SOUTH Lakeland residents have delivered a mixed verdict on their local councils, a survey has found.

Forty three per cent 'trust' South Lakeland District to 'act in their best interests’ and that falls to 37 per cent for Cumbria County Council.

Forty per cent think SLDC offers value for money and 34 per cent believe CCC does.

And 56 per cent of those in South Lakeland do not believe that they can influence decisions made by SLDC.

But satisfaction with SLDC has jumped by 37 per cent in two years to 48 per cent.

The council says the figures show big improvements on the last public feedback in 2012.

It says the three main measures of SLDC performance, value for money, satisfaction and trust, have all gone up.

Nearly 4,500 households were sent forms by SLDC this year and 1,686 residents completed them for a 38 per cent response rate.

The service most are happy with is refuse collection with 78 per cent saying they were pleased.

Sixty eight per cent are happy with local tips/household refuse centres and recycling banks (67 per cent).

Asked what makes somewhere a good place to live, health services was named the most important by 45 per cent.

The need for decent affordable housing (40 per cent) is the second highest priority for those surveyed, while low level of crime (34 per cent) was third highest.

Road and pavement repairs, affordable housing, wage levels and local cost of living, are all things people want improving.

Coun Peter Thornton, leader of the Lib-Dem run SLDC, said the results showed the council is improving and its priorities are right.

“We are pleased that the residents of South Lakeland have recognised the valuable service that our staff provide, especially in key areas like refuse collections that are provided by the district council,” said Coun Thornton.

“It is very encouraging to note how these satisfaction ratings have improved over the last two years, which shows that we are moving in the right direction.

“The priorities that are considered the most important to our residents justify our policies on key initiatives like affordable housing.’’ Lawrence Conway, SLDC chief executive said: “It demonstrates that residents appear increasingly satisfied with the way the council is going about its business.”

But Rob Boden, who ran as an independent in the recent elections, said: “While it looks like there have been improvements, there are still people out there who think there is still room for improvement.”