This was hardly public consultation

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COUNCILLOR Tutt in his endeavour to bring seasonal goodwill to Eastbourne Borough Council has misled readers with regard to the recent public consultation document or Attitude Study.

Much detailed analysis of the findings present favourable views about borough projects and activities. The council leader, however, omits to mention the total of those self-selected participants in the ‘discussions’ were totally inadequate from which to draw the broad conclusions he made. Responses were gained from only 157 people, most special interest groups, although it was said to be an exercise in gauging the opinions of more than 90,000 residents.

Some findings relate to the opinion of one person! So, let the council leader be honest. This was a series of ‘group discussions’ known as qualitative research, useful but easily guided and not statistically valid.

It was not as claimed ‘an opportunity for the vast majority of our community to participate’. Hardly anyone did.

Magnifying the results of research that was little more than informal and unstructured meetings was improper.

Was it ignorance or an attempt to mislead? Either way, it does a disservice to the standing of genuine quantitative research which is a valuable discipline and should not be debased for political advantage.

MICHAEL BLACK

Hardwick Road, Eastbourne