Questions are asked over seafront youth consultation

PUBLISHED: 06:30 25 March 2016

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District bosses have been accused of basing consultation of young people for seafront redevelopment plans on a far smaller sample than previously claimed.

Exmouth resident Tim Todd says he looked into previous consultation reports in response to claims that East Devon District Council (EDDC) was proud of its work with young people.

Referring to the EDDC Exmouth Masterplan Consultation Report, dated November 7, 2011, he says that it claims to have gathered the views of 800 Exmouth Community College students, but that the report’s findings reveal only a fraction of this number - 28 - responded.

Mr Todd said: “EDDC asked three questions, none of which was particularly relevant to what they have gone on to promote.”

Mr Todd says that the total number of responses to these questions suggests only 28 students actually voted.

“It would appear that only 28 of the 800 students felt there was any point in voting – but EDDC has avoided making any reference to this lack of engagement and support, preferring to infer that all 800 backed their proposals.”

Mr Todd says he also looked at the Exmouth Splash Survey EDDC carried out at the college around Christmas 2012, and notes that the numbers of votes for various possible elements was also low, with the highest being 19 for a Nando’s.

In response, an EDDC spokeswoman said: “Our Frequently Asked Questions document on the East Devon website fully explains the extent and detail of the consultation processes that the council has already undertaken in Exmouth to help take forward new opportunity and investment in the town’s economy.

“Our time with Exmouth college students was an important part of previous public consultation, of which there will be more to come as development progresses.”


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