A report released today by the Baw Baw Shire Council shows “significant” and “widespread dissatisfaction” amongst community members in areas of public participation and representation.
The Baw Baw Shire Council Community Survey Report issued in July this year is the fourth of its kind since 2007 and shows the gap between issue importance and the shire’s performance widening in areas which have remained in the worst performing list since 2007.
The survey used for the report asked 312 respondents to rate how they felt the Baw Baw Shire Council had performed in several areas outlined in the survey.
The report gives a mean gap score for each issue, with a score of or above 1.90 being “significant,” and a score of 3.00 or above “generally pointing to widespread dissatisfaction.”
The area “Opportunities for the community to participate in decision making” performed the worst with a mean gap of 3.05. This area has had the greatest gap in every report of this kind.
“Councillor’s representation of your issues to the council and other bodies” has also been marked as a significant area of concern with a gap of 2.94, ranking in the top five gaps in every report.
These areas also scored amongst the lowest five performers in the survey; councillor representation ranked third lowest this year and community participation opportunities has scored lowest overall in every report.
The council’s image was also ranked lowly by respondents, receiving the second lowest score this year and having the third highest performance score gap at 2.87.
The top scoring issue for the council in the report was “Courtesy of staff at the Council,” with a mean satisfaction score of 6.24.
Staff knowledge and experience, consistency of information provided, timeliness of responses and shire appearance also scored highly.
The majority of survey respondents were over the age of 40, with just one respondent for both the 15-19 and 20-24 years age brackets. There were 41 respondents from the 25-39 years bracket.
Baw Baw Shire Mayor Diane Blackwood said in a media release today that the council is responding to the report.
“We will be working to improve our performance in these areas,” Ms Blackwood said.
The council is also processing information from January’s Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey.
You can read the full report on the Baw Baw Shire website here: http://www.bawbawshire.vic.gov.au/Files/Governace/BawBawShireCommunitySurveyResults2011.pdf
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