in a number of ways to reshape the aims and objectives of the Trust while keeping faithful to the overall purpose for which the Trust was formed.

Our current business plan has been updated to reflect the wishes of the people while ensuring that our approach is realistic, achievable and affordable.

The largest desire from within the communities is to have a multi-purpose community focused facility that is bigger than simply a swimming pool.   This desire, supported by over 92% of participants, has lead us to critically re-examine our approach to ensure a sound community focus.   To this end the business plan now comes under the heading of ‘Lockerbie Community Facility’ to better reflect this.

Community

Our local communities which we will serve are many and varied.   Mid & Upper Annandale is a large rural area with 3 small towns, 44 villages and communities scattered throughout.   In all, according to data from the 2011 Census there are 7636 homes and a population of 19,523 both of which are believed to have grown in number since the survey was carried out.   Of these homes 64% are privately owned and 33% rented of which over 17% rent from social housing agencies.   The occupancy figures for these categories are 12,596, 6,418 and 3,046 respectively.0F[1]

The proportion of sexes in the survey almost balanced at 49.4% male and 50.6% female.   Children aged up to 10 years make up over 18% of the population, young adults 20%, while the elderly account for over 20% of the population.   It should be noted that the figures exclude the surveys completed by people living out with the survey catchment area.   The breakdown by age is as follows;

Ages

0-9

10-19

20-29

30-49

50-59

60-69

70-& Over

 

18.20%

11.60%

8.40%

22.65%

13.65%

13.30%

7.15%

Examining the occupancy levels of homes and considering it in relation to those people who currently make use of community exercise opportunities shows the gap that exists of people, particularly the young and the elderly who are physically inactive.   The following table shows the proportion of people inactive in each age group.     The number of females inactive is over 43% while for males the figure is over 41%.

Ages

0-9

10-19

20-29

30-49

50-59

60-69

70-& Over

Inactive

22.2%

55.4%

34.6%

40.7%

51.4%

46.5%

67.5%

These figures encompass both able and disabled people.   11.4% of households have at least one disabled resident.

As can be seen there will clearly be challenges in ensuring all ages are engaged with the community facility, in particular the disabled, young adults, the elderly and females.

Facility uses

When the people currently using facilities were asked why they used them their replies included answers ranging from availability, ease of access, lack of choice in locality, accessible by public transport, keeping fit and active, training, relaxation, leisure and social contact.

When asked how often they used existing facilities and what, if any barriers there were to more regular use their replies invariable came down to travel costs, time and distance also health and the ability to travel featured.   The most common single reasons were cost and distance.

Wet – side

The community, when asked said they would like a number of facilities, some over and above what was originally proposed.   A swimming pool, ideally 25 metre by 6 lane or 20 metre by 4 lane were ranked highly, however a separate pool that could be used by children and other specific groups ranked highest, this suggested that a 20 metre by 4 lane main swimming pool together with a smaller multi-use pool would be the best option while remaining realistic and affordable.   In the wet-side of the facility other community wishes were for sauna / steam rooms, water slides and poolside viewing area.

Dry – side

The community response to the dry side of the facility in the survey suggested that there were many things of a community and individual nature which people would like to have access to.   These included a fitness gym (90%), multi-use studio (85%), climbing wall (62%), community rooms (49%), coffee shop (87%), childrens indoor play area (78%), health / massage / therapy room (40%) and crèche (63%) among others.

As a Trust we have critically examined all of these suggestions among many others and have incorporated many of the communities’ wishes in the current plans.

Changing facilities

Community views were also sought on the nature and type of changing facilities.   The main preference was for unisex individual cubicles (50%) with family rooms (33%) also while combined changing areas were seen as a low priority (38%).   The current plans incorporate this wish with individual cubicles, family and disabled rooms all being included as are some private showering facilities.

Opening Times

Many in the community respondents saw early morning (38%), later evenings (31%), more hours at weekends (44%) and public holiday opening (93%) as desirable.   We have already increased the hours we intend the facility to be open in our business plan as a direct result of this feedback and will plan to be open on public holidays also.

Service priorities

We also asked the community for their views on the level of service provision we should consider and also what they would suggest our priorities should be.

Recreational swimming was high on the agenda (96%) followed by a focus on children and young adults (97%) with fun activities available in the pool (96%), swimming lessons (83%) and activities for disabled and the elderly (57%).   More general suggestions that would fit into group use and programming access to the community facility should include club use (93%), aqua aerobics (91%), fitness and exercise classes, focus scheduling on parent / infant / toddler (91%), elderly (75%), disabled (95%), inflatable ‘fun’ sessions (95%), late evening party bookings (54%), early morning access (99%).   Other more general suggestions included sub aqua, canoe training, One to one personal training, medical / diet / health motivational training, general fitness classes, school access, water polo club, lane swimming, adult only sessions, safety courses, yoga, etc.

Many good suggestions were made and these along with the above will be considered fully at the appropriate point when the detailed plans for the facility programming and access are finalised.

Participants were also asked to comment on what their regular attendance would depend.   Comments followed similar themes of cost, availability, classes, lessons, cleanliness, ambiance, parking, accessibility of location and public transport.

Food provision

The communities were asked if consideration should be given to making food or drinks available in the facility.   Over 70% said that there should be some form of provision whereby refreshments could be had after or during their use of the facility.   Options included providing snacks (74%), fresh cold food (74%), fresh hot food (71%) or vending machines (70%).   In particular parents wanted somewhere to relax while keeping an eye on the children using the facilities.   

Taking account of the these wishes and the addition to the plans of a childrens soft play area we have added the flexibility to the design of having a small kitchen serving onto a seated area with viewing into the facility

Pricing

The community were asked what they would consider reasonable charges for use, whether memberships only (1%), pay per use (10%), or a combination of the two (89%) would best suit their lifestyles.

The community was also asked to consider whether admission should be to the whole facility (8%), separating out individual areas (23%) or a combination of both (6%).   They were also asked if discretionary reductions (63%) should be available.   All of these factors are being considered and evaluated for their viability and affordability, this information has been used in the revision of the financial modelling in our revised business plan and will be used to inform future plans in detail.

 

 


[1] Scotland's Census 2011 – National Records of Scotland Table QS405SC – Tenure – Households- All households

 

2 Comments

  1. julietbrown

    I have lived in Moffat for nearly 3 years, but have taken my children to annan pool for lessons and fun swimming for nearly 5 years. I am very pleased to hear that your group has been working towards a pool in Lockerbie which would obviously be a lot closer for us, and I applaud your efforts. I completed the recent survey and have looked at the summary of results.

    I realise that taking everybody’s wants into consideration is essential, however if funding limits what is possible, which I imagine it does, then it becomes necessary to prioritise. In my opinion it is better to have fewer high quality facilities than lots of facilities which are either small or not such good quality.My preference would therefore be a 25m pool, which could be used for competition purposes, ( unlike a 20m pool), a baby pool and a gym. Other facilities such as manned cafes are not essential, but perhaps could be allowed for in the plans if there is sufficient interest and subsequent funding at a later date? Just some thoughts. I look forward to hearing how the planning application goes.

    Thank you for your time and effort.

    Juliet Brown

  2. Pingback: Survey results and how we have used them

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