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Electoral Registration: Funding

Volume 623: debated on Wednesday 22 March 2017

The Cabinet Office committed to the funding of additional costs of individual electoral registration for the remainder of the Parliament. Local authorities maintain their previous statutory responsibilities to maximise the completeness of the registers and are responsible for the funding of the costs of the household canvas.

Research carried out after the EU referendum by Newcastle University’s Dr Alistair Clark on behalf of the Electoral Commission said:

“Alarmingly, concerns about levels of funding were raised with nearly half of local authorities claiming that they have insufficient funds to maintain the electoral register.”

Does the Minister not find that statement deeply worrying for our democracy, and, if so, what are the Government doing about it?

The Government have committed to fund local authorities to cover the additional costs of IER. In 2016-17, those costs came to £21 million, and a further £49.5 million is committed to the end of this Parliament. In particular, Newcastle City Council received £145,000 for 2016-17 to fund its delivery of IER and the register.