Public Administration Select Committee: Press Notices

17 November 2009


The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) will take evidence this week on the proposed questions for the 2011 Census. The Committee will hear first from a panel of experts and then from the Office for National Statistics (the government body responsible for conducting the census).

The hearing will be held on Thursday 19th November, at 10.00am in the Thatcher Room, Portcullis House. The witnesses will be:

At 10.00am:

• Professor Philip Rees, University of Leeds, one of the UK’s leading authorities on demographic analysis

• Keith Dugmore, founder of the Demographics User Group

• David Darton, Director of Foresight at the Equality and Human Rights Commission

At approximately 11.00am:

• Jil Matheson, National Statistician and Chief Executive, Office for National Statistics

• Glen Watson, Census Director, Office for National Statistics

This is the second evidence session the Committee is to hold on the 2011 Census (the first, in June 2009, considered preparations for conducting the Census). The Census is carried out once every ten years and attempts to count every household in the UK. It provides unparalleled information on population numbers and household characteristics, which is used by central government, local authorities, public services, researchers and the commercial sector.

The purpose of this week’s hearing is specifically to examine those questions which the Government proposes to include-and not to include-in the 2011 Census, such as questions on religion, migration, sexual identity and income. Parliament is likely to be asked to approve the census questions before the end of the year. This session provides an opportunity to hear some of the concerns being voiced about aspects of the census before that decision is taken.

For further information about the work of the Committee, visit our website at:


Committee Membership: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Paul Rowen (Lib Dem) (Rochdale), Charles Walker (Con) (Broxbourne), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

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