The findings of the latest Residents Survey reinforce the need for a Long Term Plan that focuses on investing in core services and infrastructure, says Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale.
“Our Draft 2021-32 Long Term Plan provides for significant investment over the next 10 years in our water supply network and our roading and transport systems because we know they need attention.
“Keeping our core infrastructure in good condition does come at a high cost. However, we know from the residents’ surveys that we do each year that it is an area of concern for ratepayers, many of whom feel we should be delivering a better level of service,’’ Mrs Baxendale says.
The latest Residents’ Survey programme shows overall satisfaction with Council services is sitting at only 49 per cent - a slight decrease from last year’s 50 per cent satisfaction rating.
While residents remain highly satisfied with services like the libraries and recreation and sports facilities, they are less impressed with the Council’s performance in areas such as roads and footpaths, water supply and stormwater drainage.
Mrs Baxendale says the survey findings are similar to those received last year and the Council is taking note.
“We have got the message, loudly and clearly, from residents that we need to get the basics right, which is why our Draft Long Term Plan has a strong focus on investing in core infrastructure and the essential services that residents rely on.
“In the first three years of the Draft Long Term Plan we’re particularly focused on investing in our roads and our water – two of the issues we hear about most from the community,’’ Mrs Baxendale says.
“We have set our core capital spend at $400 million in the first year, $420 million in the second year, and $443 million in the third year and have allocated a significant portion of that money towards water and transport infrastructure.
“Infrastructure improvements take time and we’re not going to change residents’ perceptions of how we are performing in these areas overnight.
“However, as we roll out our capital programme over the coming years and people start to see the impact of the extra investment in these areas, I am confident that residents’ overall satisfaction with Council services will significantly improve,’’ Mrs Baxendale says.
The Residents Survey programme involved two pieces of research – the Point of Contact Surveys, which were carried out over the course of the past year with Council customers, and the General Service Satisfaction Survey, an online survey of 770 people that was conducted in January and February 2021.