2021 Census

The 2021 Census

Members will be aware that there is a Census of the UK population taken every ten years. The next one will be taken on 21 March and will enable local and central government to make informed decisions (as against making assumptions which could be wildly wrong). These decisions will be about the need for housing, hospitals, schools, jobs – where, how soon, for how many people?

You must complete the Census by law. If you do not, or if you supply false information, you could be fined up to £1,000. Some questions are clearly labelled as voluntary. It is not an offence if you do not answer these.

Please beware of conspiracy myths-spreaders who will tell you that this is all a plot by the gang who rule the world and are all lizards disguised as humans and that you should decline to complete the Census.

For official information about the Census, please visit www.census.gov.uk

What follows is taken directly from that website

Keep in touch:

  • Register for email updates about Census 2021 and/or other areas of ONS
  • Access census information for community partners and local authorities
  • Follow @Census2021 on Twitter and Facebook

The importance of the census in 2021

The census gives us information about households across England and Wales.

At the Office for National Statistics (ONS), we’ve used past census information to help us understand how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected people in different ways.

Census 2021 will give us fresh information to improve our understanding of the pandemic. It will also help to make sure that the services you use meet the needs of our changing society. This could include hospitals, schools, universities and job centres.

Census Day is Sunday 21 March 2021 and will continue to happen on that date.

Keeping the public and census staff safe

At the ONS, our main concern is the safety of the public and our staff. We want everyone to be safely counted during the census. To do this, we’re making sure that our plans are always in line with the latest government safety guidelines.

Census 2021 is a digital-first census, which means that we will be encouraging people to respond online if they can. You will be able to complete the census using any device, including your mobile phone or tablet.

If you need help, we’ve got it covered. We will have an online help area on our website and offer help by phone, webchat, email, social media or text message.

We’re also encouraging people to get help from friends and family to complete their census.

If it’s safe and within government guidelines, we will also be opening Census Support Centres to help people fill in their online questionnaire.

Census 2021 will be the first digital-first census. It’s easy to do and can be done on any device. You’ll get an access code from us at the Office for National Statistics. Simply go online and enter the code into our secure website to get started. We’ll be in contact nearer the time to let you know what you need to do.

Help available

We’re aiming to make it easy for everyone to take part in Census 2021. But, if you need help, we’ve got it covered. We’ll have an online help area and offer help by phone, webchat, email, social media or text message.

If you can’t get online or need help completing the census online, there’ll be Census Support Centres across England and Wales.

We’ll also have guidance in a range of languages and accessible formats.

Latest advice re Covid-19 vaccinations

We have received the following from the South West London CCG of the NHS.

We are writing to update you on our progress in the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Croydon. 

All our Croydon GP led vaccination centres are now up and running, so that all our GP registered population is now covered. GP practices are working together at these sites in their Primary Care Networks to deliver the vaccine programme on top of their business-as-usual service caring for patients. This means the majority primary care sites are vaccinating 3 or 4 days a week.

You will have seen that this week the Government have asked us to add the over 70s to the groups of patients the NHS should prioritise.  Each GP site will add the over 70s to the list of patients they call for appointments.  The over 80s continue to be the first priority and because not all our vaccination sites went live at the same time, some over 80s have not yet been contacted. 

We expect the majority of over 80s to have been offered the vaccine by the end of January and those over 70 to have been offered the vaccine by 15 February 2021.  Those over 70 will be able to come forward and receive the vaccine throughout the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The NHS will continue to contact people directly to invite them to receive the vaccine when it is their turn.  This may be via the phone, text message or letter from a Croydon GP practice.  We thank everyone who is waiting to be contacted by the NHS, the NHS is working flat out to offer it to as quickly and safely as we can. The NHS will let people know when it is their turn.

You can also find information about the Croydon covid-19 vaccination programme on our website at https://swlondonccg.nhs.uk/your-area/croydon/croydon-covid-19-vaccination-programme-update/  Please do refer to these pages which includes a full list of the practices which are covered by each GP led vaccination site.

Croydon University Hospital is now operating 7 days a week with a focus on vaccinating front line health and care workers and those over 70s who are visiting the hospital for outpatient appointments or in hospital and well enough to receive the vaccine who don’t already have a booking at their GP or a large vaccination centre.  

You will have seen the announcement in the national media about Large Vaccination Centres which are now operational, the first large vaccination centre in Croydon due to go live will be Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace’s ground from early next month.  We are pleased that some Croydon residents who are over 80 have received letters from the National Booking Services where they can book an appointment directly into one of these vaccination centres if they are available, our closest centre at the moment is Epsom Racecourse. Large vaccination sites will operate 7 days a week. As more large vaccination centres come on line there will be more choice for local people.  

We are also working hard to vaccinate care home residents and workers, and are working to ensure we have offered all care home residents and workers the vaccination by Sunday 24 January 2021.  We are also taking the vaccine to those patients who are housebound and would require a home visit.  If those people who are housebound are offered an appointment at a centre, they should talk to their GP at the point they are contacted.

Thank you for continuing to share our key messages with local people, for this week these are included below.  We have also attached our updated Q&A document and below are three of the most commonly asked questions (and answers) from this week.

Please do let us know if you have any questions.

Thanks very much,

Matthew Kershaw

Place Based Leader for Health for Croydon and Chief Executive

Dr Agnelo Fernandes

GP Borough Lead for Croydon

NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group

Spring Park clear-ups

We have been asked to ublicise the following

Members will need to know that the January SPRA Clean Up will NOT be taking place whilst at the same time we must give a warning that the February one may also be cancelled. This will depend on the Government’s review of the situation in mid February.

Watch this space …

Council consultation on spending priorities; please respond!

Croydon Council is consulting resident about the priorities arising from the dire financial position in which it finds itself.

The consultation can be found here


and the deadline for responses is 24 January. SPRA does not have enough time to consult with its members on a “communal” response as there will be differing priorities – housing, education, adult social services, roads. waste collection, children’s services etc. – for different members.

We accordingly encourage members to read the Council’s proposals and to respond to the various questions in the consultation. Residents are always free, of course, to let their Ward Councillors know their views, especially if the questions in the consultation do not adequately allow for the comments they wish to make.

PIllar-boxes – no timetable? A “priority” label?

Members have been concerned that some pillar-boxes now have no collection timetable but bear a sticker claiming to be a “priority” box – a report has been received of some residents declining to use one such pillar-box as they were unsure whether it was still in use.

Rest assured, these are indeed still in use – they have been designated as “priority” because they will be cleared at the end of each day, the “priority” aspect being for delivery of samples etc. to the NHS and connected bodies, all arising as part of the response to Covid-19.

The change is a temporary one while the pandemic lasts.

Food Bank – help needed

At this difficult time, the Shrublands Food Bank is needed more than ever.

The Food Bank will particularly need help 14-18 December to pack and/or distribute items. If anyone can assist please ring Beverly Warner (0203 441 7887) and she will give further details.

Coronavirus – SPRA response

April SPAN will not be delivered due to the severe restrictions on us all arising from the coronavirus situation. We know that a number of our Road Stewards are deemed “at risk” through age, if nothing else – it would be irresponsible of us, in the current circumstances, to request that they deliver magazines to the homes in their “patch”.

In any event, much of the April magazine related to the SPRA AGM – which has been postponed; to church services over the Easter season – which have been cancelled; and to the “routine events, Library events and “yellow pages” events – all of which are suspended.

The short-term future for SPAN looks like a blank for several months at least; production will be resumed as soon as this is feasible. In the meantime, collection of the annual subscription is suspended for three months.

Please re-visit this site from time to time to stay up-to-date with what (if anything) is happening. 

In the meantime, SPRA will continue to watch out for issues impacting our members and will let you know what actions have been taken. 

Get your hands dirty in a good cause

Hall Grange is continuing the process of reclaiming the historically important garden in their grounds and tidying up the rest of their garden areas; this is a chance to contribute by getting dirty.

They are looking to plant bulbs in their borders, on Saturdays 19 and 26 October beween 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Donations of bulbs, and volunteers for planting always welcome – please contact Brian on 07926 151 142 if you can help.

Protect our green spaces – SPRA’s responses

The Inspector’s report on Croydon’s Borough Planning document included the comment that he had not formally recognised various green spaces as needing protection from develoment because the Council had not shown evidence of the need for such protection.

The Council accordingly sought evidence from members of the public and SPRA has responded fully in respect of the vulnerable green spaces within our Association’s area.

These can be read through the following link (thanks are due to the team who put these responses together and to those who made these links available).

https://Green Spaces Consultation

Members are reminded that it is responses such as these which are so valuable a benefit for your subsciption and that SPAN – one of the best residents’ association magazines in the country – is another part. You don’t merely pay your sub to get SPAN, you also get the volunteers’ services behind responses such as those above.

Croydon Council contact details


At the recent SPRA AGM, residents were concerned about the difficulty of reaching Croydon Council departments and some had been advised that all communication had to be sent by email or contact made though the Council website. People were worried that this would exclude those who were not online (often the elderly) from raising their concerns.  Shirley South Councillor Scott Roche investigated this on our behalf and has been assured that everyone can still contact the Council by phone.   The following numbers are direct dials for the various departments:

General: 0208 726 6000

Bins and Recycling: 0208 726 6200

Housing Repairs for Council Homes: 0208 726 6101

Planning and building control: 0208 726 6800

Parking and Streets: 0208 726 7100

Highway Maintenance: 0208 255 2816

Please note that Council departments close at 4pm each day.