Have you got your census letter?

Data will help provide future services for your area

Households across Oxfordshire are being asked to take part in Census 2021, a national survey that takes place once every ten years.

Census day is on March 21, but households will now be receiving letters with online codes explaining how they can complete their forms. If you don’t get one in the next week, or need some more help or information, please visit census.gov.uk or call the census contact centre on 0800 141 2021.

Residents can also request a paper questionnaire if they would prefer to complete their census that way.

The census provides the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, apart from 1941.

One of the many things census data is used for is to help local councils underpin funding bids for community programmes such as the Families Active, Sporting Together (FAST) programme in Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington.

The FAST programme is aimed at making it easier and accessible for families to enjoy physical activity and sport together. This four-year programme is funded from a Sport England grant together with a range of partnership funding.

Meanwhile, information from the last census in 2011 helped the county council to better understand local communities in Banbury and develop the Brighter Futures programme, which improves access to education, financial inclusion and health services and increases employment opportunities.

Local census support centres will be open while the census is happening. Staff will offer help for people not confident online, who don’t have a computer or need help completing on paper.

It is an offence to supply false information or to not complete the census, and residents could be fined up to £1,000. Some questions are clearly labelled as voluntary. It is not an offence if people do not answer these.

Guidance from Oxfordshire County Council’s trading standards:

Scam awareness – completing the census

At no point will you be asked for your national insurance number, passwords, bank details or any payment.

Help to fill out the census form is free.

You will not receive any payment for completing the census, so any offers of money in exchange for your account details will be fraudulent.

No-one will enter your home in relation to the census.

You can report a fraud direct to Action Fraud online or on 0300 123 2040.