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Registrar General John Randall
"We've had to make special arrangements for foot-and-mouth disease"
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Monday, 16 April, 2001, 07:36 GMT 08:36 UK
Census boss wants help from homeless
Census form
More than 2.5 million forms will be delivered in Scotland
The man in charge of overseeing the census in Scotland has said it is vital that everyone living in the country takes part.

John Randall, registrar general of Scotland, has been speaking about the need for a census as the delivery of 2.5m forms continues north of the border.

Mr Randall said the information provided on census forms would help in the planning process for the future provision of public services.

And he said that a concerted effort would be made this year to ensure that homeless people and rough sleepers are included.


The fact is, it is very much in everyone's interest to fill in the form - most of which just requires a tick in a box

Registrar General John Randall
"It is important we get an accurate picture of Scotland's population," said Mr Randall, "No matter individual circumstances. I want to ensure everyone is counted in.

"Only then can we produce data which will help decide future spending priorities for government, local authorities, health and welfare organisations as well as private sector organisations."

Voluntary organisations and the Rough Sleepers Initiative have been consulted and volunteers who regularly work with the homeless will help gather information.

The 7,0000 census enumerators currently delivering the forms will also be looking out for anyone who may have difficulty filling them in.

Special help is available for people whose first language is not English, and for deaf people and those with a visual impairment.

Confidential

"There are a range of initiatives in place to help people who are disabled, don't have English as a first language, have literacy or sensory problems - or who are in some way disadvantaged," said Mr Randall.

"In many cases the first point of contact will be the enumerator who delivers their form."

The registrar general conceded some people have concerns about disclosing personal information, but he moved to reassure them that their information will remain confidential for an extended period.

He said: "No one need have any fear. I can promise them the personal information will remain confidential for the next 100 years and will not be passed to any other government department or organisation.

"The fact is, it is very much in everyone's interest to fill in the form - most of which just requires a tick in a box."

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10 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Census data stranger than fiction
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