Labour-run Birmingham City Council is undertaking a survey of their residents. They explain:
A citywide consultation on wheelie bins has already begun to find out residents’ views.
The survey doesn't ask residents if they want wheelie bins or not.
However it does those responding which "most accurately describes your sexual orientation"
Then there is their ethnic group:
White – English/Welsh/Scottish
White – Irish
White – Gypsy or Irish Traveller
White – Any other White background
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British – African
Black/African/Caribbean/Black British – Caribbean
Any other Black/African/Caribbean background
Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups – Asian and White
Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups – Black African and White
Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups – Black Caribbean and White
Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background
Asian/Asian British – Bangladeshi
Asian/Asian British – Chinese
Asian/Asian British – Indian Sikh
Asian/Asian British – Indian Other
Asian/Asian British -Pakistani
Any other Asian background
Other ethnic group – Arab
Other ethnic group – Jewish
Any other ethnic group
Prefer not to say
Then there is a question on religion:
Christian (Catholic, Church of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, other Protestant, Orthodox and all other denominations)
Other religion / faith (Please specify)
Yet nothing on wheeelie bins.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:
"We've repeatedly written to councils to remind them that local residents shouldn't be asked to fill out intrusive questionnaires about their sexuality, religion and other personal details just because they've inquired about getting their bins emptied or joining a local library.
"Birmingham Council have repeatedly ignored this advice despite statutory guidance from DCLG stating that this is simply not necessary.
"At a time when taxpayers are watching their pennies, this is just one indication of how Labour-run councils like Birmingham are showing a complete disregard for taxpayers' money.
"Clamping down on sending out these unnecessary documents will not only save taxpayers' money but protect the privacy of residents of all backgrounds."
Any council which complains about spending cuts while engaging in this nonsense does not deserve to be taken seriously.