Warrnambool City Council has reversed its poor showing in last year's community satisfaction survey, improving all seven core measures.
The council took a major tumble in the annual survey last year with the community's scorecard marking the city down in all areas including a rating of just 42 on overall performance - a sharp fall from the 56 it scored in 2019.
But this year the results saw a marked improvement, clawing their way back to 55.
The index score for overall council direction shifted dramatically from a low of 32 last year to a high this year of 59 - a score that eclipsed 2019's result of 50. The lift in community support for the new council's overall direction was also higher than the regional average of 54 and state average of 53.
The council improved its score in 25 of the 27 measures, and in the new category of value for money measure scored 54 which was on par with the Victorian average and one point below the regional average.
Warrnambool mayor Vicki Jellie said the results were really encouraging and set a new benchmark for council.
"The challenge will be to maintain the momentum and we're determined to meet the expectations of the community," she said.
"That means listening to the feedback we receive. It also means acknowledging that there will be times when the right decisions may not always be the most popular."
The areas where the council scored the highest were in:
- appearance of public areas where it scored 76,
- recreational facilities where it scored 71
- waste management and customer service both earned a score of 71
- and in emergency and disaster management it scored 70
"There are still areas we can further improve on," Cr Jellie said.
"We'll continue to seek feedback from the community on key issues and to advocate passionately on behalf of Warrnambool."
The areas it performed lowest on were: community decisions (49), consultation and engagement (50), parking facilities (51), informing the community (52) and lobbying (53).
Interim chief executive officer Gary Gaffney said that overall, the survey results were a really pleasing outcome and reflect positively on the staff and the performance of a relatively new council.
Last year's survey results showed the community was not happy with the performance of the then council.
The poor showing in the 2020 survey results came at a time when the council was facing a range of challenging issues such as horses on beaches, a councillor resignation, the Reid Oval design, The Lookout proposal, free car parking, ongoing investigations into management of credit cards and the start of COVID-19 restrictions.
Most Victorian councils participate in the survey, which is coordinated by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, and involves asking residents about their perceptions of how a council was performing.
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