Sunday, January 21, 2007

Online poll on parking charges

RESIDENTS of Gateshead are being invited to vote in an online consultation poll about Gateshead Council’s plans to introduce parking charges in Whickham, Blaydon, Birtley and Low Fell.

The poll has been set up by local Liberal Democrats and they feature it on this news blog (see left hand column above the video links).

Whickham Liberal Democrat Councillor Jonathan Wallace said, “Many people are concerned about the future of the shopping areas if parking charges are introduced.

“With the Metrocentre so close by offering free parking, we are concerned that the charges could encourage people to shop there instead.

“Though the Labour Cabinet on Gateshead Council have voted for the charges to come in, they agreed to carry out consultation. That is still taking place.

“We feel the online poll is another way of letting people have a say.”


Anonymous said...

While I appreciate what your trying to achieve in challenging the Labour council's introduction of parking charges in the aforementioned areas, I don't think an online poll is going to achieve anything.

Online polls are notoriously unreliable as people can vote multiple times, the polling software can be easily hacked and the results are unrepresentative of the areas polled.

Perhaps we should consider who exactly would say "Yes" to parking charges being introduced? Isn't it obvious that the overwhelming majority of people are going to dislike this proposal? Since that is the case why are the Liberal Democrats wasting their time with online polls?

I appreciate that you are trying to appear pro-active but maybe its time you showed some initiative and took the campaign to the streets rather than wasting time on the internet?

Student and fellow blogger
Blaydon on Tyne

Jonathan Wallace said...


You say we should take the campaign to the streets. well, actually we have done just that with our consultation. We have delivered over 3500 survey forms in Winlaton and Blaydon and have over 100 replies from there. We have also delivered over 1000 in the Whickham area (don't have the exact figure on me) and have had a large number of replies we are still processing.

Last year we also did a survey by email and had 140 replies.

The online polls is meant to be for consultation purposes only. We are sinmply encouraging people to think about the issues and give a view. At this point it is just an experiment and we will see how it progresses. We may try some other polls and if we feel they do encourage people to engage with us and discuss the issues, we will keep with them. If however they prove to be a waste of time, we'll not continue with them. But let us try the experiment first!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the prompt response and fair play to you for showing up my poor research skills.

While it is admirable that you are using the internet to such good effect with this blog, I am still wary of politicians pursuing quantity rather than quality with regard to online content ("WebCameron" for example).

Anyway, keep it up Jonathan. I'll be keeping an eye on this blog and will try and encourage other regional bloggers to invest time scrutinizing your online output!

- Noddy - Blaydon

Anonymous said...

i dont think the poll will do any good either as they have already made up there minds. its all about getting more money in. so do we park in the side streets to avoid paying it or do we finish blaydon shopping centre off and go to the metro centre. who is going to pay to park when they you can travel another mile and get everything they want with free parking.