Advice on survey
8:00am Thursday 13th September 2012 in Letters
COUNCILLOR Moore’s reply (Barry & District News, August 30) to my letter regarding the council’s satisfaction survey (August 23), makes some wrong assumptions and judgements.
Firstly, I telephoned the survey company to specifically advise them that I intended to publicly quote their findings: it was not to raise the issue of ‘don’t know’ responses. However, it is interesting to note that the council have been briefed on my telephone call.
Cllr Moore has taken the view that ‘don’t knows’ only include individuals who have no experience of using a service: a debatable point in my view.
Council officials should keep in mind that some people are unwilling to criticise the council for their own personal reasons and maybe that is why some may have refused to take part in the survey.
I did not say the phrase ‘Highways Maintenance’ was misleading or suggest it was to ‘hide or disguise’ poor results, that is a judgement for others to make.
My intention was to advise readers that the expression included much more than just road maintenance (a major issue of dissatisfaction). I would have thought that my clarification was helpful in reducing public doubt with the figures. Undermining the intention of the messenger does not enhance the reputation of the council.
It is good to discover that Cllr Moore looks at survey reports with some scepticism, a necessary quality in my view when reading satisfaction data.
He says we need to know what people think so perhaps for the next survey they could try standing on King Square, or at Cowbridge or Penarth shopping centres, and ask local people (without the knowledge of their personal details) if they are satisfied with planning policy and process; redundancy payments to senior managers; disposal of public assets; the scrutiny system; transparency in decision taking, etc?
Dennis Harkus FocusBARRY supporter