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Bonkers Blog November 2011

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21 November (Part 2) - Survey Monkeys

Survey MonkeyTen or twelve years ago I was asked to join a Bexley council focus group which was conducted by post. The council said I had been randomly selected to give my opinion on Bexley’s plans and achievements. At the time I had a part time job with a West End company doing the same thing so you could say I took a professional interest. I soon found that all the questions were loaded and it wasn’t possible to tick a box that adequately expressed a negative view. After complaining about that a couple of times Bexley council said I wasn’t a suitable candidate for their focus group. Things have not improved since, Bexley council’s surveys still show every sign of being fixed. “Do you think that council tax levels should be kept as low as possible?” A high proportion of yes answers has been taken as agreement to all cuts and all price hikes.

Bexley council and the Conservatives are still doing surveys, they were in Hurst Road, Bexley at the weekend asking about the level of contentment with council services. Not perhaps the most sensible approach, descending on residents with no warning, if thoughtful comments are required. One resident felt pressured into saying something and expressed unhappiness with the refuse collection. She was told that within the next month or so the green bin is to be emptied weekly. I seriously doubt that as Bexley council has recently announced they are sticking with the status quo. An answer to be taken just as seriously as the results of any Bexley survey perhaps?

Another Bexley resident was approached at his door by someone threatening a £5,000 fine for not completing the electoral register form. He asked to be shown the statute that demanded he register and his caller knew nothing about that, no note of its title, no leaflet providing the details. Nothing. The caller was unable to provide any support for her claim of a £5,000 fine and was sent away with the proverbial flea in her ear. Personally I can’t see why anyone should object to being on the Electoral Roll and I suspect it ultimately deprives the council of its rightful revenues from central government. On the other hand the incident once again demonstrates Bexley council’s total lack of professionalism and possibly it’s lack of regard for the law too. At the very least you’d expect them to equip their representatives with the tools to do the job.

Survey Monkey ; Bexley council’s on-line survey partner.


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