Satisfaction ratings for Mitchell Shire Council are on the improve — and quite significantly.
But council is still quite a way behind other Victorian councils and councils also classified in the large rural group, with Mitchell’s overall performance significantly lower in comparison.
The overall performance score for Mitchell Shire Council in the 2017 customer satisfaction survey was 48, while the statewide and large rural group average score was 59 and 54 respectively.
It also seems residents in the north ward are far less satisfied in council’s operations than their central and south ward counterparts.
North ward respondents gave council an index score of 58 for customer service, while council-wide the score was 63.
North ward’s opinion on council’s direction was also well below par, with a ward ranking of 47 compared to the council-wide ranking of 53.
In fact, north ward was the least satisfied of any demographic when it came to opinions on the direction that council is heading.
However, it wasn’t all bad news from the north ward, with survey respondents in the area ranking council equal or above the council-wide average in a number of key areas, including recreational facilities, streets and footpaths, public areas, sealed roads and on their consultation and engagement performance.
It was no surprise that roads was a bug bear across the board for Mitchell Shire residents, with local streets and footpaths and local sealed roads the two bottom-performing areas for council, with both areas receiving an index score of just 38.
The results from the survey also revealed Mitchell had improved on its 2016 results across all core performance and service areas.
Last year’s results hit an all-time low for Mitchell Shire, with overall performance declining significantly between 2015 and 2016, from 54 to 42.
While ratings have not yet returned to the levels of 2015, council has made tremendous inroads in improving residents’ perceptions of its performance.
Satisfaction with overall direction jumped by 16 points to 53, the largest single improvement for Mitchell Shire in the past five years.
The result also brings the indicator in line with the state average and slightly above the large rural council average.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said it was encouraging to see the results improve across the board, but acknowledged there was still a lot of work to do.
‘‘The councillors and staff have worked incredibly hard to turn these results around after last year’s significant decline. We have listened, we have acted and it is very heartening to see the results improve so much in such a short period,’’ Cr Sanderson said.
‘‘We do, however, have lower results than the average for large rural councils across most indicators and we still have a lot of work to do to improve our performance on roads and footpaths. We are also doing a lot more on communication, advocacy and consultation and we hope these results will also improve more in time.’’
Conducted by the Victorian Government in February and March, the customer satisfaction survey surveyed 400 residents and measured seven core performance areas and 10 service areas.
●The survey results and the survey report are available on Mitchell Shire Council’s website at www.mitchellshire.vic.gov.au