Bolton residents are being urged to help shape the future of their neighbourhoods by providing information for the 2011 Census.
People across the borough are being reminded they will receive forms for the official once-a-decade population survey next month, and they should complete and return the forms on or around Census day on Sunday March 27.
Census organisers will then use this information to get a snapshot of the population of England and Wales as it stands on one day – to get a consistent picture across the country.
The Census also helps the government and other decision-makers to build up detailed information about the make-up of local neighbourhoods and decide how much money to allocate different areas, based on the population of that area.
So, the amount of government funding that Bolton Council and its partner agencies receive for services over the next 10 years, and their planning for those services, is based on Census figures, from making sure there are enough school places to planning hospitals and other health facilities.
Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of Bolton Council, said: "We’d like to remind residents that they will shortly receive their Census forms, and that this survey is crucial to the future of the borough, both in funding and planning terms. I’d encourage everyone to take the time to fill in their questionnaire as soon as possible."
Information provided to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the Census will be treated in strictest confidence and will only be used to produce statistics. It will not be shared with any other government department or organisation. Personal information will not be released for 100 years when it will become available for residents' descendents to research their family history.
Completing the 2011 Census is compulsory, with those who fail to do so facing fines of up to £1,000.
The Census can be completed online or by post. To find out more about the Census and what it means for you visit the websiet on the right. The ONS has a national telephone helpline on 0300 0201 101 for people who want to know more about the Census or need assistance filling it in. If you have not received the questionnaire by March 18, contact ONS to ensure you get one and can be counted.