9 December 2015

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Wednesday 9 December 2015

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Councils on online watch list

First place

LONGBEACH Place’s Chris Ewin, left, Carrie Ewin and Lorna Stevenson have seen the community centre’s volunteers win several awards this year. See story Page 4. Picture: Gary Sissons

Neil Walker neil@baysidenews.com.au

A NEW website tracking the performance of councils across Victoria has been launched by the state government. Performance indicators in 66 categories are listed on the Know Your Council site, including rates cost, missed rubbish bin collections and customer service satisfaction levels. Kingston Council has been given an above average rating across most categories and outscores similar councils for customer service, governance and waste collection. Areas for improvement include compliance with home and community care standards. Kingston was rated at 61 per cent against an 88.45 per cent grading for similar councils. In response, council stated on the site: “[An] audit was undertaken 19 February 2014. The Australian HealthCare Associates provided Kingston with a draft report in March 2014. This initial report advised that Kingston met 11 of the 18 expected outcomes. “Kingston responded to the report with a letter of appeal to seek clarity on the required improvements and provide further evidence. Subsequently the review outcome was revised with one outcome modified to

Cnr Springvale Rd & Wells Rd, Chelsea Heights PH: 9773 4453 www.chelseaheightshotel.com.au

become an improvement opportunity. “All outstanding items from the audit have been addressed and we expect that these will be noted as ‘compliant’ at the next audit. Post review and in accordance with the principles of continuous improvement we continue to focus significant attention to the areas that required improvement and implement protocols and changes to procedures.” Kingston’s average residential rate per residential property assessment was also above the average of $1449.04 for similar councils, at $1,584.47. Labor’s Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins said the Know Your Council site improves transparency across all state councils. “For the first time, Victorians will be able to access the details of council performance with the click of a button, and without reading dense annual reports,” she said in a statement. “The Know Your Council website is all about providing local residents with more information and a greater understanding of the work their council is doing.” Statistics will be updated annually. Councils will also be able to respond to the results on the website. See knowyourcouncil.vic.gov.au to see Kingston Council performance results.