Sunday, 15 July 2007

Spin, spin and yet more Lib Dem spin

Having just read Cornwall County Council’s ‘supplementary submission’ to the Department of Communities and Local Government in support of their bid for a single unitary authority, I have to say I am very disturbed by their blatant use of misinformation and spin to fabricate a ‘broad cross section of support’ for their proposal.

Misleading document

The County Council document states that it sought the views of the public through a MORI poll, focus groups and the distribution of information leaflets. But it fails to inform central government that the MORI poll was carried out in advance of the details for their bid being worked up and that 91% of those surveyed stated that "they would like more information on any proposal before making up their mind."

The document also fails to include the full facts about the County Council’s disastrous leaflet consultation which did not even reach most homes and were returned by only 665 households. Interestingly, their incredibly biased leaflet still generated more opposition to the County Council’s proposal than support for it.

Rather than acknowledge the widespread opposition to their proposal, their ‘supplementary submission’ prefers to note “the feedback we have received suggests that many people have not fully understood our proposals.”

Considerable space in the document is used to rubbish the polls by four of the district councils and the sample survey carried out by North Cornwall District Council, which shows over 80% of respondents are opposed to the unitary bid. The County Council criticises the content of the material distributed by the district councils, though it was much less biased than their own material and they even had the nerve to “call into question the validity of the result.”

Factually inaccurate

The County Council claims that Restormel Borough Council did not vote to oppose the bid. That is completely incorrect and the Borough Council remains opposed to the ‘One Cornwall’ bid. They also claim that “many of the larger town and parish council have reacted positively” but the reality is that the majority of town and parish councils oppose the bid.

The Council’s ‘supplementary submission’ is shameful propaganda and I believe that the County Council has no option other than to withdraw it immediately and apologise to the people of Cornwall.

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