The final 2013 message for Councils is
- Better roads,
- Continue to collect rubbish and
- Be brave to lower rates.
The evidence is in this Sept 2103 Herald Sun Article:
COUNCILS have been told to get back to basics after a major survey revealed that many residents are unhappy with the management of core services.
The State Government study of nearly 30,000 people found that most Victorians want their councils to focus on the three Rs – roads, rubbish and lower rates.
It comes after strong criticism of councils for running political campaigns, such as using ratepayers’ funds for the failed referendum bid to include local government in the federal Constitution.
More than 90 per cent of survey respondents said their municipalities could improve, with low scores given for management of roads, population growth, planning policy, parking facilities and footpaths.
Only about half of all Victorians believed that overall municipal performance was good or very good, while 35 per cent said it was average and 14 per cent rated it as poor or very poor, according to the Statewide Local Government Services Report June 2013.
“As in 2012, Victorian councils tended to score lower than their overall performance rating on community consultation and engagement, advocacy and particularly, overall council direction,” said the report……..
………….The report found that most ratepayers expected councils to live within their means – those preferring a rate rise in exchange for better services fell from 40 per cent in 2012 to 36 per cent this year.
On the positive side, the proportion of residents who believed their council was heading in the right direction rose slightly to 69 per cent this year, while those who thought it was going the wrong way fell from 23 per cent to 20 per cent.
On a scale of zero to 100, inner Melbourne councils rated best for overall performance with a score of 66, outer metro councils scored 62, regional centre councils got 60, small rural shires scored 59 and larger ones got 57.
Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell said the survey results were important and the Government was working to introduce a mandatory reporting system in which similar councils could be compared on a range of factors.
“In an effort to try and keep rates down and contains costs, my department is working with councils so they can have better purchasing power through the sharing of services,” she said.
The survey found that residents were most happy with public art centres and libraries, with a score of 73, followed by appearance of public areas and waste management (71), emergency and disaster management and recreational facilities (70), then elderly support, community and cultural services (69).
But there was significant dissatisfaction with management of unsealed roads (44), population growth (54), planning and building permits (55), slashing and weed control (56), parking facilities (57) and local streets and footpaths (58).
Municipal Association of Victoria president Bill McArthur said there were no real surprises in the survey but there was always room for improvement.
For the full report – click here