In response to David Parsley
|19 November, 2012||Posted by notocosta under Campaign news|
On Friday evening 16 November at 20:30, David Parsley sent Frances at Transition Town Totnes (TTT) along with Sarah Wollaston, MP and Pruw Boswell, Mayor of Totnes, an email copied below.
It followed another email directed to TTT, implying similar misconduct, and outlined 26 questions David Parsley required answers to and a deadline.
We publish Mr Parsley’s email because of its rather inflammatory nature.
Very simply, this is what we said:
“Finally, people continue to sign the No to Costa petition and our analysis of the figures shows that 75% of those who signed are from the TQ area and the rest are visitors from Exeter, Plymouth and further afield.”
Needless to say, we stand by our campaign.
We’re disappointed to hear some are unhappy with Costa’s decision but appreciate their right to a different opinion. Here’s hoping we can agree on this — it’s time to move forward…
Date: 16 November 2012 20:23:26 GMT
Subject: Transition Town Totnes Petition shows less than a quarter of Totnes residents were against the opening of a coffee chain
Dear Sarah, Pruw, and Frances,
After four weeks of trying, we finally got our hands on the legendary petition yesterday, and this afternoon completed our analysis of it at Follaton House. It wasn’t the most exciting task in the world, but it’s has certainly put and end to the myth that all Totnes was against a coffee chain opening in Totnes.
As you will all recall, all of you stated, on several occassion that no one in Totnes wanted Costa Coffee, or at the very least, the vast majority of people in Totnes did not want Costa Coffee. You all claimed the people of Totnes did not want Costa Coffee on many occassions. I do not believe I need to repeat your comments to the national media here to show that you were all claiming to speak for Totnes people while supporting the NoToCosta campaign.
Here’s the figures:
Totnes Town Residents 2,016 from a total population of 8,336 (DCC 2011 pop figure)
Totnes Town and all TQ9 residents 2,895 from a total population of 22,869 (DCC 2011 pop figure)
Therefore, only half the people that signed the petition actually live in Totnes or the surrounding areas. The 5,700 figure was used on many occasions to claim the majority of those who live in the town were against Costa Coffee (forgetting the fact that the petition doesn’t even mention Costa Coffee). The truth is only 24% of people in Totnes Town signed the petition. So, how did you all claim that to be a majority? If we broaden it out to Totnes Town and all TQ9 residents then only 12% of the total population of the Totnes Borough signed the petition. Just under two-thirds of signatories don’t live in Totnes Town.
Therefore, could you answer the following questions as we will be running a story on Monday stating the anti-Costa campaign was based on a lie, perpetuated by our Mayor, our MP and the leader of Transition Town Totnes.
1. Why did you claim the majority of Totnes people did not want Costa Coffee when there was no evidence to support that?
2. We’re you deliberately lying to suit the agenda you were promoting to the national media and in your talks with Costa Coffee? If not, how do you explain your statements?
3. Have you seen the petition and checked it for yourself?
4. Did someone tell you the petition showed the majority of Totnes people were against Costa Coffee? If so who?
We were very generous to the campaign in collating this information form the petition. If someone simply wrote “Totnes”, we included in the Totnes Town column, even though many people refer to Totnes as their hometown while they may live in a neighbouring village. Anyone with a TQ9 5 postcode was included in Totnes Town, as were the many people who merely put the name of a pub (15 were form the Waterside alone) and numerous examples where the same person had clearly signed for their partner. There are numerous repetitions of signatures too, but we even included those for Totnes twice. So this we heavily weighted the analysis in the campaign’s favour, but still, less than a quarter of Totnes Town residents supported it, and just over one in ten of the all TQ9 residents supported it. We will, therefore, claim none of you had a mandate from the people of Totnes to claim the majority of the town did not want Costa Coffee and the entire campaign was based on a lie.
While, believe or not, I don’t take huge pleasure in writing such negative stories, I do believe I’ve gone beyond what is necessary to show the NoToCosta campaign, and your support of it, was based on a lie. Therefore, it there is a huge public interest in publishing this information.
I’ll be publishing on Monday at midday, so would really appreciate your answers to my questions before then.