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Thousands waiting for census form.

Byline: STEVE ATKINSON

BRITAIN'S census crisis deepened last night, with thousands of homes still waiting for their forms to be delivered just hours before the big day tomorrow.

At the same time helplines, already swamped with calls, were on the verge of collapse despite the introduction of 500 extra operators.

Alison Wright, of the Office for National Statistics, said: "We had hoped that all forms would be delivered in time. It has now become apparent that there are people who have not got one."

But organisers stressed that people should not panic if they have not got their forms by tomorrow.

The Central Office of Information said the number of calls to the helplines - at least 650,000 - was "unprecedented for a Government campaign".

In 1991, helplines took only 125,000 calls before census day and another 85,000 calls after it.

Critics blame most of the chaos on the fact that this is Britain's most complicated census ever.

One big question is what the Queen will put down as her occupation.

A hundred years ago Queen Victoria filled in her occupation as "The Queen".

But she humbly declared her husband Prince Albert as "head of the household".

CAPTION(S):

MISSING: A census form
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 28, 2001
Words:204
Previous Article:LET'S ELECT REAL PEOPLE'S PEERS; And scrap Lords name too says Sir Herman.
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