In your report (November 14) of Worthing and Adur Joint Strategic Committee’s meeting to consider a petition against the plans to turn the beach chalets East of Splash Point into ‘artist studios’, you referred to councillor Clive Roberts’ remark: “I struggle to find how 2,246 people signed this statement and I’m sure they didn’t all read it.”
Perhaps I can assist Cllr Roberts in his struggle. A statement is presented to a large number of people for them to consider. If they are in agreement, they are invited to add their signatures and other details to a list.
This is called a petition and is presented to an authority to indicate strength of public opinion and assist the authority in making a decision.
Maybe if Cllr Roberts had understood the principle and checked the signatures he would not be struggling, would not have been “sure they didn’t all read it”, and would not have offended 2,246 people with one sentence.
These offended people may not understand how so many people could have voted for Cllr Roberts at the last election, considering his apparent misunderstanding of this simple process, but would choose not to say so, as they are not in possession of all the relevant facts.
Hopefully, not too many other councillors and MPs. etc., suffer from this lack of understanding, otherwise the simple but valuable process of petitioning will disappear and thousands of injustices in the world, just like this one, will remain.