It is becoming a common occurrence with official figures issued by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, that even small investigations leave the Council struggling to answer precisely how they arrived at the figures given.
Following a report on the recent debacle over the loss of £118,966 on an ice rink in the town centre the Tribune Party has pursued an answer as to how the council arrived at the very precise footfall total of 432,516 people.
After waiting several weeks for clarification from Council Officers, Tribune Councillor Adrian Myers has finally received the following response:
“Essentially these figures are sourced from a motion footfall counter that is placed just above the WHSmith building, this counter records the number of people passing by, but not unique individuals i.e. if someone walks past 4 times the counter will record this as 4. Therefore whilst not entirely accurate is [sic] does give an estimate of numbers and is useful when compared to figures in previous years.”
This is evidence that it is simply impossible for such an exact total for the number of people visiting the town centre to be counted accurately. By their own admission the counter would count a person multiple times if they repeatedly walked past it. Given the layout of the area and the easily observed habits of shoppers, it can be almost guaranteed that a significant proportion of the total of 432,516 is made up of those who were counted several times.
Councillor Myers was also informed that it is the Town Centre BID who are responsible for the figures quoted in the report. From this, we find it quite interesting that one of the main proponents of the ice rink was Conservative Councillor Barry Coleman who (according to the gyBID 2017 Anuual Report) also happens to be a Director for the Town Centre BID.
We fail to understand how these pie in the sky figures can be relied upon; worse still, how they can be used by the Town Centre BID and Borough Council to justify the loss of nearly £120,000. We believe it is quite dishonest to do so given the facts.