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Ashfield Municipal Council

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    1. Ashfield Municipal Council RESIDENT COMMUNITY SURVEY BUSINESS COMMUNITY SURVEY 2007 Conducted by OWL RESEARCH & MARKETING

    2. Methodology Resident Study: Telephone interviewed 300 residents (75 per ward) Conducted 1 Chinese Focus Group (9 participants) Business Study: Telephone interviewed 51 local businesses (17 in each of Ashfield, Haberfield, Summer Hill) Conducted 1 Business Focus Group (10 participants) Survey conducted May 2007

    3. The Business Study

    4. The Business Study Types of Businesses: 33% Office services 24% Retail shops 10% Factory/manufacturer 6% Restaurant / take away 27% Other (Nursing home, motel, construction, wholesaler etc)

    5. Parking 27% of businesses are affected by parking issues particularly in Summer Hill. Areas of concern: Insufficient roadside parking 50% Insufficient car park parking 43% Clearway restrictions 36% Poor lighting in car parking areas 29% Poor quality car parking areas 21%

    6. Shop Appearance To overcome poor exterior appearances: More active in cleaning off posters / graffiti 75% 2. Insist shops carry their name in English as well as language of origin 66% 3. Issue fines on health and safety standards 65% 4. Introduce and enforce minimum standard for all shop exteriors 49%

    7. Encouraging Business Growth 76% of business would welcome an E.D.O. ***** Create a Business Awards program 49% Produce / distribute a local business directory 45% Streamline access and information on various business / planning approvals 43%

    8. Business Waste and Recycling Currently 16 (of the 51) businesses pay for Councils business waste collection (7.14) 35 businesses do not use this service ***** 8 businesses also use the free fortnightly recycling service. 14 businesses would pay for a separate recycling service if available

    9. Recommendations Business Study

    10. Recommendations Appoint the new Economic Development Officer A.S.A.P 2. Introduce a Business Award to encourage enterprise. Undertake some upgrading of shopping areas. 4. Introduce a Good Citizen Award to encourage Civic pride.

    11. Promotion Develop a Business Directory to promote local business. Mail it out to encourage networking. 3. Put it on the website and hot-link it to each business website. 4. Introduce a Business Newsletter for greater communication

    12. Attractions ! Re introduce a series of Festivals. Chinese in Ashfield Italian in Haberfield Arts in Summer Hill To attract visitors from outside the area.

    13. Planning Develop a Business Council Planning Committee to debate and develop solutions to business issues such as parking.

    14. Residents Study

    15. A Professional Organization Rating of Council as a Professional Organization: Overall satisfaction (Residents) 6.76 out of 10 Overall satisfaction (Businesses) 6.67 out of 10 Hornsby 6.89 Bathurst 7.30 Albury 7.17 Baulkham Hills 6.70

    16. Customer Service 44% of sample contacted Council in past 12 months 69% by phone / 35% visited Council offices Of those that phoned - 28% were referred on two or three times before finding the right person to talk to. Of those who visited Council 70% of visitors to Council had their query dealt with by the person at the counter

    17. Customer Service Rating Council for Customer Service (out of 10): Courtesy 7.99 Knowledge 7.45 Handling of enquiry 7.46 Overall service 7.70 Areas for improvement Awareness of Council regulations (7%) Please acknowledge calls/letters (5%) More staff / less queues (5%)

    18. Communications Councils Quarterly Newsletter 72% read / looked through this publication Rated at 6.71 out of 10 for being a valuable tool in finding out about local Council and Community news.

    19. Communications Page 6 advertisement Inner West Courier. 47% Residents aware of advertisement. (37% Business respondents aware) Approx 1/3rd of sample (108 residents) Read / glance at it on a regular basis.

    20. Communications The Internet: 37% (of 237 respondents who had internet access) had visited Councils website. 50% of under 40 year old residents interviewed want to conduct business with Council via the net. 30% - 39% of total sample want to pay rates, D.A applications, tree applications etc via the net.

    21. Recreation and Leisure Residents seem very happy with parks /sports fields in the area . Scores range from 6.33 7.08 out of 10 for location, condition of landscaping, play equipment etc. 35% of sample had used Aquatic Centre in past 12 months (mostly by under 40 year olds) High satisfaction scores for : The pool and its surrounds 7.90 Programs offered 7.31 Services offered 7.47

    22. Environment Respondents were asked to rate their Importance and Performance scores on the following:- Local waterways, noise pollution, community education on water / energy usage, improving bicycle network, protection of natural environment. Priority for improvement: Education of water/energy usage Improve quality of local waterways Bicycle network

    23. Waste and Recycling Weekly garbage 8.50 Fortnightly recycling 8.40 Twice yearly clean-ups 8.09 ***** 50% awareness of 4 free individually booked collections.(1/2 of those aware had used service in past) 74% prepared to separate of food / garden organics from general household waste.

    24. Waste and Recycling Illegal dumping: Be stricter / enforce the law Increase Council clean ups. Undertake more education

    25. Council Services Respondents were asked to rate their Importance and Performance scores on the following:- Control of dogs, condition of footpaths, local traffic, local roads, storm water drainage and street trees. Priority for attention: Condition of footpaths 2. Overall condition of local roads (upkeep and maintenance) 3. Policing and /or restriction of traffic on local roads

    26. Childrens Services Holiday activities for children low performance score 5.90 out of 10 Facilities for youths/young adults 6.35 out of 10

    27. Aged and Disability Services Most critical services Council should be providing: Free hire of Community bus Level footpaths/ramps Seniors Social Groups Meals of Wheels Home Help Health care/services

    28. Inter-Cultural Harmony Residents pleased with Councils promotion of inter-cultural harmony. 7.42 out of 10 satisfaction score

    29. Library 56% of sample use one or other of the 2 libraries. High satisfaction ratings on Friendly/helpful staff 8.15 Opening hours 8.02 Individual seating 7.03 Access to computers 6.43

    30. Planning and Development Only 9% of sample had lodged a D.A within previous 2 years. Satisfaction ratings low 4.07 out of 10. (Due to red tape, slowness, lack of information.) ***** 69% of sample aware of Heritage Advisory Service. 24% had used service. Moderate satisfaction with service 5.88 out of 10.

    31. Planning and Development (What do you see as the.) Major Town Planning issues for Council: (in order of number of mentions) Development / infrastructure (overdevelopment / poor quality etc) Traffic / parking (congestion / lack of parking etc) Graffiti / unclean (refurbishing needed / stricter control with shopkeepers etc) Environment ( lack of public spaces / improve streetscapes etc)

    32. Recommendations Residential

    33. Weekly advertisement Inner West Courier Currently too bland and therefore not being noticed engender more colour, photos, points of interest into this advertisement. Make it more meaningful to residents. Communications

    34. Interaction with the Community Council staff (and Councillors) to spend more time in the Community Upgrade Council website to allow for more interactive responses from the public e.g. paying rates, filling out forms.

    35. Signage Introduce multi-lingual directional signs for:- Customer Service Library Community Services

    36. Environment Priorities for improvement: Education of water/energy usage Improve quality of local waterways Bicycle network

    37. Illegal Dumping Adopt a stricter policy when dealing with illegal dumpers (including dogs!)

    38. Council Services Priorities for attention: Condition of footpaths 2. Overall condition of local roads (upkeep and maintenance) 3. Policing and /or restriction of traffic on local roads

    39. Festivals/Youth Use the bi-annual Community Festival to give Council a higher profile. Develop a Youth Council to meet and plan activities. (To drive the Youth Grants Scheme)

    40. Red Tape Review the D.A. process Explain its workings and procedures Consult and be flexible (case by case)

    41. Town Planning Issues Development / Infrastructure Traffic / Parking Graffiti / Dirty Pavements Environment

    42. Ashfield Municipal Council RESIDENT COMMUNITY SURVEY BUSINESS COMMUNITY SURVEY 2007 Conducted by OWL RESEARCH & MARKETING