‘Missing’ council residents turn up

Local authorities have welcomed last week’s revision of population
figures by the Office for National Statistics, which will add more
than 100,000 people – and attract significant extra resources – to
15 councils.

The revision of the 2001 census figures, which had been challenged
by the councils, has added 26,200 people to Manchester Council and
17,500 to Westminster Council. The undercounting had left the
councils risking a serious financial shortfall.

Westminster Council’s director of social and community services
Julie Jones said the council had been working on the assumption
that the figures were wrong, adding that the incorrect data had
affected some of the council’s performance indicators.

However, she said it was too early to know the exact impact the
change would have on the council’s grant settlement.

She added that, although she was perhaps now facing “less difficult
decisions” going into the next three years, the new count for
Westminster was still below the council’s own estimates of a
shortfall of up to 25,000 people.

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