Blundering council chiefs ‘unreservedly apologised’ after a letter was sent out to 39,000 voters not on the open electoral register telling them anyone could view their personal details.
Wolverhampton City Council sent the letter out to 162,000 households.
It explained the latest changes to electoral registration, stating: “Your details are on the open register” – a shock to the 39,000 people who had opted out of it.
The public register features voters’ names and addresses, which can be passed on to anyone, including companies and organisations that send out junk mail.
Today, red-faced council bosses apologised for the mistake and said it was an administrative error. The council said it had received hundreds of complaints from furious residents since the letters were dispatched on Monday.
Alan Lloyd, from Limer Road, Oxley, was among those in receipt of a letter who had previously opted out of having his information made public.
“It has caused me a lot of distress and left my wife in tears,” said the 69-year-old.
“For them to make an error like this is just unacceptable. After this debacle I have no confidence left in the system.”
Tim Clark, spokesman for Wolverhampton City Council, said: “We unreservedly apologise for an administrative error resulting in letters going out to people who have previously opted out of being on the open electoral register, wrongly saying they have now been included on it. We want to reassure anyone who has previously opted out that nothing has changed and their details have stayed where they were.”
People not sure whether they have opted out can call 0800 197 2327.