CAMBRIDGE City Council is encouraging all residents to take part in the census to help shape public services in the years ahead.
Run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the census is a once-in-a-decade survey which gives the most accurate estimate of the number of people and households in England and Wales.
It provides essential information for government, local authorities, businesses, charities and the community to plan and deliver services, reach those who need help and secure funding.
Billions of pounds of public money is allocated on the basis of census figures to fund services such as transport, education and health – for instance on where to provide cycle routes, schools and dental surgeries.
So, it’s vital that everyone completes the census to make sure Cambridge gets its fair share of funding, and that services can be designed to meet the needs of the city’s communities.
Census day is Sunday 21 March and over the last couple of weeks letters have been dropping through residents’ doors with online codes and details on how to take part.
It can be completed now – residents do not have to wait until Sunday. 19% of people in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire had already completed theirs by 10 March.
Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council urged everyone to complete the census and said: “The census provides a potentially in-depth picture of our city and vital data for planning the future of Cambridge, so I strongly encourage every household to complete it.
“It benefits all of us by collecting vital information about how many people live in the city and the different kinds of services they need and completing it is a legal requirement on us all.
“We want the rich diversity of our communities to be fully quantified over the next week, recognising how vibrant, dynamic and unique Cambridge is.
“Achieving as complete a census as possible will also help us to get the funding for schools, health, policing and all the local services that our residents need and value, and enable us to better target our services.
“It’s all confidential and by taking part in the census you will be doing your bit to achieve a complete assessment of Cambridge and help city make the best possible decisions on services we need now and in the future.”
This will be the first census to be run predominantly online, but residents can request a paper questionnaire if they prefer – go to [link no longer active]. These are usually sent as part of a reminder.
A national contact centre is offering support on 0800 141 2021 and there is also a language helpline at 0800 587 2021. These telephone lines are open between 8am and 8pm during the week and from 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.
If people want to respond online but have difficulty accessing the internet they can contact the local support centre on 01223 300407 for help.
Every household is required by law to complete the census and provide accurate information. After census day the ONS will follow up with households that have not yet competed the form to advise on the support available to help them complete the census.
Households will never be asked for any payment or for any bank details as part of the census.
For more information on the census in Cambridge visit: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/census
The national census website is: https://census.gov.uk/