HC Deb 04 March 1999 vol 326 cc862-3W
Ms Lawrence

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Government's proposals for the 2001 Census of Population will be published; and if he will make a statement. [75406]

Ms Hewitt

The Government have decided that, subject to appropriate legislative approval, a Census of Population should be taken throughout the United Kingdom in 2001; the proposed date is Sunday 29 April. Further details are published today in "The 2001 Census of Population" (Cm 4253), which I have presented to Parliament jointly with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Northern Ireland.

In April this year the Census Offices will conduct a Census Rehearsal with the aim of making sure that the procedures for delivery and collection of the census forms, and the systems for processing the data and producing outputs, will be effective. The Census Rehearsal will also be used as the final opportunity to assess public reaction to the proposed census questions.

After evaluation of the 1999 Census Rehearsal results, the Government in Westminster will prepare a draft Order in Council with respect to the Census in England and Wales and will lay it before Parliament for approval in accordance with the Census Act 1920. As a result of devolution, it will be for the Scottish Parliament to make the necessary specific arrangements for the conduct of the Census in Scotland. In Northern Ireland, the arrangements for the Census there will be made by the local administration.

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