THE president of Horsham Rural Ratepayers and Residents has urged Horsham Rural City Council to improve it's methods of communication, in the wake of a new report.
Released on Thursday, the 2020 Community Satisfaction Survey showed the overall performance index score of 45 for HRCC has declined 10 points from 2019.
The report will go before councillors at Monday night's ordinary meeting, with the recommendation it be noted.
In a statement, the council noted "it continues a trend of deteriorating results each year since 2016 when the score was 63".
Community decisions, consultation and engagement and sealed local roads were the three areas where the council performed significantly worse than average in the eyes of respondents. It did not perform significantly better than average in any survey category.
President Di Bell said residents were unhappy plans for the Transforming Horsham suite of projects had been prepared with "no previous discussion" involving them.
"If (projects like this are) going to work, it starts with the community," she said.
"It's about observing the space, asking the community what's important to them, what they want to retain, what to improve and asking them about any other big ideas they've got. And then it's okay to get consultants to draw out from that.
"Where were we going wrong is that, for example on the City to River masterplan, who introduced the original ideas came from to move the tennis club and miniature railway out or turn City Oval?"
Mrs Bell acknowledged the community had been consulted on previous plans to revitalise central Horsham.
"The community did some submissions on the draft masterplan that was presented, and in November when the council moved to adopt the plan with amendments, that was so more work could be done on the concept designs," she said.
"The general community doesn't really understand that, they think (what they responded to) was set in stone. So we've got this disconnect all the time.
"It's about having the conversations, and the conversations that are not being had."
The masterplan is currently in its schematic design phase, with a community reference group, now meeting to develop detailed designs for one precinct in the plan: Upgrades to the Wimmera riverfront. She said from her time on the committee she believed the council was taking into account residents' feedback.
She said it would spend the months leading up to the 2020 Victorian Local Government Elections educating peopl considering standing had a good knowledge of what the role of a councillor entails.
Other items on the agenda tonight
Councillors will be advised to continue to prohibit dogs from entering Horsham Botanic Gardens.
In confidential matters, a governance review of the City to River project will be discussed.
Councillors will also be encouraged to note and endorse an application to the Sport and Recreation Victoria Community Sports Infrastructure Stimulus Program for the development of Horsham Regional Water Play Park, and provide a contribution of $350,000 towards this.