RF COOPER considers the problems of gauging public opinion with a referendum (Letters, January 18) and suggests the super-council consultation of 2016 provides a better result than the Christchurch super-council referendum last month.

We are certainly left with a massive contradiction to explain. The consultation gave a 64 per cent yes vote and a year later the referendum gives an 84 per cent no vote.

However the consultation did receive serious criticism and did contain profound misinformation.

At the time it was not shown that the proposed scheme included an 11 per cent surcharge on Christchurch to pay for a town council, the charge additional to that levied elsewhere in the super-council.

And the numbers presented by the consultation were nonsensical, an issue the pro-super-council officials in Christchurch continue to deny. Just last week their chief financial officer insisted the headline benefit of the super-council totalled £47million over six years. The consultation actually said this was an annual figure while in truth the £47m is a nonsense value. It should actually be negative, over the six years totalling -£81m. The numbers are quite clear.

So we had no mention of an 11 per cent surcharge and nonsensical numbers. With such profound misinformation, how can the results of the 2016 consultation be taken seriously?

DR MARTIN RODGER, Bloxworth Road, Poole