Householders across Bath and North East Somerset are being encouraged to help show how Covid has affected their communities and help plan for the future by taking part in the census on March 21.
Census 2021 is run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and is key to making sure decisions on the future of hospitals, schools, transport and other public services, following the pandemic and EU exit, are based on the best information possible.
The census is once-in-a-decade survey that gives the most accurate estimate of all people and households in England and Wales.
Bath & North East Somerset Council is encouraging residents to fill in the census questionnaire online using the code they have received from ONS in the post.
People who do not have access to the internet can request a paper questionnaire by calling 0800 141 2021 or ask someone else to request it for them online by following this link.
Pete Benton, census director of Operations, said “After years of planning, the census is almost upon us. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, we need this up-to-date information to help shape vital services for the years to come more urgently than ever before and we are making sure everyone can be safely counted in line with all government guidance.
“We have made it simple, straightforward and safe to take part. It takes just 10mminutes per person to fill out your form and if you can’t get online, there are paper forms available for those who need them, as well as lots of support. Now is the time to make your mark on history.”
Councillor Dine Romero, leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “I’d like to remind residents that the census is of vital importance in building up a picture of Bath and North East Somerset and helps us plan how to fund council services. We need everyone’s participation to help show how Covid has affected our local communities and help plan for the future. If you need a paper copy of the questionnaire or you haven’t yet received a letter with your online code, please don’t delay in contacting the census contact centre for help.”
Census field officers will follow up with households after Census Day on March 21 if householders have not yet completed their questionnaire. They will never enter a household, they will always be socially distanced, be equipped with PPE and work in line with all government guidance. Some questions also have updated guidance to reflect our changed living and working circumstances.
Pete Benton added: “For those on furlough, we have updated guidance on how to answer questions on work. All students need to be included in the census, and they should complete it for their usual term-time address. If they’re currently living at their home address, they will need to be included in the census for that household too.”
For the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.
First results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.
There are three Census Support Centres based in B&NES which are offering remote support at present. Details of these centres can be found on www.census.gov.uk
For more information, visit census.gov.uk or call 0800 141 2021.Telephone lines are open:
- Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
- Saturday, 8am to 1pm
- Sunday, closed
- Census weekend (20 – 21 March), 8am to 8pm