Working together to deliver a successful Census 2021

3 March 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council is working with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to deliver this year's national census.

The 10-yearly survey, which launches later this month will help to shape the future of local services.

Households will begin receiving letters with online codes this week explaining how they can complete their online census.

Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said, "We urge everyone to complete their census form in writing or online because it a crucial way of ensuring that, in future, we can give the right support to the right people at the right time. 

"Understanding the needs of the nation helps everyone from central government to local organisations, such as councils and health authorities, plan and fund public services across England and Wales. Census outputs inform where public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health."

The census, taking place on 21 March 2021, will shed light on the needs of different groups and communities and the inequalities people experience.

It ensures that the big decisions facing the country following the coronavirus pandemic and EU exit are based on the best information possible.

Graham Povey has been appointed by ONS as the borough’s Census Engagement Manager. Graham said: "I feel very fortunate to help support the residents of Cheshire West and Chester. Alongside key departments within the Council, I am working with organisations, charities, faith groups and community leaders to help and encourage people to take part in the census and make a real difference in their community."

All households will start to receive letters this week explaining how they can complete their online census with an online activation code. People can also request a paper questionnaire if they would prefer.

There is plenty of help available. You can complete the census over the phone with assistance from trained staff via the ONS' freephone national contact centre on 0800 141 2021 or via the local census support centre on 0300 123 7728.

The ONS also provides in-person support to complete the census online through Census Support Centres where it is safe to do so. The main census field operation will begin only after Census Day, contacting those who have not responded. Field staff will never need to enter people's houses; they will always be socially distanced, wear PPE and work in line with all government guidance. They will be operating in the same way as a postal or food delivery visit.

Census 2021 will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. For the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity. Results will be available in 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.

For more information and advice on how to answer the questions, visit

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