3:11pm Wednesday 11th July 2012
ISN'T it interesting how the way in which figures are presented can affect whether those figures are viewed in a positive or a negative light? Your report, Support for new crossing (Standard, July 5) states that in relation to the pedestrianisation of the area behind Tetbury's Market Hall 'there are concerns that the scheme has damaged trade'. You then state: '38 per cent of business owners said the scheme had a negative impact on their business, while just 26 per cent said it had improved trade'.
On the face of it then, the effect has been negative. It seems that three quarters of Tetbury's business owners have a negative view of or are indifferent to the scheme and its effects on their businesses, with only a quarter in favour of it. Looked at another way, though, those same figures are much more positive, they show that almost two thirds, 62 per cent, have either a positive view of its effects or feel that it has had no effect on their businesses, leaving only a little over one third of them with a negative view.
By the same token, in relation to residents' views you state: 'But while 32 per cent of respondents felt that the area had been put to good use, 35 per cent disagreed'. The negative tone of this disguises the fact that it is a minority that has a negative view, with the majority, 68 per cent, being either positive or indifferent.
It's all in the telling.
NEIL MCLEOD Tetbury
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