Chichester electoral roll data sold

CHICHESTER voters’ names and addresses have been sold to companies and individuals.

A Big Brother Watch report, released by the group on Monday (August 2), shows 307 councils sold information from the edited electoral register from May 2007 to May 2012.

During the report period, Chichester District Council sold details to 19 businesses or individuals, making £1,464.

The information was purchased by: John Jeffkins Ltd, Breeze House, Gascoigne Peas, TSS Marketing, Affinity Sutton, THINC Group, Hastoe Group, Wellesley Invest CAB, City & Country, Liam Stanley Stiles & Co, Chichester Festivities and eight individuals.

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Registering to vote is a basic part of our democracy and should not be a back door for our names and addresses to be sold to anyone and everyone.

“The edited register is a pointless waste of council time, undermines trust in the electoral system and contributes to huge volumes of junk mail. It should be abolished.”

The Local Government Association has backed calls for reform.

A Chichester District Council spokeswoman said: “Currently the law forces councils to make the electoral roll available to purchase. Until the law is changed we have no option but to pass these details onto direct marketing companies.”

Voters do have the option to ‘opt out’ of the edited version of the electoral roll.