Dissatisfaction with the state of roads and the water supply has contributed to Christchurch City Council recording its lowest performance rating since 2007.
The annual Residents Survey programme, which finds out what people think about the Council’s services, shows that overall satisfaction has fallen to 50 per cent – down from 62 per cent last year.
Overall satisfaction has been trending down since the earthquakes.
“This is a sobering result, as this is the lowest overall satisfaction score since 2007. It is clear that we need to make some changes and the survey results provide the platform we can build from to do this,’’ says Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale.
“While disappointing, with staff working extremely hard in recent weeks to keep our organisation and services going during the COVID-19 crisis, we must ‘own’ these results and make changes – balancing what we know is important to residents with a challenging financial situation.”
The Residents Survey programme involves two pieces of research – the Point of Contact Surveys, which are carried out throughout the year with Council customers, and the General Service Satisfaction Survey, which was carried out in February and March 2020 and involved phone interviews with 1542 randomly selected residents.
In the General Service Satisfaction Survey respondents were asked why they were satisfied, neutral or dissatisfied with Council’s overall service performance. Of those who said they were dissatisfied with the Council’s performance, 39 per cent said they were unhappy with services provided and 21 per cent gave Council’s lack of responsiveness to problems or concerns as a reason.
Rates increases were mentioned in 2 per cent of comments overall.
While there were high degrees of satisfaction with the provision of services like libraries and waste management, the state of the road network and the water supply clearly remains areas of concern for residents.
“It is not surprising that residents are particularly unsatisfied with our performance in these two areas. We know many residents are unhappy that we are still having to put a low dose of chlorine in most of the city’s water supply.
“We are working as quickly as possible to get our new Water Safety Plan approved by the Ministry of Health because we want to return to having an untreated water supply.
“We are also putting a lot of emphasis on improving the condition of our roads and footpaths. Earlier this year we had our Investment Case for $25 million to $30 million of funding from the Government’s Christchurch Regeneration Acceleration Facility approved. This money will allow us to improve the safety and condition of more than 100 roads in several suburban areas of the city impacted by the earthquakes.”
Mrs Baxendale says the survey information will inform and underpin much of the planning the organisation is currently carrying out due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“It will feed into how we revise the Annual Plan and shape the Council and what services it provides for the next 12 months.”