HC Deb 19 May 1981 vol 5 cc75-6W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to his answer of 15 April, Official Report, c. 214, by what means he discovers that census forms have not been delivered to particular addresses; up to what date those who were omitted from the initial delivery round may complete a census form; by what means he is able to check that all census forms delivered to particular addresses have been collected; and by what means persons with uncollected forms should return them.

Sir George Young

Census forms are delivered by hand specifically so that enumerators can search for and list all addresses and households in their districts; therefore, if an enumerator misses a particular address, this will not be known unless someone brings it to the census office's attention. A sample survey is, however, being carried out in order to assess the scale of any such under-enumeration.

All census forms issued by an enumerator are recorded by him and accounted for in his record, but errors of omission are occasionally made at the collection stage and a few households may have been so difficult to contact that it has proved impossible to collect their forms.

Completed census forms will be accepted at any time from households that were present on census night, but to be of use for the census they are needed by the time the other forms for the district are processed; dates vary according to county. Any household whose form is still uncollected may send it to the address printed on the form.