Rochdale Council set to lose tens of thousands MORE

February 26, 2016 2:59 PM
There's more bad news for the Borough of Rochdale. It is set to lose tens of thousands of pounds MORE from the Government after changes to the electoral register. The Borough has lost 8,868 voters because of a new system of "individual sign-ups". Thousands of voters have simply disappeared into thin air. As the Electoral Roll is taken into account when working our funding from the Government - there's set to be more bad news. The Rochdale constituency has gone from 77,219 voters to 72,530. Heywood and Middleton has gone from 80,059 to 75,880. The Rochdale borough is one of the top 5% losers in Britain. Rochdale currently receives approximately £800 per person through the Revenue Support Grant.
Councillor Andy Kelly, leader of Rochdale Liberal Democrats, said: "The Revenue Support Grant from the Government uses a complicated formula. The electoral register is central to this - the Local Government Association have confirmed this to me. I have written to the Department of Communities and Local Government asking for the affect on funding from the electoral register changes. I'm afraid to say that it is inconceivable that our Borough will not lose yet more money."
Councillor Kelly also criticised the Council. He said: "Some blame for this must lay at the feet of the Labour Council. The more legitimate people on the electoral register - the more money we get. That's a fact. I appreciate the need for individual voter registration. Especially as places like Rochdale have seen a rise in allegations of electoral fraud. I genuinely believe though that there are many thousands of people who have simply not signed up. They may not be engaged in the political process but they need to know the effect it has on the Council's scarce finances."
Andy continued, "I have asked the Department for Communities and Local Government to consider providing transitional funding to help Councils like Rochdale with any financial fall out in the light of these changes. Its clear that as a Council we need to improve communication with the Government and by raising my concerns, I hope that any financial hit can be minimalised."
Councils across the North West set to be hardest hit by these changes.

COUNCILLOR ANDY KELLY'S LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT.
Dear Sir,
I am writing with regards to Individual Voter Registration in the Borough of Rochdale.
I note that our Borough has lost 8,868 electors since 2015 as a direct result. Could the DCLG please tell me when working out the Revenue Support Grant how much consideration they give to the the electoral register figures?
I note that recently, the DCLG gave out £400m in transitional funding to help Councils move towards 2020 when Local Government Finance will be reformed. I would therefore make a plea for you to consider helping councils cope with losing any funding due to declining electoral register figures.
I would also like to know what support and advice you gave to Councils like Rochdale MBC to sign up legitimate residents to the register in the light of changes.
I would be grateful for a swift reply,
Yours Andy Kelly