Wearing a bright safety jacket with ‘Census 2021’ printed on the back, a gentleman was recently ringing the bell of a flat in Weymouth town centre.

With the official Census date of Sunday 21 March now well over a month ago, no doubt these poor foot soldiers, in pursuit of obtaining vital population figures, are still ringing bells and knocking on doors at numerous addresses throughout the UK at the moment, in an attempt to round-up the outstanding locals who still have not completed and returned their household details, in spite of being requested by law, and supported by the threat of a fine up to £1,000.

The Professor and management team from the Office for National Statistics who masterminded the census this year would appear to have made an error in assuming every person residing on our rocky island owns a computer and is computer literate.

While it is accepted that electric gadgets and smartphones increasingly control and dictate our daily lifestyle, there are still many mainly elderly people who do not fit into this so-called ‘acceptable way of doing things’ category.

They prefer to sit down and write their answers and details on a printed paper questionnaire (if you can get hold of one...), instead of going online at www.census.gov.uk

Finally, with a time-consuming and frustrating situation snow-balling by the minute, getting help and hold of a printed questionnaire proved a nightmare, with census contact centre telephone numbers permanently engaged on a daily basis.

Seventeen days after the official census date, my door bell also rang, and a gentleman wearing a bright safety jacket with ‘Census 2021’ on the back arrived full of apologies.

At long last my printed Census form had arrived.

Now where did I put my glasses?


Newstead Road, Weymouth