Census response in county

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WE are now at the stage of visiting those households who have not returned their completed census forms.

We have had quite a good response so far, with more than 80 per cent of the people in some parts of the areas covered by the West Sussex Gazette having made their returns, either by posting the form back or making their return on the internet. Some 1 in 5 chose this method.

I have a team of some 50 collectors in boroughs and districts whose job is to knock on the door and provide whatever help and assistance people need. Usually people have not realised that there is a legal requirement to complete the form (there is a £1000 fine for non-completion).

Some may have been having problems answering the questions and my team are happy to help, we can also provide translations of the questions into some 58 languages and help people with disabilities.

All the forms are bar coded so my team will be working their way through a list of non returns.

The information provided is completely confidential and only the data from them is used by government and local authorities.

By filling out the forms they are also helping themselves, as the information is used for planning the various services needed in each of the local areas, for example, schools, hospitals, roads, local facilities etc.

Brian Edgill

2011 Census Area Manager