Satisfaction with services and performance has improved across the board for Mitchell Shire Council with significant boosts on most core indicators in the annual Community Satisfaction Survey, according to Mayor Rhonda Sanderson.
Scores for all core indicators have improved, Cr Sanderson said, including a seven-point increase for customer service and a six-point increase for overall performance and consultation.
Many service areas recorded solid increases in satisfaction including sealed local roads — a key focus area for council — up by five points. Satisfaction with planning for population growth, consultation and engagement, community decisions, lobbying, appearance of public areas and informing the community also increased with indicators for waste management, recreational facilities remaining stable.
The highest performing services were customer service, emergency and disaster management and waste management. The lowest performing areas were unsealed local roads and sealed local roads.
Council added some new services to the survey this year covering unsealed roads, tourism development, slashing and weed control, business and community development, environmental sustainability, community and cultural services and family support services.
The survey also asked the community to rate the importance of each service and then their satisfaction with performance. The gap in these two results can then be used to identify priority areas along with other key drivers of satisfaction.
Unsealed roads and sealed local roads recorded the highest gaps followed by slashing and weed control, planning for population growth and decisions made in the best interest of the community.
The survey also recommends areas to focus on to drive up overall satisfaction as well as those service areas that are performing well and have a positive influence on overall performance.
Cr Sanderson said it was pleasing to see such strong results.
‘‘We have been listening to our community. I think the survey shows that the improvements in our services, increased investment in roads and public spaces is getting noticeable results,’’ Cr Sanderson said.
‘‘In many of the indicators, these are the best results we’ve had for years and that is a testament to the hard work that has been put in to help turn Mitchell around.
‘‘Councillors and staff are committed to improving the quality of life of our community and it is encouraging to see this reflected in these results.’’
Cr Sanderson said a more detailed analysis of the results would be conducted in coming weeks with a focus on identifying key improvement opportunities.
‘‘We realise that there is still a lot of work to be done. Our draft budget addresses many of the lower performing areas such as roads and advocacy and we hope to see these results continue to improve in coming years,’’ she said.
‘‘I would like to thank the community members who took the time to take part in the survey and share their thoughts about the key areas we should focus on. This sort of community input is invaluable as we work to provide services and infrastructure across our shire, plan for growth and better meet the needs of a wide range of community members and uses.
‘‘I’d also like to thank our staff and contractors for all the great work they are doing for our community.’’
The full report is available at www.mitchellshire.vic.gov.au/satisfaction-survey