Modernising Electoral Data services in Huntingdonshire
In anticipation of the implementation of the Individual Elector Registration in 2014, Huntingdonshire District Council have improved internal processes to ensure that the Electoral Register is continuously maintained with new and updated addresses for residential properties.
Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) data has maintained a 100% synchronisation with the Electoral Register since 2005. As Huntingdonshire was a successful pilot authority for the Valuebill project back in 2006, the same matching methodology was used. Having a complete match of Council Tax properties to the LLPG enabled additional cross matching of the Electoral Register with Council Tax, as the unique property reference number (UPRN) is in both systems. Elements that lead to the overall improvement in processes and data included:
- in 2010 a new Electoral Services Manager was appointed who quickly identified the LLPG as the best source of property and address information
- the LLPG holds the Electoral Register property reference and the Electoral Register holds the UPRN
- additional Electoral Management data matching software was acquired
- Council Tax were asked to provide data including occupiers names; occupation dates; Single Persons Discount (SPD); Empty Property details
There are numerous outcomes and benefits to the authority:
- the register is continuously maintained to a consistent standard with new streets and properties ready for occupation – allowing the Electoral Services team to invite residents to register to vote.
- does not include properties not yet built, which distorts Electoral Statistics and saves money by not mailing to properties not built.
- ensures only residential properties in the register.
- maintained from one source, the LLPG, which has many address intelligence sources.
- using LLPG data enables the provision of spatial information within the Electoral system and to all Authority Staff and Members through the intranet.
- enables property audit between Electoral Register and Council Tax.
- it enables Electoral Services staff to focus on electors and elections.
- the LLPG was also used for local matching of data as part of the implementation of Individual Electoral Registration (IER) project, achieving a saving of £18k. Using the LLPG as the central hub of data, all electors not matched against DWP records were compared with the Council Tax records. Where the name matched, a file was produced and uploaded into the register of electors thus reducing the number of residents being asked for their National Insurance Numbers (NINO) and Date of Birth (DOB) details.
- Of 22,236 records that were unverified by the DWP, we matched 15,557 electors, removed 3,255 electors and left 3,424 as not matched – a lot of whom are in RAF or housing association properties and therefore HDC hold limited records on the residents.
- We also have started to use the LLPG to cross reference data enabling electoral registration reviews throughout the year and enabling the Electoral Registration Officer to maintain a complete and accurate register of electors.