Council backed ban on unsolicited phone calls

Cold calling has angered Coun Maxine Callow
Cold calling has angered Coun Maxine Callow
Have your say

Blackpool Council has spent thousands of pounds cold calling residents it emerged today – despite previously backing calls to ban the practice.

Official town hall figures show the authority has spent £16,470 on two recent telephone surveys of residents.

The figures were supplied to Coun Maxine Callow after she raised the issue at a meeting of the full council.

Coun Callow, who has campaigned against cold calling, said many vulnerable residents were upset about receiving unsolicited phone calls at home.

She said: “By doing this the council is encouraging vulnerable people to respond to questions over the telephone.

“There are so many scams out there at the moment that I believe it is a disgrace that our council is carrying out surveys like this.

“It is irresponsible and it is not a good use of council tax-payers’ money. This money could have kept someone in a job for a year.

“The council should stop this practice. Not only are they wasting money, they are intruding into people’s lives.”

In response Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for public protection, said: “There is evidence that postal research is increasingly yielding a very small response and so the council has trialled those two research projects using the phone to determine if the response rates received were more closely matched to the targeted population demographic.

“The people involved were asked whether they wanted to participate and if they did not, the callers did not attempt to pursue this further and apologised for the intrusion into their time.”