COMMUNITY satisfaction with several of the Wimmera's councils remains below the state average.
Know Your Council data compares the state's 79 councils on a number of topics including services, financial performance, sustainable capability and governance.
Latest data from the 2018-19 financial year shows that Horsham Rural City Council community satisfaction with consultation and engagement has increased since 2017-18 from 53 to 54 out of a possible 100. However, this is below the state average of 56.
Horsham council's chief executive Sunil Bhalla said there was always room for improvement.
"We have a fair bit going on and some of the things we're working on might be unsettling for some people," he said.
"We don't say we're perfect; there will always be room for improvement and that includes service delivery and community satisfaction. We look at those areas where we've scored lower and find out how we can improve."
Ararat Rural City Council community satisfaction increased from 41 in 2017-18 to 49 in 2018-19, however this was still seven points below the state-wide average.
Community satisfaction with Northern Grampians Shire Council also increased, going from 48 in 2017-18 to 53 in 2018-19.
Community satisfaction with Yarriambiack Shire Council is above the state-wide average at 63, while Hindmarsh Shire Council is at 60. West Wimmera Shire Council's community satisfaction increased from 58 in 2017-18 to 62 in 2018-19.
Each council is grouped with similar councils. Horsham is part of the Regional Cities group which also includes Greater Geelong, Greater Bendigo, Ballarat, Latrobe, Greater Shepparton, Mildura, Wodonga, Warrnambool and Wangaratta.
Geelong is the largest of the state's 10 regional cities with a population of about 230,000. Horsham is the smallest with a population of about 20,000.
Mr Bhalla said it was difficult to compare Horsham council to other regional cities due its smaller size.
The Know Your Council data also looked at the transparency of councils and revealed how many decisions were made at meetings closed to the public.
A total of 13.39 per cent of Horsham council resolutions were made at closed meetings in 2018-19. This was an increase from 2017-18's total of 10.95 per cent and higher than the state-wide average of 9.55 per cent.
Mr Bhalla said the council always aimed to have "the lowest number" of confidential items at its meetings.
"Over the last year we have tried to consciously not include a lot of matters in the confidential section of meetings. We had quite a few tender documents (in the last year) which have to go into confidential matters due to commercially sensitive information," he said.
"Delegation of tenders varies from council to council. A lot of council CEOs have a high level of financial delegation for tenders that don't need to go before council, so it's hard to compare councils for that reason."
Mr Bhalla said any tender above $250,000 has to be delegated to Horsham council.
The number of decisions made by Ararat councillors at closed meetings increased from 17.86 per cent in 2017-18 to 21.89 per cent in 2018-19. The council gave its reasoning behind the increase on the Know Your Council website.
"This variance is largely due to a decrease in the number of council meeting resolutions presented during 2018-19 (252 in 2017-18 against 169 in 2018-19). The total number of decisions made in closed meetings has reduced in this year, but not as a percentage of total decisions made," the council said.
"Forty-seven per cent of these decisions had the confidentiality of the decision and/or report lifted following the council meeting. Items included in the majority of confidential decisions were sale of land, commercial in-confidence procurement or councillor leave items."
Northern Grampians Shire Council had 24.77 per cent of its decisions made at closed meetings in 2018-19, Yarriambiack Shire Council had 15.38 per cent of decisions and Hindmarsh Shire Council had 24.19 per cent of decisions.
More than a third (or 34.71 per cent) of West Wimmera council decisions were made at meetings closed to the public.
The council gave its reasoning on the Know Your Council website.
"Council has reviewed a number of contractual matters through 2019. Also included are a number of resolutions relating to internal processes within council," it said.
More data is available by visiting www.knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au.
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