Voting is a mystery inside an enigma according to Elvery letter

Have you received a letter from Croydon Council’s Nathan Elvery about changes to voter registration that doesn’t tell you how voter registration is changing? DAVID WHITE has

Last week Nathan Elvery, Croydon Council’s new chief executive, a £180,000-plus per year position which was never advertised, told a gathering of local voluntary sector organisations that he wanted the council to improve the way it communicates with residents and businesses.

Nathan Elvery: wants improved communication. He could start with his own letters

Nathan Elvery: wants improved communication. He could start with his own letters

He may have had in mind a letter which has been sent in the last fortnight to every voter in the borough.

“Dear David White…” was the way mine started.

The letter, on Croydon Council headed paper, was from none other than Nathan Elvery himself, although sent in his capacity as “Electoral Registration Officer” (which the council will doubtless argue is a “private” capacity and not subject to any public scrutiny).

“The way you register to vote is changing. I’m writing to let you know that you have been automatically re-registered under the new system.”

Intrigued, I read on to see how the way we register to vote is changing.

There was a lot of waffle about postal votes and the “open register” (the one in which the council sells your details to companies for marketing purposes), but no explanation of how the way we register to vote is changing.

Looking online I learned that the main changes are that each individual is responsible for registering themselves (rather than the old system where the “head of household” did it) and it will be possible to register online.

I also saw that other councils (such as neighbouring Bromley) have produced documents which clearly explain these changes.

Registration letter

 

A rough estimate suggests that Elvery’s meaningless mailshot will have cost Croydon Council Tax-payers more than £120,000 in postage, plus stationery costs and staffing time to send out such a poorly considered, ill-drafted letter.

Who knows the on-cost of staff having to deal with residents’ enquiries, as they seek some explanation about what the letter was about.

Or why it was allowed to be sent in that form at all.

  • David White lives in Park Hill, and is secretary of Croydon Central Labour party


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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1 Response to Voting is a mystery inside an enigma according to Elvery letter

  1. Yes – I received this and then promptly followed instructions to register online. I assumed it was something to do with online voting replacing postal voting.

    £120,000 wasted. I’m speechless.

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