Leeds sex quiz fury

HOUSING bosses came under fire Friday for spending thousands of pounds on a survey which quizzes residents about their sexuality.

Around 500 homes in the Whingate area of Armley, Leeds, last week received letters asking people to complete a questionnaire on their race, religious beliefs, health issues and their sexual preferences.

Although the letter states the information would be kept confidential under the Data Protection Act, it later states that managers would share information with building maintenance firms, alarm fitters and drain cleaners.

Local resident Glenn Simpson said he was stunned to receive the communication from West North West Homes.

He told the YEP: "If someone wants their bin emptied or their drains unblocked, what could it possibly have to do with their sexuality?

"I think it's intrusive. It's something that you would expect under Stalin and I thought we had got rid of all this rubbish.

"These sorts of questions, about your colour or sexuality, have no place in today's world."

The "Finding Out About You" survey asks residents to fill in 14 questions, including what religion they belong to, whether they have any mental health needs, if they have a speech impediment and their race.

It also asks residents to "define their sexuality" by ticking the box next to heterosexual, lesbian, gay man, bisexual or "I do not wish to answer".

The questionnaire arrived at homes last week, a day after a 24-page glossy A3 magazine, entitled The Buzz and which trumpets the work of West North West Homes, was delivered.

Mr Simpson, 43, of Claremont Street, added: "I can't begin to imagine how much it cost. It's ridiculous. There's nothing in it apart from them bigging themselves up.

"We don't want to hear about that, we just want our streets to be cleaned and the bins to be emptied."

West North West Homes is one of five arms-length management companies set up by Leeds City Council to be responsible for social housing.

A spokesman for West North West Homes Leeds, said: "We apologise if anyone is offended by the questions.

"These surveys were sent out to help us ensure that we are meeting the needs of our customers and providing a fair and equal service to all, which we have a legal duty to do under equality legislation. All personal data is confidential and only shared with key partners as, and when, is necessary and with the customer's consent.

"Customers are given a choice as to whether they would like to answer questions.

"However, many customers do respond positively and are happy knowing their needs are being taken into consideration when improving or tailoring services."

Professor Peter Moizer, Dean of Leeds University Business School

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