Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Labour councils disproportionately likely to be "star performers"

Here's a nice example of sucking up to Tories reporting the research findings that your audience wants to hear:

Ben Page, CEO of Ipsos-Mori, writing on Conservative Home:

"If you want to have residents who are satisfied with their council and think they get value for money, get Conservatives to run it for you. That is one of the headline findings of Ipsos MORI’s latest report on local authority performance."

Harry Phibbs claims that this "report shows Conservative councils perform best".

But that's not what the actual IPSOS-Mori report found:

page 10:

"In terms of the political dimension of the 20 local authority areas which most exceed
predicted area satisfaction, two fifths have Labour-controlled councils. Across England,
Labour control only a tenth of local authorities, so it is over-represented in this list of best
performing authority areas."

page 12:

"Again, a disproportionate share of the best performing areas [where people from different backgrounds get on well together] has a Labour-led local authority. In seven of the top 20 areas (or 35%), Labour holds the council. In comparison, only four of the best-performing areas have a Conservative-led council (representing 20%, whereas nationally they represent 57% of councils)."

page 14:

"On the other hand, Labour political control is again over-represented. Although it controls
only one in ten local authorities in England (11%), it holds six (or 30%) of the top 20 which
most exceed their predicted level of influence. Labour-controlled Newham performs top in the
country for absolute levels of agreement that people can influence decisions."

page 16:

"Among the 20 areas where satisfaction with the council is farthest above
predictions, the Conservatives control 13 councils (or 65%). Nationally, they hold 57% of all
English local authorities, so their political control is slightly over-represented in these top 20
best-performers...The Liberal Democrats are the least represented; they control none of the councils in the top 20 local authority areas."

page 20:

"As with council satisfaction, Conservative and Labour political control is over-represented
among the top 20 best-performing areas"

page 24:

"In order to establish which local authority areas are the 'star performers' - those doing
consistently better than expected across a number of variables (or questions) analysed - we
have produced a standardised average for each area...

Labour is also in control in a disproportionate number of them. Three in ten (29%) of the 'star
performers' is Labour-controlled, compared to 11% of all English local authorities."

*

The Conservatives control more councils, but Labour-run councils are more likely to perform above average on a whole range of different measures. I wonder why the head of IPSOS-Mori didn't mention that when writing on Conservative Home?

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