He who pays the piper calls the tune, as the old saying goes.
Have you (PS Consultants) been engaged to work on both stages?
Have just read the following:
One of the problems with the ballot process is that the same ITA can work on both stages; prior to a decision on whether to proceed to a ballot, and on the ballot itself. Of course, it is in the interests of an ITA that a Council decides to ballot since they can earn more money, whereas if there is no ballot, their work is over.
So long as ballots like this take place then there should be a bar on the same ITA working on both stages of the process, so that the decision on whether or not a ballot goes ahead is not something which they can benefit out of financially.