Councils Sell Voter Information

2 September 2013, 11:33

There's claims more than 300 local authorities sold people's names and addresses to more than 2,700 companies and individuals over five years.

According to Freedom of Information Act requests made by Big Brother Watch, councils sold the edited electoral register - made of up all those people who register to vote and do not opt-out of the edited version - to pizza shops, estate agents, lobbyists and driving schools among others.

The group calls on the Government to abolish the edited register or allow councils to offer people a permanent opt-out instead of the current system that requires people to opt out annually.

Some 307 local authorities sold the edited electoral register to more than 2,700 different companies and individuals between 2007 and 2012.

The council with the most buyers was Westminster, which sold it 93 times.

Cllr Melvyn Caplan, Westminster City Council cabinet member for finance, said: 'The number of requests is something that the council has no influence over. We operate the scheme under the regulations set by central government'.