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Baw Baw Shire Council doing good job as 2021 community satisfaction survey shows improvement
Community satisfaction survey results have been released and can now be viewed.
The 2021 Community Satisfaction Survey results have been released providing insight into Council's high performing areas, areas for improvement and overall performance. The Community Satisfaction Survey is conducted annually by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions on behalf of participating Councils.
The survey helps Council identify the areas that are performing well and where improvements need to be made to meet the expectations of the community
Community satisfaction survey
The survey compiles the community's feedback on the following performance measures:
- Council's overall performance
- Community consultation and engagement
- Advocacy - lobbying on behalf of the community
- Decisions made in the interest of the community
- Condition of sealed local roads in the area
- Customer service
- Overall Council direction
This year two new measures were introduced:
- Value for money
- Waste management
The survey period was 19 February to 5 March 2021 and 400 residents and ratepayers over 18 years of age were selected at random to take part. A breakdown of the results is as follows:
Council received an overall performance index score of 54, a five-point improvement on the 2020 result. Overall performance is at its highest level since 2014.
Scores show an increase across each of the performance areas when compared to the previous 12 months, demonstrating that Council is on the right track towards better meeting the expectations of the community.
Council's largest score improvements were in the 'overall Council direction' and 'community decisions' categories, indicating that the community understands, and importantly, approves of Council's vision.
High performing areas
'Waste management' is the area where Council performed best, receiving an index score of 69. Within this area, Council performed significantly higher than the Large Rural group average and in line with the State-wide average.
'Community consultation and engagement' was Council's second highest performing area receiving an index score of 53, equal to the peak rating achieved in 2014.
Areas for improvement
Council received an index score of 45 in the performance area of 'local sealed roads'. This represents a 4-point improvement on last year's rating, and an all-time highest rating in this category. In comparison to the State-wide and Large Rural group, Council remains rated lower than average in this service area, however the signs are positive that Council's increased investment in roads maintenance is having a positive effect.
Council received a lower index score of 52 in the performance area of 'lobbying' when compared to the State-wide average score of 55. Council's performance ratings in this service area have been progressively restored over the past two years.
Overall, the results point to improving community satisfaction with Council's performance, and Council together with councillors remain focused on continuing to improve its service to the community.
Looking after our shire
Mayor Cr Danny Goss said, "It is pleasing to see a great improvement in the right direction, and we know we have a long way to go. Council will continue to work diligently to look after our Shire and the community and we accept that responsibility. This isn't the end, we won't rest on our laurels. This will make us work harder to represent our ratepayers and ensure the positive results of this survey are not a once off".
Cr Annemarie McCabe said, "It is pleasing to see that for each of the measures surveyed there has been an increase in community satisfaction, which to my way of thinking means we are getting it right. I believe we still have room to improve on these results and from what I have seen since being elected as a councillor, is that Council is committed to continuous improvement for the benefit of the community".
Improving in all areas
Deputy Mayor Cr Michael Leaney said, "Community satisfaction surveys provide us with comparisons against similar sized Councils within the State. One of the challenges with this is our comparison group does not always share similarities to Baw Baw.
We are classed as 'large rural,' however we know that in many ways, Baw Baw Shire is passing towards a more 'peri urban' Shire with our growing population centres. Therefore, the comparison with other rural Shire's is no longer valid with this change over time.
Importantly, the overall performance of the Shire has improved in all areas. Perhaps not as fast as we would have liked in certain areas, however we must remember these figures go up and down all within a few percentage points of each other. While it's very hard to move the dial, we are moving the dial piece by piece."
Providing opportunities for the community
Cr Tricia Jones said, "The survey results indicate that we are now trending upwards so we must be on the right path in gaining community trust and confidence. Overall, our performance has been rated more highly and there is general approval in decisions made, customer service continues to remain strong, waste management is supported, and our overall Council direction has improved."
"Council's practice of providing opportunities for our community to be heard, through pop ups, have your say, submissions, etc., is taken up by more people which indicates to me that we are making a difference. However, while the figures are trending upwards, we won't be complacent as there are still improvements to be made".
The full 2021 Community Satisfaction Survey can be found on Council's website Community Satisfaction Survey.
Pictures from Baw Baw Shire Council website.
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