Local Authority Resourcing & Skills Survey

We know from existing research that many local authorities' planning and place-shaping teams are under-resourced. This quick survey seeks to build an understanding of the skills gap and the impact that a lack of resources has on officers and their teams across England.

Introduction

Public Practice ran an online survey from 4 February - 4 March 2022 collecting insights and information from officers within the public sector. This survey was specifically designed to learn more about the place-shaping resourcing and skills challenges being faced at local government across England.

Who was this survey for?

This survey was for anyone working in or managing a planning or place-shaping team in a local or combined authority, or a public sector body in England. They might have been working as an officer in regeneration, community engagement, conservation, urban design, planning policy, development management, infrastructure, highways and transport, sustainability, landscape and biodiversity, digital and data.

How long was the survey to complete?

The survey was been designed to be completed within approximately 5 minutes and did not require any officer to source information nor verify their email or employment status.In reality, the median completion time was 8 minutes 45 seconds, but this is slightly distorted by those completing the survey over multiple days.

Was it anonymous?

At the end of the survey, officers were asked to share their email addresses only if they wished to receive further communications from Public Practice. This section was entirely optional and all the data analysis and reporting conducted ensured respondents are not easily identifiable.

How many completed the survey?

A total of 633 responses were collected and after removing incomplete and test responses a total of 353 responses were suitable for analysis, giving a 56% completion rate.

Who completed the survey?

The respondents were spread across England. Of those, 197 respondents reported to be involved in recruitment at their organisation and 274 involved in workforce planning, these groups were not mutually exclusive.

Table: Total respondents listed as Participant Region, involvement in recruitment and involvement in workforce planning.

When will the findings of the survey be published?

The survey closed on 4 March 2022 and Public Practice hope to share the anonymised results by the end of June 2022 at the very latest.