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Hethersett road name leads to Census confusion

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 April 2011

The 2011 Census form

The 2011 Census form

Archant © 2011; 01603 772434

A Hethersett man was left scratching his head after two Census forms landed on his doorstep last month.

Retired Geoff Martin, 61, had to call the local Census office for advice over which of the distinctive white and purple brochures to fill in.

The mix up follows the re-naming of a road which, in the eyes of some, has left him and his neighbours with two addresses and postcodes.

He said for as long as he can remember his home sat in Beckhithe, Little Melton.

But about six years ago, this was changed to Little Melton Road, Hethersett.

The alteration was made by South Norfolk Council, which said it was purely clarifying and reinstating the road’s real name through the introduction of new street signs.

However, it added that changes in postcodes are governed by Royal Mail.

A spokesman for the organisation was unable to explain the historic amendment, although changes can arise through street re-naming or if new housing is built in the area.

Although the situation seemed plain in the eyes of the council, the Census office did not seem to be so clued in.

Mr Martin said: “I found it quite funny really. I called up the local Census office and said I had two forms, one for each address, and which one did I need to send off.

“If we didn’t send of the right one off, would we have the Census police on our backs?”

He was advised to fill in the form addressed to Little Melton Road and was told someone from the local Census office would be visiting the road to speak to other householders.

The Census office is not the only one to be confused as Mr Martin was also pursued by TV Licensing about three years ago who struggled to believe that the two addresses related to the same house.

“I just think it’s a bit of a joke really. You don’t know many people with two postcodes, do you?”, he said.

“It seemed a total waste of time and money at the time. What was wrong in the first place?

“Some people still use the old address - the post office still seems to know where we are.”

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