Don’t forget to fill in census – or face a fine

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RESIDENTS in Scarborough are being reminded to fill in their census from on Sunday or as soon as possible afterwards.

The 2011 Census form, which has been posted out to people across the country, will be used by the Government to help plan and fund services like transport, education and health.

Taking part in the census is compulsory and anyone who does not participate or supplies false information could face a fine.

The personal information supplied is protected by law and kept confidential for 100 years.

People have already been logging on across the country and filling in their census form online.

The Office for National Statistics has received 950,000 online returns from households in England and Wales since the site opened on March 4 and hopes that a lot more people will take advantage of this new, quick and secure method of completing the questionnaire.

Glen Watson, census director, said: “The feedback we have had from people who have filled in their questionnaires online has been that it is a really good system and I hope many more will use it.

“It takes most people less than 10 minutes per person to complete it and you get a confirmation receipt once you’ve clicked to submit.”

Figures show that one in three of households completing early online are “silver surfers” aged over 55.

Census questionnaires have been received online from all regions of England and Wales, with householders from the South East the quickest to respond via the internet.

Rural areas like Wales and the South West are showing the lowest rate of online returns so far.

Larger families are among those who have been quick to respond online – up to 30 people can be included on the online form, making it a very convenient choice.

Mr Watson added, “It’s great that we have had a good early response online. Most people are likely to send their questionnaires back around census day on March 27, but we are happy to receive early questionnaires from householders who know what their circumstances will be on Sunday.”

Latest figures show the national Census Helpline on 0300 0201 101 has taken 342,971 calls since lines opened on March 4.

Just over 20,000 people a day, that’s 357,512 so far, are using the census website’s online help facility at www.census.gov.uk to seek help getting started and completing the questionnaire.