Anyone who wants to apply for an allotment in Lincoln will be asked by council officials about their sexual orientation, in a move which has been branded “intrusive” and “nonsense”.
Lincoln Council also wants to know the race, religion, gender and disabilities of allotment applicants, in a questionnaire provoking frustration among fruit and vegetable growers.
A spokesman from the Boultham Allotments Association said sexual orientation should be irrelevant.
Assistant Chairman Fred Hyde, 61, said it’s “intrusive”. He added: “Why do they want to know all these details? All these people are doing is trying to grow some fruit and veg.”
Fiona McEvoy, of the Taxpayers’ Association, said the venture was a waste of time and money.
“It is local authority nonsense at its worst,” she said. “It’s costing money and taking up the time of council officials.
“Who cares how many lesbians, Christians or black people want allotments?”
But Lincoln City Council’s equality and diversity officer, Alison Lewis, defended the questionnaire, saying: “We monitor equality and diversity purely to get an understanding of our customers’ and residents’ needs”.
She added: “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.”
Last year a Brighton care home for elderly Christians won back thousands of pounds of funding withdrawn by the local council, after it refused to question residents about their sexual orientation every three months.
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Pilgrim Homes, a 200-year-old Christian charity that runs the home and nine others, was taking legal action against the council for religious discrimination.
But Brighton Council backed down and promised to restore the £13,000 funding, used to support a warden.
The case was backed by The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund.