COMMUNITY spirit and an ethos of friendship and neighbourliness is alive and well in modern day Britain, according to an opinion survey conducted on behalf of the Co-operative Group.
The survey of almost 1,200 people designed to cast light on community life and inform the society on the effectiveness of its community investment policies shows:
• Virtually all people (95 per cent) know their neighbours and nine in ten have spoken to them in the past week
• Four out of five would ask a neighbour to accept a parcel on their behalf and 53 per cent would leave a key in order that a delivery could be made
• Nearly six out of ten would be prepared to knock next door to borrow a tool or ingredient but only seven per cent would be willing to take a loan from a neighbour
• Eighty-three per cent like the area in which they live.
The research by GfK NOP found the wider value and importance of local schools was evident, with 83 per cent of those surveyed saying that schools played the leading role in bringing people together.
Shopping (58 per cent), parks and open spaces (56 per cent) coupled with public transport (56 per cent) are cited as the good things about an area while more activities for teenagers (43 per cent), levels of crime (37 per cent), affordable decent housing (35 per cent) and traffic congestion (35 per cent) top the list of what needs improving in towns and cities.
Michael Fairclough, the Co-operative Group’s Head of Community and Campaigns, told the News: “It’s clear from this research that, contrary to what some might believe, community life in the UK is far from broken. At the same time, it gives us clear pointers on how community life can be improved.
“The Co-operative is the only UK retailer actually owned and guided by people in hundreds of cities, towns and villages across the UK, so we have an unrivalled community presence. The research will help guide our community and social goals thinking and ensure that the hard work our members put in to improve community life is directed to best effect.”