I have signed quite a few petitions and have decided not to do any more
because I do not believe these are going to get any where and that it is
just a political gimmick.
From what I understand there is a need for at least 750,000 signatures
for the government to do something but not many people kn ow about all
the petitions on line (I have checked the list). So if they are not
aware the 750,000 target will not be reached
The response is not surprising. If you did sign the petition I would urge
you to respond to this reply because the reason given that in future census
returns people may feel "reluctant to give sensitive information" does not
really hold water. It is the Governments intention to introduce identity
cards that will hold personal information about individuals that can be
updated regularly, failure to keep your personal details up to date "when
instructed to do so" on this database could result in a fine of up to £1000.
The Government have already said that if this scheme is introduced then the
need for a census every ten years will no longer be required and such a
censuses will not in future be taken. Therefore the chance of a 2011 and
future censuses hangs in the balance.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<For those of you that
didn't participate in the E-Petition
to the UK Government regarding the reducing the classified period for census
data, you may be interested in the outcome:-
E-petition: Response from HM Government
The e-petition asking the Prime Minister to "reduce the classified period
for census data from 100 years to 70 years" has now closed. This is an email
response from HM Government.
Thank you for signing the e-petition calling for the closure period on
census data to be reduced from its present 100 years to 70 years for the
1911, 1921 and 1931 censuses.
The Government understands the frustrations this delay can cause,
particularly to people who are researching their family history. But these
frustrations have to be balanced against the assurances given to people at
the time about confidentiality. This also has implications today, for public
confidence in the privacy of information which people provide in future
Clearly, the importance of the personal information provided in the census
is that it enables a detailed and accurate picture to be built up of our
society. This is of great assistance to Government and to the community as a
whole in helping shape policies and set priorities for the future. But
unless people believe that the personal data they provide - which includes
details of their occupation and who is living with them - will remain
confidential and secure as they have been promised, the danger is that they
might feel reluctant to give sensitive information.
It is for this reason that there is a policy of a 100-year delay before
releasing the personal data in the census. The purpose is to minimise the
risk of embarrassment both to those living and to their immediate
descendants. The Government does not believe this policy should be altered
or the explicit assurances given to people at the time broken.
You might like to know, however, that the 1911 census was not taken under
this Act. The census returns are held by the National Archives, not the
Office for National Statistics. Plans are underway to set up an on-line
search service of the 1911 census by 2009, although again personally
sensitive material will not be released until 2011. The National Archives
will also respond to certain requests for information on the 1911 census
under the Freedom of Information Act.
On a sadder note, the 1931 census records were destroyed by fire during the
Second World War.
We know this reply will disappoint many people, but hope you will understand
that in the long-term, the reasons given are in the best interests of
preserving the census for future
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