Census collectors start their house-to-house work from 2pm today contacting the householders in England and Wales who have so far not returned their 2011 census forms. As Young Academic has learnt, the 29,000 collectors will target the seven million households who have still not completed and returned their census questionnaires.
So far nearly three quarters of households have completed and returned their forms, but the picture varies across the regions.
The North East is leading the way with 75 per cent of forms returned so far.
Other Government Office Region return rates: North West 71, Yorkshire and the Humber 72, East Midlands 73, West Midlands 73, East of England, 74, London 60, South East 72, South West 72, Wales 71.
2011Census Director Glen Watson said today, “I am pleased that nearly three quarters of the questionnaires have come back just nine days after Census Day. Collectors are all set to start work at 2pm today to collect questionnaires from households who haven’t sent theirs back or completed the census online.
“Our collectors will be helping and in some cases, persuading, those householders who have so far been reluctant or simply been too busy to fill in their forms.
“The regional figures are strong and I want to thank local authorities for all their good work so far in helping raise the profile of the census.
“I expected to see that London is the most challenging area with such a transient and diverse population. That’s why we have deliberately targeted the capital to meet this challenge with almost 6000 collectors in London alone.”
Census collectors’ main role is to ensure questionnaires are completed and returned. They have all received online and classroom training to assist them with their role.
Collectors’ duties also include:
· clarify census instructions and assist in form-filling where necessary
· answer people’s census queries
· point out the benefits for the local community of filling in the census form
· ensure confidentiality and security of census information at all times
· remind people filling in the form is a legal requirement
· report where a refusal is encountered
· obtain a completed census form
All 2011 Census field staff wear photo identification badges and carry other visibly branded items. Collectors will never ask anyone for bank account details.
If householders are at all unsure about the identity of anyone claiming to be from the census, they should ask to see their proof of identity before answering any questions and if they still have concerns should contact the census helpline on 0300 0201 101 in England or the Welsh helpline 0300 0201130.