Don’t disregard a silent majority for a vocal minority

Your correspondent John Holden (Observer, Letters, March 7) seems to think the introduction of controlled parking zones in Chichester is undemocratic as there were 39 objections and only nine comments in support – a view possibly reinforced by the Observer’s headline that suggested it might be an imposition to have to pay to park outside your own house.

Perhaps he wasn’t aware local residents had already had their chance to make their views known through a widespread consultation carried out last summer. I attended the South Chichester CLC in November when the parking proposals were discussed and the results of that consultation were presented. These showed a significant majority of residents in nearly all the roads affected were in favour of parking controls.

It’s not unusual when proposals like this are advertised formally for those who object to them to appear to outnumber those in support as the wording of the public notice places more of an emphasis on how to make an objection.

Mr Holden also says parking strategy must be a very demanding job to require a team. The clue is in the title of the organisation concerned – West Sussex County Council – which covers a rather larger area than just Chichester.

Multiply parking proposals on the scale of those proposed for Chichester across places like Crawley, Worthing, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, etc and you might need more than just one person.

Martin Downy