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Councillors argue over value of city survey
COUNCILLORS have clashed over the value of a major Worcester survey - with one saying too many are playing "Punch and Judy" politics over it.
As your Worcester News revealed last week, the results of the city council's latest Viewpoint survey are out showing a mixed bag of results.
It highlights that 1 in 2 residents are concerned about congestion in Worcester and 38 per cent say rubbish and litter is a problem for the city, up from 29 per cent on the previous year.
The findings led to a debate over it during a meeting of the performance, management and budget scrutiny committee.
The survey was sent out to more than 900 people, but the response rate was just 431.
Labour councillor Lynn Denham said: "This was a survey done in November last year by 431 people, less than 0.5 per cent of the (Worcester) population.
"We've got to be really careful in what we take from it and the assumptions we make."
Councillor Simon Geraghty, the new city council leader, said the council needed to be more focused than before on core services, which led to a disagreement with Labour.
Councillor Adrian Gregson, Labour group leader, said: "What I think the results show is that people are interested in Worcester as a place.
"If you've got concerns over crime you need to talk to the agency responsible for that, the police, if it's transport you need to talk to the county council - to be so short sighted to focus on just core service delivery is ridiculous."
Cllr Geraghty said: "What we've heard tonight is a feeble attempt to deflect criticism away from council performance which is many areas, has been going the wrong way.
"It's all very well saying 'let's focus on shaping the place' but not if you can't mow the lawn in the cemetery."
Councillor Geoff Williams, Labour group deputy leader, then said too many people in the room were indulging in "Punch and Judy politics".
The survey showed only 20 per cent of residents believe they can shape decision making in the city, a staggering decline from the previous rate of 40 per cent.
People now say drug dealing and drunks are less of a problem, and 70 per cent say they are well informed on where their council tax is going, up from 64 per cent the previous year.