Sara Hawthorn 26 August 2014

Sale of voters’ details ‘demeans democracy’, warns LGA

Sale of voters’ details ‘demeans democracy’, warns LGA image

A law allowing junk mail companies to buy voters’ details should be scrapped as the practice could affect willingness to vote, councils claim.

While the open version of the electoral register - which contains the names and addresses of 28m people - can be legally purchased from councils, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned this could be creating a surge in junk mail.

Councils are legally obliged to sell details to anyone who asks for them, with information being purchased for as little as 50p per person. With hundreds of requests each year, local authorities are concerned this is causing mistrust and even preventing people from signing up to vote due to concerns over privacy.

The LGA claims recent changes to voting practices have increased public confusion and has urged Government to scrap the open register altogether to stop any further demeaning of democracy.

Cllr Peter Fleming, chair of the LGA's improvement board, said: ‘Councils resent having to pass the electoral roll onto direct marketing companies. Junk mailers and cold callers are a pet hate for many of us. It demeans our democracy for voters' details to be sold off as a tool to help direct marketing firms make money.

‘In some cases people have not signed up to vote because they are concerned about their privacy being compromised. Councils always make people aware of their right to opt-out. But the existence of this second version of the electoral roll breeds confusion and mistrust.

‘Scrapping the open register would spare millions from being bombarded with junk mail and would remove a hurdle which stands in the way of our efforts to sign people up to vote.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - SGO & Connected Person Assessment Team

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Social Worker - Special Guardianship Order (SGO) & Connected Person Assessment Team Chelmsford £30,906 - £42,254 Salary scale according to skills a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Refuse Driver (LGV Chargehand Driver)

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22995 - £24258 per annum + plus contractual overtime and allowances
It is an exciting time in Waste and Street Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. This is a opportunity to be part of a busy, successful team mak England, London, Greenwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Management Information Assistant

Brent Council
£24,462 - £26,724 p.a. inc (pro rata)
The successful candidate will have knowledge of relevant systems and software used in Finance and Human Resources. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Principal Traffic Signal and ITS Engineer

Warwickshire County Council
£40,876.00 - £42,821.00 plus annual standby allowance of £2,562.84
You will be responsible for the day-to-day operation and maintenance of our Urban Traffic Management and Control System. Warwickshire
Recuriter: Warwickshire County Council

Finance Business Partner (GR7)

Birmingham City Council
£57,698 - £74,887
A role of this scale calls for an experienced Finance Business Partner with tried and tested skills. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue