HAVING in the past week received a form from Hastings Borough Council requiring me to ‘respond as soon as possible’ with details for the Electoral Register, I set about the task.
Noting that a failure to comply or supply false information might be met with a fine I scoured the document for more information. Although stating that the Revised Register would be published on ‘1 December or shortly before’ nowhere did it state by what date the form had to be returned. Further reading uncovered that some details had to be correct on October 15, 2011, thereby implying that a response before this date would require a fortune teller. Seeking clarification, I phoned the helpline to ask about the cut off date for replies, the lady who answered said ‘she’d check’, having come to the same conclusion as me, that it didn’t say on the form, she made some enquiries and came up with November 27.
While agreeing with me that the form should have carried that date, she told me not to worry about a fine, if I hadn’t returned it by then, as the council would be sending out door-to-door canvassers at the end of November.
I have the following questions:-
Does anyone at the council bother to proof-read these forms, or consider the extra cost to the taxpayer by such poor planning?
How does it expect to publish the register by ‘1 December or shortly before’ when it is evident that all the information will not be collated by then?
Seaside Road, St Leonards