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CENSUS WATCHDOG SUPPORTS WESTMINSTER OVER 'FAILED' POPULATION COUNT

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A new report* into the Office of National Statistics has once again ...
A new report* into the Office of National Statistics has once again

called into question the accuracy of the 2001 Census.

The Statistics Commission, the government-appointed watchdog of the ONS, has

strengthened Westminster City Council's position in its dispute over the 2001

count in the city.

The commission recommended a 2006 recount for all areas that were difficult

to count in 2001 and called for the ONS to revisit Westminster's population

estimates as soon as possible and offer clearer explanations of its methods.

Kit Malthouse, deputy leader of Westminster City Council, said:

'The government's own statistics watchdog has agreed with us that the Census

failed in Westminster.

'All our evidence suggests that the Census failed to count thousands of

residents. An independent MORI survey estimated 215,000 residents, council

tax and electoral registers suggest 236,000, school rolls and GP patient

registers have grown since 1991 by 28% and 19% respectively and initial

results from a household matching exercise with the ONS suggest they may

have missed up to 25,000 homes.

'Now, with the publication of this damning report, it is time for the ONS to

stop defending their mistakes and start correcting them. The undercount has

already had a massive impact on funding for key services to the vulnerable

and the education of our children.

'In our opinion, this saga again calls into question the ONS's position as

official statisticians to the Government, especially when the funding of

vital services to millions of people depend on them getting their sums

right.'

* Details of the Statistics Commission report here.

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