BOURNEMOUTH council lost almost £20,000 from the sale of voter data last year, it has been revealed.

As reported in the Daily Echo, councils around the country have faced questions about the sale of voter details to private companies.

The story made national headlines after privacy pressure group Big Brother Watch revealed the figures, showing that voters’ names and addresses were sold to direct marketing firms, pizza delivery shops and estate agents.

Bournemouth Borough Council sold details to 23 buyers, including marketing firms and insurance companies, but it has now been revealed that it lost around £18,000 in the process.

Labour councillor Beryl Baxter said there was “a moral case to answer” ahead of last week’s council meeting and at the meeting itself asked cabinet member for corporate efficiency, Cllr Anne Filer, how much had been made.

But Cllr Filer said: “The last thing we want to do is to have to supply these details to the firms that demand them.”

She said the council was required by law to supply the edited electoral roll, which excludes the names of people who have opted out of having their information passed on.

Cllr Filer said only around £1,700 was made in revenue last year from the sale of voter information against a cost of £20,000 in staff time and production costs.

She added: “Although we have campaigned in Bournemouth to stop its sale the law hasn’t yet been overturned.”

Cllr Baxter also asked whether data protection laws had been breached and added: “May I suggest that the current Conservative administration contacts our two local MPs to raise this in Parliament?”

Cllr Filer confirmed that no data protection laws had been broken.