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Community and living, Finance and money

Council campaigns for missing census millions

Lambeth Council’s ability to provide crucial services could be boosted by more than £60 million over the next 10 years if an extra 10,000 people filled in their census for next March.

The Government use population data from census to decide how much money to give councils. In the last allocation of government funding, Lambeth received £214 million, which was based upon a count of 272,000 people.

However the council believes there are thousands of people who are uncounted in Lambeth, and if they were counted in future years, we could receive a fairer settlement worth millions to fund services, like schools, social care, libraries, leisure centres, waste collection, and recycling to our residents.

Council Leader Steve Reed says extra funding would help the borough provide better services for all its residents. He said: “In light of tough Government cuts following the Comprehensive Spending Review, Lambeth’s funding will be significantly reduced, so it is absolutely vital that we capitalise on all of the funding opportunities available to us. The census is one of those opportunities.

“Every resident who takes the time and trouble to fill in their form and return it means Lambeth gets a better funding deal, and a better funding deal means more money for the crucial frontline services that people rely upon, like social care and education.”

Council estimates, based upon funding received per person, and taking into account the effect of the Comprehensive Spending Review, would indicate that if an extra 10,000 people filled in their census forms, it could result in Lambeth receiving an additional £63 million over the course of the next decade. The money would then be used to support key front-line services.

The census is a count of people living in the UK. It takes place every 10 years and asks an individual to answer a number of questions based upon where they will be located on one specific day. The information is used to compile a picture of the nation’s demographic, characteristics and habits.

The next full census of England and Wales will take place on Sunday 27 March 2011. In the last census, which happened in 2001, Lambeth had the 10th lowest response rate in the country at 79 per cent. The council needs everyone resident in the borough on Sunday March 27 2011 to take part. You will be able to fill in your census form online, or fill it in and send it back by post. Your completed questionnaire will help make sure that our community has the funds to improve local services such as schools, transport, housing and health. In addition, information received from census is also used to plan services because it gives an indication of how many people that organisations like Lambeth Council and NHS Lambeth will need to provide for over the next decade.

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