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26.1.08

Cornish Tick Box response from ONS

Latest response from the Office of National Statistics which again seems to suggest that the right of the Cornish national minority to record their identity in its own land is not a priority.

The census for England, Cornwall and Wales.

There are many different ethnic, religious and national groups present inthe UK and there is greater demand for information from the 2011 Census than space available in the questionnaire. Current working assumptions suggest that there will be more space than was allocated for the sequestions in 2001, but not enough to enable tick-boxes to be provided for all the groups that are present in significant numbers in the UK. The same census questions will be asked in all parts of England and Wales. For those groups that are not specifically covered with a tick-box, the ethnicity question contains an ‘other, please write in’ box. ONS has produced an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) on the Ethnicity, Identity, Language and Religion question development process to identify the likely impact on race, gender, and disability equality of this policy, in order that any adverse impact can be eliminated or reduced to the greatest possible extent within the available resources. As a result of the EIA ONS have developed principles to prioritise which groups will be covered by tick-boxes and which will be covered by ‘Other’ written-in answers. The prioritisation principles are based on the following themes: Strength of need for information on that group; Lack of alternative sources of information; Clarity and quality of the information collected and acceptability to respondents; Comparability with 2001 data; and Operational considerations such as length of question(s), speed and cost-effectiveness of processing, and ability to collect comparable information in other surveys. As previously mentioned , a White Paper setting out the Government's proposals including the wording of any questions about ethnicity and identity is scheduled to be published in Autumn 2008. However it will not be possible to confirm what questions and response categories are to be included in the 2011 Census until the consultation and question testing programme is complete and formal approval is given by Parliament in 2010. For those groups that will not be covered by tick-boxes, ONS will be liaising with representatives of groups to inform them of the policy and encourage members of the group they represent to make full use of thewrite-in boxes to ensure their community is accurately measured. We will then be developing a policy on how the written-in answers will be output, including in what circumstances outputs from Census data will be produced based on the written answers.

Regards

Ethnicity, Identity and Inequalities Branch

Ethnicity&Identity@ons.gsi.gov.uk

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