Council Defends “Sexual Orientation” Probe In Recycling Survey

suffolk-recycling-surveySuffolk County Council has defended its demographics-based questions in a recycling survey after it came under fire for being what some have considered intrusive.

The Suffolk Recycling Centres annual customer satisfaction survey 2016 wants to know more about the demographics of residents, asking questions such as the sexual orientation of respondents, whether they are disabled and their HIV status.

The council has assured residents that the questions are entirely optional, but according to reports by the Daily Mail, residents and social media are “outraged”.

“The section itself does make it clear its optional and that anyone can choose to answer as many questions as they are comfortable with, or not as the case may be.”

The council says it includes this section in all consultation surveys as it helps the council meet its Public Sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act 2010.

uk-suffolk-county-councilA spokesman for the council said: “These are optional questions and do not need to be completed if the individual does not wish to do so. Those people who do choose to answer these questions help to provide an indicative picture of the range of people who have taken part in any particular consultation.

“Any such information is stored securely and no personal details are used as part of the process. The surveys are anonymous. Completing this optional section has no influence on the overall decision.

“The section itself does make it clear its optional and that anyone can choose to answer as many questions as they are comfortable with, or not as the case may be.

“Including this section in all consultation surveys helps us to meet our Public Sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act 2010 and you will find this is the case for virtually all, if not all local authorities wanting to adopt best practice.”

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