07:10 16 February 2013
I read your article titled ‘Premier Inn hotel could be open by Christmas’ in the Journal.
The comments of Richard Pearson do not support the feeling from speaking to people visiting the so-called consultation (more the typical “insultation” process that we in Exmouth are used to).
I was in the Pavilion for about 60 minutes in the late morning; most of the people I spoke to were not impressed with the exhibition or the proposed plan and elevations of the hotel.
It could be that filling in a prescribed form fails to allow people to express their real feelings. It could be that most people not in favour of Premier Inn on this site attended when I did and the majority in favour attended during the remaining five hours.
If this were the case then sample polling to assess opinion on any subject would be doomed to fail and one would be foolish to believe any opinion poll. Hence, I believe Whitbread is mis-representing the data provided as feedback.
It seems to me that consultations are a farce and permit the body promoting them a platform to state that the population consulted support whatever is being proposed. It is a process much promoted by East Devon District Council. No evidence of this support is ever given. I call upon Whitbread to publish the evidential data to support their claims (I will email this article to them) – perhaps another article in the Journal with some real information this time?
It is an example of another contractural milestone that Whitbread has to negotiate; it doesn’t endorse Exmouth’s full support!