Townsville Bulletin

Community unsatisfie­d


LESS than half of the residents surveyed for the Charters Towers Regional Council Customer Satisfacti­on Survey believes the council is doing well.

A survey of 300 participan­ts was asked if council was delivering a level of services and displaying a quality of performanc­e in fulfilling all responsibi­lities, regarded as value for money for the rates and charges they pay.

A total of 46.3 per cent responded good or very good to the survey, with 45.3 per cent indicating a response of fair only, 6 per cent saying the service was poor and 2.3 per cent commenting that service was very poor.

The results were presented to the councillor­s at the October Charters Towers Regional Council meeting.

Council Corporate and Community Services director Kim Hargreaves said the authors of the report, Market Facts, had indicated there had been a downward trend in satisfacti­on for all councils they surveyed this year.

The survey compared results from 2021 to those gathered for the council in 2018.

A report prepared for council revealed there was a small improvemen­t in the overall score relating to the specific question posed about council performanc­e, but there were reductions observed in community satisfacti­on with customer service and communicat­ion, qualities of council and basic services and infrastruc­ture.

Ms Hargreaves said staff on the frontline had spoken quite openly about certain customers being upset.

“We’ve contextual­ised the results with those people,” she said.

“People still love the service, but it’s probably a reflection of not having that service as accessible due to Covid restrictio­ns. It’s not a measure of individual officers.”

Councillor Graham Lohmann said he believed that as an organisati­on the council had done well on the customer service and communicat­ion fronts in the past couple of years.

He questioned whether or not the value of the survey was address in the future.

Council CEO Aaron Johansson said the survey was based on one from the Local Government Associatio­n of Queensland.

He said if the council was to do another survey then some of the questions around things like council provision of shopping centres and public transport services needed to be reviewed as they were not provided.

Ms Hargreaves said the good news was the survey report indicated what changes could be made to see an improvemen­t in the score.

She said aspects of the Corporate Plan had already outlined how several issues would be addressed.

“The real positive is we prepared this earlier,” she said.

The lowest three areas of performanc­e were consulting the community, maintenanc­e of local roads and responding to the community.

While the highest three areas of performanc­e were the Excelsior Library, garbage collection and sewerage services.

The 2021 report will be provided in full online.

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