Tuesday 22 May 2007

Residents' Associations Excluded

The other week, Croydon Council proudly held an Expo showing their vision of the future of Croydon.

The Expo at the Whitgift Centre was accompanied by a market research exercise, the results for which will doubtless be used by the council in their ongoing propaganda exercise to try to bulldoze their arena development plans through the opposition from the local residents.

Now here is the funny thing, normally when market research is carried out certain groups, such as journalists or connected parties, are excluded.

So far so good.

However, there was an extra group excluded from the Expo market research survey.

Can you guess who they were?

None other than members of any local residents' associations.

Why would that be?

Seemingly members of local residents' associations are considered to be "better informed" than other members of the public. In fact a cynic might argue that the council knows that the local residents' associations oppose the arena development, and don't want the embarrassment of having their views "muddy" their propaganda exercise.

It would appear that for the purposes of Croydon council's propaganda exercise, the views of the "better informed" are not required or indeed welcome.

Does this not rather skew the results of the survey?

This "cordon sanitaire" around the survey may be a tactical mistake, for market research companies are meant to follow the Market Research Society Code of Practice. The exclusion more than likely violates part of this code, as such a formal complaint may be expected.

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