LETTER: Museum survey must be redone

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Oh what a tangled web the council spokesperson weaves [Upset Grows At Future Of Military Museum, Herald February 12] with the statement that they have carried out extensive research and consultation with all ages (note all groups have not been included in the quote) both online and face to face over the stories that people want to see. Firstly very few people (apart from the favoured few) even knew it existed, let alone was online. It was not mentioned at either of the public meetings, not advertised and no closing date was given. Also who, I wonder, did they talk to face to face – they certainly didn’t approach any of the military associations or community. Hardly transparent.

This sorry saga reminds me of the sketch from ‘Yes Minister’, where Sir Humphrey tells the minister that statistics can tell you whatever you want, depending on how you frame the question.

This is a classic case of the question being framed to get a predetermined result, a typical stitch-up consultation. Councillors need to insist their officers halt this project until this discredited survey has been redone, this time in a transparent fashion. Properly advertised, flyers distributed to all organisations and groups in the town, and an online version available with clear valid options:

a) Do you want a museum that shows only the ‘Story of Eastbourne’ and close the military museums?

b) Do you want a museum that shows jointly the ‘Eastbourne Story’ and the military history of Sussex with equal billing and storage allowed for?

The online address must be displayed when advertised along with a closing date.

As the project is dependent on the survey results, the new survey needs to be carried out independently and results published (not available on request) as the council has lost all credibility and can no longer be trusted.

This subject is clearly becoming of great concern to readers around the town and is now beginning to impact on the reputation of the council itself and by default its councillors.

John Kisler

Springfield Close, Westham

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