FENLAND: 1,000 home owners contacted in survey told they're welcome to ignore it!

ONE thousand home owners contacted by Fenland Council to take part in a survey of private sector homes were assured today there were welcome to ignore it. The council responded after a resident complained that nowhere did it say the survey was optional. T

ONE thousand home owners contacted by Fenland Council to take part in a survey of private sector homes were assured today there were welcome to ignore it.

The council responded after a resident complained that nowhere did it say the survey was optional.

The council has appointed Fordham Research to carry out the survey and says the results are needed to plan housing provision.

However Jeanette Shermer of Almond Drive, March, said she was so incensed by the letter she had contacted her local councillor and Malcolm Moss, the MP for NE Cambs.


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"I can't get my head round this letter," she said. "Why should anyone want to come into my house and take photos? To turn up uninvited and ask to be admitted to your home is a bit of a cheek."

She said she was worried that pensioners would feel compelled to admit a surveyor and she was surprised the letter didn't state the survey was optional.

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"When I rang they said it was a standard letter and had been used in other places for five years," said Mrs Shermer. "Well so be it, but they told me they didn't make too much of a point about it being optional because they didn't want people to say 'no'."

A Fenland council spokesman said the letter should have made it clear that the survey was optional.

"Anyone who doesn't want to take part can say no thanks," said the spokesman.

However the spokesman urged people to contact a freephone number- 0800 163 231- to let surveyors know they did not wish to take part.

Stacey Swann, Fenland's housing strategy support officer, signed the letter to home owners which said only a random survey such as this was capable of getting "a truly accurate overall view of the whole housing stock.

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