Nearly 8,000 Cornwall voters removed from electoral register ahead of Brexit referendum

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Nearly 8,000 Cornish voters could have missed out on June's Brexit referendum because of a change in the way the electoral register is compiled.

Election officials at Cornwall Council have disclosed in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act that 7,783 voters were struck off because of the switch to Individual Electoral Registration (IER) between June 2014 and December 2015.

The new system replaced that in which the "head of the household" was required to register all residents of the household who were eligible

surf-tax

Cornwall’s “surf tax” raised only £32,000

The controversial "surf tax" scheme introduced to several Cornish beaches has raised barely £32,000 in revenue after its first year – raising questions as to whether it cost more than that to introduce and enforce.

Cornwall Council spent more than two years investigating ways of using its natural assets to generate income before introducing "licensing for water-based activities on council-owned beaches" in September last year. Similar licensing arrangements are operated by other councils.

But now North Cornwall MP Scott Mann has criticised the council's answer to a formal Freedom of Information question, which gives details of how the scheme – dubbed a "surf tax" by its critics – is operating in practice.

The FOI answer reveals that since the scheme's inception, Cornwall Council has generated just £31,746 from 18 licenses. The council insists that the costs of collection and enforcement are negligible and that the "surf tax" is good value for money – but Mr Mann says it should be scrapped.