I was asked to comment for an article in the Melbourne Times/Weekly about Darebin dropping a feedback survey.
I am concerned that the council seem to be pulling back from their promises of a more transparent, responsive and consultative council.
If you are also concerned and want to have a say, here is the article, and links below:
Darebin council dumps resident satisfaction survey
Darebin City Council will abandon a popular resident satisfaction survey.
The council voted last Monday to opt out of next year’s survey, which is conducted by JWS Research through telephone interviews with residents.
In 2013, the council scored no higher than 68 out of 100 in the range of categories surveyed and ranked in the bottom half of the Inner Melbourne Metropolitan section, which includes councils Yarra, Moreland, Banyule, Boroondara and Melbourne.
Darebin hired La Trobe Business School Associate Professor Kevin Brown to review the survey and its methodology. Professor Brown determined that the survey was unrepresentative of the municipality, with renters, younger residents and those from cultural and linguistic diverse communities less likely to be interviewed.
The 2013 survey was the first conducted since the council was swamped by allegations of conflicts of interest and was the focus of a report by the Victorian Ombudsman.
Although his report was never publicly released, Ombudsman George Brouwer published some of the findings in his annual report, tabled in August. It revealed the former council was fractured and some councillors had misused entitlements including mobile phones, taxi vouchers and IT equipment.
Darebin Appropriate Development Association spokeswoman Maria Poletti slammed the council’s decision to opt out of the satisfaction survey. “All they’re doing is saying we don’t want to take notice of the feedback,” she said. “When we voted this council in, there was a lot of talk about transparency. And in light of this, I don’t know whether that is happening.”
Corporate and planning services director Paul Crapper said at least one other council has also dropped out of next year’s survey and some others are undecided. “We can obtain the same performance data from other existing sources, such as the annual Darebin Community Survey. Some of this data is benchmarked against other municipalities.”
The department of planning and community development commissions the survey, which covered 71 out of 79 of the state’s municipal councils this year.
The survey is designed to measure resident satisfaction in council services and programs. It revealed the most important issues in Darebin were elderly support services and traffic management.
Comments can be left below or at the weekly review web site..
Source: theweeklyreviewmelbournetimes.com.au By Alana Schetzer | 14:25:PM 20/11/2013