Tracking opinions over time – a citizens’ panel

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Why the client needed the research

Swansea Voices is one of the City & County of Swansea’s tools for understanding and measuring residents’ opinions on a range of Council issues, policies and developments: from health care provision, schooling, leisure facilities to urban regeneration. The panel is, essentially, a constant consultation vehicle with a cross-section of residents.

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Our approach

Beaufort took over the management of the online panel in 2006. Panel members are recruited via face to face interviewing and via postal recruitment.  Once recruited, they are mailed up to four times a year with a survey – which is also available online for them to complete if they wish.  Maintenance of the panel is key, and we continually recruit fresh members. The survey is available in both Welsh and English.


The outcome

The results enable City & County of Swansea to measure usage of, and attitude towards, a range of facilities and services provided by them; and also the ability to test reactions to potential facilities and services. 

We tailor reporting to individual areas so as to maximise its value. Trend reporting provides an important understanding of change over time.

Past and present members of the panel have had their voices heard on many occasions: their views have had a direct effect on the outcome of important Council decisions.

What the client said
The results inform our main corporate and strategic policies and are of great use to us as a Local Authority. Beaufort have provided a professional and expert service to us over the last four years, one which has strengthened our panel and secured its future over the coming years.