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Council strives for improvement after survey results

Pile of newspapers wrapped in string.

Council has released the 2018 Community Satisfaction Survey results.

Thursday 19 September 2018

Council is firmly focused on continuous improvement after a community survey showed residents in Mount Alexander Shire are less satisfied with its performance compared to the last year.

The Community Satisfaction Survey undertaken in February and March showed satisfaction ratings for advocacy, customer service and community consultation remained stable while those for overall performance, overall council direction, making community decisions and sealed roads declined.

“While this year’s results are disappointing, they are no surprise given the challenges we have faced over the past year,” said Cr Bronwen Machin, Mayor of Mount Alexander Shire.

“After making some solid gains last year, this year’s results really highlight the areas we need to focus on and I am satisfied we have strategies in place to do this.

“Our new Council and staff are working solidly as a team to progress the actions in our Council plan and address areas in need of improvement,” said Cr Machin.

The results of the phone survey of 400 residents showed higher satisfaction levels for residents in the urban area of Castlemaine, compared to other parts of the shire. Residents aged between 50 and 64 years rated council’s performance less favourably.

The survey showed the most important service areas were waste management, making decisions in the interest of the community and elderly support services.

Top performing areas consistently include community and cultural activities, the appearance of public areas, customer service and emergency and disaster management.

The conditions of roads, streets and footpaths, and making council decisions were identified as the biggest areas for improvement.

“Although we invest about 40 percent of our budget on roads, footpaths and drainage, maintaining the network is one of our biggest challenges. We are trialling new techniques and equipment, and are doing a review of how we manage our gravel roads,” said Cr Machin.

“We are preparing to do a mid-term review of our Council plan which was developed in consultation with the community to ensure that objectives are still on track. We are also looking at ways we can improve our communication and be more transparent on how and why we make council decisions.”

Council is always looking at ways to continually improve service said Cr Machin.

“We will continue to try and strike the right balance between providing services where they are needed most, maintaining infrastructure and planning for the future, while managing cost pressures and the increasing demand for services,” she said.

The majority of Victorian Councils participate in the survey which is undertaken by JWS Research, on behalf of the Victorian government. The results of the survey are available on Council’s website.

Read the 2018 Community Satisfaction Survey Results

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