Login Register

Cornwall Council offers "unreserved apology" for form gaffe

By RWhitehouse  |  Posted: January 31, 2013

  • The Cornwall Council form showing the tick box for "Gypsy/Traveller/Cornish"

  • Cornwall Council

Comments (12)

CORNWALL Council has "apologised unreservedly" after issuing a form which used a single tick box for people to identify as Cornish, Gypsy or traveller.

The housing benefit and council tax benefit form had been issued to households across Cornwall.

In one section it invites applicants to indicate their ethnic identity with single boxes for White British and other nationalities. However the final tick box is for "Gypsy/Traveller/Cornish".

Cornwall Councillor Alex Folkes (Lib Dem) wrote on his blog: "Some people will suggest it is offensive. And they are right. Not because being likened to a gypsy or traveller is an insult. It isn't. But because the two backgrounds are so entirely different.

"What Cornwall Council has done in designing this form is to create a 'bucket' category for anyone who doesn't appear to fit into 'normal' definitions. It's offensive to Cornish people and offensive to gypsies and travellers."

In a statement Cornwall Council said: "We would like to thank the individual who has pointed out the inappropriate wording on this form and apologise unreservedly for any offence this may have caused.

"The reason that we ask people to voluntarily give us this kind of information is to help us engage with all groups which make up our communities in Cornwall and ensure we provide them with the most appropriate services to meet their needs. We totally accept that the wording on this form is wrong. We are already in the process of updating the form as part of the welfare reform changes."

The council said it would be manually amending any other copies of the form which were still in circulation.

It added: "We are very proud of our culture and heritage and are committed to promoting the Cornish identity as well as celebrating the diverse cultures which make up our communities.

"Once again we would like to apologise for any offence; this was a genuine error which will now been rectified. A review of ethnic monitoring information will now take place to ensure we have a consistent approach across the organisation and to prevent errors occurring again in the future."

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters

12 comments

  • cweatherhill  |  February 01 2013, 6:46PM

    The whole section is ridiculous. It asks for "Ethnic Background", then binds on about skin colour! A person's ethnicity is his/her place in a social group having a common natural or cultural tradition; or origin by birth or descent rather than nationality. It has nothing whatever to do with skin colour.

    Rate   4
    Report
  • Cassandra1959  |  February 01 2013, 6:08PM

    How about a box for 'sort of pink coloured people, who might go a bit browner in the summer (if we ever have one again)' ?

    Rate   4
    Report
  • cweatherhill  |  February 01 2013, 3:54PM

    Being a Tory-run council, shouldn't there just be two tick-boxes? FILTHY RICH BULLINGDON BOYS ******* PLEBS

    Rate   5
    Report
  • Jonny2010  |  February 01 2013, 9:49AM

    @robzrob. I agree with both of your posts.

    Rate 0
    Report
  • shagrats  |  February 01 2013, 9:37AM

    I'm a **** and cornish. I couldn't be happier.

    Rate   1
    Report
  • 1newlyn  |  February 01 2013, 5:23AM

    If they are going to produce a form they should get it right !What about the poor old WHITE South African ??

    Rate 0
    Report
  • Tstrunk  |  January 31 2013, 11:54PM

    by AnGof2012Thursday, January 31 2013, 10:38PM "I wrote Cornish on the last census, Cornish at the Doctors', hospital, library everywhere in fact. I am Cornish. I also really don't mind being lumped in with the Gypsys and Travellers! But one thing for sure, I am from Britain and European but I sure aren't English!" This is a flawed point as nowhere on this form is a tick for "English" this leaves your point in question. And for what point are you using the word "English"? Answer, to cause some kind of conflict...

    Rate   2
    Report
  • AnGof2012  |  January 31 2013, 10:39PM

    I would also point out that Cornish is my National Identity.

    Rate 0
    Report
  • AnGof2012  |  January 31 2013, 10:38PM

    I wrote Cornish on the last census, Cornish at the Doctors', hospital, library everywhere in fact. I am Cornish. I also really don't mind being lumped in with the Gypsys and Travellers! But one thing for sure, I am from Britain and European but I sure aren't English!

    Rate 0
    Report
  • robzrob  |  January 31 2013, 10:14PM

    @ Jonny2010. And why do they start the list with the format Colour/Nationality, then change part way through to Nationality/Colour? And what about Caribbean Asians? And why is there only one group of Asians (ie Chinese) referred to specifically, what about Thais, Koreans, etc? I could go on........ And if they're so upset about it, why is the form still available (at time of writing) from their website here https://http://tinyurl.com/a5vmkjx :)

    Rate   7
    Report

      YOUR COMMENTS AWAITING MODERATION

       
       

      MORE NEWS HEADLINES

       
       
       

      MOST POPULAR