Very interesting article in Friday’s New Milton Advertiser (9 December, page 5). It describes the results of the Household Survey taking precedence over the Online Survey. This was discussed at a meeting of some Heads of the Council’s nine authorities. This is what David McIntosh (Christchurch & East Dorset Chief Executive) said about it. I leave you to draw your own conclusions! Comments invited.
“It is a fact … that the household survey is a random sample based on a database and it’s weighted accordingly, so when people filled in the questionnaire there was a section with some details about themselves, such as their age and gender, etc. Then, if those categories were underrepresented based on the census information for Christchurch it was rated accordingly, so it’s as scientific as you could get.
The open questionnaire is open – it’s available for anyone and we emphasised the importance of getting anybody to respond, but you wouldn’t have then applied the same line of scientific analysis on it.
But it’s important to take it into account …
It will be for the council to decide the best way forward and Ray [Nottage]’s job is to feed that into the discussion with the leaders and for the leaders to say.
The ambition is that they would come to a single view, but that may not be possible. We’ll only know when we get to that point and then the outcome of that will be reported to each council in January …
… Dorset Councils commissioned ORS to conduct the public consultation because we needed independent expertise and that’s what we got. Dale Hall [chairman of Opinion Research Services] has explained that today, and obviously explained it in correspondence with Christopher Chope. He’s written to him on a number of occasions. So the questions have been asked and the explanations have been given.”