(17/7/15) Community survey results show a City on the rise
Results of the City of Fremantle’s 2015 community perceptions survey are back and show improvements in a number of key areas since the last survey was conducted in 2012.
Some of the key areas of improvement (based on levels of community satisfaction) are:
- overall satisfaction with the City as a governing organisation - up 7%
- council’s leadership – up 9%
- youth services and facilities – up 21%
- openness and transparency - up 9%
- value for money (rates) – up 11%
- parks and other green spaces – up 9%
- family services and facilities - up 13%
- access for people with disabilities - up 10%
- conservation and environmental management - up 12%
- planning and building approvals - up 8%
- parking in the city centre - up 8%.
The big winner in terms of improvement (up 21%) was the city’s provision of services for youth, a reflection of the success of the Fremantle Youth Plaza and enhanced youth programs.
The City was also the state leader in the provision of events and festivals when benchmarked against other councils in Western Australia.
Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt said he was pleased the trend was moving in the right direction but there was much still to be done.
“It’s always pleasing to see community survey results come back that show improvements in most areas but we still have a long way to go in terms of where we want Fremantle to be as world-leading vibrant, sustainable and liveable city,” Dr Pettitt said.
“I was particularly excited about the big improvement in the community’s view of the services available to young people in Fremantle. It’s clear our award-winning Esplanade Youth Plaza, which during its development phase was highly controversial, is the driving force behind this and it’s something this council continues to be very proud of.
“I’m also pleased, but not surprised, that our events and festivals program is an industry leader once again. We devote a lot of time and effort into ensuring Fremantle is the festival capital of WA and for this to be reflected in this survey is deeply satisfying.”
A number of priority areas came through in the survey as areas the community wanted the most focus on. These included economic and city centre development, CBD parking, anti-social behaviour and the provision and maintenance of footpaths and cycleways.
“The priority areas outlined by the Fremantle community are all valid and known to us and we are working to address these in a number of ways,” Dr Pettitt said.
“Take for example economic development and the broader development of the city centre, which continues to be a focus area for us. The bold planning initiatives this council put in place several years ago are paying dividends in the form of a $1.3b pipeline of new developments. Unfortunately the lag between implementing initiatives and seeing results on the ground can be long and I think the results of the survey reflect this.
“I’m confident the time the next survey is done we’ll have seen much more in the way of physical development of the city centre which will see more people living, working, shopping and being entertained in Fremantle. This will in turn flow to other areas including a noticeable uplift in the general level of local economic activity,” he added.
Dr Pettitt said anti-social behaviour was also clearly a concern for the community and one which was being addressed.
“Anti-social behaviour in certain parts of Fremantle is an issue we’re aware of and although a complex problem, tackling this is something we’re working on closely with WA Police and others to ensure we see some major improvements in this area in the near future.”
In May-June 2015 the City of Fremantle commissioned the CATALYSE® Community Perceptions Survey to evaluate community priorities and measure the City’s performance against key indicators in the 2010-15 Strategic Plan.
404 phone surveys were conducted with a random and representative sample of Fremantle residents.
Interviewing was completed by the Edith Cowan University Survey Research Centre. Quotas were set by age, gender and location and the final dataset was weighted to match the ABS Census population profile.