St Albans council blunder over prize questionnaire

PUBLISHED: 13:01 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 06 May 2010

MANY people who filled out a questionnaire issued by the council with the incentive of a chance to win shopping vouchers will never know if they scooped the prize. That is because the district council failed to include a name and contact details section i

MANY people who filled out a questionnaire issued by the council with the incentive of a chance to win shopping vouchers will never know if they scooped the prize.

That is because the district council failed to include a name and contact details section in the paper version of their latest questionnaire consulting the public on the district's future. The incentive to complete the 'Shaping our Community: Get Involved and Have Your Say' comes in the form of a prize draw for £50-worth of Marks and Spencer vouchers.

But while the online version asks for contact details, the paper version handed out at the Shaping our Community exhibitions do not.

Alan Jackson of Lambourn Gardens, Harpenden, discovered the problem when he visited his local exhibition. He said: "As you would expect, the questionnaire was to be completed anonymously - nowhere was there provision for a name and address to be written.

"I asked the two St Albans District Council (SADC) representatives how prize-winners would be identified and - shock horror - they hadn't noticed this problem.

"Not a very well planned questionnaire then. Deceptive, some might think. Can SADC please tell us how they intend to honour their pledge?"

A spokesperson for SADC said: "The paper questionnaire does not include a place for the participant's name and address, as advised by our research partners to encourage wide participation. A separate prize draw form was made available at the Shaping our Community exhibitions and at the council's offices for those wanting to provide their contact details to take part in the prize draw.

"It appears that this did not happen in this case. People wishing to take part in the competition who do not have the prize draw form are encouraged to write their details on the questionnaire."

The deadline for responding to the Shaping our Community consultation is approaching and the council is asking local residents and businesses to take part by visiting http://survey.euro.confirmit.com/wix2/p261642873.aspx

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