Southern Grampians Shire Council’s Community Satisfaction Survey results are in and Council are pleased with the improvements recorded in crucial areas.
Council’s highest result was in the ‘Customer Service’ measure with a score of 70, up from 65last year. The area of greatest improvement was sealed local roads, with a score of 41 up 9 points from 32 in 2018.
Council’s Overall Performance has increased by one point in 2019 to 53. The Overall Performance score of 53 is three points below the Large Rural average of 56 and seven points below the State-wide average of 60. Although this is not a significant improvement, it reverses the declining trend from 2013 to 2017.
Council’s performance measures in Community Consultation also increased in 2019, while Advocacy and Making Community Decisions and Overall council direction have stayed the same or measured a small decrease.
Mayor Councillor Mary-Ann Brown said the findings were pleasing overall and gives concrete data about what matters most to residents, where Council are succeeding and where there is a need to improve.
“The score of 70 for customer service puts us in line with the State-wide average and is a significant improvement on last year. This is very pleasing and is a reflection of our hardworking and professional staff,” Cr Brown said.
“While the score of 41 for sealed local roads is not a high score, it is a nine point increase from 2018, reflecting that real progress has been made against improving this measure in the past 12 months. We are mindful that this was identified as an area for improvement as well though, so we will continue to focus efforts here and seek to improve again in 2020.
“Council has really focused on improving its approach to community consultation over the last 12 to 18 months, with a number of new measures implemented, so it is encouraging that this has been recognised by those surveyed and we are now positioned higher than the State-wide average in this area,” Cr Brown said.
“Overall, the results have shown that council is tracking in the right direction and with a number of major projects and initiatives happening in the next 12 months, we hope that we can make a significant improvement again in 2020.
“I’d like to thank the residents from across the shire who took part in interviews during February and March 2019. Council will keep these results in mind when making decisions about services to make sure we deliver the best possible results for the community, while continuing our track record of financially responsibility.
“I would also like to congratulate our hardworking staff on these results – they are a reflection of your continued efforts to serve our community. Keep up the good work,” Cr Brown concluded.
While Council has been briefed on the report and results, a formal report will be presented to Council at the July 10 Ordinary Meeting of Council to be held 5:30pm in the Council Chambers, Hamilton.
A total of 76 Victorian councils participated in the 2019 survey, with a minimum of 400 interviews undertaken within each participating municipality. Survey respondents were asked to rate council performance on a five point scale.
Of the 400 people surveyed this year from February 1 to March 30, 54 per cent had had recent contact with Council. The survey results are available here.
The annual Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey is conducted by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.