The VC is said to have been pleasantly surprised by the warm reception given to the plans for UA92 by the people of Stretford. We have to wonder how he gained that impression. At a recent public consultation, Gary Neville and our own Professor Sharon Huttly experienced at first hand the frustration felt by local people at the lack of information from Trafford Council, the Class of 92 and Lancaster University (staff here will no doubt fully sympathise in this regard). Reports from the meeting suggest that they were in fact taken aback by the strength of the opposition.
Perhaps the VC was relying on the results of an online poll conducted by Trafford Council, which apparently showed that 75% of local residents were in favour of the scheme. However, doubts arose about the reliability of this poll when it emerged that respondents were presented with four options for each survey question, three of which could be interpreted as positive responses. This is an approach to assessing opinion familiar to anyone who has ever completed a Lancaster staff satisfaction survey. Oh, and it was possible to fill in the survey as many times as you wanted. We must hope that further decisions on UA92 will be informed by better research. Perhaps if we are really lucky, they will create a word cloud (see subtext 160)!