A vestry was a committee for the local secular and ecclesiastical government for a parish in England and Wales, which met in the vestry or sacristy of the parish church, became known colloquially as the "vestry". For many centuries, vestries were the sole civil government of rural areas. At the high point of their powers, just prior to removal of Poor Law responsibilities in 1834, the vestries spent not far short of one-fifth of the budget of the national government itself; the secular and ecclesiastical duties of the vestries were separated under local government reforms in 1894. Their secular duties have been performed since 1894 by parish councils, leaving their ecclesiastical duties to the Church of England where they have been performed by Parochial Church Councils since 1921; the only remnant of the vestry meeting is the annual parish meeting called to appoint churchwardens. The vestry was a meeting of the parish ratepayers chaired by the incumbent of the parish held in the parish church or its vestry, from which it got its name.
The vestry committees were not established by any law, but they evolved independently in each parish according to local needs from their roots in medieval parochial governance. By the late 17th century they had become, along with the county magistrates, the rulers of rural England. In England, until the 19th century, the parish vestry committee was in effect what would today be called a parochial church council, but was responsible for secular parish business, now the responsibility of a parish council, other activities, such as administering locally the poor law; the original unit of settlement among the Anglo-Saxons in England was the town. The inhabitants met to carry out this business in the town moot or meeting, at which they appointed the various officials and the common law would be promulgated. With the rise of the shire, the township would send its reeve and four best men to represent it in the courts of the hundred and shire. However, this local independence of the Saxon system was lost to the township by the introduction of the feudal manorial Court Leet which replaced the town meeting.
The division into ancient parishes was linked to the manorial system, with parishes and manors sharing the same boundaries. The manor was the principal unit of local administration and justice in the rural economy, but over time the Church replaced the manorial court as the centre of rural administration, levied a local tax on produce known as a tithe; the decline of the feudal system and, following the Reformation in the 16th century, the power of the Church, led to a new form of township or parish meeting, which dealt with both civil and ecclesiastical affairs. This new meeting was supervised by the parish priest the best educated of the inhabitants, it evolved to become the vestry meeting; as the complexity of rural society increased, the vestry meetings pragmatically acquired greater responsibilities, were given the power to grant or deny payments from parish funds. Although the vestry committees were not established by any law, had come into being in an unregulated ad-hoc process, it was convenient to allow them to develop.
This was convenient when they were the obvious body for administering the Edwardian and Elizabethan systems for support of the poor on a parochial basis. This was their first, for many centuries their principal, statutory power. With this gradual formalisation of civil responsibilities, the ecclesiastical parishes acquired a dual nature and could be classed as both civil and ecclesiastical parishes. In England, until the 19th century, the parish vestry was in effect what would today be called a parochial church council, but was responsible for all the secular parish business now dealt with by civil bodies, such as parish councils; the vestry assumed a variety of tasks. It became responsible for appointing parish officials, such as the parish clerk, overseers of the poor and scavengers, constables and nightwatchmen. At the high point of their powers, just prior to removal of Poor Law responsibilities in 1834, the vestries spent not far short of one-fifth of the budget of the national government itself.
More than 15,600 ecclesiastical parish vestries looked after their own: churches and burial grounds, parish cottages and workhouses, endowed charities, market crosses, pounds, whipping posts, cages, watch houses and scales, clocks and fire engines. Or to put it another way: the maintenance of the church and its services, the keeping of the peace, the repression of vagrancy, the relief of destitution, the mending of roads, the suppression of nuisances, the destruction of vermin, the furnishing of soldiers and sailors to some extent the enforcement of religious and moral discipline; these were among the multitudinous duties imposed on the parish and its officers, to say the vestry and its organisation, by the law of the land, by local custom and practice as the situation demanded. This level of activity had resulted in an increasing sophistication of administration; the decisions and accounts of the vestry committee would be administered by the parish clerk, records of parish business would be stored in a "parish chest" kept in the church and provided for security with three different locks, the individual keys to which would be held by such as the parish priest and churchwardens.
Whilst the vestry was a general meeting of all inhabitant rate-paying householders in a parish, in the 17th century the huge growth of population in some parishes urban, made it difficult to convene and conduct meetings. In some of these a new body, the select vestry, was created; this was an administrative committee of se
Dissolution of the Monasteries
The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories and friaries in England and Ireland, appropriated their income, disposed of their assets, provided for their former personnel and functions. Although the policy was envisaged as increasing the regular income of the Crown, much former monastic property was sold off to fund Henry's military campaigns in the 1540s, he was given the authority to do this in England and Wales by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England, thus separating England from Papal authority, by the First Suppression Act and the Second Suppression Act. Professor George W. Bernard argues: The dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s was one of the most revolutionary events in English history. There were nearly 900 religious houses in England, around 260 for monks, 300 for regular canons, 142 nunneries and 183 friaries.
If the adult male population was 500,000, that meant that one adult man in fifty was in religious orders. At the time of their suppression, a small number of English and Welsh religious houses could trace their origins to Anglo-Saxon or Celtic foundations before the Norman Conquest, but the overwhelming majority of the 625 monastic communities dissolved by Henry VIII had developed in the wave of monastic enthusiasm that had swept western Christendom in the 11th and 12th centuries. Few English houses had been founded than the end of the 13th century. 11th- and 12th-century founders had endowed monastic houses with both'temporal' income in the form of revenues from landed estates, and'spiritual' income in the form of tithes appropriated from parish churches under the founder's patronage. In consequence of this, religious houses in the 16th century controlled appointment to about two-fifths of all parish benefices in England, disposed of about half of all ecclesiastical income, owned around a quarter of the nation's landed wealth.
An English medieval proverb said that if the Abbot of Glastonbury married the Abbess of Shaftesbury, the heir would have more land than the King of England. The 200 houses of friars in England and Wales constituted a second distinct wave of foundations all occurring in the 13th century. Friaries, for the most part, were concentrated in urban areas. Unlike monasteries, friaries had eschewed income-bearing endowments; the Dissolution of the Monasteries in England and Ireland took place in the political context of other attacks on the ecclesiastical institutions of Western Roman Catholicism, under way for some time. Many of these were related to the Protestant Reformation in Continental Europe. By the end of the 16th century, monasticism had entirely disappeared from those European states whose rulers had adopted Lutheran or Reformed confessions of faith, they continued, albeit in reduced numbers and radically changed forms, in those states that remained Catholic. But, the religious and political changes in England under Henry VIII and Edward VI were of a different nature from those taking place in Germany, France and Geneva.
Across much of continental Europe, the seizure of monastic property was associated with mass discontent among the common people and the lower level of clergy and civil society against powerful and wealthy ecclesiastical institutions. Such popular hostility against the church was rare in England before 1558; these changes were met with widespread popular suspicion. Dissatisfaction with the general state of regular religious life, with the gross extent of monastic wealth, was near to universal amongst late medieval secular and ecclesiastical rulers in the Latin West. Bernard says there was widespread concern in the 15th and early 16th centuries about the condition of the monasteries. A leading figure here is the scholar and theologian Desiderius Erasmus who satirized monasteries as lax, as comfortably worldly, as wasteful of scarce resources, as superstitious. At that time, quite a few bishops across Europe had come to believe that resources expensively deployed on an unceasing round of services by men and women in theory set apart from the world be better spent on endowing grammar schools and university colleges to train men who would serve the laity as parish priests, on reforming the antiquated structures of over-large dioceses such as that of Lincoln.
Pastoral care was seen as much more important and vital than the monastic focus on contemplation and performance of the daily office. Erasmus had made a threefold criticism of the monks and nuns of his day, saying that: in withdrawing from the world into their own communal life, they elevated man-made monastic vows of poverty and obedience above the God-given vows of sacramental
Cambridgeshire Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement within the ceremonial county of Cambridgeshire in the United Kingdom. In addition to the non-metropolitan county, the Police area includes the city of Peterborough, which became a unitary authority area in 1998; the Chief Constable is Nick Dean, who replaced Alec Wood in 2018. The Deputy Chief Constable is Alan Baldwin and the Assistant Chief Constable is Dan Vajzovic; the force is divided into two area commands, since October 2017 of North and South each being commanded by a Superintendent. North consists of Fenland and Peterborough and South based on the areas of local district councils: Cambridge, East Cambridgeshire and South Cambridgeshire. There were three divisions: Northern and Southern, however these were abolished in 2012; the force's headquarters is situated at Hinchingbrooke Park on the outskirts of Huntingdon. There is a centralised call centre for the county at Copse Court in Peterborough.
The first formal police force in the area was started in the Isle of Ely in 1841 by the magistrate of the Isle. This was followed in the city of Cambridge by the original Cambridgeshire Constabulary in 1851. Huntingdonshire and Peterborough did not start their forces until 1857, under the County and Borough Police Act 1856. In 1965, Cambridgeshire Constabulary amalgamated with Cambridge City Police, Isle of Ely Constabulary, Huntingdonshire Constabulary, Peterborough Combined Police to form Mid-Anglia Constabulary, with the same boundaries as the current force; this force had an establishment of 805 and an actual strength of 728. A separate Wisbech Borough Police had merged with the Isle of Ely Constabulary in 1889; the force was renamed Cambridgeshire Constabulary in 1974, when the new non-metropolitan county of Cambridgeshire was created by the Local Government Act 1972 with identical boundaries to the Mid-Anglia Constabulary area. In 2001 the constabulary conducted one of Peterborough's biggest police enquiries following the racist murder of teenager Ross Parker.2002 saw the Soham murders, an event that led to the biggest investigation in the history of Cambridgeshire police and one of the most expensive in the country, costing £3.5million.
Proposals made by the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, in March 2006 would have seen the force merge with neighbouring Norfolk Constabulary and Suffolk Constabulary to form a strategic police force for East Anglia. While Norfolk supported the proposal. In July 2006 however, the Home Office announced that all plans to merge police forces had been abandoned by the incoming John Reid. Since 2010, there has been reorganisation and collaboration of the force with nearby Hertfordshire Constabulary and Bedfordshire Police under the banner of "Op ReDesign", with many departments merging such as Tactical Firearms Unit, Dog Section and Uniform Stores. In 2013, Cambridgeshire officers attempted to infiltrate student political groups at Cambridge University including UK Uncut and Unite Against Fascism by attempting to persuade an activist to become an informant. In 2015 the constabulary hit controversy when it was announced that it would not review CCTV footage of bicycle thefts. Prior to 2012, Cambridgeshire Constabulary was overseen by a police authority that comprised 17 members.
This was made up of nine district councillors, of which seven were nominated by Cambridgeshire County Council and two by Peterborough City Council, three magistrates, nominated by the county's Magistrates' Courts Committee. However, In 2011 the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 was passed by Parliament which abolished Police Authorities in favour of an elected Police and Crime Commissioner. On 15 November 2012, elections took place in England and Wales to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner for each Police Area. In Cambridgeshire, the winning candidate was Conservative Sir Graham Bright, former MP for Luton; the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner is scrutinised by the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Panel, made up of elected councillors from the local authorities in the police area. Cambridgeshire Constabulary 1851–1876: Captain George Davies Mid-Anglia Constabulary 1965–1974: F Drayton PorterCambridgeshire Constabulary 1974–: F Drayton Porter 1994–2002: Dennis George "Ben" Gunn 2002–2005: Thomas Lloyd 2005–2010: Julie Spence 2010–2015: Simon Parr 2015–2018: Alec Wood 2018–Present: Nick Dean The Police Roll of Honour Trust lists and commemorates all British police officers killed in the line of duty, since its establishment in 1984 has erected over 38 memorials to some of those officers.
The following officers of Cambridgeshire Constabulary were killed while they were on duty: Police Constable Thomas Saunders Lamb, 1841 Police Constable Richard Peak 1855, Detective Sergeant Francis James Willis, 1930 Police Sergeant Raymond George Bowland, 1957 Police Constable Anthony Allder, 1966 (Died from severe head injuries following a collision with a car while on
In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government, they are a territorial designation, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; the unit rolled out across England in the 1860s. A civil parish can range in size from a large town with a population of about 75,000 to a single village with fewer than a hundred inhabitants. Eight parishes have city status. A civil parish may be known as and confirmed as a town, neighbourhood or community by resolution of its parish council, a right reserved not conferred on other units of English local government. 35% of the English population live in a civil parish. As of 31 December 2015 there were 10,449 parishes in England; the most populous is Weston super Mare and those with cathedral city status are Chichester, Hereford, Ripon, Salisbury and Wells.
On 1 April 2014, Queen's Park became the first civil parish in Greater London. Before 2008 their creation was not permitted within a London borough. Wales was divided into civil parishes until 1974, when they were replaced by communities, which are similar to English parishes in the way they operate. Civil parishes in Scotland were abolished for local government purposes by the Local Government Act 1929, the Scottish equivalent of English civil parishes are community council areas, which were established by the Local Government Act 1973; the Parish system in Europe was established between the 8th and 12th centuries and in England was old by the time of the Conquest. These areas were based on the territory of one or more manors, areas which in some cases derived their bounds from Roman or Iron Age estates. Parish boundaries were conservative, changing little, after 1180'froze' so that boundaries could no longer be changed at all, despite changes to manorial landholdings - though there were some examples of sub-division.
The consistency of these boundaries, up until the 19th century is useful to historians, is of cultural significance in terms of shaping local identities, a factor reinforced by the adoption of parish boundaries unchanged, by successor local government units. There was huge variation in size between parishes, for instance Writtle in Essex was 13,568 acres while neighbouring Shellow Bowells was just 469 acres, Chignall Smealy 476 acres; until the break with Rome, parishes managed ecclesiastical matters, while the manor was the principal unit of local administration and justice. The church replaced the manor court as the rural administrative centre, levied a local tax on produce known as a tithe. In the medieval period, responsibilities such as relief of the poor passed from the Lord of the Manor to the parish's rector, who in practice would delegate tasks among his vestry or the monasteries. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the power to levy a rate to fund relief of the poor was conferred on the parish authorities by the Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601.
Both before and after this optional social change, local charities are well-documented. The parish authorities were consisted of all the ratepayers of the parish; as the number of ratepayers of some parishes grew, it became difficult to convene meetings as an open vestry. In some built up, areas the select vestry took over responsibility from the entire body of ratepayers; this innovation allowed governance by a self-perpetuating elite. The administration of the parish system relied on the monopoly of the established English Church, which for a few years after Henry VIII alternated between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, before settling on the latter on the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558. By the 18th century, religious membership was becoming more fractured in some places, due for instance to the progress of Methodism; the legitimacy of the parish vestry came into question and the perceived inefficiency and corruption inherent in the system became a source for concern in some places.
For this reason, during the early 19th century the parish progressively lost its powers to ad hoc boards and other organisations, for example the loss of responsibility for poor relief through the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. Sanitary districts covered England in Ireland three years later; the replacement boards were each entitled to levy their own rate in the parish. The church rate ceased to be levied in many parishes and became voluntary from 1868; the ancient parishes diverged into two distinct, nearly overlapping, systems of parishes during the 19th century. The Poor Law Amendment Act 1866 declared all areas that levied a separate rate: C of E ecclesiastical parishes, extra-parochial areas and their analogue, chapelries, to be "civil parishes". To have collected rates this means these beforehand had their own vestries, boards or equivalent bodies; the Church of England parishes, which cover more than 99% of England, became termed "ecclesiastical parishes" and the boundaries of these soon diverged from those of the Ancient Parishes in order to reflect modern circumstances.
After 1921 each ecclesiastical parish has been the responsibility of the parochial church councils. In the late 19th century, most of the ancient irregularities inheri
A11 road (England)
The A11 is a major trunk road in England. It runs north east from London to Norwich, although after the M11 opened in the 1970s and the A12 extension in 1999, a lengthy section has been downgraded between the suburbs of east London and the north-west corner of the county of Essex, it multiplexes/overlaps with the A14 on the Newmarket bypass. All this part is now a minor road, thus the A11 now starts at Aldgate, just inside the eastern boundary of the City of London. The first stretch is Whitechapel High Street, east of the junction with Mansell Street. In a complex reworking of the roads since the days of the Aldgate gyratory system, it is two-way, but the east-bound section is part of the ring-road that retained a one-way system south of this junction, but the west-bound section is for local access and you have to U-turn to avoid entering the congestion charging zone. East of Aldgate station, the A11 enters the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the East End of London, it becomes Whitechapel High Street, again part of the Aldgate one-way system.
The A11 passes through past Whitechapel station and the Royal London Hospital. It becomes Mile End Road at the eastern end of Whitechapel Road, at Mile End Gate, the former toll gate for the turnpike, passing Stepney Green Underground station, with Stepney to the south, Mile End Underground station. Next, it becomes Bow Road. There is a dual carriageway flyover over the Bow Interchange roundabout, a junction with the A12. However, at the end of the flyover, the A11 crosses into the London Borough of Newham and becomes a western extension to the A118. Following the opening of the A12 extension in 1999, the A11 was re-numbered to make it seem a less important road and encourage traffic to use the new dual carriageway between there and Leytonstone; this is the western limit of the downgraded section. The A11 number won't reappear until Stump Cross in deepest Essex; the road enters Cambridgeshire, with the road number A11 re-appearing at M11 Junction 9A, the A11 is now a trunk road. It follows the route of a Roman road for the remainder of its length.
The A11 went through Newmarket. The Newmarket bypass, opened to traffic in July 1975, is a dual carriageway; the western end is the A11, but most of its length is a multiplex/overlap with the A14. The A11 re-appears north-east of Newmarket, remained a dual carriageway until Barton Mills, Suffolk; the road bypasses Barton Mills before entering Norfolk in the Thetford Forest, passing the 113-foot-tall Elveden War Memorial. This section of the road opened as a dual carriageway on 12 December 2014; this completes the dualling of the trunk road between London. The upgrading of the final section of single carriageway between Barton Mills and Thetford means the road is dual carriageway all the way to Norwich; the road continues northeast bypassing Thetford and Wymondham. The A11 ran through the centre of all three towns giving rise to congestion which became the focus of delays on the route, it passes the Snetterton Circuit motor racing venue. On entering Norwich, it is called Newmarket Road, it terminates at the St Stephens Street roundabout near the city centre.
Various sections of the A11 between the junction the M11 in Cambridgeshire and Norwich have been upgraded to dual carriageway. The Roudham Heath to Attleborough section was dualled in 2003 and the Attleborough bypass was dualed in 2007; the single carriageway road between Thetford and the Fiveways roundabout is now dual carriageway and opened in December 2014. Proposals to dual 14.8 km of the road between the Fiveways Roundabout at Barton Mills, bypassing Elveden to the North and joining the western end of the Thetford Bypass had been discussed for many years without any developments being made. Draft Orders together with an Environmental Statement were published in Autumn 2008; the Labour government's Secretary of State for Transport announced the scheme would be brought forward by 18 months to 2010 with an open date of 2013 in November 2008 in response to the Financial crisis of 2007-2008. Supporters expressed concern in September 2010 that the scheme would be cancelled as part of the coalition government's comprehensive spending review noting that the report from the public inquiry had not yet been signed off by the Department for Transport.
The Highways Agency has published an official map of the proposed scheme and a Google overlay map is available. The original cost estimate was £30 million rising to £60 million in March 2007 and to £113-£157 million by August 2008; the project received strong support from local business groups and local government and was expected to reduce journey times by 3 minutes off-peak and up to 25 minutes at peak times. Environmental campaign groups believed that in a time of economic downturn it would be better to invest in local public transport rather than on costly road schemes. On 20 October 2010, the government approved the scheme; the Elveden Bypass opened during Easter 2014 with one lane in use each way. The full dual carriageway between Barton Mills and Thetford was opened on 12 December 2014 by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin; the A11 started at the Bank of England in the City of London, next to Bank Underground station, went eastwards along Cornhill and Leadenhall Street, past Aldgate Pump and along Aldgate.
Hence leading to the current A11 starting point at Aldgate. From Bow Interchange, A118 becomes a dual carr
2015 United Kingdom general election
The 2015 United Kingdom general election was held on 7 May 2015 to elect 650 members to the House of Commons. It was the first general election at the end of a fixed-term Parliament. Local elections took place in most areas on the same day. Polls and commentators had predicted the outcome would be too close to call and would result in a second hung parliament similar to the 2010 election. Opinion polls were proven to have underestimated the Conservative vote as the party unexpectedly won an outright majority, which bore resemblance to its victory at the 1992 general election. Having governed in coalition with the Liberal Democrats since 2010, the Conservatives won 330 seats and 36.9% of the vote, this time winning a working majority of twelve seats. The British Polling Council began an inquiry into the substantial variance between opinion polls and the actual result. Forming the first Conservative majority government since 1992, David Cameron became the first Prime Minister to continue in office after a term of at least four years with a larger popular vote share since 1900, the only Prime Minister other than Margaret Thatcher to continue in office after a term of at least four years with a greater number of seats.
The Labour Party, led by Ed Miliband, saw a small increase in its share of the vote to 30.4%, but incurred a net loss of seats to return 232 MPs. This was its lowest seat tally since the 1987 general election. Senior Labour Shadow Cabinet members, notably Ed Balls, Douglas Alexander, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, were defeated; the Scottish National Party, enjoying a surge in support since the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, recorded a number of huge swings of over 30% from Labour, as it won 56 of the 59 Scottish seats to become the third-largest party in the Commons. The Liberal Democrats, led by outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, had their worst result since their formation in 1988, holding just eight out of their previous 57 seats with Cabinet ministers Vince Cable, Ed Davey and Danny Alexander losing their seats. UKIP came third in terms of votes with 12.6%, but only won one seat, with party leader Nigel Farage failing to win the seat of South Thanet. The Green Party won its highest-ever share of the vote with 3.8%, retained the Brighton Pavilion seat with an increased majority, though did not win any additional seats.
Labour's Miliband and Murphy both resigned. Farage said that his resignation was rejected by his party, he remained in post. In Northern Ireland, the Ulster Unionist Party returned to the Commons with two MPs after a five-year absence, while the Alliance Party lost its only seat despite an increase in total vote share; the Conservative majority meant that Cameron was able to fulfil a manifesto commitment to renegotiate British membership of the European Union. That renegotiation was followed by a referendum in June 2016, which resulted in a majority of 51.9% voting to withdraw from the European Union, led to the resignation of Cameron as Prime Minister. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 led to the dissolution of the 55th Parliament on 30 March 2015 and the scheduling of the election on 7 May, the House of Commons not having voted for an earlier date. There were local elections on the same day in most of England, with the exception of Greater London. No other elections were scheduled to take place in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, apart from any local by-elections.
All British and Commonwealth citizens over the age of 18 on the date of the election were permitted to vote. In general elections, voting takes place in all parliamentary constituencies of the United Kingdom to elect members of parliament to seats in the House of Commons, the dominant house of Parliament; each parliamentary constituency of the United Kingdom elects one MP to the House of Commons using the "first-past-the-post" system. If one party obtains a majority of seats that party is entitled to form the Government. If the election results in no single party having a majority there is a hung parliament. In this case, the options for forming the Government are either a minority government or a coalition government. Although the Conservative Party planned the number of parliamentary seats to be reduced from 650 to 600, through the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies under the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011, the review of constituencies and reduction in seats was delayed by the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 amending the 2011 Act.
The next boundary review is now set to take place in 2018. Of the 650 constituencies, 533 were in England, 59 in Scotland, 40 in Wales and 18 in Northern Ireland. In addition, the 2011 Act mandated a referendum in 2011 on changing from the current "first-past-the-post" system to an alternative vote system for elections to the Commons; the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition agreement committed the coalition government to such a referendum. The referendum was resulted in the retention of the existing voting system. Before the previous general election the Liberal Democrats had pledged to change the voting system, the Labour Party pledged to have a referendum about any such change; the Conservatives, promised to keep the first-past-the-post system, but to reduce the number of constituencies by 10%. Liberal Democrat plans were to reduce the number of MPs to 500, for them to be elected using a proportional system. Ministe
United Kingdom census, 2011
A census of the population of the United Kingdom is taken every ten years. The 2011 census was held in all countries of the UK on 27 March 2011, it was the first UK census. The Office for National Statistics is responsible for the census in England and Wales, the General Register Office for Scotland is responsible for the census in Scotland, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency is responsible for the census in Northern Ireland; the Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department formed in 2008 and which reports directly to Parliament. ONS is the UK Government's single largest statistical producer of independent statistics on the UK's economy and society, used to assist the planning and allocation of resources, policy-making and decision-making. ONS designs and runs the census in England and Wales. In its capacity as the national statistics office for the United Kingdom, ONS compiles and releases census tables for the United Kingdom when the data from England and Wales and Northern Ireland are complete.
In the run-up to the census both the main UK political parties expressed concerns about the increasing cost and the value for money of the census, it was suggested that the 2011 census might be the last decennial census to be taken. The first results from the 2011 census and sex, occupied households estimates for England and Wales and Northern Ireland, were released on 16 July 2012; the first results for Scotland, the first UK-wide results, were published on 17 December 2012. More detailed and specialised data were published from 2013; the Registrar General John Rickman conducted the first census of Great Britain's population, was responsible for the ten-yearly reports published between 1801 and 1831. During the first 100 years of census-taking the population of England and Wales grew more than threefold, to around 32 million, that of Scotland, where a separate census has been carried out since 1861, to about 4.5 million. From 1911 onwards rapid social change, scientific breakthroughs, major world events affected the structure of the population.
A fire that destroyed census records in 1931, the declaration of war in 1939, made the 1951 census hugely significant in recording 30 years of change over one of the most turbulent periods in British history. The 1971 census was run by the newly created Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, a body formed by the merger of the General Register Office and Government Social Survey. In 1996 the Office for National Statistics was formed by merging the Central Statistical Office, OPCS and the statistics division of the Department of Employment. In 2008 the UK Statistics Authority was established as an independent body. A population census is a key instrument for assessing the needs of local communities; when related to other data sources such as housing or agricultural censuses, or sample surveys, the data becomes more useful. Most countries of the world take censuses: the United Nations recommends that countries take a census at least once every ten years; the design for the 2011 census reflects changes in society since 2001 and asks questions to help paint a detailed demographic picture of England and Wales, as it stands on census day, 27 March.
Data collected by the census is used to provide statistical outputs which central government uses to plan and allocate local authority services funding, which local authorities themselves use to identify and meet the needs of their local communities. Other organisations that use census data include healthcare organisations, community groups and businesses; the questionnaires, including people's personal information, are kept confidential for 100 years before being released to the public, providing an important source of information for historical and genealogy research. The 2011 census for England and Wales included around 25 million households. Questionnaires were posted out to all households, using a national address register compiled by the Office for National Statistics with the help of local authorities through comparisons of the National Land and Property Gazetteer and the Royal Mail and Ordnance Survey national address products. People could complete and submit their questionnaire online, or fill it in on paper and post it back in a pre-addressed envelope.
Guidance was provided online and through the census helpline. Completed questionnaires were electronically tracked and field staff followed up with households that did not return a questionnaire. Special arrangements were made to count people living in communal establishments such as. In these cases field staff delivered and collected questionnaires and, where needed, provided advice or assistance in completing the questionnaire. There was a legal requirement to complete the 2011 census questionnaire, under the terms of the Census Act 1920; as at 27 March 2011 everyone who had lived or intended to live in the country for three months or more was required to complete a questionnaire. Failure to return a completed questionnaire could lead to a criminal record. Lockheed Martin UK, the UK arm of US-based aerospace, technology company Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to provide services for the census comprising questionnaire printing, a customer contact centre and data capture and processing.
The contract is valued at £150 million one third of the total £1 million census budget