Sunday, 13 March 2011

2011 Census

Forms have begun to land on people's doorsteps for the 2011 Census.

The census is Britain's survey of our population which takes place every decade, and is a critical tool used by government to decide how money is divided up between different areas and therefore how much is spent on our local schools, hospitals and transport.

At the last Census, Hackney Council estimates that around 13,500 forms in Hackney were not returned meaning that we lost out on valuable funding which is crucial to fund our local services. This lost funding is even more important now in light of the current cuts being imposed on us from Whitehall.

Some people may find the forms confusing, or want some questions answered and there are a number of different ways to get those answers: you can call the Census hotline on 03000 2011 01 or contact them via their website. In addition, from this week the Council will also be providing help via local libraries.

We know that there have been some concerns that personal information is being asked for, but it is SO important that you complete your form and return it. All information is completely confidential and is not released for a century.

Last time, Hackney had the second lowest response rate in the country at only 73% - this undercounting meant that we lost out on valuable resources equivalent to the local NHS services receiving £40 million less than they should have over the period and the council missing out on £17 million. This is a serious amount of money - ensuring we receive it this time depends on all of us completing and returning our forms either on paper or online.

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