Gwynedd's campaign to change Census Welsh categories

Plaid Cymru Gwynedd who is continuing to press for change so that every individual can state their Welsh nationality on the Census form has taken a step in the right direction, according to the cabinet member with responsibility for equality.

Currently, there is no opportunity for individuals to indicate whether they are Welsh Black, Asian, Caribbean or African under specific sub-headings on the form. The form suggestion is that being Welsh, English, Scottish or Irish is restricted to being white only. And under the Asian and Black categories, the word British appears, which undermines the whole ethos of giving individuals the right to state their nationality.

"The form is completely misleading and limits individuals' ability to identify that they’re Welsh," said Plaid Cymru Councillor Nia Jeffreys who has responsibility for equality within Gwynedd Council.

“This is totally unacceptable. It is an outdated presumption that we are trying to abolish within society, and having a census form restricting individuals' ability to express that they’re Welsh is unacceptable.

Plaid Cymru’s Gwynedd Leader, Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn, who was also present during the recent Office of National Statistics (ONS) meeting, said: "We are grateful to officers here in Gwynedd for working tirelessly to highlight these errors within the Census form during the last two years.

“We had a positive meeting with the Deputy Director of the Census recently to share our concerns. We have sent further information to them following our meeting, to highlight the difficulties people encounter when trying to fill in restricted forms.

“Here in Gwynedd, we have long since amended similar categories within our questionnaires, as have other public bodies. It is high time the ONS amend their forms before launching the 2021 Census.”

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