Cornwall Council – Having to waste money!

Cornwall Council is probably going to have to spend a further £140,000 that it should not really have to. Why? It’s because a large number of people have not returned their Electoral Registration forms. Out of the 253,362 home that these forms were sent, only 163,630 households (64%) have responded by the middle of September. 

The Council will now have to send reminder letters to the 89,732 householders who had not yet responded. This will cost at least £45,000 of taxpayers’ money in postage charges which could be spent on other Council services.  If that fails to work then it will have to employ canvassers to go door to door. As I said before this whole exercise could cost £140,000. The largest demographic group is those up to the age of 35 who have not returned their forms.
There is an interesting breakdown on those who have responded. Out of those who have responded, 37,068 have been made via the free phone number, 25,788 using internet registration and 7,686 using text messaging. The remainder using the pre paid envelopes.  Of these forms 64,074 had no changes and could have been returned via the automated services.
As the decision on future parliamentary boundaries will be made using the December 2010 electoral roll, the Council is keen to encourage as many people as possible to register.  The indications are that if everyone in Cornwall who is eligible to register returned their forms, the numbers on the register would help ensure that the county retains its current six MP’s within the existing Cornish boundaries.
So I urge those who have not responded to do in the next week or so. An Election might seem a long time away, but this register could have far reaching consequences way before we go to the polling stations.

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