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Council releases community satisfaction survey results

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Tuesday 28 July 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council has released the local results of the Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey conducted in February and March this year. The survey is conducted annually to assess the performance of Victorian Councils across a range of services areas.

This year’s results show Council continues to perform well in strength areas such as customer service and the appearance of public areas. However, as has occurred in Councils across the state this year, community satisfaction across other service areas has declined.

The results of a phone survey among 401 residents showed satisfaction ratings for measures such as overall performance, overall Council direction, advocacy, making decisions in the interest of the community, sealed roads and overall council direction declined following a marked increase in community satisfaction levels last year.

Around four in five residents (78%) rated Council’s overall performance as good, very good or average. The top performing areas were the appearance of public areas, community and cultural activities, and customer service.

Residents identified waste management, elderly support services, emergency and disaster management, and making decisions in the interest of the community as the most important service areas.

The lowest performing areas were unsealed roads, along with planning and building permits and population growth which were evaluated for the first time. The performance for sealed roads was higher than other large rural Councils.

Nearly three quarters of respondents (70%) had been in contact with Council over the past year. More than 60% rated their experience as good or very good.

“The past year 2019/20 was a year of many unprecedented events on a state, national and global scale that I am sure has left a lot of people feeling less satisfied in many ways,” said Mr Darren Fuzzard, Chief Executive Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

“Our performance in the survey over several recent years has been a source of great pride for Councillors and staff alike. This year we were disappointed to see a decline from our very strong results recorded for the previous year.

“Council continues to invest a large proportion of its budget on roads, footpaths and other capital works, and significant strategic planning projects like Plan Harcourt are now coming to fruition that will help us to plan and manage growth in the shire,” said Mr Fuzzard.

“During the year just gone, Council has made changes to give both applicants and objectors to planning matters a greater opportunity to inform Council of their views before decisions are made.

“I am proud to say that, despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19 and an upsurge in planning applications during that time, we are still making planning decisions within the statutory timeframe of 60 days,” said Mr Fuzzard.

“As we enter the final year of our four year Council Plan, we are also proud to say that we’ve made a great deal of progress on its delivery already.

“Over the coming months, and following the Council election, we will draw on the feedback we received through the recent community satisfaction survey to ensure the next Council Plan has a strong focus on meeting the needs of our community over the coming years to the best of our ability.

“Thank you to the 401 residents in our community who took the time to answer the independent annual survey. As always you have given us a very helpful insight to how we are going and where we can keep improving,” he said.

The survey was undertaken by JWS Research, on behalf of Local Government Victoria. View the results at www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/CommunitySatisfactionSurvey.

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