ASDA: Let's have the true picture

PUBLISHED: 12:25 16 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:30 10 June 2010

I feel I am beating my head against a brick wall with regard to the claims made by those for and against the ADSA proposals as to where the majority opinion lies. The fact is that no one knows. Those against have gathered fairly impressive numbers, but i

I feel I am beating my head against a brick wall with regard to the claims made by those for and against the ADSA proposals as to where the majority opinion lies. The fact is that no one knows. Those against have gathered fairly impressive numbers, but it is not always clear what precisely people are against - the positioning of the proposed store, the need for one at all, the idea of it being ASDA (rather than a food-only store) or the size of the store (food only vs food plus), etc.The local referendum, restricted to development on the estuary, had such a low turnout as to be invalid as an indicator of public opinion, and the various petitions and public meetings also are not definitive or conclusive.On the other side, there has been no real attempt to measure the size of the pro vote, and again it is not clear what people are actually in favour of (as per the above list). Gerald Bishop was patently quite wrong to say we must assume that people who have not (yet) registered a 'no' vote are thus in favour. Maybe the majority do want a new store, but at the same time a majority may not want it on the estuary site. Maybe the majority do not want a new store anywhere in Exmouth. Maybe there is not a majority in favour of any particular option. Until a systematic, valid exercise in opinion gathering is undertaken, in which all the various options are put forward for assessment (and that would include options for other sites for the proposed store, with various size options), we will never know. Leslie Henry,18 Drake's Avenue, Exmouth.

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