‘Better relations’ now: city survey

Relations between Catholics and Protestants in Derry are now better than they were four years ago.

This is just one of the results of the “City-Scope” survey which reveals the attitudes of people in neighbourhoods across the city to a variety of issues.

The new research - published by Ilex, the urban regeneration company for Derry - focuses on topics as diverse as healthcare, education, employment and physical security.

The latest results follow the Citi-Scope Baseline Survey conducted in 2009.

Some 84% of the 445 respondents surveyed said they were “very satisfied” or “fairly satisfied” with their city, the highest level of satisfaction being 91% in the most deprived areas.

That said, however, there was a high degree of recognition that there was a need to improve employment (74%), activities for young people (64%), housing (59%), and cross community relations (52%).

There was strong support for cross community festivals as a means of enhancing community relations with respondents (71%) viewing City of Culture as “an event that will enhance community relations”.

The research found that relationships between Protestants and Catholics in the city are better than they were when the last Citi-Scope survey was carried out in 2009 with more than six in 10 people saying that relationships between communities had improved over the past four years compared to just under four in 10 people in 2009.

The survey appears to underline that access to affordable childcare and public transport are barriers for many people seeking suitable employment or training.

Results also show that rural dwellers were more satisfied with their immediate living environment and were almost five times more likely to express an interest in starting their own business.

Ilex’s Gerard McCleave, said: “These survey results, alongside the Peace Bridge survey, which examined lifestyle patterns, support the view that the significant investment in public realm space, including Ebrington, Peace Bridge and Queen’s Quay, is contributing to increasing numbers of residents utilising new city spaces.”