Media Release - Annual Resident Survey Results Released by Town of Stratford
Posted on 10/28/2020
Image of a scene and words Annual Resident SurveyFor Immediate Release: October 28, 2020

Today the Town of Stratford released the results of its 9th Annual Resident Survey. Each year residents are asked their opinion about topics including their overall health, satisfaction with the Town, knowledge of the Town’s initiatives and programs, and resident habits and activities in areas such as energy savings and environmental stewardship. Additionally, each year a series of questions are asked on specific topics of interest to the Town of Stratford which this year were around tree protection and transit.

Overall, the results, as well as response rates, remain consistent with previous years. Each year the survey data is weighted to match the demographics of the most recent census data, currently using data from 2016. The survey results demonstrate continued satisfaction among residents with Town governance and the services provided. For example, 77% of residents said they are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the overall performance of the Town, while only 7% are “dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied”. The remaining respondents selected “don’t know/no answer”.

“Each year the Annual Resident Survey provides Council and staff with an opportunity to gauge how we are performing as a Town, as well as to receive some direction from residents which is necessary for planning programs, activities and initiatives for the community,” commented Stratford Mayor Steve Ogden. “This survey is an essential tool for us to review what we are doing and what we should be moving towards.”

This year the survey showed that 97% of residents support the Town using resources to protect the environment. As a result of ongoing strong support on this issue an Environmental Sustainability Coordinator was approved in the 2020-21 budget and hired earlier this year.
Also in the environmental area, a special question this year asked residents to rank six options in order of preference which the Town might consider towards helping protect trees in the community. The responses were then assigned a numeric weight based on the overall responses received and the following list ranks the choices from most to least popular:

1. A program where the Town makes trees available for residents to plant on their own property
2. A program to plant more trees and better manage existing trees on Town property
3. A program where significant forest stands (groups of trees) are identified and acquired to protect the trees from development
4. A bylaw to protect trees and/or require planting of new trees on property that is being developed
5. A bylaw to enable residents to designate trees on their property for protection into the future
6. A bylaw to protect trees on private property requiring a permit before removal of the tree would be considered

Further consultation will be held on the potential of tree bylaw options, and programming to assist residents with tree planting on their property is also being planned in view of this survey finding.
This year’s survey results show an 11% increase over the previous year in response to social media being a main source of where information about the Town is being received, making it the second ranked response. Although the Town’s printed newsletter, Town Talk, remains the primary selection as to where residents continue to receive their information, it did see a decrease of 9.6% in this year’s survey.

“These are areas that perhaps aren’t surprising to us,” added Mayor Ogden. “Year-over-year results allow us to gauge trends and to begin to prepare for changes in the future. Seeing social media numbers increasing while the paper version of Town Talk decreases, is something that we will continue to watch and adjust when the time comes to make changes.”

The 2020 survey also found that 96% of residents report they have a “great deal” or “some” confidence in the Stratford RCMP, that 90% of residents report their health to be “about the same”, “somewhat better” or “much better” when asked to compare to one year ago, and that 71% of respondents were more likely to slow down, move over and think of others when driving compared to a year ago.

“The Town of Stratford is proud of our history of engaging with and bringing residents into conversations with us,” concluded Mayor Ogden. “We are currently inviting residents to have their say online about the future waterfront development with online engagement closing on Tuesday, November 3. In mid-November we will be holding further online consultations to look at long-term planning for the Town. We encourage all residents to get involved in these discussions and sincerely thank those who take the time to complete our annual survey.”

The full report and summary of this year and previous surveys can be found on the Town of Stratford website www.townofstratford.ca.

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For more information please contact:

Wendy Watts, Community & Business Engagement Manager
Phone: (902) 569-1995
Email: wwatts@townofstratford.ca

Annual Resident Survey Reports