Oh No, Not Census 2021 Again!

OK, so you’ve had enough of reading about Census 2021 on Facebook already but we have just received some new information that you might find of interest. First of all, though, Bowls.

Bowls is Ready to Go

Woods Bowls Club Badge

Being an outdoor bowls club, the green light was given for organised sport to recommence from 29th March. Therefore, Woods Bowls Club are delighted to report that they are able to have a full season, competing against other clubs once again. Some minor restrictions may be necessary until 21 June.

Fancy a go?

Woods’ annual Open Day is SATURDAY 29 MAY from 12 pm. There is no charge, all equipment will be supplied just bring some flat shoes. If you are interested but cannot make their open day, please call their club secretary on 01206 863854 and he will arrange a suitable time to meet you at the club. Alternatively email [email protected]. They are on Facebook ‘Woods Bowls Club’ and have their own website.

Census – An Introduction

Extract from Domesday Book

The first ‘modern’ UK Census took place in 1801; with the exceptions of 1941, Ireland in 1921 and Scotland in 2021, it has taken place every 10 years since then. But this wasn’t the first time the government wanted to know about the population.

Population surveys were conducted by the Romans for tax reasons although no detailed records have survived. More recently William the Conqueror is well know for the Domesday Book which is the closest we have as an ancestor of the modern version today. Interestingly, it seems to be true that as recently as the last census 70% of the land was owned by 1% of the population most of whom were descended from William’s Army!

Census 2021 Mythbusters

Census 2021 logo

Although response rates have been generally good, there are still some areas of low returns.   However, it is clear that some have still not completed their return.  To ensure that every community can get the resources it needs for the future, it is vital is well-represented.  So, if you are one of those it could be that the following will help explain why you should do it!

Census 2021 myth buster: 11 things you think you know about the census but might have wrong

Census 2021 is over – I’ve missed Census Day so I don’t have to do it

Wrong! By law, every household is required to complete the census; even though the official census day has come and gone, it is not too late to complete a questionnaire. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has had a great response to Census 2021 so far, but everyone needs to respond as soon as possible to avoid a fine.

You only count yourself at the house you were in on Census Day

Everyone needs to complete a return at their usual address, even if they weren’t there on census day. They also need to complete it for the place they were staying on census day.

If the pandemic has changed where you are currently living (e.g. you moved out of a city to a rural or holiday home prior to lockdown restrictions, or you haven’t visited your city commuter flat because of lockdown) you still need to complete a census form at both addresses. Visit www.census.gov.uk to request an access code for your second address.

You don’t need to complete a return for an empty house

A census return has to be completed for every property, even if nobody lives there full time. For example holiday homes and caravans, unlet rental property or a house waiting to be sold. 

Local councils need to know about all properties in their area so that, for example, they can plan services and work out how many new houses need to be built. Visit www.census.gov.uk to request an access code if you are responsible for an empty house, flat, caravan or park home, or a holiday home.

I’m not a British citizen, so I don’t have to be counted

Everyone staying in England and Wales on Census Day, March 21st, has to be counted. 
Go to www.census.gov.uk to request an access code or call 0800 587 2021 for support in languages other than English.

Students don’t count in the census

Students are vitally important and do count! All students need to be included in the census. 
They should complete a form for their usual term-time address (even if they weren’t there on census day) AND be included at their home address. All universities and colleges have details of how to get a census form or go to www.census.gov.uk and request an access code.

My information will be shared

This is not correct. Personal census data is kept under lock and key for 100 years. No individual or their responses can be identified in the statistics published by the ONS.

Your personal information can’t be accessed or used by anyone who makes decisions about you or to investigate you. It cannot be used by the government to influence benefit claims, a residency application, immigration status or taxes, or by security services, or by landlords or any private organisation. 

The census is pointless. It doesn’t help me.

The census benefits us all by underpinning all the services every single person relies on. 
The data it provides will help shape policy and investment decisions at a local and national level for years to come.

Census information is used to plan a vast range of services: from school and care home places to the planning of bike lanes; it is even used when deciding where to build new supermarkets, what food to put on the shelves and how many parent and toddler spaces to put in the car park. 

If you can’t get online, you can’t do the census

For the first time, everyone is able to complete the census online and the response has been terrific. But if you or someone you know doesn’t have the equipment, skills or confidence to do it online, help is at hand. 

There are local census support centres offering telephone and face-to-face support. Go to www.census.gov.uk to find the nearest centre, or call 0800 141 2021 for help or to order a paper questionnaire. Questionnaires and guidance are available in a range of accessible formats.

Census officers will ask for personal information

Census officers will never ask to see personal documents like passports or birth certificates; they will never ask for payment and they will not enter your home.

If a householder requests a paper questionnaire, a field officer will only ask for the householder’s name. If a new online access code is needed, the householder will also be asked for a phone number.

Census officers will fine you on the doorstep

Do not be scammed. Census field officers will never ask for a payment on the doorstep. You will also not get any email, text message or telephone call asking you for census information or to pay a fine.

The role of field officers is to give help and encouragement to those who have not yet filled in their census questionnaire and to explain the support services that are available. They will be using PPE and operating in the same way as a postal or food delivery visit. They also carry ID to show they are genuinely working on the census. If in doubt, close the door and call 0800 141 2021 for help with your census.

The ONS will continue to support people to respond to the census but if a household refuses to fill out a questionnaire they will ultimately proceed to an interview under caution, which may be followed by a court summons, a fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal record.

I’ve got to pay a fine online for making a mistake on my census

Do not be scammed. If you think you’ve made a mistake on your census, call 0800 141 2021 for help. 

For a fine to be imposed your case must go to court. You will never be issued with a fine by text message, on social media or by email. The ONS’s Cyber Intelligence team is constantly scouring the web for phishing sites and taking them down. If you find a site that looks suspicious or receive text messages with a link to a site asking for money related to the census, ignore it. Report the details to the Census 2021 Contact Centre on 0800 141 2021.

Census Field Officer Visits

Once again, if you’ve been on Facebook you may well be aware of this.

Census field officers are now working in the community to remind everyone to complete their census and to signpost support.

Please share the following information with your community / client base so that residents are aware of the process and can avoid falling victim to anyone fraudulently claiming to be a census field officer. 

All census officers:

  • carry official identification cards with their photograph and name
  • wear PPE, use hand sanitizer and socially distance
  • can show a critical worker letter permitting them to be out and about doing their job

Any resident can call 0800 085 8239 to confirm the identity of a census officer and the area they are working in.

Census officers NEVER ask for money, bank details or any other financial information. They will NEVER ask to enter a home.

They work the following hours:

  • Monday – Saturday 09h00-20h00
  • Sundays and Bank Holidays 10h00-16h00

If any doubt, always close the door. 

If a resident feels threatened or in danger, then they should call 999.