Life in Lancashire Wave 14

New Search

Purpose The main questions areas looked at awareness of and satisfaction with Social Services in Lancashire, awareness of the Trading Standards service, support for changes in policy for the Trading Standards service, and satisfaction with key county council services and overall satisfaction with the council.
Subject Trading standards
Satisfaction with the council
Priorities for social care services
Commissioned by Trading Standards
Geographic area All of Lancashire
Method Questionnaire - postal
Consultation with Life in Lancashire panel
Date 29/06/2005 - 05/08/2005
Undertaken by Corporate Research and Intelligence Team, Policy Unit


Number in sample 1838
Number of responses 1577
Response rate 85%
Key findings Half of respondents had had some problems with trading in the last 12 months, most with poor quality goods and services or problems with pricing. Those with a problem most often sorted it out with the trader, but next most likely did not contact anyone. Panel members are most likely to say they know a little about Tradings Standards or that they have heard of it but that's all. Three in ten of the panel do not feel they have enough information or know enough about where to go for help with unfair trading and unsafe products.

Three in ten agree that overall social services do a good job (similar proportions neither agree nor disagree, or say they don't know). Knowledge of social services is low. A quarter of the panel say they have used or have a family member who has used social services in the last three years. Two-thirds of users were satisfied with the service. The most preferred means of communication is the telephone.
Outcomes Social care services

The research highlighted a lack understanding about social care services in Lancashire. This lack of knowledge is being addressed so that people are aware of the services available and know how to access them in the following ways:

* Update to the A-Z facility on the county council's website to include information about every social care service we provide - 100 entries.

* Revamp of the social care service section of the website to give background service information. The site will lead people through our services to find the one that best suits their needs - even if they don't know which service they need.

* Development of a 'Guide to Social Care Services for Adults'. It will be a user-friendly booklet giving summaries of all our services, and be produced in different languages and formats such as 'easy read' and large print. It will be available to people contacting the council about social care services, and it will be distributed through local community groups, voluntary organisations, doctors' surgeries and our partner agencies.

* Attendance at local events to raise our profile and explain to the public what we do.

* Continuing our media relations work to raise the profile of our services in the local press, and look for additional opportunities to promote the services we provide.

Trading Standards

We are looking at ways to reduce the number of people who don't contact anyone, especially people over 60 because they are the people least likely to contact anyone. We are currently working with the Citizens Advice Bureau, Age Concern, and Police and Community Safety on a number of initiatives, such as Doorstoppers and the Consumer Support Network, to help with this.

We were heartened that fewer than one in ten people hadn't heard of trading standards. But we are working to further raise awareness through various media such as press releases, our website (, talks and exhibitions, and sending out consumer and business advice packs.
Early next year there will be an awareness-raising campaign for Consumer Direct, the national first-line consumer advice service operating in partnership with central government. This will mean we can concentrate more of our resources on helping more vulnerable consumers and dealing with more serious complaints.

The support for a more targeted response to consumer concerns gives us the go-ahead to focus on the issues really affecting the people of Lancashire, rather than being driven by targets set by government agencies. This will mean we can use our limited resources in the areas that will have the biggest impact on providing a fair, safe and healthy trading environment for the residents of Lancashire and beyond.

Project document(s)



Contact information

For more information about this research contact:

Melissa Sherliker
01772 535019


Related information

Living in Lancashire members' website: