Survey results questionable

PUBLISHED: 10:00 29 May 2009 | UPDATED: 11:03 10 June 2010

I write in support of Leslie Henry s comments about questionable claims from Cllr Ray Franklin and the rigour and reliability, (or rather lack of), of East Devon District Council's market research and the conclusions they draw as to levels of support for various Boundary Commission options.

I write in support of Leslie Henry's comments about questionable claims from Cllr Ray Franklin and the rigour and reliability, (or rather lack of), of East Devon District Council's market research and the conclusions they draw as to levels of support for various Boundary Commission options. (Journal, May 21)May I throw the results of another 'survey' into the debate, results that fly in the face of the ruling Tories' claim of widespread support for the status quo.On May 6, 2008, a No 10 Downing Street e-petition*, started by Cllr Franklin's Tory colleague, EDDC and Devon County Council member Stuart Hughes, closed with a mere 981 people supporting his petition to retain the present district council system. This petition was open for six months and available, not just to Devon's 1,135,000 population, but to anyone from anywhere who might wish to support it. The 981 as a percentage of EDDC's 132,600 population is a mere 0.073% - and of Devon's population of 1,135,000 it is a paltry 0.080%.There was a time, not so long ago, when several surveys of the level of support for EDDC's ASDA proposals showed a majority of respondents against. Cllr Franklin's response was to point out the low number of participants and claim that it meant that the silent majority were for Asda. He has not been so keen to use the silent majority argument following Stuart Hughes e-petition, has he?I find it rather offensive that Cllr Franklin, and some of his colleagues, 'spin' certain matters without the slightest justification and present them as fact. All those at East Devon, and indeed County Hall and Exmouth Town Hall, should be advised that constituents will not tolerate abuse from any of them in future.John Carter,Exmouth.


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