HC Deb 27 June 1980 vol 987 cc359-60W
Mr. Edward Gardner

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what conclusion the Government have reached on the feasibility of enhancing the annual canvass for the electoral register for the purpose of providing better statistics of the population of local areas.

Sir George Young

After most careful investigation the Government have concluded that introduction of a worthwhile, uniform system could not be achieved without imposing central control, which would require substantial additional staff resources, would be costly and would run contrary to local authority responsibilities in these matters. Furthermore, because the electoral register was never designed to produce statistics, the information gained from an enhanced canvass would suffer from considerable deficiencies and the process of gathering the information would place an additional burden on the general public. For these reasons and in present circumstances the Government have decided not to proceed with this proposal.

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