Residents urged to take part in censusBy Victoria Corbett
March 10, 2011
Census leaflets have been landing on doormats across Wokingham this week and local people are being invited to events across the borough offering a helping hand with the forms.
The first batch of the distinctive white and purple envelopes – which must be completed and returned by law – were sent out on Monday and by Census Day on Sunday, March 27, every household will have one.
Kathleen Flannery, census area manager, said: “It’s important that everybody takes part, so that services in the community like schools, hospitals, housing, transport and the emergency services can be planned effectively for the future.
“It is a once in a decade opportunity to get a comprehensive and consistent snapshot of society.”
The last census in 2001 revealed Wokingham’s population was 150,229, which was an increase of six per cent since the last census in 1991.
Other key statistics revealed the borough had one of the highest percentages of married couple households and the lowest percentage of people with limiting long-term illness.
The percentage of people in employment was 70 per cent, which was one of the best scores in the country, and unemployment was just 1.5 per cent.
Local census organisers have organised events at Wokingham Borough Council’s Shute End offices on Friday, March 18, and Friday, March 25, from midday to 5pm.
Helpers will be offering advice on filling out the forms and further information on the census.
Shute End will host a stand from March 14 detailing a history of the census timeline.
Organisers will also be available to help with filling out forms on Monday, March 21, from 2pm to 4pm at the Earley CResCent Resource Centre in Warbler Drive and on Thursday, March 31, from 9.30am to 1pm at Wokingham Library in Denmark Street.
Wokingham Disabilities Partnership Board is running a workshop for adults and their supporters to fill out the census on Tuesday, March 22, from 10am to midday at the Bradbury Centre in Rose Street.
Glen Watson, 2011 census director, said: “Census statistics enable the authorities in England and Wales to plan properly for the future of school places, housing, roads, emergency services and a host of other local services.”
The sending out of census forms is one of the biggest single mail outs Royal Mail has handled.
Wokingham Borough Council is encouraging people to take part in the census, as an increase in participation for the latest survey will result in more money for the borough.
Each additional one per cent of the borough’s population that takes part in the census will result in £500,000 more funding to the council.
To complete the census online and for more information, visit www.census.gov.uk.