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Letters have been sent to 200 people inviting them to take part in the Ashburton District Council’s annual residents’ survey; council is canvassing 800 people this year, in four waves of 200.
Spreading the survey gives a more accurate description of people’s feelings about council services and facilities, instead of one issue topical at the time of survey dominating the outcome.
The number of residents to be surveyed in the new wave system has risen from 400, with the second wave of 200 letters sent at the start of March.
Residents are given a survey identification number and told they have been randomly selected to take part in the resident survey. Everyone who completes the survey goes into a draw to win one of two $50 Prezzy cards.
The online survey takes 15-20 minutes to complete and people need to do that by March 27.
The survey invitation letter says council wants to hear if it is spending hard-earned ratepayer money in the right places and on the right things. "By sharing your thoughts about council’s services and facilities, you can help shape our community and make Ashburton a better place to live."
Council’s business covers roads, footpaths, drinking water, wastewater, recycling, street lighting, community recreation facilities, animal control, building consents, policy development and town planning. Elected mayor and councillors allocate resources and monitor maintenance and delivery of facilities and services.
The survey is conducted by independent research company Key Research on council’s behalf.
Council CEO Hamish Riach said the new survey system better reflected how residents felt about council services throughout the year. Each wave was selected to represent "a sensible cross-section of the community."