We commission a community satisfaction survey every year to better understand how we are perceived by our community, measure satisfaction with Council’s leadership and its delivery of services and facilities, and identify issues of concern within the municipality.
The survey is conducted by an independent company, Metropolis Research, with 700 households. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and Melbourne’s third lockdown in February 2021, this year the survey moved from personal face-to-face interviews to telephone interviews.
The 2021 survey looked at:
- Satisfaction with our overall performance
- Satisfaction with aspects of governance and leadership
- Importance of and satisfaction with 26 services and facilities
- Current issues of concern for residents
- Satisfaction with our advocacy to other levels of government
- Level of volunteering
- Satisfaction with planning for population growth
- Satisfaction with aspects of planning and development
- Satisfaction with aspects of traffic and parking, and use of sustainable transport
- Satisfaction with aspects of our customer service and engagement with Council.
How is the survey conducted?
The 2021 community satisfaction survey was conducted by telephone interview with 700 randomly selected households from mid-February to early March 2021. The switch to telephone interviews was to ensure the survey could be conducted in a COVID-safe way, immediately following Melbourne’s third lockdown in February 2021.
Each interview involves in-depth conversations to truly understand the issues that are important to Bayside residents and to gauge how Council is performing. It measures residents’ satisfaction with overall performance, services and facilities, planning and development, customer service and planning for population growth, along with other issues.
The 2021 survey is the fourth year Council has used this extensive research program. Previously, surveys involved approximately 400 phone interviews.
What are some of the key results?
- Satisfaction with the overall performance of Council moved from "very good" to a "good" level of satisfaction
- 84% of respondents were satisfied with our overall performance, giving an average score of 6.8 out of 10
- One third of respondents were very satisfied with our overall performance, giving an "excellent" rating of 8 or more out of 10
- Satisfaction remains “excellent” with services considered most important to the community, including:
- Waste and recycling services
- Services for children from birth to five years of age
- Local libraries
- Parks, gardens, reserves and sports ovals
- Art centre
- Safety walking on residential streets increased measurably to “excellent” and on main roads to “very good” which is likely to reflect more walking around local areas throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Respondents who regularly volunteer increased, despite COVID restrictions in throughout 2020.
Overall performance remains higher than the average for the six inner eastern region councils (Yarra, Glen Eira, Stonnington, Bayside, Port Phillip and Melbourne). Bayside also has a notably higher level of satisfaction compared with other local government areas in services for people with a disability, hard rubbish services and green waste collection.
What were some of the issues?
The annual Community Satisfaction Survey is also an opportunity to explore current issues of concern in Bayside for residents.
The top issues residents were most concerned about in early 2021 include:
1. Planning, building and development
2. Car parking
3. Parks, gardens and open space
4. Sports and recreation facilities
5. Traffic management
Planning, building and development issues remain focused on the size, number and type of medium and higher density residential developments.
Satisfaction with both the volume of traffic and parking availability declined measurably and are now at “poor” levels.
Sports and recreation facilities are historically not a top concern, however, around 5% of respondents said it was an issue to address, with some directly referencing the proposed Bayside Netball Centre courts in Sandringham.
Some residents also reported communication issues, reflecting that they did not feel heard and/or that Council was not communicating effectively enough during uncertain times.
What was different this year?
Three non-performance factors were considered likely to have negatively impacted results:
- Community sentiment during the COVID-19 pandemic and survey timing immediately following the third Melbourne lockdown.
- Change of methodology from face-to-face to telephone interviews.
- Reduced number of new residents moving into the area.