The Invercargill City Council will recruit a City Centre Co-ordinator following a public survey which showed the role and activities are valued by CBD business owners, employees, and Invercargill residents.
Results of the survey showed that 92.59% of CBD business owners, 90.48% of CBD employees, 71.76% of Invercargill residents, and 78.14% of all respondents thought Council should continue providing a City Centre Co-ordinator.
The survey was undertaken to gauge whether city centre businesses value the role and activities of the City Centre Co-ordinator, prior to considering whether to replace the role.
The survey was conducted online via Survey Monkey, a printable version was available on Council’s website and a hard copy was provided through the City Centre News in The Southland Express. The survey ran from Thursday 4 October until Friday 19 October.
About 40 responses were hard copies from the newspaper, or the printable online-form, which were then entered into Survey Monkey. The rest were received directly via Survey Monkey.
There were 341 responses. Of these, 40 (11.73%) were from business owners in the CBD, 53 (15.54%) were from employees of a CBD business, 227 (66.57%) were from Invercargill residents and 21 (6.16%) were from respondents who identified themselves as “other” – these included people living outside the city boundary, and government and quasi government organisations related to Smokefree.
The survey questions focused on the branding and events carried out in the city centre during the past two years, as well as infrastructure services provided to the CBD by Council and city centre-related communications.
Respondents value city centre work
In every category, more respondents considered the service/event provided to be valuable or extremely valuable than the number who considered it of no value.
The breakdown showed, unsurprisingly, that respondents gauged the value of services/events differently depending on whether they were a business owner, employee or Invercargill resident. For example, business owners and employees found retail breakfasts more valuable than members of the public. These breakfasts are aimed at inner-city business owners and their employees, so that is understandable.
Respondents also took the opportunity to provide feedback in comments sections, which included a wide-ranging mix of praise and suggestions for areas of improvement.
Overall, the survey results indicate that CBD business owners, employees and members of the public value the City Centre Co-ordinator role and activities, and believe Council should continue with the role.
Comments were made that indicate a desire for more planning and co-ordination among Council departments to achieve a more attractive inner city physical environment.
Respondents also thought the City Centre Co-ordinator could have a role with respect to the HWCP development. The importance of communication was a central theme in responses to this question.