Counting the cost of the census

Phillip dunn with his surplus Census Forms''w111005    Picture: Ceri Oakes
Phillip dunn with his surplus Census Forms''w111005 Picture: Ceri Oakes

AN academic specialising in financial management has accused the government of wasting money by sending out too many census forms.

Dr Philip E Dunn lives in one of the flats at Royal Crescent and says that in his block there are six flats but 11 forms were posted through the door this week.

Of the occupants that live there some only use their flat as a second home so will also be getting a census package delivered to their main address.

He says the errors won’t only have happened in Whitby but around the country costing the taxpayer even more money when massive cuts are being made in local government.

Dr Dunn said: “In recent times we entered a period of austerity according to Cameron. The prime minister should ask the question why is it that one of the government departments can make an error of such magnitude.

“This as far as I am concerned as a high rate tax payer is disgusting. I am going to write to both David Cameron and George Osborne, my local MP and the department for national statistics.

“It would be interesting to know how many other residents in Whitby have experienced a similar error. If Whitby is a typical town and one extrapolates this across the country what is the cost?”

A spokesperson for the Census said: “The postal address list used for census has been built from the best and most up-to-date sources in order to make sure that we deliver a form to every residential address - a total of around 26.5 million addresses.

“In order to ensure that everyone is counted we have included in the list any address included on Royal Mail’s or the local authorities’ lists of residential property. Rather than miss anyone we prefer to send a questionnaire.”