Wednesday, 31 October 2012

What do people really think?

I said rather than slap down a load of text from my manifesto, I would blog about a different item each day.

Today its my pledge to actually find out what people think.

Now you might think that people's priorities are obvious when it comes to crime and policing and if not, a survey will do the job.

But surveys simply can't get the information you need.  And they are useless at capturing feelings or strength of feeling.

When I was a Councillor I used to think that time in the launderette on St Mary's Road, or on the top deck of the 82 bus, was a better way of finding out local views than a survey. 

Now it's clearly not possible to spend time on every bus and in every lauderette, but the principle is the same.

Talking to people in their own environment in a reasonably relaxed way is a better way of taking the temperature than any number of formal meetings and tick box surveys.

If elected then I will make a point of going to where people actually are.  I will do a weekly "surgery" in different parts of the area and will use existing events and meetings, as well as busy locations, to find ways to talk to people and get their views.

That doesn't mean there won't be more formal meetings and I will blog again about specific consultation of groups.

But people don't always think to travel to a meeting and then share their views.  And just because they don't do that, doesn't mean their views don't matter.

The police are not experts in market research or in representing people, but I am and I will use those skills in this post.

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