News

Council aims to satisfy

By Seymour Telegraph

Strathbogie Shire Council’s customer service received a rating of 75 in its recent community satisfaction survey, surpassing the statewide average of 71.

The score is a five-point increase on its 2018 result and is the council’s highest result in the history of the reports.

The community satisfaction surveys are independently co-ordinated by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on behalf of Victorian councils.

A survey sample of 400 residents, matched to the demographic profile of the Strathbogie Shire, participated in the survey where they provided a rating out of 100 on council’s performance and service delivery in a variety of areas.

The report revealed a general improvement across the board again this year, with the most improved area being council’s performance in making community decisions, which increased by seven points compared to 2018.

Council’s highest performing areas also included tourism development, waste management, informing the community, enforcement of local laws, overall council direction and community consultation and engagement.

Strathbogie Shire Mayor Amanda McClaren said council was very pleased to see an overall improvement in performance and service delivery across the board.

‘‘We’re here to serve our communities and it is pleasing to see we’re slowly improving satisfaction levels across our services,’’ she said.

However, Cr McClaren said there was still plenty of work for council to do to continue to improve overall performance and in some low-performing areas.

‘‘We’re still trailing the small rural average by two points and the statewide average by four points,’’ she said.

‘‘The survey also revealed our communities continue to be frustrated with paying comparatively high rates.

‘‘We’re looking at ways to address this and give our ratepayers the best value for money, especially when it comes to our road network, which is also one of our lower rated areas in the survey.

‘‘In our draft 2019-20 budget, which is going to council for consideration this month, we have proposed to reduce our municipal charge from $266 to $133 and to alter the farm rate differential from 82.5 per cent of the residential rate to 80 per cent.

‘‘We are also proposing to continue our zero to one roads program, which we hope will continue to provide noticeable improvements to the standard of our roads.’’

Cr McClaren said council was also building on improvements in customer service, communication and community engagement, with a number of initiatives under way.

‘‘We’ve got a communications and engagement policy and draft community engagement strategy going to council this month, and council is currently working on a new customer service charter,’’ she said.

‘‘These types of initiatives are important in achieving consistency and accountability when it comes to the way the organisation interacts with its customers.’’

If you would like to read the full community satisfaction survey report, visit strathbogie.vic.gov.au/council/plans-policies-strategies-a-reports/corporate