LAST week the Government revealed the results of its national Place Survey - an extensive questionnaire which canvassed more than 500,000 people about their satisfaction with their local area and their local council.
The national results painted a bleak picture - residents' satisfaction levels with their councils falling from 53 per cent in 2006 to 45 per cent in 2008.
Westminster, however, has bucked this trend.
Indeed, our resident satisfaction stands at 70 per cent - five per cent higher than the previous figures from 2006 and the fourth highest level in England.
Westminster also provides excellent value for money - the council is ranked as the third highest in the country for value (61 per cent). Westminster residents are twice as likely to rate the council highly for value for money than the national average.
Overall, the results demonstrate that some authorities understand what drives resident satisfaction by focusing on providing good value local services, particularly around street cleansing.
But for the whole sector there is a serious lesson to be learned about how we demonstrate value for money, as people living through a recession become more sceptical about what they get from their local authority in return for their council tax.
There needs to be an urgent debate across local government about a rapid move to the provision of unified local public services that put the council, police and health service under one roof to improve service delivery for residents and businesses alike.
Councillor Colin Barrow, Leader, Westminster Council