Thursday, April 25, 2024

Port Stephens Council satisfaction rating takes COVID hit

Port Stephens Council’s community satisfaction rating has dipped to 68% following a difficult year managing both the COVID-19 pandemic and a natural disaster.

In 2020, Council’s community satisfaction score was 80%. The Council has recorded an average rating of 78% or more over the past five years.

Council General Manager, Wayne Wallis said that while the 2021 result was disappointing, it was understandable.

“As a Council, we strive for continuous improvement and we’re consistently trying to deliver valued services to our community in the best possible way,” he said.

“Our annual Community Satisfaction Survey was conducted in May 2021 – only weeks after record rainfall caused widespread damage to homes, property, roads and infrastructure across Port Stephens.

“Despite our best efforts over the past year to manage the impacts of COVID-19 on our community and recover from the natural disaster, it’s understandable that our community’s satisfaction rating has dropped.

“While the rating was lower than we would have hoped, I’m pleased to say we had 2187 responses – our highest-ever response rate. This compares to 1542 in 2020.”

Mr Wallis said the Council was focused on listening to the feedback and acting on the results.

“We received excellent scores for our garbage collection at 96%, access to waste depots and recycling at 93% and children’s services at 93%. These are great results and we’ll continue to keep up the good work in these areas.”

“Not surprisingly after the natural disaster, our 3 main areas for improvement were maintaining local roads at 45%, managing stormwater drainage at 59% and roadside maintenance at 68%.

“We’re firmly focused on fixing our roads – this is our highest priority. Our road crews patched 20,000 potholes in the 3 months after the storm alone, and are continuing to work hard to keep our roads safe.

“We’ve also committed an extra $3 million to resealing and rehabilitating roads in the year ahead, bringing our total budget to $5.6 million.

“I want to thank our community for their honest feedback and for their continuing patience as we get through the $7 million worth of repairs including those to Foreshore Drive,” Mr Wallis said.

The full report will be available in the Council business paper from tomorrow. For more information, visit portstephens.nsw.gov.au/community-satisfaction-survey

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