Mike Gapes spoke in the Opposition day debate on Individual Voter registration on Monday 16 Jan 2012
Here is his intervention and the response of the Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan
Mike Gapes (Ilford South) (Lab/Co-op): Does my right hon. Friend agree that one of the problems with electoral registers is that while some local authorities are very good at getting people on to the register, others get only about 80% of their local population? Does he also agree that the situation could get even worse as a result of cuts in local government spending?
Sadiq Khan: My hon. Friend is right to raise that point. To be fair to the Parliamentary Secretary, he recognised that fact when he gave evidence to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, and acknowledged the concerns about constrained resources. Given that local authority resources are not ring-fenced, an obvious area in which to make cuts would be in the work of the electoral registration officer’s team, often at a time when that work is needed the most. There are examples of excellent practice around the country, but there are also examples of comparable constituencies with very low electoral registration levels.