Counting the cost of a census

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Counting the cost of a census

Post by GD on Thu 08 Dec 2011, 8:06 pm

Four States members in Alderney are asking for a price on a census for the island.

The four politicians have signed a Requete asking for costings.

Paul Arditti drafted the proposal for December’s Billet and Ray Berry, Paul Allen and Ian Tugby also signed it.

The bid came after Alderney followed Guernsey’s lead in deciding, in contrast with the UK and Jersey, that a 2011 Census would not be carried out.

Instead, Alderney’s Policy and Finance Committee said it would rely on population information contained in Social Security Department data.

Mr Arditti argued that Alderney could not afford to abandon the Census at such a financially precarious time.

He said he was confident that a cost effective method of carrying out a Census in 2012 could be found.

He said: "Guernsey can afford to risk abandoning the Census but the rest of the British Isles and particularly ourselves, can’t. The Guernsey alternative has not been tried or tested and it concerns me that neither Jersey nor Scotland, nor the Isle of Man nor Wales feel capable of replacing Census in the way that Guernsey thinks it can.

"I’m grateful to Peter Allen, Ray Berry and Ian Tugby for their support of this Requete and I am hopeful that this will lead to proper completion of the 2011 Census not too far into 2012."

The decision to break with the 200-year-old tradition of Census caused some controversy in Alderney.

The island’s Chamber of Commerce surveyed its members and found that 96 per cent backed an Alderney census, in the highest ever response to a survey of opinion.

States Member Ray Berry said he had backed the Requete because of the number of people who had personally approached him on the matter.

He said: "I think we need this information to plan for the future. I have been approached by so many people saying they think it should be done.

"We will have to see what happens at the People’s meeting, whether it gets many people’s support and then whatever arguments are put forward at the States meeting, and whether it is voted out."

The item will go before a People’s Meeting on December 14.

(from CTV)

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