Mayor facing court for refusing to do census
STROUD mayor John Marjoram faces a £1,000 fine and criminal record for refusing to complete his census form.
He refused to take part in the national survey last year in protest at the fact that US weapons maker Lockheed Martin was administering it.
He is due to appear before Bristol magistrates on February 6 and says he will plead not guilty on ethical grounds.
Coun Marjoram, right, has been a peace protester for 50 years after seeing the trauma suffered by his uncle in the First World War.
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"I couldn't live with myself if I had collaborated with a military company on this matter," he said.
Veteran peace campaigner Roger Franklin from Horsley also refused to complete his census. His case is before Bristol magistrates today.
Mr Franklin, 84, pictured below, will not attend the hearing and will not enter a plea. He has written to the court outlining his moral and legal objections to Lockheed Martin's involvement and his declaration of political independence six years ago when he renamed his 17-acre home Tickmorend Free Space in protest at the UK's nuclear weapons.
Mr Franklin says he is not prepared to pay any fine.
Eight Nailsworth Quakers also refused to complete the census in protest and may face criminal proceedings.
The Office of National Statistics said two million census forms had not been completed across England and Wales. So far, 92 people have been found guilty of failing to return it and 14 cases are ongoing. A defendant has until the start of their hearing to fill in the form.