Census survey for Herne Hill

The 2011 Census

 

As residents already know, and the Census will soon confirm, Herne Hill is a colourful and vital place packed with folk from everywhere, droves of students, and of course plentiful Jedi Warriors.  It also has some curious anomalies – like a slightly declining population, and unusually high numbers of people who’ve benefitted from higher education. 

What is less known, is that Lambeth, Southwark and other London boroughs were so undercounted last time round, that they missed out on millions of pounds in government grants.  This time round the Office of National Statistics calculates that each person who doesn’t return their form costs a borough over £600 in lost income.

Non-return also means that at a time of severe cuts, health, education, sports, libraries, literacy programmes and any number of local services will have even more trouble getting the central government funding they need.  And nor, when our Census private lives are open to public gaze a hundred years from now, will our grand and great grandchildren know us as well as they might have.

The form is compulsory -- even the Royal Family has to do it.  That it is also highly secure has been independently verified.  The ONS is aggressively defending its 200 year record of never having lost any data and will legally bar any other government department from accessing personal information.

Everyone has at least another week to fill in their census form and get it back.  Those with internet access are especially advantaged because they can do it more quickly online.   People with reading or other difficulties can call a helpline and arrange for someone to come round and give them assistance.  There are also translation booklets and phonelines available in dozens of languages.

After April 6th though, the Census Collectors will likely come knocking at your door to see what's up and help you fill in the questionnaire if you are not able to do so yourself.  But the Collectors, who all carry a personal ID badge, will not call on households where questionnaires have already been completed and returned.

Your local Herne Hill Census Coordinator