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Enfield breaks 300,000 population mark

Published Thursday, 19 July 2012

2011 Census suggest Enfield's population is higher than estimated.

A senior politician has called for sufficient funding to be allocated to outer London boroughs after initial results from the 2011 Census suggest Enfield's population has broken through the 300,000 barrier.

Estimates by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) estimate 312,500 people now live in the borough, a figure six per cent higher than the 2010 estimates (294,900) by the same organisation.

The rate of population growth in Enfield is outstripping both the rate of population growth for London (4.5%) and  the UK (1.5%).

The data is vital because it is used for a number of purposes including shaping services, and identifying the needs of and understanding communities. It is also partially responsible for identifying the level of funding the Council receives to provide services from central government.

Enfield Council's Leader Cllr Doug Taylor, said: "Enfield is fantastic place to live, work in and visit and more  people than ever before are happy to call it home. This is due in no small part to the hard work the Council and its partners do to make the borough a clean, safe and vibrant place for people of all ages and cultures.

"Although the increase in population brings opportunities for the borough, there are also consequences for us.  We now have the fourth highest population of any London borough, and we will face increasing pressure to provide good quality social care, jobs, education and leisure facilities for such a rapidly growing community.

"We are already facing the prospect of unprecedented government spending cuts affecting the way we deliver services. The more residents we have to provide services, the more stretched our already limited resources will become.

"It is important that the mayor of London and central government seriously consider the latest population figures and ensure that when they next allocate funding, there is enough money to provide the services our residents rely on.

"This significant miscalculation of our population levels emphasizes the importance of scrapping the system of government funding called damping, which means Enfield loses funding despite the Government view that we need that funding."

The census also shows that the number of children aged between 5-9, 10-14 and 15-19 are significantly higher than estimated last year with differences of 6%, 15% and 16% respectively. The number of 20-24 year olds (20%), 25-29 year olds (14%) and 30-34 year olds (12%) are also significantly greater than expected.

Cllr Taylor said: "The figures very clearly show the challenges ahead in providing enough suitable school places for our burgeoning population and the help our businesses will need to generate thousands of new jobs now and in the future so we can continue to get people into work and drive this borough's economy forward.

"It's a challenge we are ready, willing and able to embrace for the benefit of all of our residents and Enfield as a whole."

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