For nearly 20 years, DELWP’s Community Satisfaction Survey (CSS) has been Victoria’s favourite and most trusted source of providing councils with feedback from their community. It provides an affordable and informative assessment of how effectively Victorian local governments are serving their communities.
While the survey is not compulsory, it is used by a significant majority of councils to get a clear snap shot of how their communities feel about their services and performance, and the area they live in. It also helps local councils meet their reporting requirements.
Given its widespread use, it is a valuable comparison tool for participating local governments, who can measure their results across multiple categories against other, similar Victorian councils. CSS provides a valuable, state-wide snapshot of community sentiment.
The more councils that participate in the CSS, the more compatible performance results will be across local government, providing an accurate, up to date, whole of sector picture. Greater participation also reduces the cost for each council.
Whitehorse City Council is a regular CSS participant. Senior Corporate Planner at Whitehorse says the survey supports a targeted approach to continuous service improvement. “We used it to identify specific areas where we can do better,” she says. “It’s also an opportunity to promote to our community those things we are doing really well.”
Corporate Planner at Greater Dandenong City Council, says the CSS provides some valuable insights. “The verbatim comments provided by some community members are a good way for us to identify any local issues.
“The CSS also gives us a database of community members who indicate on the survey that they’re willing to participate in other community engagement activities we hold throughout the year.”
The CSS gives residents a voice, and councils a richer understanding of how effectively they are meeting community needs.