30 November 2023

Cook Shire Council responds directly to feedback from residents

| Matt Nicholls
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Cook Shire Council says it will adjust its operations based on feedback from the community.

The council last week unveiled its 2023 MARKYT Community Scorecard report, paving the way for a comprehensive campaign that resonates with community feedback and prioritises initiatives aligning with residents’ needs.

The recently released report reflects a comprehensive assessment of community sentiments towards council performance and services.

This report, based on insights gathered from 415 participants – 70 per cent of them homeowners – serves as the cornerstone for shaping council priorities and service enhancements.

Mayor Peter Scott emphasised the significance of the survey as a barometer of community aspirations.

“The robust response to the survey underscores our community’s unwavering commitment to shaping the future of our region,” he said.

Acknowledging areas for improvement, Cr Scott highlighted commendations in three pivotal domains: First Nations recognition, airport facilities and services, and library services, lauding the council’s positive contributions to the region.

Conversely, the scorecard pinpointed six primary concerns within the Cook Shire community: access to housing, health and community services, local infrastructure like roads and bridges, community safety, youth services and facilities, and animal management.

“We’re not just listening; we’re taking decisive action to align with our community’s desires,” the mayor said.

“Our data analysis has fuelled actionable strategies addressing the top community priorities.

“This collaborative effort propels Cook Shire toward a future that caters to our residents’ needs.”

In line with this commitment, the council will roll out a You Said. We Did initiative in early 2024.

This campaign aims to shape and easily identify council projects that align to the six community priorities highlighted in the report.

“This branding approach reinforces council’s commitment to transparent governance and active response to community input,” a Cook Shire statement said.

The scorecard survey was open to community members aged 14 and older, available both online and in print. It was the first time the council undertook the process.

Invitations were distributed to PO Boxes in Cooktown and Coen, while online survey links were disseminated through email and the council’s social media channels.

Council CEO Brian Joiner expressed his intent to conduct the survey annually to ensure council’s strategic plans consistently align with community priorities.

Results of the community survey can be found on the Cook Shire Council website.

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