THE latest Community Satisfaction Survey has given the City of Greater Bendigo an impressive report card.
The survey, which involved interviews with 400 locals from May to June, found council was performing at or better than its peers in most areas.
The survey gives the City an Overall Performance Index Score of 63 out of 100 which is, according to the researchers, “significantly higher” than the average of 60 recorded state-wide and in the Rural Cities and Regional Centres group.
The overall result was significantly higher than last year's 59, but a change in methodology this year has made direct comparisons unreliable.Customer Service is scored at 74, which is above the state-wide average of 71 and the regional centres average of 72.
Other key findings were:
• A score of 55 for Council Direction, which is “significantly higher” than the state-wide and Regional Centres averages of 52. Seventy four per cent of residents said council is heading in the right direction with 21 per cent saying it is definitely heading in the right direction.
• When asked about the direction of Greater Bendigo council over the past 12 months, 64 per cent of residents say it has stayed the same, 21 per cent say things have changed and 11 per cent say things have deteriorated.
• A score of 55 for Advocacy which is equal to both the state-wide and Regional Centres average.
• A score of 55 for Consultation which is “slightly lower” than the state-wide average of 57 and the Regional Centres average of 56.
• A score of 59 for Informing the Community which is higher than the Regional Centres average of 58 but slightly lower than the state-wide average of 60.
• A score of 77 for arts centres and libraries making them the highest rated services provided by the council. Recreational facilities and cultural activities also scored highly with 73.
• Looking ahead, 52 per cent of residents say there is room for improvement and 41 per cent says there is a little room for improvement.
• Key areas for improvement are more community consultation (mentioned by 15 per cent of participants), sealed road maintenance (12 per cent) and better financial management 11 per cent.Council chief executive officer Craig Niemann welcomed the findings but acknowledged there was always room for improvement.
“These survey results are very pleasing and show that our community believe we are heading in the right direction and I’m a great believer that we can do even better,” he said.
“I’m particularly happy with the customer service score of 74. It’s great that our residents feel that their issues are being taken seriously and that our staff are responsive to their requests.”