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.
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.
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
- Council claims that conduct of elections is a ‘private matter’
- Labour and the hidden agenda as Elvery is handed top job
- Council CEO Elvery makes political statements during purdah
- Did CEO Elvery break council code over his private company?
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema: Grand Budapest Hotel, Aug 7
- Elm Tree Cottage garden open day, Aug 10
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 13
- David Lean Cinema: The Wind Rises, Aug 14
- Mind-Loosing Workshop, Aug 16
- David Lean Cinema: The Love Punch, Aug 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Aug 16
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 20
- David Lean Cinema: Stop The Pounding Heart, Aug 21
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 27
- David Lean Cinema: Frank, Aug 28
- Upper Norwood Library well-being groups, Aug 30
- Warlingham rugby dinner with international Richard Hill, Sep 12
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Sep 20
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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