THE results of a consultation into the future of Burntisland Primary School by Fife Council have been branded “meaningless”.
Burntisland Community Council, which held its own public meeting to determine public feeling on the potential site of the new building last month, this week said: “At best, the raw results have been added up to give a meaningless figure.”
And chairman Alex MacDonald (pictured) said he would be writing to Fife Council “urging it to use caution in the interpretation of the results”.
The end of a statutory eight week consultation period was reached last week when the views of a number of local residents, parents and others were asked for.
Following the closure of the latest consultation, Councillor George Kay said he was delighted that respondents had voted more than two to one in favour of the town’s Toll Park as the site for the new school.
However Mr MacDonald hit back, saying that the results could not be taken as reliable.
“There are at least two different surveys being reported and you can’t just take the results, add them together and get a single answer,” he told the Press this week.
“There is one survey among people who received Fife Council’s feedback form and one survey for everyone else. Unfortunately it’s not even as simple as that.
“Every parent received a feedback form on behalf of Fife Council. In my view that’s a reasonable survey.
“I don’t have an issue with acknowledging that most parents favour the Toll Park option. That’s what was campaigned for and we respect the outcome.
“The other survey was for people who might or might not have received a feedback form, depending on who they were, where they lived and whether they attended the Heritage Centre.
“The distribution of forms was erratic and in my view that alone puts the statistics on shaky ground. However, it’s Fife Council’s survey.
“If they insist that the results are valid then they will have to acknowledge that – for a fifth time – residents who are not also parents voted against the Toll Park option.”
The chairman also questioned the “other interested parties” who took part, claiming that he struggled to think there could be 132 – the number given as taking part.
“I struggle even more to be persuaded that 90 per cent of those people would vote in favour of the Toll Park. For my money, it undermines the credibility of the whole process,” he said.
“Fife Council has still to respond to the paper submitted by the Community Council and we’ve still to see an official comment on the results.
“I will be contacting Fife Council to urge caution in the interpretation of the results.
“In my view it would be unwise to use them as they stand.”