26 July: Consultations have shown 63% of local people oppose the Kingskerswell Bypass, yet Devon County Council claim 72% support it. How have the council performed this conjuring trick?
Over June 2011 Devon County Council conducted five exhibitions in five different locations. However only two of the exhibitions were in areas directly affected by the proposed bypass (Kingskerswell and Milber). In these two consultations residents were overwhelmingly against the scheme – 63 per cent.
At the other three consultations, in areas much further from the road which would benefit from the bypass, naturally there was a higher percentage in favour.
So firstly the council held exhibitions at three places further away from the road, and only two directly affected by the road. Then they stayed far longer at the places where support for the road was highest just to ensure the numbers were inflated further! In total they spent just 8 hours in the two locations directly affected by the road, and 17 hours at the other three further away sites.
The council have to show the DfT the scheme is popular to secure DfT funding in September, but these tactics just smack of desperation.
The Kingskerswell Alliance have got hold of the data from the exhibitions and have helpfully produced these tables and charts:
Kingskerswell Bypass - exhibition statistics:
|Exhibitions||Attended||For||Against||Don't know|| Exhibition
|Riviera Centre, Torquay||98||83||12||3||6|
|Forde House, Newton Abbot||107||29||6||6||5|
|Milber, Newton Abbot||184||27||59||7||4|
|Union Square, Torqay||358||364||31||0||6|
a) Number of 'For' responses and b) Number of exhibition hours, by location:
This is a guest blog by Rebecca Lush Blum