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CDC: Satisfaction levels take a dive

Carterton residents say they are not getting value for money from their council. PHOTO/FILE

Overall satisfaction in Carterton District Council’s [CDC] performance has plummeted to 45 per cent, its annual residents survey shows.

And residents’ perceptions of value for money is just 30 per cent.

These have dropped from 67 per cent and 48 per cent in 2017 respectively.

Carterton Mayor Greg Lang said the council was disappointed, but not surprised, by the results because the timing of the survey aligned with the town’s boil water notice in March.

“We have since made significant improvements to our processes and have continuously engaged with the public, both formally with the Long-Term Plan process and informally through face-to-face meetings, emails and phones calls,” he said.

“As elected members, we need to take onboard what our residents are saying and always strive for improvement, to deliver what’s best for the Carterton district on their behalf.

“We value the outcome of the survey, and the results provide a good direction for what residents would like and what we should be working towards.”

The residents’ survey provides an overview of the general satisfaction of residents, as well as a specific breakdown in relation to services, facilities, and other activities performed by the council.

It took place in March 2021 and results were made public on Friday.

To ensure continuity of results, the methodology used for the latest survey was the same as that used in previous years.

A high proportion of residents [70 per cent] did not believe they were receiving good value for money when it came to infrastructure, amenities, and services.

Infrastructure received a 46 per cent rating, down from 52 per cent the year prior, and core services were also rated at 49 per cent, down from 53 per cent in 2020.

On the plus side, CDC’s outdoor spaces and public facilities rated well at 75 per cent and 74 per cent.

However, both these were lower than previous years [just over 80 per cent satisfaction for both areas in 2017.

The Carterton Events Centre also rated highly, with 87 per cent of residents either satisfied or very satisfied, an increase of 4 per cent on the previous year.

The district library also increased on its previous year’s result, with a 93 per cent satisfaction rate.

The survey also shows there is a stronger perception by residents of the council’s efforts to engage with them and increase participation in decision making.

Communication satisfaction rates had increased to 52 per cent, from 49 per cent, and the council’s reputation had also increased to 48 per cent from 47 per cent.

CDC said it would continue in its direction of providing communications that continue to emphasise opportunities for engagement and increased transparency.

It also said it was committed to successfully delivering on its core infrastructure projects and providing regular progress and financial updates, which should in turn help reflect more value for money.

The full results are made public as part of the 2020/21 Annual Report in the November 17 Extraordinary Council Meeting agenda which can be found at www.cdc.govt.nz/meetings.

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