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Residents Tell Council To Spend More

Residents Tell Council To Spend More

Christchurch residents want more rather than less spent on some services in the city.

They particularly want more money spent on traffic management, the creation of jobs, and the development of tourism. This emerged from answers given in the annual Christchurch City Council's Citizens' Survey of residents conducted a couple of months ago. Residents say that 13 out of 17 major Council services show improved value for money assessment compared with last year. The biggest improvements were seen in traffic management, city planning, water supply, entertainment and convention facilities, art gallery, and swimming pools. However, small decreases in value for money were registered in four Council services: environmental regulations, sewage disposal, job creation, and refuse collection. Recycling initiatives, including the introduction of kerbside recycling, seem likely to have contributed to increased satisfaction with the amount of Council work in this area. Now 47 per cent of residents are satisfied with recycling an increase from 25 per cent in 1999. However, 52 per cent still feel more should be done to encourage recycling. Nearly 90 per cent are satisfied with the green crate collection service and 80 per cent are happy with the black bag rubbish collection. Open spaces A key Council spending issue examined this year was the purchase of land for parks and open spaces at the edge of the city. About 60 per cent supported Council's spending more to achieve this. Residents say they are using small, neighbourhood parks more and more. In the last five years more than 50 per cent of residents (up to nearly 60 per cent this year) say they visited and used parks in winter and close to 70 per cent in warmer months. More than 90 per cent say they are happy with their access to leisure and recreational opportunities in Christchurch.

Visits to the City Centre Only 5 per cent of residents say they don't visit the Christchurch city centre at least once a year. The 95 per cent said they visited the city centre compared with last year's figure but there was a small decline in weekly visitors. This was offset by an increase in monthly visitors. Residents showed steadily increasing support over the last five years for Council to do more to encourage people to spend time in the city centre with more than 60 per cent supporting increased Council efforts to attract more people to the city centre. Almost 90 per cent of residents say they thought the city centre was safe in daytime hours but this dropped to about 30 per cent at night. However, over the last year there was an increase in perceived safety, up from less than 20 per cent in 1998 to 29 per cent this year. In the past five years there has been a steady increase in the ease of finding a car park in the city centre at night. Miscellaneous * Public transport is used by 57 per cent of adults but only 28 per cent use it regularly. More than 60 per cent feel bus fares are affordable, 61 per cent feel public transport is convenient and 75 per cent feel it is safe. * New Council telephone services are beginning to show gains in customer satisfaction. Overall, 80 per cent were satisfied with the Council's telephone service, with the greatest improvement showing in reduced waiting times for calls being answered. * Nearly 50 per cent of Christchurch adults use Internet or email from home, from work, or at a library - at least once a month and 27 per cent are daily users. Developments But there is increasing uncertainty over the impact of new developments. Residents showed a decline in both satisfaction and dissatisfaction levels over city developments. More people had no view - close to 60 per cent - either way. Satisfaction However, 93 per cent of residents are satisfied or very satisfied with Christchurch as a place to live. The number was unchanged from last year.

Further information: Rex Harrison, Project Administrator: 371 1479.

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