THE Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF) has urged the public across East London to make sure they complete the national census this weekend. This should be done on Sunday, 21st March – but it can also be done in advance.
For the first time, the census will primarily be done online, but anyone who needs a paper copy can ring the census helpline and ask for one. This approach has saved a great deal of money and should speed up the process of getting results processed.
The MPF points out that everyone should complete the census because it is a legal requirement that they do so – and anyone who does not do so risks being fined up to £1,000. There is a further, compelling, reason to do so – which is that the census helps shape government policy and funding decisions.
•When the Government plans a new transport initiative, it needs to know how many people would be affected. It’s the same with housing policy: home many new homes should they build and what size should they be? Education policy is also affected: where do the new schools need to be and do any of them need to close?
•Certain funds are allocated to Local Authorities on the basis of how many people live in their area. The Government often goes back to the census, which is taken every ten years, to establish the figures. Populations are thought to be growing across East London, as most boroughs are building new homes and attracting new residents. If people don’t complete the census, population sizes for East London boroughs will be recorded as lower than they really are. Once residents move into new developments, the real number of people who need services but are not counted in the official record will be even even further from the census return – with Councils left to spread their income much more widely than is necessary.
The MPF is also asking the Muslim community to record their religion in answer to the question on religion – which is optional. This is so that the extent of the Muslim population in the UK is correctly reflected in the census returns.
Muslim Professionals Forum Chair, Cllr Khaled Noor, said, “All households should by now have received a letter and leaflet from Census UK explaining how they can complete the census online. We urge everyone to ensure the census is completed for their household: this is very important for the whole community.”
●Anyone who has not received a letter or who needs help with completing the census should:
go to www.census.gov.uk
or phone (free of charge) on 0800-141 2021.
●Read more stories about the Muslim Professionals Forum:
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