My phone rang last night. On the line was a polite young man who knew my ex-directory number but not my name. He was part of the big national polling organisation Populus. He said he was working on behalf of “the local councils”. He wanted to know what I thought of plans to merge the two. I told him….in words of one syllable! But the services of Populus do not come cheap. I presume they will be ringing many other peoiple from a list. I understand the two councils are also busy creating a dedicated website to publicise their plans and win over public opinion. Beware. This is not consultation. This is a sham. It is costing money which could have been better spent elsewhere and it will not convince anyone at all – least of all the government.