A recent survey revealed dissatisfaction with the way Stratford’s two open cemeteries are maintained. (File photo)
There are two cemeteries open in the Stratford district and a recent survey revealed that many residents are unhappy with the way they are being cared for.
The annual satisfaction survey, conducted on behalf of Stratford District Council, was sent to 3,000 people in the district aged 18 or over, of whom 413 responded.
With a population of just under 10,000, the survey was completed by approximately 5% of adults in the district.
The condition of the district’s open cemeteries, Koputama and Midhirst, emerged as a top priority in the investigation.
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While 70% were satisfied or very satisfied with cemeteries overall, three-quarters of respondents said the facilities needed better maintenance.
Comments included such things as no water in some cases, rabbits digging holes in others, and a lack of seats and trees for shade.
This should come as no surprise to elected officials.
The issue of cemetery maintenance was raised last month when councilors decided to no longer invest money in the upkeep of the Kopuatama cemetery, which locals called a “neglected and disgusting place”.
Respondents also had a thing or two to say about public restrooms in Stratford.
Nearly 100% of respondents were satisfied with the public toilets at the Percy Thomson complex, but only 14% were satisfied with the toilets at Surveyor Joshua Morgan’s grave near Whangamomona.
“Honestly, I don’t use toilets other than Percy Thompson’s because the others are too gross 99% of the time,” one respondent said.
Rural residential roads also caught on with less than half of respondents satisfied and many people disputing the number of potholes.
Despite the inconvenience associated with public toilets, roads and graveyards, over 70% of respondents were confident the district was moving in the right direction and just under 70% were happy with Stratford District Council.
The quality of services and facilities was also highly rated, with two-thirds of respondents satisfied and 65% agreeing that council decisions represented Stratford well.
Two-thirds of people who responded to the survey agreed that Stratford was an attractive, safe and healthy place to live.
CORRECTION: This story has been corrected. Dissatisfaction with maintenance of cemeteries concerns only Koputama and Midhirst. Overall 70% of people are satisfied or very satisfied with cemeteries. Corrected 11:30 a.m. Aug 2, 2022.