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An independent survey of residents shows that New Plymouth District Council continues to be rated higher than its peer group of councils.
In February the National Research Bureau surveyed 401 residents about their perceptions and views of NPDC’s services and representation. The Council received an average of 91 per cent approval over all the categories surveyed, compared to 88 per cent among its peer group.
“Some of our services are rated markedly higher than the peer group average, such as swimming pools, footpaths, stormwater and wastewater infrastructure, parking and animal control,” says Manager Corporate Policy and Strategy Maureen Crombie.
“In some areas we rate lower, such as for solid waste management and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.”
Ninety-five per cent of respondents had used parks or reserves, entertainment, the arts or a sports event in the past year. More than 50 percent of households had used sportsparks, playgrounds, public toilets or Puke Ariki’s library, or attended events at the Council’s major venues, at least three times during the past year.
The survey shows that residents particularly approved of the Coastal Walkway, Te Rewa Rewa Bridge and the extension to Bell Block; events and entertainment; NPDC’s handling of Rugby World Cup 2011; and roads, traffic and road safety.
Residents thought the Council could have done better on the condition of roads and other roading issues; expenditure on the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Len Lye and other artworks; rates issues; and improvements to other specified services.
Seventy-nine percent of respondents are happy with the way rates are spent on services and facilities, and satisfaction with parking rose eight per cent from 2011, to 77 per cent.
Eight-four per cent were satisfied with public toilets, although public toilets were still identified as one of the main services that residents want more money spent on. Similarly, there was 81 per cent satisfaction with the rubbish and recycling collection service, even though survey respondents rated it as one of the three worst services provided by the Council.