To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what checks, beyond providing a valid email address, his Department is using to ensure that respondents to the Somerset Unitarisation consultation are genuine residents of Somerset.
8 March 2021
The Department welcomes the views of all those interested in the proposals, including local residents, town and parish councils, businesses and the voluntary sector. The process is not a poll or referendum, and hence there are no limitations on who is able to respond, nor is there a process of validating the details of respondents.
Those responding to the consultation are asked to declare whether they are responding as a resident (and if so whether they are resident in the area concerned or elsewhere including overseas), or whether they are responding on behalf of an organisation.
The Department’s online platform, Citizen Space, which is used widely across the public sector for consultation activities, requires a response to this question, and asks the name of any organisation on whose behalf a response is being made and the email address of the respondent; no further details about a respondent’s personal or family’s interests such as employment status are requested.