Councils express fear over census flaws
Mon, 07 Mar 2011 20:08:33 GMT
British councils are worried that inaccurate counts in this month's census will cost them hundreds of millions of pounds of central government funding amid austerity plans.
Councils said the last census failed to account for some one million people, which if repeated, will cause them major budget problems though the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has rejected their concerns.
Local governments get their share of the more than £100 billion a year for local services such as housing, education, housing, health and transport based on the population in their administration area.
They said the last census has failed to identify short-term migrants, part-time residents and people sharing a home, a shortcoming which can lead to major inaccuracies and loss of the vital state funding.
The Westminster council, for one, said the 2001 census has missed 63,000 people equal to more than one in four in the borough's population costing the local government £378 million in the past ten years.
This is while head of stakeholder management at the ONS Helen Bray said the 2011 census will be conducted with greater accuracy adding it has now 99% of households on its register and they will make sure all of them take part in the census.