Budget survey poor standard

Friday, January 6, 2017

 

LETTERS

From Andrew Garratt, Newport:

I am very disappointed with the Council’s online survey as part of its budget consultation.

I have some statistical training. I know that good surveys can provide really useful information, especially when tough decisions have to be made. This is not such a survey.

Most of the questions are "do you agree, or disagree" that something should be done or made a priority; all in the absence of hard facts and figures about costs and benefits. The Council might just as well gather views on motherhood and apple pie.

Where there is a chance to give a considered view, responses are limited to just 100 words. For comparison, the council leader’s quote on the web page explaining why the survey is important is 296 words long – nearly three times what the public get to use.

Even the link on the web page to the background Medium Term Financial Strategy isn’t directly to the document but to the Agenda of a meeting at which it was discussed! I finally found the strategy document by following yet another link in the Agenda document. It’s 52 pages of dense technical details. Wouldn’t it have been better to provide a top-level summary right where survey takers could see it?

It’s no wonder Island residents have lost confidence in the Council’s leadership if this is the best they can come up with.

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