Council improves satisfaction ratings

The community satisfaction survey showed residents want better sealed roads.


Community satisfaction with Macedon Ranges council’s performance has improved in several key categories, a new report reveals.

But the area’s biggest residents group maintains the council is coming off a low base and still has plenty of work to do.

The results of an annual independent survey of 400 residents show satisfaction with the council’s overall performance remained unchanged at 59, above Victoria’s large rural shire average of 56.

Residents’ opinion of the council’s overall direction went up six points to 54, bringing it into line with the average of other councils in its group.

The council’s community consultation rating improved from 47 in 2014 to 52 this year, while advocacy was rated 53 (up three).

But scores for waste management, elderly support services and local law enforcement went down by four, three and two points respectively.

The non-compulsory survey was conducted by Local Government Victoria by phone in February.

Macedon Ranges chief executive Peter Johnston was pleased with improvements in some categories such as roadside slashing and weed control (up four points to 46) and maintenance of unsealed roads (up two to 47).

‘‘Council direction and consultation are two highly significant areas where we have made noticeable improvements,’’ Mr Johnston said.

‘‘We are also performing well in a lot of areas compared to other large rural shires.’’

Macedon Ranges Residents Association secretary Christine Pruneau said it was ‘‘telling’’ that the council’s scores for decision making, consultation and roads were relatively low.

Referring to plans for a major equine centre in the municipality’s south-east, Ms Pruneau said: ‘‘With these kinds of scores, perhaps council should go back to basics like roads, rates and rubbish instead of mucking around with more sexy things.’’

The council was recently presented with a gold award at the Australasian Reporting Awards for reporting excellence. The award followed silver awards for its previous two reports and bronze awards in other years.