Charities & Campaign Groups

Two-thirds of Councillors Agree There is Lack of Direction and Funding from Government for Children’s Services – Survation for Action for Children

A new poll of English Councillors by Survation on behalf of Action for Children found that almost two-thirds of Councillors (65%) agree that there is a lack of clear direction and funding from central government for children’s centres, family hubs and family support leading to them being scaled back by local authorities.

The poll, of 1,018 Councillors across England and representative of the population by region and party alignment, included a sub-sample of more than 500 Conservative Councillors. Of these, more than a third (38%) agreed that their own party’s government offered a lack of clear direction and funding when it came to children’s services, but a similar proportion (35%) disagreed with the statement.

A majority of Conservative Councillors (53%) also agreed that reduced central government funding has made it harder for their council to deliver on their statutory responsibilities for children and young people, compared to just over a quarter (28%) who disagreed. Of all Councillors, nearly three-quarters (73%) agreed that reduced funding has made it harder for councils to meet their statutory requirements for children and young people, compared to just 15% of Councillors who disagreed.

Nearly three-quarters of Conservative Councillors (72%) believed that funding for children’s services in the long-term is a major concern for their council, while only around one in ten (11%) did not. This compared more favourably with Councillors as a whole, where 82% said that children’s services was a major concern in terms of long-term funding, compared to just 7% who did not.

However, children’s services and early-years parental support seemed less important to Conservative Councillors than Councillors of other parties. On a 5-point scale, where 5 was deemed a ‘high priority’, 45% of Conservative Councillors rated the retention of services that support early-years parental support by local authorities as ‘5’, compared to 82% of Labour Councillors and 62% of Councillors from other parties.

Full tables are available here.


Survation, on behalf of Action for Children, interviewed 1,018 councillors in England via telephone between 19th September – 10th October 2017. This sample included 508 Conservative councillors. Data were weighted by region and political party. Survation is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

This poll was conducted using Survation’s UK Councillor Database. For more information about Survation’s polls of Councillors, including prices, as well as Survation’s other market research services, please email or call 0203 818 9661.

Monday 23rd October 2017

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