Council opens up to concerns

MOVING towards a more open and accountable local authority is one of the goals Cr David Batt has set himself.

Community consultation around the time of the amalgamation showed ratepayers wanted a transparent council.

Among the initiatives the newly amalgamated council decided upon was creating a customer service call centre, which is overwhelmed by 500 to 600 calls a day.

“When someone rings up with an issue they now get a customer number so their concern can be tracked to its finish,” Cr Batt said.

“We get calls about potholes, drainage problems or rubbish not being picked up.”

The council did a customer survey 12 months after amalgamation to see how they were travelling, Cr Batt said, and planned to do that annually.

“The major points of concern we picked up were roads, water, and waste and recycling, in that order,” he said.

Other initiatives to improve contact with ratepayers were an online suggestion box on the council’s internet site and the Bright Ideas box in Hinkler Central.

“Everything that goes in there is looked at and considered, and responded to if there is a contact given,” Cr Batt said.

The council is holding meetings in outlying areas.

Anyone who wants to discuss an issue with a councillor face-to-face can make an appointment.

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