Census questions answered in Lincolnshire

Census 2021 will be key to making sure the big decisions on the future of our hospitals, schools, transport and other public services, following the pandemic and EU exit, are based on the best information possible.

Households in North and North East Lincolnshire have now started to receive their census packs and whilst Census Day is March 21st, the questionnaire can be submitted any time from now.

Run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the census is the once-in-a-decade survey that gives the most accurate estimate of all people and households in England and Wales. The digital-first census will not only provide a fresh picture of the size of all communities, it will also shed light on the health, social and economic changes to our lives.

“It’s really important that everyone in our area is counted so that we get the funding and services we need and deserve” said Census Engagement Manager for North and North East Lincolnshire, Shereen Salameh.

“It takes about ten minutes per person to complete and paper forms are available for those who need them, as well as lots of help and support if required. The data from the questionnaires is anonymised and personal data is locked away for 100 years, when it will then be made available for future generations who might be looking up family trees for example.”

Running the census in times of a pandemic has naturally thrown up some challenges and the ONS’ focus is ensuring the safety of the public. “We want everyone to be safely counted and we’re making sure our plans are always in line with the latest government guidelines,”

Pete Benson, Operation Director said. “Census field officers will only 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 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.

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