A recent article in the Wirral News (a paper with no hint of Wirral Council scandal between its obedient pages since, er… February)
…tells us that the “What Really Matters” survey is going really well. Councillor Musprattt reports on progress:
“I think the response is excellent so far, a credit to Wirral residents and Wirral Borough Council staff.”
Not to be outdone, Chief Executive Graham Burgess throws his hat into the ring:
“The initial response to the latest round of consultations has been very impressive. People are completing the questionnaire at a much faster rate than we have seen.”
However, we’re always a bit cagey, here at Wirral In It Together.
Following the liberties that were taken during W.R.M.1, we thought we’d step in, and perform a mathematical, and completely impartial analysis of the figures…
…which kept us occupied during lunch break today. And here they are:
|WIRRAL COUNCIL’s “What Really Matters Survey” – the figures||Wirral|
|Duration||14||days||8th October 2013|
|319,783||Office for National Statistics reported population of Wirral in 2011 census|
|Group 1||59,237||aged 65 or over|
|Group 2||203,161||aged 15 to 64|
|Group 3||57,385||aged 15 and under|
|319,783||(Sum of groups 1, 2 and 3)|
|262,398||(Sum of groups 1 and 2 – Total eligible to contribute to survey|
|(aged over 15)|
|4,000||Number of Wirral people contributing to survey|
|258,398||Number of Wirral people not contributing to survey|
|1.5%||percentage of eligible Wirral population contributing to survey|
|98.5%||percentage of eligible Wirral population not contributing to survey|
It’s not quite so “very impressive” now is it Mr Burgess?
In fact we’d say reality has been distorted… after being channelled through the clumsy council spin machine.
1.5 % can’t be seen as representative can it? The article is horribly biased, and has fallen down badly we’d say… by failing to give ANY idea of proportion. Or perspective.
Here, it’s explained that the ‘consultation’ will be going on for 12 weeks. So let’s be completely open and businesslike about this and project forward. Whilst doing this, we’ll also be generous and assume that the council will engage a further, ‘very impressive’ 1.5% of the Wirral population every 2 weeks. If so, here’s the figure they’ll arrive at eventually:
UPDATE ~ December 2013. Oh dear. They ended up with a miserable 2.3% – No doubt, using our public money to fund it, this tiny figure will be spun and whipped up out of all proportion into some sort of compelling “Voice of the People that Cannot be Ignored” and the renewed justification for cutting and slashing quick, deep and hard.
Already, 100s upon 100s of street lights are being switched off on the strength of this tiny ‘mandate’, clearly inviting accidents, breaching the council’s duty of care to road users, and there’s no record of any consultation internally with the council’s street lighting professionals.
We’d observe, with far greater certainty (and with no need for a massaged, manipulated, mangled survey) that hundreds of thousands of Wirral residents, including a large majority of the ones who’ve undertaken the ‘consultation’, are dead against this programme of cuts.
And let’s face it, accuracy and honesty when engaging the public is after all… “What Really Matters”.