removal from electoral roll

offended council tax payer made this Freedom of Information request to Uttlesford District Council

The request was refused by Uttlesford District Council.

From: offended council tax payer

MY NAME HAS SUDDENLY APPEARED ON THE ELECTORAL ROLL WITHOUT MY
CONSENT OR PERMISSION.
I WISH TO BE REMOVED FROM THE ELECTORAL ROLL.
I DID NOT GIVE MY PERMISSION OR AUTHORISATION TO BE INCLUDED IN THE
ELECTORAL ROLL AND REQUIRE TO OPT OUT.
I DO NOT CONSENT OR AGREE THAT MY PERSONAL DETAILS CAN BE
AVAILABLE FOR ANYONE TO FIND THEM ONLINE OR OTHERWISE.
THIS IS AN INVASION OF MY PRIVACY.
I WISH TO KNOW WHO SUPPLIED MY PERSONAL DETAILS AND
IF 'PRESUMED CONSENT' IS LEGAL?
ARE THERE SIMILAR MINDED SUPPORTERS OUT THERE PLEASE?

SENDER:'OFFENDED COUNCIL TAX PAYER'

Link to this

From: Auto-Response
Uttlesford District Council

This is an automated response to thank you for your email which has just
been received.
We aim to respond fully to all emails from the public as soon as possible,
where they are seeking a response. However, please note that if your
enquiry is particularly complicated or requires substantial investigation
then it may take up to 10 working days to provide you with a full and
accurate response.
If you have access to the Internet you may wish to see if your enquiry can
be dealt with online at [1]www.uttlesford.gov.uk. The Council's website
enables payments to be made online as well as providing comprehensive
information.

Please do not reply to this automated response.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.uttlesford.gov.uk/

Link to this

Dr K J Hamer left an annotation ()

you're having a laugh!!! How are they meant to know who you are? Don't post it here though as all will be able to read!

Link to this

From: Peter Snow
Uttlesford District Council

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am responding to your FOI request of 22 May 2009. In your request you
object to the inclusion of your name on the Register of Electors without
your consent or permission and ask for the details to be removed.

Without your name and address, I am unable to investigate this matter to
see why, when or how your name has been registered. You must send me this
information please if I am to investigate this mater properly and take a
decision on whether you should continue to be registered.

The general position on registration is as follows. Under the
Representation of the People Acts, all residents are required to give the
Electoral Registration Officer information for the purposes of compiling
the register. This is done annually by the sending of a registration form
to all households in the area. In effect therefore, it is compulsory to
be registered provided the persons concerned are eligible to be
registered, by nationally, age and residence at a particular address.
Some residents choose to withhold information because they do not wish to
be registered. The ERO is entitled to take legal action to secure their
details for registration and that is a matter for the ERO to decide.

The register is a public document, is `published', and kept available for
inspection at the Council Offices. There is also an edited register and
electors are able to opt out from having their details appear in this
version of the register. The full register has restrictions placed on the
uses to which the information on it can be put but the edited register has
no such restrictions. The full register is supplied to credit reference
agencies and certain other statutory bodies, as well as to political
parties and elected representatives upon request. It can be used for
credit checking, and for guarding against money laundering activities, but
cannot be sold for other commercial uses such as sending advertising
material by post (except for political campaigning purposes).

If your details are available online, it is unlikely this is as a result
of the use or sale of the register because of the restrictions I have
referred to above. Companies such as 192.com do not obtain register
details from me and, in fact, I would be unable to supply them with
anything other than the edited register.

I look forward to receiving further details from you in due course.

Yours faithfully

Peter Snow

Electoral Services Manager

Please consider the environment before printing this email

http://www.uttlesford.gov.uk

The contents of this message should not be taken as necessarily being
the views, opinions, policies or procedures of Uttlesford District
Council.

E-mail is not a secure form of communication. Whilst every effort has
been made to ensure that this message has been correctly addressed, it
and any associated file (s) may contain privileged or confidential
information or details intended only for the sender and the intended
recipient. If this transmission is received by anyone other than the
intended recipient please delete the message and any associated file(s)
and destroy any printed copy. Please notify the sender by a return e-mail
or, if known to you, telephone the sender and make them aware that the
transmission has been received by someone other than the intended
recipient.

Please be aware that E-Mails sent to or received from Uttlesford District
Council may be intercepted and read by the Council. Interception will only
occur to ensure compliance with Council policies or procedures or
regulatory obligations, to prevent or deter crime, or for the purpose of
essential maintenance or support of the E-Mail system.

Link to this

ANOTHER OCTP left an annotation ()

I'm sorry, your argument doesn't stack up awfully well does it, the Council SELLS it to Credit Reference Agencies for they're own MONEY LAUNDERING purposes.

This affront to privacy should be closed post-haste!

ANOTHER 'OFFENDED COUNCIL TAX PAYER'

Link to this

jackie left an annotation ()

"The full register is supplied to credit reference agencies and certain other statutory bodies, as well as to political parties and elected representatives upon request."

Seems to indicate a number of omissions or misleading items of information...

1: "is supplied" does not mention "sale" or exchange of monies and that would be interesting to ascertain.

2: are restrictions imposed on the credit reference agencies, political parties or others as to who they can provide the registers to, for sale or otherwise?

3: is there an implication here that credit reference agencies, political parties are statutory bodies? If so, are they? How is this proven?

I also wonder about the interrelation between the council and the electoral register. Is it lawful?

Link to this

K Hodgkinson left an annotation ()

Following a court case relating to various aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights, two different versions of the electoral register exist. The case was brought by a person who objected to the council selling electoral register information which was then used by firms to send what most of us regard as 'junk mail'. The firms sending it object, of course, to that term. It was found that this instrusion interfered both with the right to privacy and with the right to unhindered right to vote.

When you fill in an electoral register form, which currently only one person in the household has to do, you can opt out of having your data included in order to maintain your privacy. It appears that some councils make mistakes and include names and addresses that people want kept private on the full register.

In some cases this can lead to injury or death, for example where a person is hiding from a violent stalker or ex partener.

It is legal to be on the electoral register at more than one address and I suppose it is possible that a householder may register a person as a voter at their address when that person wishes to be registered elsewhere and would prefer so to be registered.

It is an offence not to complete the registration form, which is one reason why it has been thought appropriate to give people some degree of choice about who gets there hands on the personal information it contains. In other circumstances you choose or agree to your personal data being shared eg when you apply for a loan.

Credit reference companies, however, and some other businesses really believe that their businesses suffer greatly because they are not allowed to send junk mail and argue that junk mail serves a lot of very useful purposes, so useful in fact, that nobody ought to have a right to choose not to receive it.

For an example of this sort of argument, see the following

http://www.callcredit.co.uk/files/Callcr...

One of the most offensive, in my opinion, uses of the electoral register is its use by the Audit Commission to compile evidence free hit lists of potential frauds ie cases it is worth investigating in search of some inconsistency which might indicate fraud. Most of the people identified as 'high risk' fraud cases on this basis are wholly entitled and completely innocent. False positives run into as many as one thousand per council.

Link to this

K Hodgkinson left an annotation ()

What Uttlesford District Council has said is not strictly true. A number of people have choices about where they register. It is legal but not compulsory to register at two different addresses. It is therefore, not 'in effect' compulsory to register at an address where one might be considered to be entitled to register. It is not even illegal to vote in two different elections using registrations in two different areas, so long as one does not vote twice in the same election. See Electoral Commission web site for more information.

Link to this

K Hodgkinson left an annotation ()

What Uttlesford District Council has said is not strictly true. A number of people have choices about where they register. It is legal but not compulsory to register at two different addresses. It is therefore, not 'in effect' compulsory to register at an address where one might be considered to be entitled to register. It is not even illegal to vote in two different elections using registrations in two different areas, so long as one does not vote twice in the same election. See Electoral Commission web site for more information.

Link to this

K Hodgkinson left an annotation ()

Incidentally Uttlesford's discount 'application forms' contain misleading information about the legal obligations about discount recipients and about the nature of the national fraud initiative's data matching exercises.

You might usefully complain about them misrepresenting the obligations of the taxpayer, which are set out clearly in Regulation 16 of the 1992 regulations and the basis of entitlement, which is set out in Section 11(1) and clarified in various other laws and regulations including, for example, 15(2) and 20 (3).

It seems councils want to maintain 'registers' of who lives in any house at all points during the year. There is no obligation to maintain such a register and I think one could argue that pretending or falsely claiming that people have a legal obligation to supply personal information to fill up such registers breaches data protection law as well as being maladministration.

Uttlesford's council tax demand notices do not comply with the law as they fail to include the required accurate statement about the legal obligations of discount recipients and do include the following false statement

You must tell us straight away about
anything that could affect an exemption
or discount you receive.

You have no such obligation. You do have obligations and by law the council must explain these to you when it sends the demand notices out. The rules they are breaking by not giving you the correct information here are set out here in the section on the content of demand notices.

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/uksi_20...

Discounts and reductions
16. The days (if any) when the amount payable under the notice was calculated by reference to—

(a)
section 11 of the Act(7) (discounts),

17. Where paragraph 16(a), (e) or (f) applies—
(a)the reasons for the discount or reduction and its amount;
(b)a statement that if at any time before the end of the following year the person to whom the notice is issued has reason to believe that the amount of council tax payable—
(i)is not subject to any discount or reduction, or
(ii)is subject to a discount or reduction of a smaller amount,
he must notify the billing authority of his belief within a period of 21 days beginning on the day on which he first had that belief; and

http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.asp...(All+UK)&searchEnacted=0&extentMatchOnly=0&confersPower=0&blanketAmendment=0&sortAlpha=0&PageNumber=3&NavFrom=0&parentActiveTextDocId=3451102&activetextdocid=3451135

By law they should take steps to put right the mistake on the demand notice, but you still have to pay the tax even though the bill does not conform with legal requirements.

Putting the right information on their web site and in their application forms would appear to be a sensible step in the direction of conformity with the law.

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
Uttlesford District Council only:

Follow this request

There are 4 people following this request

Offensive? Unsuitable?

Requests for personal information and vexatious requests are not considered valid for FOI purposes (read more).

If you believe this request is not suitable, you can report it for attention by the site administrators

Report this request

Act on what you've learnt

Similar requests

More similar requests

Event history details

Are you the owner of any commercial copyright on this page?