Wakefield selected for electoral canvass pilot

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Wakefield has successfully been chosen to take part in a pilot scheme that could help radically reduce the cost of the annual canvass.

All local authorities are required to carry out an annual canvass once a year to ensure that electoral registers are accurate and up to date. This costs around £65m a year to conduct nationally.

The Government has now announced that Wakefield has been chosen as one of 21 pilot areas across the country to take part.

Wakefield Council is currently carrying out its annual canvass and has written to all households in the district and sent reminder letters to those that have not responded. Electoral canvassers are visiting households that have not responded to these requests until November 13.

Joanne Roney OBE, Wakefield Council’s Chief Executive, said: “We are pleased to have been chosen to take part in the pilot scheme. We are in the middle of our current canvass and visits to households are taking place to those that have not responded to previous requests, which can be costly to the Council.

“We hope the pilot scheme will help us to use new technology to make the process more efficient, improve voter registration in the district and make significant savings.

“We look forward to finding out more about what the pilot will involve and potential savings that can be made a result of being chosen to take part.”

The Cabinet Office currently estimates that the total savings to the canvass process could be in excess of £20 million per year should the pilots result in permanent change and be rolled out nationwide.