Test Valley Borough Council have issued a statement with regards to electoral roll information being sold as we highlighted here on 2nd September.
The Edited Elector Register was introduced by the then Labour government in 2002 and whilst 2/3rds of TVBC voters have opted out, they have no control as to whether the remaining information is sold or who to.
Not only are they legally required to sell the information but the charge is also set by central government which TVBC state does not cover their costs in providing it.
The statement from TVBC is as follows:
Statement – Big Brother Watch report “Democratic value: Exposing the scale of the commercial sale of the edited electoral roll”
Test Valley Borough Council does not market the edited electoral roll (also known as the edited electoral register). The edited roll contains the names and addresses of those residents who did not take the decision to opt out when completing the annual electoral registration form or when applying subsequently . In Test Valley some 66 per cent of electors opted out. If asked for the edited electoral roll the council is legally obliged to provide a copy, which can be used by anyone for any purpose. The charges for doing so are set by central government and do not cover the council’s cost in providing the information.
The full list of registered electors is used for elections. It also has to be provided on demand to political parties and to the police to help prevent and detect crime. Credit reference agencies have the right to purchase the full list to check applications for loans and credit. These agencies are then within their rights to sell the list onto third parties but include only those names from the edited element of the register. The Council has no control over this practice.