The consultation into whether the Town Council should be abolished is wierd and getting wierder. NHDC sent out 28,269 questionaires but there are only 25,784 people on the electoral register? Just who are these extra 2,845 people? Or did people get to vote more than once?
The response rate was 17%. To have been of any value the response rate needed to have been at least 30%. Of course it was a survey not a vote.
But the $64,000 question is "How many responses actually came from people on the electoral register"? Why does the report not make that clear? And why does it not give a ward breakdown?
A ward breakdown would make sense as in all the ward except south-west ward there was a fairly even split between those supporting the council at the last election and those who supported the HELP group.
71 % said that it has made no change in residents ability to influence decisions. Hardly surprising when a group of people hold the council and refuse to do anything at all about anything in Letchworth.
As well as that - NHDC's mind is made up. Letchworth people have lost faith in local government. It might be interesting to see the response to a parish poll on the question "Should we scrap NHDC and have one unitary council - like in Bedford?"
NHDC should be supporting local democracy, but of course it should be doing a lot of things but doesn't, which was in part why people wanted a town council originally.
Why not hold elections next year as planned? Perhaps it is because the HELP group have no money left? What happened to the £600,000 they inherited when they took office? There is less than £90,000 left and all the assets of the council have been thrown away? Answers are needed, perhaps we need a local group, like a town council willing to answer such questions? There is your answer.