St Helens Council sells off voter details from electoral roll

St Helens Town Hall
St Helens Town Hall
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Council chiefs have sold information on St Helens residents from the borough’s electoral roll, it has emerged.

Officials handed over data twice in recent years, charging £158 and £30 for the information.

The first request was made in 2010, with the second coming last year.

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of the council.

The electoral register lists the name and address of everyone who is entitled to vote in a public election.

Selling electoral register information is fairly standard practice among some council and anyone can request the information.

However, many residents are completely unaware of the practice and may be alarming their data is being used in this manner.

The practice was revealed following a Freedom of Information request by the St Helens Reporter.

A council spokesman said: “There are two types of electoral register - the electoral register itself, and the open or edited register.

“The latter is the one that anyone can buy - and any resident can opt out of it. There isn’t a criteria for sale of the edited register, with government guidance simply stating that it ‘can be sold to anyone requesting it on payment of the prescribed fees.”