Controversial census poster put up in Finsbury

A POSTER banned from railway stations because it was deemed likely to offend people has been put up in Finsbury.

The British Humanist Association’s poster, which reads “If you’re not religious, for God’s sake say so”, was put up in Goswell Road, Finsbury, as part of its Census Campaign, which aims to get people to declare their non-affiliation on the upcoming census.

The billboard had been turned down by companies that own advertising space at railway stations because they were worried it would cause offence.

But Andrew Copson, chief executive of the BHA, said: “We hope that it will help people realise that the way they answer the census question on religion is vitally important.”

The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the importance of the census data, which is used at national and local level to justify policy and resource allocation. The BHA says the results from the last census were used to justify increasing the number of faith schools and spending taxpayers’ money on religious organisations.

Meanwhile, Islington Council has delved into the archives to dig out the census return for one of the borough’s most famous residents. It has revealed that in 1901, Charles Alfred Cruft, founder of the world-famous Cruft’s Dog Show, was living at 325 Holloway Road, Holloway.

With an occupation listed as a show promoter, the 48-year-old headed a household of five, including wife Emma, father Charles, boarder Albert Causfield and servant Alice Gregory.

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The council is urging residents to accurately record everybody living in their household, so it will get more money from central government.

Catherine West, leader of Islington Council, said: “Census statistics are used to allocate government funding locally to provide hospitals, schools and housing. Over �750 is lost per annum for each person not counted.”

The census takes place on March 27.