Buckinghamshire residents are being asked to take part in the census – and Buckinghamshire Council is supporting the census team in its target to get every household to respond. Census day is Sunday 21 March and in 2021, for the first time, most of the responses are expected to be done online. You should receive a letter shortly explaining how to complete the form online. If you don’t receive it in the next week or so, please get in touch with the census contact centre. You can also ask for a paper questionnaire if you’d prefer.
Buckinghamshire Council is providing a range of census support, information and advice to residents: Library staff and Adult Learning staff have been trained and are available to help people complete the form, either online or on paper. These support sessions are running until Friday 4 May and will be over the phone while Covid-19 restrictions remain in place. Book an appointment by calling 0300 131 6000 and asking for census information/support. Our Community Engagement and Development team are linking in with partner organisations to share census fliers with clients which will help spread the word to seldom-heard communities. Buckinghamshire Archives welcomed the Census Engagement Manager for Buckinghamshire, Ross Tackley, onto episode five of their monthly podcast. They spoke about what residents need to do this month, and also shared stories from the archives’ collections about censuses of the past. The podcast is available at https://open.spotify.com/show/78wopWJljQd7vtnGFQEwQd. Ross also took part in an LGBTQ+ online event organised by Buckinghamshire County Museum and spoke about the new optional questions on sexual orientation and gender identification. The event was recorded and will be available to view shortly at www.buckscountymuseum.org. Go to https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/your-council/council-and-democracy/census-2021/ for further information and contact details.
Cllr Gareth Williams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “The census provides a snapshot of our communities. Based on the information provided it will ensure money is invested in the services we need in Buckinghamshire, such as emergency services, mental health care, school places, hospital beds, houses, roads, and GP and dental services. “While many will be able to simply complete the form online, our team are ready to help anyone who is struggling and needs some support.” Since 1801 the census has been held every 10 years except for 1941 when World War Two was raging. The information gathered provides the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. The questionnaire includes questions about sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. Results will be available within 12 months and, as well as being used to determine investment in an area, will be used by charities and voluntary organisations as evidence to get funding and by businesses to help them understand their customers and decide where to open new shops. The personal information you give is not shared with anyone, and you cannot be identified in the statistics published. Personal records are locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.
Have you seen the census advert on TV? Towards the end eagle-eyed viewers may have spotted that the band (Jose McGill and The Vagabond from Norwich) are playing in front of the Guildhall in High Wycombe. Across England and Wales iconic buildings are being lit up purple during the census weekend (Friday 19 to Sunday 21 March). In Buckinghamshire, Waddesdon Manor and the Dashwood Mausoleum at West Wycombe will be lit up purple to mark the occasion. Other buildings are to be confirmed.