The Hannaford correspondence: very one-sided

Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Lib Dem portfolio holder for planning, has stated twice on Radio Cornwall that more houses are needed because in Cornwall there are now more births than deaths. Yet, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the truth is the reverse, as deaths outnumber births and have done so for the past two years. Puzzled by this I sent her the following email on 6th February.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Dear Cllr Hannaford,

I’m puzzled by the claim you made on Radio Cornwall this morning that in Cornwall ‘the birth rate is outstripping the death rate’. This repeated the same claim you made on local radio on 16th December. However, if you care to check these demographic data you’ll discover you are mistaken or have been misinformed. In fact, the most recent data on births and deaths show the following picture.

Births and deaths; Cornwall 2011-13

  Births Deaths Change
2013 5,605 6,070 -465
2012 5,721 5,889 -168
2011 5,808 5,663 +145

The source is the ONS summary demographic tables, for example http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-317522

As you know, this reflects the ONS projections which indicated that a temporary surplus of births over deaths would be reversed by the end of this decade. It’s just happened several years more quickly than the ONS predicted. I wonder if you have access to a different source perhaps.

I would appreciate your comments on this, in the light of the somewhat misleading impression you’ve been inadvertedly disseminating. A speedy response would be most greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.
……………………………………………………………………………………………

Two and a half weeks have now passed and I’m still waiting for a reply to what is a rather simple question. So I’ve now sent a second email.
…………………………………………………………………………………………….

Dear Cllr Hannaford,

I note you have been unable to reply to my email of the 6th of this month. This requested your view on the puzzling discrepancy between the official statistics of mortality and fertility in Cornwall over the past two years and the claim you have (at least) twice made on local radio that in Cornwall births exceed deaths.

A one sentence answer would suffice. Indeed a one letter response is possible as it seems to me that the explanation has to be one of the following:

a) You have access to a data source that shows the ONS is wrong. In this case it would be very useful to have the source reference.

b) Your officers have been feeding you incorrect information.

c) You have made an honest mistake and somehow transposed births and deaths.

In the case of b) and c) a public correction and apology for misleading the public might be in order.

However, a one letter response – a/b/or c – would also be helpful in shedding some much-needed light on this curious incident.

My thanks in anticipation,
…………………………………………………………………………………..

If there ever is a reply I will post it on this site.

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4 Responses to The Hannaford correspondence: very one-sided

  1. Jane Tripp says:

    Send another e-mail and keep doing so until you receive a reply……….

    Like

  2. Chris Massie says:

    Jane Tripp, why not send one yourself? Indeed why doesn’t everyone who reads this send one in.

    Like

  3. penny kirkman says:

    send it to the newspapers .

    Like

  4. jeremy heffer says:

    If she made these claims on Radio Cornwall then take this to them, I would imagine they would be interested if they were being used to spread false information.

    Like

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