Over the past 2 years, NOAC (The National Oversight & Audit Commission) has worked with IPSOS MRBI to survey public attitudes to Local Authorities and the public’s satisfaction with their own Local Authority. The 10 largest LA’s were surveyed in 2018 and Waterford City and County Council was included in the 10 medium sized LA’s to be surveyed this year. The interviews took place in March 2019 and the results for Waterford City and County Council are really positive.
The headline figures are that 65% of Waterford people surveyed are satisfied with their Local Council (Net satisfied 56%), Waterford Council topped the league at 41% in Providing Value for Money (Net is low at 28%) and 67% of Waterford people surveyed feel WCCC is “Doing a Good Job” which is much higher than the net figure of 51%. The Council also scored highly in terms of “Promoting Economic activity”, being “Open and Transparent” and people feeling Informed by the Local Council.
The Council scored better than anybody else in the 5 most important services to the public (namely Roads Maintenance, Road Safety, Affordable Housing, Playgrounds/Parks and Protecting The Environment).
When compared with the large local authorities as surveyed in 2018, analysis would place Waterford in the top two or three of the 20 medium and large sized local authorities in terms of public rating, despite disparity in resource availability with the larger authorities. While a satisfaction rating of 65% does not seem extremely high, when one is cognisant of the many regulatory functions a Council discharges, the rating compares very favourably with peers.
The overall perception of the Council is driven by many factors but above all else is informed by the quality of services we deliver and by the thousands and thousands of interactions that we have with the public on a yearly basis across all levels of the organisation.
Speaking of the results, Council CE Michael Walsh said: “I am delighted that the surveys reflect the hard work of the many dedicated people in the organisation and would like to thank everybody for their efforts. We do and can make a difference to people’s lives. As a relatively new amalgamated organisation we have done reasonably well but equally we can improve and get even better as we collectively serve the people of Waterford.”