Council Canvassers Help Residents Avoid Fines

Report by Overview and Scrutiny Committee

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Failure to register on electoral roll can mean a prosecution

More than 20,000 households across the borough will be visited by council canvassers over the next few weekends to collect unreturned electoral registration forms.

The team of canvassers delivered registration forms to every home in this borough between August 4 and 9, and two reminders have been sent out since then.

Households that fail to register their form face prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000 open to magistrates. In previous years the council has prosecuted people who failed to return their form of which each received a fine.

Cllr Sue Sampson, the council’s cabinet member for performance and customer care said:

“It’s quite an operation, and our canvassers work hard to collect all the unreturned forms across the borough to ensure we fulfil our statutory duty of keeping the electoral register up to date.

“Even if none of your details have changed you still have to let us know, and there are many ways of getting in contact with the council to keep us informed.”

The form is addressed to the ‘Present Occupier’, so if the names that appear pre-printed on the form no longer live at the address, the current occupier must cross out their names and write in the names of the new occupiers.

Residents who have not yet returned their forms, registered via the freephone number or internet service, are reminded to register as soon as possible by returning their completed forms, or, if there are no changes to be made, registering by telephone or the internet.

If the information on the form needs changing, the form should be filled in, signed and returned by post in the envelope provided as quickly as possible.

Even if the information on the form is correct and no changes are required the householder still needs to register to confirm their details. This can be done by:

  • Calling freephone 0808 284 1416 (English), or 0808 284 1417 (other languages) 24 hours a day;
  • Visiting   
  • Returning the signed form in the envelope provided.


  • Residents who wish to register over the phone or online will be asked for a two-part security code, which can be found on the form.
  •  If residents haven’t received a form, or need more information about electoral registration, they should contact:

Electoral Services,

London Borough of Hounslow,

Civic Centre,

Lampton Road ,

Hounslow TW3 4DN.

Or, email or call 020 8583 2828. 

  • The electoral register is updated every year in the autumn. All households must re-register every year even if there are no changes to be made. Any household that has failed to register for two years running will be deleted from the register and unable to vote in any local or general election. 
  • As well as losing your vote, any householder who is not on the register may find they are refused credit, mortgage facilities or loans as credit reference companies use the register as a qualification check.


October 10, 2012