Community safety and well-being survey identifies residents’ main concerns

Dr. Meara Sullivan, consultant, has released the following update about the Public Consultation Survey conducted to develop a Community Safety and Well-being Plan in the region.

The municipal councils of the Townships of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan; Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards; Madawaska Valley; and South Algonquin have passed resolutions making community safety and well-being (CSWB) a priority, and have committed to working collaboratively on a regional plan. In order to gather input from residents across the region, the Community Safety and Well-being Public Consultation Survey was launched. The survey ran from October 5, to November 30, 2020 and was available in paper and pencil format, and online (through Survey Monkey). Three hundred and five local residents completed the survey, and shared their views about safety and well-being.

Ninety-five percent of respondents reported always, or often feeling safe in the community. Respondents identified nature, small town/rural life, and peace/quiet as the greatest community strengths. Employment, healthcare access and affordable housing were listed as the greatest problems or concerns. Accordingly, employment, healthcare, and affordable housing were identified as services needed in the area.

The survey also explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seventy-six percent of respondents reported COVID had brought higher, or much higher stress levels. In addition, half of respondents reported COVID had impacted their work and family life a lot or a great deal.

Executive summary available

Three hundred and five residents from the municipalities of Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan (70); Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards (55); Madawaska Valley (99); and South Algonquin (81) completed the CSWB survey. Click HERE for the Executive Summary which lists Demographics, Top Strengths/Problems identified by respondents, and more.

The CSWB Coordinator, Dr. Meara Sullivan completed the data analysis and final report. Dr. Sullivan stated, “The results provide significant insights into the views of over 300 local area residents. The sample is comprised of individuals who volunteered to participate, and is not intended to represent the overall population.” However, Dr Sullivan added, “Every resident has a unique voice and each is equally important.”

The community safety and well-being planning is now in its final phase. All information that has been gathered from the community, local agencies, and statistics will be compiled into a regional plan. The final plan will be shared with the community and sent to Ontario’s Solicitor General prior to July 1st, 2021.

Sullivan,M.(2021,Feb.23) Local Residents identified employment, healthcare, and affordable housing as
key concerns in community safety and well-being survey
[media release]

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