Issue - items at meetings - Individual Voter Registration

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Issue - meetings

Individual Voter Registration

Meeting: 01/02/2011 - Governance Committee (Item 60)

60 Individual Electoral Registration pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Resources (copy attached).


RESOLVED - That the Committee notes the government’s intentions and the implications of the introduction of IER.


60.1         The Committee considered a report of the Strategic Director, Resources concerning Government proposals for the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration (IER).


60.2         The Head of City Services explained that IER was part of a wider package of electoral reform proposed by the Government and further reports would be brought to the Committee when more information was made available.


60.3         The Electoral Services Manager confirmed that secondary legislation was not expected before mid-2011.


60.4         Councillor Mitchell stated that, while she recognised the need for a secure process, she was concerned at the speed at which the proposals were being progressed and that consideration needed to be given to the impact on certain groups who may not find out about the changes or want to provide the required information.


60.5         In response to a question from Councillor Mitchell, the Electoral Services Manager explained that those already on the electoral register would be invited to supply the required personal identifiers and would be given one year’s grace if their identity could not be verified following the 2015 elections.


60.6         Councillor Mitchell added that her main concern was for new electors for whom no details were held.


60.7         In response to questions from Councillor Kitcat, the Electoral Services Manager reported that 10 local authorities had been chosen by the Cabinet Office to pilot IER and that the pilots would provide more information on the potential effect of data sharing on the level of registration.


60.8         The Head of City Services advised that the £104 million identified by the Government to implement IER nationwide was likely to be allocated by formula. She acknowledged that it would become more difficult to get and keep people on the electoral register and that expertise would be shared across the City Services delivery unit in order to proactively consider new ways of working.


60.9         Councillor Mears welcomed the report and the need for a more secure system of electoral registration.


60.10    In response to a comment from the Chairman about raising awareness of IER amongst communities, Councillor Simson existing links would be built upon to ensure that the message was communicated clearly.


60.11    Councillor Morgan stated that he was disappointed that the proposals did not include a requirement to vote. He raised concerns about the effect of proposed changes to Parliamentary Boundaries, which would depend on levels of registration; he hoped that any changes to the city’s three constituencies would be would not result in areas being from the city as a whole. He added that if the city was required to take in areas currently outside its boundaries, the council would have little time to verify the new electors during a very busy period.


60.12    RESOLVED - That the Committee notes the government’s intentions and the implications of the introduction of IER.


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