Poll is grim reading for council
PENZANCE Town Council does not represent the needs of local people, results from a questionnaire have suggested.
Two-thirds of the people quizzed gave the verdict as part of an online poll put together by new teenage councillor Christopher Drew.
Housing, cleanliness and disabled access were also concerns for around 100 people who took the online questionnaire.
On the positive side, participants said there was a strong sense of community in the town and the majority of those polled also said they were likely to vote in the local elections this May.
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"I found it very useful and it brought up some interesting issues," said Mr Drew, adding that he posed the questions to help him get to grips with the issues facing people in the town.
Those taking part in the online questionnaire were asked for their opinions on 15 subjects affecting life in Penzance.
The findings were shared with fellow members at their latest meeting, when they were also told that well over half of respondents disagreed with the statement that Penzance was a clean town.
"This is a worrying percentage, as a lack of cleanliness will only act to dampen the town's economy, turning potential customers away," said Mr Drew.
"It would be interesting to know exactly which aspects or areas of the town are most concerning with regards to cleanliness – something I would look into with a following survey."
Other findings showed that the majority of those responding believed Penzance was not improving and many also thought the town council did not do a good job at engaging with the community.
"The negative aspect of the questionnaire is not what you would hope for," said Mr Drew.
"I suppose it is likely to happen coming up to an election, midway through a government and being in the middle of an economic downturn, but something can be done to improve the aspects that are in the control of the town council."
The councillor, who joined the local authority by co-option after the resignation of Margaret Freeman, said he now hoped to encourage councillors to find new ways to engage with the public as well as discussing how to improve accessibility around the town for disabled people.