COMMUNITY satisfaction with Horsham Rural City Council has decreased since last year to levels lower than the statewide average.
The latest Know Your Council data was released on October 30, which compares the state’s 79 councils.
Data revealed that community satisfaction with Horsham council’s decisions decreased by 15.52 per cent since last year to 49/100.
This was lower than that of similar councils (52/100) and the statewide average (54/100).
It was reflective of the council’s Community Satisfaction Survey released in August which noted the council’s overall performance was at its lowest level since 2012, with a rating of 54.
“With a significant decrease in satisfaction with council decisions, the council has implemented an action plan to address possible causes,” a council spokesperson said.
The percentage of council decisions that were made at meetings closed to the public was 10.95 per cent.
This transparency was about on par with similar councils (11.7 per cent), and higher than the average percentage (9.29 per cent).
A council spokesperson said there was a “minor increase” in the of percentage of decisions made at closed meetings, with 80 per cent relating to contractual matters.
At $36,317, the overall cost of governance per councillor was well below the statewide average of $47,505.
In the council’s infrastructure department, sealed local road requests per 100km of roads was at 12.22.
This was a 93.20 per cent increase from the previous year’s results.
“In 2018, the council significantly upgraded its website which included an online service request system for the community to lodge complaints. The ease of use via website and mobile devices has increased request,” the spokesperson said.
However community satisfaction with sealed local roads was at 44/100, which was lower than the statewide average of 55/100.
The council is ahead in waste collection with only 0.10 kerbside collection bins missed per 10,000 households.
This was significantly lower than the statewide average of 5.05, and that of similar councils, which was 5.54.
“Council’s missed bin figures have always been low and this figure reflects that only six bins were missed in 2018,” the spokesperson said.
The new data has revealed that Northern Grampians Shire Council’s transparency is considerably lower than the statewide average.
Data shows the council made 15.65 per cent of its decisions at meetings closed to the public.
This was higher than statewide average of 9.29 per cent and that of similar councils, which was 11.7 per cent.
It also revealed that community satisfaction with Northern Grampians council’s decisions increased by 6.82 per cent since last year.
However, its overall satisfaction score of 47/100 was lower than that of similar councils (52/100) and the statewide average (54/100).
The council’s staff turnover percentage was at 20.08 per cent, which was higher than the statewide average of 13.20 per cent.
“Council is systematically working through service reviews in an effort to become more financial sustainable and to provide the most appropriate services to the community. Some of this work has resulted in a higher level of staff turnover than has been seen in the past,” a council spokesperson said.
Ararat Rural City Council’s transparency decreased by 8.02 per cent since last year with, 17.86 per cent of decisions made at closed meetings.
Community satisfaction with the council’s decisions significantly decreased by 34.00 per cent to a score of 33/100.
“The decline in these results could be due to three Councillor resignations during the 2017/18 term and public reaction to the Commission of Inquiry report and Minister for Local Government recommendations,” a council spokesperson said.
Data for other councils around the Wimmera is available by visiting www.knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au.