The Weekly Advertiser Horsham
Statewide survey delivers findings
Results of a statewide municipal survey have shown a rise in community satisfaction in the performance of Northern Grampians Shire Council.
Details show a rise in all measured areas, except for council direction, which remains relatively unchanged from a previous survey.
The council’s highest scores came from overall performance and customer service.
Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions engaged independent research organisation JWS Research to survey 66 Victorian councils and present individualised reports.
The telephone survey in March polled 400 Northern Grampians Shire residents.
The survey snapshot represented about four percent of the shire population.
It highlighted an increase in Northern Grampians Shire performance in consultation and engagement, but also showed a mixed perception of council overall direction across cohort and location.
Results for waste management, a new part of the survey, and performance in community decisions were both in line with small-rural-group and statewide comparator-group averages.
Council chief executive Liana Thompson said she placed high value on survey findings.
“This survey has been conducted in one form or another since we amalgamated and therefore provides us with a longitudinal study of council performance,” she said.
“Not only can we use the current data to inform the direction of our council and adjust our planning and delivery of services, but we can also reflect on previous years’ data to examine whether our community’s perception of us and what we provide to them is improving.
“Evidently, there is a body of work to be done to improve satisfaction levels for residents in St
Arnaud and residents in the 35 to 49-year-old age bracket. We will be responding to the community’s feedback and focusing on continued improvement in consultation and engagement and overall council direction.
“It’s important to note that the results benchmark us against other councils in Victoria. This is a significant motivator, but I believe it is also necessary to benchmark ourselves against organisations in other sectors as this is where we might uncover both strategic advantages for our organisation and new ways to improve service levels for our customers.”
The survey provides insight into community views on overall performance; value for money in services and infrastructure; community consultation and engagement; community decisions; customer service involving infrastructure, facilities and services; and overall council direction. Individual responses were aggregated and compiled into scores for each area and compared against two types of groups made up of statewide councils and similarly sized small rural councils.
Mayor Murray Emerson commended respondents for their contributions.
“We thank the community members who participated in this survey. It is time consuming and sometimes inconvenient to provide this level of information by telephone,” he said.
“Myself, my fellow councillors and council staff are responding to the data and will be addressing areas of concern. Please always feel welcome to provide feedback to us whether it is instigated by us, in the instance of this survey, or on an ad hoc basis. We are here to serve you.”
People can download the survey report online at www.ngshire.vic.gov.au/css2021 or request a printed version from the council’s customer service centres by calling 5358 8700.