Airport is Viable - reference to David Pengelly.
I would like to voice my opinion on an article that was recently published by the Herald under the title of "YOUR SAY: Your views on Plymouth City Airport" and in particular some of the statistics that where mentioned in an email submitted by David Pengelly.
As one of a handful of individuals that took great pride and pleasure in collecting signatures as well as speaking to members of the public about this political hot potato, I took great offence to some of the comments that where made by one individual which seemed to be accusing Viable of both using aggressive tactics, and collecting "Micky-Mouse" signatures, or in other words, false names and addresses.
I'd like to make it clear that people signed our petition because they wanted to – not because they had to, or where forced to, they wanted to. It is indeed a fact that the majority of signatories on our petition approached us and signed or sheets where left in shops or post offices. in the eventuality that a member of the public didn't sign, we discussed with them any reasons why they where un-willing to and presented them with some of the facts and figures that surrounded the current airport issue - if they then felt compelled to sign, this was then up to them – not us!
I would also like to mention the exact number of our petition was 37,861, which is a little off from the over 40,000 quoted by the emailer.
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At the start of our petitioning back in late March, we where informed by the Council that only the Plymouth signatures would have an immediate impact on the Council debate. When we say Plymouth, we actually mean Plymouth - not Cornwall, the West Hams or West Devon, but Plymouth – the area that our Council covers. Viable has never claimed to have achieved an overall 10% of the SouthWest population, just Plymouth. The very fact that the emailer uses the expression "guesses" and has no real idea of the rough number of signatures collected, certainly implies to me that he/she has insufficient evidence or knowledge to back up their claims of aggressive tactics or "Micky-Mouse" signatures – or indeed the airport itself.
Now, we're all entitled to our own opinions, but we must all make sure that our facts are consistent and true before posting said opinion, unfortunately, in some of the more recent articles, the facts where most certainly not consistent and I hope I've managed to iron out some of the concerns within some of these articles referring to the airport and more importantly get the word across that we used no aggressive tactics in collecting, neither did we make up names and addresses in a bid to increase our signature count. On that very note, considering the Council will verify each Plymouth signature against our own extensive records and residential listings, it would be impossible for any organisation to include "Micky-Mouse" signatures.
I will end by saying that Viable is an honest organisation, with honest supporters and campaigners – why should we need to make up support, when clearly, it's already there?