Census team hit streets to mop up stragglers

CENSUS co-ordinator John Pretty pictured with the Hucknall census collectors
CENSUS co-ordinator John Pretty pictured with the Hucknall census collectors
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HUCKNALL residents who forgot to fill in their census forms could be getting a knock on the door — and a warning about a possible £1,000 fine.

The town’s census co-ordinator, John Pretty, and his 11-strong team of census collectors, started work on Wednesday and are taking to the streets of the town in the coming weeks.

Their job is to encourage and assist folk in filling out their forms if they haven’t already done so.

Mr Pretty said it was essential every household made the effort to complete their census form.

“We need to get as many completed forms as possible,” he said. “If we don’t, there is a chance the Ashfield district could miss out on future central and local-government funding.”

But Mr Pretty said his team’s job had been made easier by the many residents who had already returned their forms, either through the post or online. Return rates in Ashfield were higher than the current national average of 75 per cent and in some areas, everyone had returned their forms.

But there is bad news for those who fail to heed the warning that not filling in your census is illegal.

Said John: “The fine is £1,000, which is a bit of an incentive and not something you can just ignore.”

This year marks the first time census forms have not been delivered and collected by hand.

The team of friendly Hucknall census collectors will be in and around the town until Thursday May 5.

They have already staged a series of drop-in sessions at Hucknall Library and Watnall Road Baptist Church in the town to help residents complete their census forms.