Questions not relevant to inquiry

I READ Annemarie Field’s Out in the Field article regarding questions asked about one’s background with considerable interest and amusement.

Many years ago I completed a questionnaire on the use of the toilets adjacent to the information centre.

This questionnaire included the now familiar questions on race on ethnic background but not I believe religious affiliation, which has since been added.

In my capacity as chairman of Eastbourne Ratepayers Association I queried the necessity for this information with Councillor Barbara Goodall, then the lead member of the relevant Eastbourne Borough Council committee.

I wondered (facetiously) whether those of different ethnic backgrounds produced different amounts of poo or different coloured poo, as I could see no purpose whatsoever in these questions which seemed totally irrelevant to the use of the toilets.

Councillor Goodall informed me that by diktat of the then Labour Government ALL questionnaires had to carry these additions questions whether or not they were relevant to the enquiry.

I am not seeking to make a party political point here. It does seem to me that large amounts of public money are being wasted on unnecessary questions which are irrelevant to the purpose of the questionnaire.

Religious affiliations, ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientation are inappropriate questions in the majority of questionnaires.

ANDREW JAY

Chairman, Eastbourne Ratepayers Association, Mountbatten Drive