People have not ‘spoken’

I REFER to the report on page 15 and letters on page 19 of the Citizen for November 16.

The report proclaims “The people of Wisbech have spoken and voted in favour of the town council pursuing the acquisition of the rail link between Wisbech and March.”

Well no, most of them very obviously have not spoken and did not vote.

According to the report 368 voted in favour and 80 against. Wisbech has a population of about 20,200 so that means that approximately 1.82% voted in favour and 0.40% against.

I am aware that in a democratic vote, even one as flawed in its operation as this poll (see the letter from “DETAILS SUPPLIED” last week) without there being the need for a minimum turnout, 368 ‘for’ and 80 ‘against’ could be declared a valid result.

But Wisbech Town Council and the proposal’s supporters should bear in mind that a turnout of just 448 from an electorate of 20,200 is only 2.22%. It is hardly what would normally be considered a representative sample of the whole and it should certainly be insufficient to influence the decisions of a Town Council.

Thus it is not a case of “the people of Wisbech have spoken”. Whether through lack of awareness of the poll or just good old-fashioned apathy, an overwhelming 97.78% of the people of Wisbech neither spoke nor voted.

Allan Sibley

High School Close