Anti-Longboat figures not valid

P Moore (letters, July 9) repeats David Daniel s assertion that 74 per cent of people are against the Longboat Cafe plans.

P Moore (letters, July 9) repeats David Daniel's assertion that 74 per cent of people are against the Longboat Cafe plans. Likewise, an anonymous writer suggests the council will be voted out if they go "against the public's wishes".

A group of Year 7 school children would laugh such a misuse of statistics out of the classroom!

The 74 per cent figure represents Mr Daniel's calculation of the number of representations made to the council that were against the plans. This, however, is not in any way a statistically valid representation of the views of the public. No survey has been conducted, no poll taken, no referendum held.

The sample from which the 74 per cent has been calculated is a self-selected sample of people who have the time and/or the inclination to respond to a planning application and is highly unlikely to be representative of the views of the local population.


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If the council really wants to ensure it does not go "against the public's wishes", it can only establish what the public's wishes are by consulting them via a proper market research exercise or a census of the local population.

Until such time, people pursuing their own agenda should refrain from falsely claiming that the majority of people are against the Longboat plans.

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Kevin Tyrrell,

Foxwood, Knowle Road,

Budleigh Salterton.

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