Community survey postponed

A SURVEY to gauge the community's satisfaction with council has been postponed a month after fears the state of the region's flood-damaged roads could provide a skewed reality.

The Southern Downs Regional Council levels of service community survey will assess council operations and is part of the asset management process. It will allow residents to comment on issues such as the way council communicates with residents, the maintenance of roads, drainage, heritage buildings maintenance and streetscape.

At a council meeting yesterday, Councillor Ross Bartley told his fellow councillors that should the survey be dispersed now it would likely to return a large number of negative comments about the state of the region's roads.

He suggested the survey release be delayed and it was met by comments of "good call" from his peers.

Director of engineering Peter See said a slight postponement of the release date would provide a more accurate assessment.

"It was thought that delaying the survey until later in the financial year may give a more balanced response," he said.

"Otherwise, if we survey now we will most likely get lots of complaints about roads which may not be truly indicative."

The questionnaire will ask for residents to participate following counter enquiries, use of the council website, and sending out forms to 500 randomly selected residents.

Councillor Vic Pennisi said he was concerned the survey was quite long and it may be put to the bottom of people's work table.

"My only concern is it seems to be quite long and if people see its seven pages long they might not spend time doing it," he said.

Cr Bartley agreed, adding the length of the survey could see only people with "an axe to grind" take the time to fill out the survey.

Mr See said the Levels of Service survey will be dispersed around March 2012.

A second survey regarding the Leyburn barriers was scheduled to be sent out before Christmas but is now set to be dispersed mid-January.

The survey will come at a cost of $2000 and has been allocated in the Asset Management budget.

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