Ask­ing more peo­ple

MORE REG­U­LAR COUN­CIL SUR­VEYS TO COVER MORE RATEPAY­ERS, IDEAS

Shepparton News - - NEWS - By Thomas Moir

More reg­u­lar, quar­terly ratepayer sat­is­fac­tion sur­veys, will dou­ble as a plat­form to gauge the city’s opin­ion on a raft of other top­ics.

The state sanc­tioned com­mu­nity sat­is­fac­tion sur­vey will now be run by City of Greater Shep­par­ton.

And coun­cil­lors hopes it will give a more rounded view of per­for­mance and of­fer added in­sight into ar­eas for im­prove­ment.

In­stead of a sur­vey gaug­ing the sat­is­fac­tion of about 500 res­i­dents at a sin­gle point in time, the coun­cil will now sur­vey about 125 ratepay­ers each quar­ter.

The first of these will be run from Mon­day to Septem­ber 29.

Cor­po­rate ser­vices di­rec­tor Chris Teitzel was con­fi­dent the new model would bet­ter ref lect trends across a year rather than of­fer­ing a view of per­for­mance at a sin­gle point in time.

‘‘We’re hop­ing to get a bet­ter spread,’’ he said.

‘‘Rather than one point in time, which could be in­flu­enced by one project.’’

But the quar­terly sat­is­fac­tion re­sults would un­likely be made pub­lic un­til the end of the 12-month re­port­ing pe­riod, Mr Teitzel said.

Mr Teitzel was con­cerned as to whether 125 res­i­dents pre­sented a sam­ple size which was too small.

But he un­der­stood it was a re­li­able sam­ple size based on the city’s pop­u­la­tion size, fol­low­ing feed­back from statis­ti­cians.

Mayor Dinny Adem be­lieved the change would ‘‘help paint a more ac­cu­rate opin­ion’’ of the coun­cil’s per­for­mance and stressed poor re­sults could be in­flu­enced by par­tic­u­lar res­i­dents’ con­cerns at the point they had been sur­veyed.

‘‘Hope­fully we get a more ac­cu­rate, bal­anced view,’’ he said.

Along with ques­tions coun­cil is re­quired to ask, Mr Teitzel said there was room for the coun­cil to also can­vas the views of res­i­dents sur­veyed on a range of other top­ics where some feed­back was be­ing sought.

As an ex­am­ple, he sug­gested the coun­cil could gauge res­i­dents’ views on the per­for­mance of the Maude St Mall and opin­ions on the suc­cess of any pro­posed trial open­ing across the course of a year.

‘‘If you opened the mall for a trial pe­riod of 12 months, you might ask the same ques­tion over a 12-month pe­riod.’’

Pre­vi­ously, Mr Teitzel said the coun­cil would typ­i­cally re­ceive re­sults, ‘‘but don’t know why we got it and don’t know what to fix’’.

He hoped the new sur­vey­ing would of­fer more spe­cific rectification mea­sures need to de­liver a bet­ter ser­vice.

‘‘If the com­mu­nity sat­is­fac­tion around sealed roads is tak­ing a dive, the ser­vice provider can give de­tail on the com­ments com­ing through.’’

Mr Teitzel said pre­vi­ous sur­veys were not un­re­li­able, but just the driv­ers be­hind the re­sults were not al­ways clear.

The change in sur­vey­ing method would cost the coun­cil marginally more than pre­vi­ously, Mr Teitzel said.

The coun­cil had been handed an over­all com­mu­nity sat­is­fac­tion score of 52 out of 100 in the most re­cent sur­vey, mark­ing a three per­cent­age point im­prove­ment on the pre­vi­ous year.

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