Blackburn With Darwen Borough Council

Case Study

Blackburn With Darwen Borough Council

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council is a unitary authority area in Lancashire, North West England. It has a population of just under 150,000 residents, split across 23 wards, currently represented by 64 Councillors.

The Council hand delivers the initial HEFs to every household and then uses canvassers to follow up on the non-responding properties. In the past, they used the paper-based canvassing method which can be extremely challenging and time consuming, particularly in the less affluent areas of the borough, where the response rates are typically low.

To improve the response rates, the council looked at different ways to conduct the canvass. After a period of evaluation,
they procured a small number of tablets with the Mobile Canvass App.


  • Canvassers identified their target properties quickly and easily and arrived on the doorstep armed with the most up-to-date information; time was not wasted on visits to properties that had already returned the HEF
  • Forms no longer needed to be scanned and processed in the office
  • Canvassers found household visits were more positive. Electors were more trusting and responsive to the professional look and feel of a canvasser using the App. This was particularly obvious in the less affluent areas of the borough
  • An immediate saving was achieved by reducing the print and postage costs
  • Canvassers were able to work faster and more efficiently, whatever the weather and even in fading light
  • They no longer needed to go back and forth to their cars to collect more HEFs. This was particularly helpful
    when canvassing high rise estates with door entry protection.

In total, five canvassers canvassed thirteen areas, covering 4,099 reminder HEFs and completed 2,798.

What our client thinks

The Mobile Canvasser App is a dream! It has had a significant impact on our canvass process. By syncing the updates automatically with our register, the App frees up staff time which was previously spent scanning and processing data. It also gives us greater control of the canvass so we can reallocate rounds and access statistical updates easily. Having demonstrated the cost savings, we hope to purchase more tablets before the end of the financial year and roll out the App to all canvass staff.

Linda Harling, Electoral Services Manager, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council