By IH 05/07 Updated: 06/07 09:38
A PENSIONER from Kenilworth was left fuming after being asked her sexual orientation - for a survey about bus passes.
Joy Gardner says she is no prude but has no idea why Warwickshire County Council need to know if she is heterosexual/straight; gay/lesbian; bisexual; or other.
The Concessionary Travel Scheme Review 2012 also offered a 'prefer not to say' option, but the 80-year-old remained unimpressed.
The grandmother of two said: "I found the question highly offensive, and not at all relevant.
"What has my sexual orientation got to do with bus passes? It's just bizarre!"
The retired secretary completed the survey - which asked more relevant bus-related questions such as the attitude of drivers and the cleanliness of buses - but added her thoughts about the nature of sexual orientation question, the last of the 29 on the form.
The county council took over the Concessionary Travel service from district and borough councils in April 2011, and the survey aimed to find out how it could possibly be improved.
A county council spokesman said they were legally obliged to ask the sexual orientation question, and others including one regarding religion.
The spokesman said: “Customers have a choice not to tell us information but we have to ask because otherwise we are in breach of our legal duties as a public sector organisation. The information they give us is anonymous and confidential.
“Equality monitoring is the process of gathering equality information in relation to customers or staff to ensure equality of access both in terms of service delivery and employment opportunities. The data allows us to identify the barriers or issues which need to be addressed to continue to improve the experiences of the public.”
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