Argyll and Bute prepares for census

Scotland’s biggest population count, the 2011 census, takes place on Sunday, March 27 - and everyone must be included.

The census is the only survey to ask us all the same questions at the same time. It lets people across Scotland send a message to government and businesses about the services they and their community need, now and in the future.

In preparation for the huge task of distributing and gathering the census questionnaires, a team of 107 part-time staff has now been employed in Argyll & Bute as census takers (enumerators).

The final stage of selecting census takers has taken place over the last two weeks across Argyll & Bute at a series of events which tested applicants’ knowledge of Scotland and their aptitudes in being able to support the census process.

The census paints a picture of Scotland as a nation and its communities. This reliable measure of the size of the population and the statistics about our circumstances – including age, health, accommodation – that are derived from it, are used to help target and deliver billions of pounds worth of public services.

The census informs the planning of health, education and transport services as well as business investment and retail opportunities throughout Scotland.

Personal information gathered in the census is kept confidential for one hundred years.

For the first time, householders will be able to fill in their census questionnaire online in English or Gaelic.

Help is provided by the census helpline, which will be operating from March 7, on 0300 123 1702 and online help can also be found at the census website (www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk).