Residents’ survey reveals attitudes to Brixton

Written by Future Brixton

February 4, 2016

Public transport and clean streets are the most important things in making Brixton a good place to live. Whilst many see changes for the better in the town centre, street cleanliness and crime levels are highlighted for improvement.

The results of the Lambeth-wide survey, undertaken in May and June last year, have now been published. With 260 residents from Tulse Hill, Brixton Hill, Coldharbour and Herne Hill wards taking part, we can see what residents think about where they live, the services they use and whether Brixton is getting better as a place to live.

Feelings about Brixton

Brixton residents seem to have a clear sense of identity with the area and an attachment to it. Four out of five Brixton residents feel they belong to their area, which is more than the borough average and the highest of all of the neighbourhood areas.

  • Along with Streatham residents, people who live in Brixton are most likely to speak highly of their area if asked (76% compared with a borough average of 70%).
  • Brixton residents are more likely to say ‘People take greater responsibility for their neighbourhood’ (28% compared to a 21% borough average).
  • How people feel about change in Brixton is particularly interesting for us. Compared with two years ago, 43% of residents say Brixton is a better place to live, whilst 15% say the opposite. Just over a third say that the changes they see benefit themselves or their family.

Satisfaction with the local area by areaPerhaps surprisingly for people familiar with local debates about gentrification, 29% say their local area has not changed compared with the last two years.

Across Lambeth, the community outcome most residents say has improved over the last year is people ‘live, work and visit our vibrant town centres’. And Brixton residents are more likely than residents in the rest of Lambeth to say this (39% compared with 29%).

Perceptions of the benefits of change by area

Although the numbers are relatively small, Brixton residents are the most dissatisfied of all neighbourhoods with their local area as a place to live, 11% being dissatisfied compared to 7% overall.

The council’s Future Brixton programme is about guiding positive change in the town centre – that’s change that brings opportunities to local people and businesses or improves public spaces and facilities. You can read more about our projects on this website, such as the £1m investment in Electric Avenue street market or affordable workspace at Pop Brixton.

What matters most to residents?

Over a quarter of Brixton residents say clean streets are important in making an area a good place to live. Concern about street cleanliness seem to have increased across the borough since the last residents’ in 2014 and it’s now the thing residents are most likely to say needs improving (28% of Brixton residents surveyed).

The council’s Do The Right Thing campaign encourages residents to do their bit to keep the borough clean, through activities such as Community Freshview and our Street Champions scheme.

For Lambeth residents generally, the issue of affordable decent housing is becoming increasingly important. Brixton residents are less likely than residents elsewhere in the borough to say that it’s important in making a good place to live (10% compared to 16% in Lambeth). However, the numbers saying it needs improving are consistent with the Lambeth average (16%).

Furthermore, Brixton residents are more likely than other Lambeth residents to say that the councils’ aim for ‘people to have more opportunities for better quality homes’ has got worse (24% compared to 18% for Lambeth overall).

The council has committed to build 1,000 new homes at council-rent levels across Lambeth over the next four years. In Brixton, this means at least 121 homes at Somerleyton Road and the estates regeneration programme is looking at Cressingham Gardens and Fenwick estates. You can read more on the New homes for Brixton page.

Addressing the level of crime is a particular concern for Brixton residents, being mentioned by one in five (21%) who took part in the survey – significantly higher than the overall rate for Lambeth (14%).

Whilst Brixton residents are more likely than residents in Lambeth overall to say  the council’s aim that ‘crime reduces’ has got better in the last year (28% compared to 24%), Brixton (along with Clapham) has a high proportion of residents identifying anti-social behaviour (ASB) as a problem.

Significant problems are litter (mentioned by 52%), people using or dealing in drugs (38%), or being drunk or rowdy in public places (30%).

Through improvements to Electric Avenue street market you should also see improvements to how rubbish is collected and cleared. The Popes Road toilets will be refurbished and pop-up urinals are in operation by the Academy and on the corner of Brixton Road and Electric Avenue.

The Not on our streets! campaign warns people that antisocial behaviour on the borough’s streets will be met with on-the-spot fines of up to £80. You can keep up-to-date about how we are tackling antisocial behaviour by following the our #noASB hasthtag on Twitter.

Find out more

You can read the full Brixton residents’ survey 2015 report here

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