Pauline Hawkins writing about the Census (Courier, March 15) asks why include a question on religion?
Because, after the last census, figures collected were used to justify these policies: Increasing in the number of faith schools; continuing collective worship in schools; public funding and support of faith-based organisations above the support offered to secular organisations; contracting out public services to religious organisations; keeping the 26 Bishops in the House of Lords as of right; continuing privileges for religious groups in equality law.
It is important the Census generates accurate figures. It is used to legitimise resource allocation and policy. The more people tick the ‘No Religion’ box, the less inaccurate ‘evidence’ there is that government should listen to religious groups and leaders above other groups within society.
As this may be the last Census ever held, we may be stuck with inaccurate data forever!
Councillor Nader Fekri
(Lib Dem, Calderdale MBC)