By Belle Hatfield
The community survey conducted by the Vanguard last month closed with 643 people having participated. The survey was available by web link (462 responses) and Facebook (179 responses). There were two e-mailed responses.
The vast majority of respondents (90 per cent) were from Yarmouth County. 3.5 per cent identified themselves as summer residents and 6.5 percent were visitors to the community.
Of the 643 responses, 40 per cent provided their contact information and said they wanted to work with Mayor Pam Mood’s All Hands on Deck committee. Another 40 per cent were not sure how to help. Less than 15 per cent of those who took the survey said they did not want to participate further, beyond filling out the survey.
Nearly 75 per cent of those taking the survey described themselves as being extremely or moderately satisfied with their life in Yarmouth. Declining population and access to health services were highest on most people’s list of challenges impacting the community’s future, followed by the state of the fisheries and tourism.
The survey was designed to capture both what respondents most value about the region and what they see as the region’s greatest challenges. It also seeks to identify innovations that have worked in other communities. The survey, dubbed The Road to Georgetown -- Yarmouth’s response, was conducted to coincide with Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood’s All Hands on Deck town hall forum, which took place Wednesday, Sept. 11, at the Mariners Centre. Once collated, the data will be made available to the mayor’s organizing committee and will help frame the actions flowing from Wednesday’s meeting.
The survey was conducted by the Vanguard in the lead-up to the Georgetown Conference, (Oct. 3-5) in Georgetown, P.E.I. The conference was an initiative of Newspapers Atlantic. Its focus was on rural issues and opportunities in an environment free of government influence. The idea is to identify the issues holding rural communities back and to promote solutions.
As part of its pledge to help Yarmouth be ready “when its ship comes in”, the Vanguard will run extracts from the essay segments of the survey from time to time, beginning in the Tuesday, Oct. 8 edition.