Help on hand to fill in Census

Large numbers of people have been seeking help to fill in the Census 2021 but other are being urged to step forward this weekend.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 3:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 3:02 pm

Community group Nidderdale Plus workers have been available to help those struggling to complete the legal survey of households.

Executive Director Helen Flynn said the Community Hub had already helped people in the area but added that it is now focussing on Census Day on Sunday March 21.

“Census Day is when you are filling in your forms, it has to be as if it is the 21st of March so anyone in the home on that date has to be recorded.

“Because we are the Census support office, is that we are opening on Sunday from 10am-1pm and people can drop in at the door and ask any questions and we can point them in the right direction.

“We have been helping a lot of people and there has been an allowance in legislation to allow Census offices like ours to do face-to-face so that people can actually come in and speak to an advisor to help fill in their form.

“So, we have had a good number of people in an a lot of phone calls so it has been quite busy this year.

“We are open and people can pop by and we can help.”

Census forms have been sent out to households and they legally have to be responded to or face a fine of up to £1,000.

Helen added: “The thing to remind people is that filling in Census is a legal obligation so you can be fined for not filling in a Census and it is really important that people fill it in because it helps Government design services.

“They need a very accurate snapshot of the population to make sure that the services they are designing are adequate and in the right locations.

“It has been happening every ten years since 1801 apart from the second world war in 1941.”

She added that the community hub has been using the Census scheme as an opportunity as a digital champion to support people to use technology.

“One of the things with Covid is that it has underlined the digital divide between people who are online and can do things so easy and those who aren’t.

“We are going to be setting up a tablet loan scheme and we will be offering face to face tutoring sessions so that people who do not have any an digital capability to become digital literate.