A council has been branded ‘intrusive’ after residents applying for allotment plots were asked if they — were GAY.
Lincoln City Council produced the online questionnaire which appears on their website as people log on to apply to manage council-owned allotments.
Among the topics covered in the survey are applicants’ sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender and disabilities.
The authority yesterday said the survey was a necessary tool in understanding the needs of plot holders.
But Boultham Allotments Association have branded the form intrusive and said sexual orientation should be irrelevant.
Assistant chairman Fred Hyde, 61, said: ”It’s damned intrusive.
”Why do they want to know all those details? All those people are doing is trying to grow some fruit and vegetables.
”If I got one through, I’d send it right back and would be advising my members to do the same.”
One allotment holder, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ”Asking about sexual preferences is a bit rich.
”Are they saying they need to know whether gays and lesbians are growing fruit and vegetables on their land?
”What possible provisions can they put in place for homosexuals? It’s absurd.”
Fiona McEvoy, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ”This is local authority nonsense at its worst.
”Although it’s easy to poke fun at, it is costing us money and taking up the time of officers within the council.
”As our supporter asked, who cares how many Christians or lesbians or black people want allotments?”
Alison Lewis, equality and diversity officer at the City of Lincoln Council, said: ”We monitor equality and diversity purely to get an understanding of our customers and residents needs.
”The information is used to make sure we are providing the best, most appropriate level of service we can do. For instance, if the form reveals that we have a high number of elderly or disabled users, it may highlight a need to improve the accessibility of our allotments.
”The equality and diversity form is completely optional and used throughout our website, not just for allotment applications. The information isn’t used to determine whether an application is successful or not and is kept secure and private.”