Students who are at holiday addresses rather than term term addresses due to the Covid lockdown will skew census data, warned Metro Mayor candidate Dan Norris today.
This could lead to Bath and Bristol missing out on vital funding.
The Census is due to take place on Sunday 21 March but many of the 60,000 University of Bath, Bristol, UWE and Bath Spa undergraduates will not be in the two cities to be counted.
The census provides information that government uses to develop policies, plan and run public services. Crucially the count of the population on 21 March helps the Government to calculate the size of grants it allocates local authorities and health authorities.
Mr Norris said: “The aim of the census is to give us a complete picture of the nation every ten years but 2021 is an extraordinary year. Missing students will see our local population undercounted and that could have knock on effects for years to come.”
Mr Norris has written to the Secretary of State for local government urging him to carry out a full assessment of the impact of the pandemic in changing where people are temporarily resident and calling for a guarantee that Bristol and Bath will not lose out on future funding due to a census undercount.