Electoral registration

Barbara Whittle made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to South Norfolk District Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Gwrthodwyd y cais gan South Norfolk District Council.

Dear South Norfolk District Council,

Has South Norfolk ever functioned without either an Electoral
Registration Officer ['ERO'] or Returning Officer ['RO']. The SNDC
identified in 2002 that this was the case. It was subsequently
identified that this was on the advice of the Solicitor to the
SNDC.

How many years, months and days did the Council function without
either an ERO or an RO approved by the Council elected
representatives.

Which people were elected as a result invalidly to positions of
public authority, to which positions were they elected, what
allowances did they receive as a result.

What date did the Council first become aware that it had failed to
appoint either a returning officer or Electoral Registration
Officer (taking into account that this is and was determined
annually by the Audit Commission who inform those responsible for
the corporate governance).. and who was made aware of the Council's
failure. It is anticipated that this shall have included the
Council's Head of Paid Service.

Specifically, how many years, months and days was the Head of Paid
Service aware that the Council had failed to appoint either an
Electoral Registration Officer or a Returning Officer - and how
many Councils are the SNDC aware of that have functioned for a
large number of years without appointing either an Electoral
Registration Officer or Returning Officer.

Yours faithfully,

Barbara Whittle

Right2Know, South Norfolk District Council

Dear Ms Whittle

Thank you for your request of information that is being considered. You
may be aware that we have 20 working days in which to respond to Freedom
Of Information (FOI) requests and you will therefore hear from me again
by 28 October 2011 or earlier if possible.

For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions, which may
prevent release of the information you have requested. There will be an
assessment and if any of the exemption categories apply then some or all
of the information may not be released. You will be informed if this is
the case, including your rights of appeal.

If any of the information you have requested is not contained in a
recorded format, South Norfolk Council is not obliged to create
information for the purpose of responding to your request

There may be a fee payable for 'reasonable disbursement' costs such as
postage and photocopying. This will be considered and you will be
informed if a fee is payable. In this event the fee must be paid before
the information is processed and released. The 20 working day time limit
for responses is suspended until receipt of the payment.

If you have any queries or concerns then please let me know. If you do
contact us again concerning this request, please quote FOI 11-271.

Regards

Emma Nangle
Information Rights Officer
South Norfolk Council
Long Stratton Norwich
NR15 2XE
tel: 01508 533747
email: [South Norfolk District Council request email]
website: www.south-norfolk.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Right2Know, South Norfolk District Council

Dear Ms Whittle

It has come to my attention that the request submitted by yourself on 30
September 2011 is identical to a request made by Mr Carruthers on 4
September 2008 via the "what do they know" website. This request may be
accessed via the following link:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/el...
5471

Mr Carruthers' request was deemed vexatious and accordingly the Council
did not respond.

In order to ascertain how to proceed with this latest request, please
could I ask that you confirm your name.

Many Thanks

Emma Nangle
Information Rights Officer
South Norfolk Council
Long Stratton Norwich
NR15 2XE
tel: 01508 533747
email: [South Norfolk District Council request email]
website: www.south-norfolk.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Right2Know, South Norfolk District Council

Dear Ms Whittle

I note that you have still not replied to my email of Monday 17 October
2011, asking you to confirm your identity.

I should advise you that in order to validate a Freedom of Information
(FOI) request, Section 8(1) of the FOIA sets out the requirements that a
request must, amongst other things, "state the name of the applicant and
an address for correspondence". Guidance from the Information
Commissioner's Officer states that "The use of the phrase "the name of
the applicant" in section 8(1)(b) indicates that the real name of the
applicant should be used when requesting information and not any other
name, for example, a pseudonym.". Guidance also states that this is
particularly relevant when "a public authority has good reason to
believe a requester is using a pseudonym to shield his/her identity in
order to avoid the possibility of the request being considered as
vexatious or repeated"

Currently I am still uncertain of your identity and the resubmission of
a request that had previously been refused in the grounds that it was
vexatious does lead us to believe that the request has been submitted
under a false name to avoid it being declared vexatious or repeated. As
such, I am now refusing to accept your request under Section 8(1) of the
Freedom of Information Act as I consider we have good reason to believe
that the request has been submitted under a false name.

Regards

Emma Nangle
Information Rights Officer
South Norfolk Council
Long Stratton Norwich
NR15 2XE
tel: 01508 533747
email: [South Norfolk District Council request email]
website: www.south-norfolk.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS anodiad ()

The request made by Barbara whittle was made without the knowledge of Stuart Hardwicke Carruthers

The Council did function without an electoral registration and returning officer for a number of years. The Council's chief executive (Geoffrey Rivers) refused to allow a monitoring officers report on it is understood the advice of the Monitoring Officer.

The Council managed to hold voidable elections over a number of years.

Gadawodd Eamon Knife anodiad ()

All UK Parliamentary and local government elections are run in accordance with the Representation of the People Act 1983 which states under the section defining Returning Officers:'A local government election in England and Wales is not liable to be questioned by reason of a defect in the title, or want of title, of the person presiding at or conducting the election, if that person was then in actual possession of, or acting in, the office giving the right to preside at or conduct the election' (with an identical provision for Parliamentary). So although the Council were admittedly guilty of an oversight I can't see that the law would allow for the validity of any of the elections during that time to be questioned.

Gadawodd Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS anodiad ()

At the time the validity of the elections was questionable (i.e. about 14 days after the election). A large number of Council's appear to fail to appoint the staff to supervise elections. This appears to relate to 'management' of the Electoral Roll (i.e. inclusion of dummy records).. with postal voting the issues are potentially quite serious.