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No census


What a shambles over the numbers identified in the 2001 census.This is beginning to haunt policymakers and planners, not least those responsible for the London Plan, now the subject of public inquiry. The implications are serious, since the allocation of public funds in certain fields is heavily influenced by numbers, and the number of households.

So concerned was the GLA by inconsistencies that it commissioned its own research, which shows huge discrepancies compared with the official figures produced by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Part of the problem is increased reluctance of people to give information. Parts of London show only a 60 to 70 per cent response to the census. Oh dear.

Another nugget from the London Plan inquiry: the cost of flood relief measures in the Thames flood plain is now put at £4 billion.

So exactly why do we want to develop there? Why don't we just let it flood? Perhaps we could put houses on stilts.

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