Just under 11,000 households in the Wyre Forest district have not yet registered anyone to vote as part of this year’s canvass.
In July, Wyre Forest District Council sent letters to all households in the district, asking residents to check and confirm the details that appear on the electoral register. So far 36,148 (77%) of the 46,657 households have replied. That means 10,827 have not responded. The council has already sent a first reminder letter. This cost in the region of £8,500. Now it is required to issue a second reminder at an additional cost of £4,800.
Residents are required by law to respond and register every year. Anyone who does not respond can face the risk of being fined up to £1,000.
Credit reference agencies also use information from the register of electors to update their records. This means it can be much harder to obtain credit if you are not on the electoral register.
If people do not respond to this reminder, the council has to arrange for visits to homes to collect the household enquiry forms. This adds to the cost of preparing the register of electors.
The council has also been encouraging residents whose details have not changed to confirm the information online or by text or telephone. Using one of these methods saves the council money.
Ian Miller, Electoral Registration Officer, said:
“Please help us by responding as soon as possible to the second reminder letter if you receive one. We know it’s one of those things that people put to one side and think they will do it when they have a moment and it can so easily be forgotten. It is really quick and easy to reply. If you do not need to make any changes, please let us know by internet, freephone or text, as this saves the council money and you can reply at any time of the night or day.”
Wyre Forest District Council elections will take place in May 2018.