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Stand up and be counted

General census town scape image

Census 2021

The Census 2021 campaign has kicked off and everyone living in England and Wales will be asked to take part in the unique survey that only happens once a decade.  

The survey, which is a legal requirement for all households to complete, provides a crucial snapshot of the nation and helps to plan and fund public services.

The results of the census will inform where billions of pounds of public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health – on cycle routes, schools and dental surgeries.

In 2020/21, prior to Covid-19, London boroughs received almost £13 billion in grants to fund local services. For London’s estimated population of just over 9 million, every undercounted person means up to £1,430 could be lost in funding. Even a relatively small undercount of 10,000 people in London (0.1 per cent) could amount to £143 million over the next 10 years – this could fund an additional 410 social workers.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “It’s really important that everyone living in Tower Hamlets fills in the census as the information from it will help us to plan and provide services in the future. 

“Everyone must be counted so we get our fair share of funding. We don’t want our community to miss out, so do your bit and fill it out.’’

For the first time, the census will be held primarily online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets. Households that are unable to complete the census online will have access to a paper copy.

Households across Tower Hamlets will receive letters next month to take part in the survey.

It’s not just councils that rely on accurate information from the census to help them to plan ahead. The Met Police use census statistics to know where to concentrate their crime prevention efforts and potential crime hotspots are mapped. Charities and voluntary organisations use census data as evidence to get funding. It helps businesses to understand their customers and, for example, decide where to open new shops.

Further information about the census, including how the Census 2021 team will have strong Covid-19 secure measures in place, is available at www.census.gov.uk.

The website will be updated in the coming weeks with information on a free customer contact centre which opens on March 1 2021. From then, people can also get in touch by calling 0800 141 2021, as well as by webchat, email or text message.

The dedicated council webpage www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/census2021 will also host details on the census with future updates on local information and support.

Posted on Tuesday 16th February 2021