About 85 per cent of those who responded to a Local Trust Committee (LTC) survey on how they would like to be consulted about Trust business said they had visited the Trust website, and 75 per cent said the LTC should use online tools through which to solicit community opinion.
“However”, added a report presented by Planner Chloe Fox at the LTC’s June meeting at WI Hall, many respondents said that as not everyone has computer access, “ideally both online and face-to-face options should exist”. And 62 per cent said they would be more likely to respond to LTC requests for feedback “if there were regular mail-outs or newspaper inserts to survey or solicit comments from the community”.
As previously reported, the survey was initiated out of concerns raised last term that few community members provide input when asked for their thoughts by the LTC. During the last election, both local trustees said they would look into ways in which they might expand opportunities for people to give input.
According to Fox’s report, 111 people responded to the survey which was available both through the newspapers and online. Of the completed surveys, 92 were filled out online, and 19 were filled out by Gabriolans who stopped by a table at Folklife Village that was personed by Trustee Gisele Rudischer, the report says.
The report notes that: about 55 per cent of respondents said they had attended a meeting, workshop, planning process, or public hearing in the past five years; 78 per cent rated their engagement with the LTC as “minimal” or “average”; half said their level of satisfaction with the LTC engagement opportunities was “neutral”; and over 80 per cent said they would participate more if they could do so online.
Of those who responded, the report says, 63 per cent were between 50 and 69 years old. It says the younger demographic said they would be “slightly more likely” to participate if online options for engagement existed. “The older demographic”, it says, were “more likely than the younger demographic” to say they would participate more if there were regular mail-outs or newspaper inserts.
The survey also found that: “Respondents who rated their level of engagement as ‘minimal’ or ‘not engaged’ ” said they were slightly more likely to participate “in community engagement events if options for online participation were available …”, but not if there were regular mail-outs or newspaper inserts. However, the survey found, “respondents who rated their level of satisfaction with current engagement opportunities as ‘neutral’, ‘unsatisfied’ or ‘very unsatisfied’ ” did not say they would be more likely to engage “if options for online engagement existed or if there were regular mail-outs or newspaper inserts”.
All seasonal and off-island resident respondents said they would be “more likely to participate if online options for engagement existed”, the report said, and 80 per cent said they “would not be more likely to participate if regular mail-outs or newspaper inserts were provided”.
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