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The 2011 National Census

This article was published in March 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterWe are aware that the census may give potential distraction burglars or rogue traders an opportunity to target vulnerable people in our communities. To help prevent this, please take note of the following information and, if possible, pass it on to family, friends and neighbours:

  • If you have completed and returned your questionnaire promptly (ie before 6 April), you will not be contacted by census field staff.
  • All census staff will carry an ID card with a photo, logo and hologram, which they should automatically show to you. They may ask for name and number of residents, but they will not ask for specific details (like credit card or bank/building society details, etc – never disclose these).
  • If you forget to complete your form, a census collector will call to request that it is completed. Make sure you check their identity and photo to ensure they are valid. Always use a door chain when opening the door. Census staff are not required to enter you house.
  • Our main advice about preventing distraction burglary still applies – if you’re not sure, don’t open the door. Telephone the census helpline on 0300 0201 101 to check the identity of the census collector.
  • If you wish, you can request a pre-arranged appointment with a collector, via the census helpline number.

If you have any reason to suspect a caller is not genuine, call Bedfordshire Police on 01234 841212, giving us as much information as you can.

Thank you for your support

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire

2011 Census - What do I need to do?

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

2011 CensusThe next Census will take place on 27th March 2011. Every household in England and Wales needs to complete a questionnaire so that statistics about the population can be produced.

Government money for health, police, councils and other public service providers is allocated according to the population of an area, so it is vital that everyone is counted. Make sure your area gets its fair share of Government money.

Questionnaires will be delivered from 7th March so look out for the purple logo, and complete and return the form as soon as you can.

Who needs to be included on the form?

Everyone who lives at your address. This includes family, newborn babies, lodgers, and students who live somewhere else during term time. People who are staying in the country for 3 months or more must be included. The number of visitors staying overnight on 27th March can also be included.

Why should I take part?

All citizens have a duty to complete the census questionnaire.

Businesses and local services need to know how many people live in their area, and other important information about your gender, age, ethnicity and about your housing. This ensures that the right services are available in the right place. It is also a legal requirement, and refusal to complete the questionnaire may result in prosecution and a fine.

How do I complete my questionnaire?

You can choose whether to complete the questionnaire on-line or by hand.

Every questionnaire has a unique code to enable completion at The questionnaire pack contains a prepaid return envelope if you prefer to post it back.

The questionnaire has enough room for six people. It takes only 10 minutes for each adult, and much less for each child. If you have more than 6 people in your household, request additional individual questionnaires from the website or telephone 0300 0201 101.

I don't have a computer, but I want to complete on-line

No problem. You can use the computers at public libraries, or you can visit one of the completion events that are taking place at various locations in your area. Check with your local council where and when these are happening. Some events are shown below.

I need help or someone I know needs help to complete the questionnaire?

There is lots of help available. From 4th March you can telephone 0300 0201 101 to request guidance in over 50 languages and in accessible formats such as large print, Braille and British Sign language. You can also request a personal visit from a Census Collector who will come to your home. The number for text relay for hard of hearing is 18001 0300 0201 160. Many community groups are holding events to help local people complete their questionnaires. Check the location, dates and times with your local council. The Census website contains lots of information about the Census at

What happens if I don't return my questionnaire?

From 6th April Census Collectors will visit households that have not returned their questionnaire. They will carry identification and will offer help and assistance, or answer your questions about the census questionnaire. To avoid a Census Collector knocking on your door, just return your questionnaire promptly after 27th March.

People who refuse to complete a census questionnaire will be investigated, and this may lead to prosecution and a fine.

Useful information

Information about the census, and census events in your area can be found on the Central Bedfordshire website.

You can also contact the Census Area Manager, Jan Esson on 07801 331386 or email [email protected]

Census questionnaire completion events

If you need help, want to ask questions, or want to complete your census questionnaire on-line, please come along to one of the completion events. Check the local council website for the latest information.

These are the events arranged so far:

  • Monday 28th March at Kempston Library 11am to 4pm
  • Wednesday 30th March at Bedford Learning Centre, 88 High Street, Bedford 10am to 2pm
  • Saturday 2nd April at Bedford Learning Centre 9am to 1pm
  • Monday 4th April at Sandy Library 10am to 3pm
  • Wednesday 6th April at Bedford Learning Centre 10am to 2pm
  • Saturday 9th April at Bedford Learning Centre 9am to 1pm
  • Monday 11th April at Putnoe Library 2pm to 5pm
  • Wednesday 20th April at Putnoe Library 2pm to 5pm