A PILOT scheme to combat postal voter fraud is set to make a comeback in Slough.

In October, Slough Borough Council had agreed to introduce a voter ID scheme in Slough to help tackle voter fraud, but despite unanimously agreeing to the scheme initially, Labour councillors later reversed the decision.

But under the new leadership of Cllr James Swindlehurst, the pilot scheme is set to be revived - although in a significantly watered-down form.

Cllr Swindlehurst, referring to the previous scheme, said: “There were legitimate concerns about the scale of ID required, and we didn’t reach a consensus on what was acceptable.”

The revived scheme is similar to a pilot scheme currently being run in Peterborough, in which council staff will phone people who have submitted postal votes to ask them if they were pressured into a voting a certain way. Cllr Swindlehurst also said there will be a bigger police presence at polling stations.

Voter ID will not be required under the new scheme, although some councillors hoped it would become a stepping-stone that would allow a full pilot scheme to be introduced in 2019.

Cllr Ray Baines (Con), who seconded the motion, said: “The new scheme is watered-down, but you have to welcome anything that brings down fraud and improves the image of Slough. I do look forward to us re-joining the pilot scheme in 2019.

“These legitimate concerns about ID, however – Slough Borough Council would have provided free ID to everyone. These legitimate concerns are not as legitimate as are being claimed. I still can not see why we would not take up free ID to improve our electoral process.”

Cllr Wayne Strutton, leader of the Tories, said: “It’s great this has come back to the table. Anything to address voting fraud will be welcomed by all in Slough.”

The council unanimously agreed to join the new pilot, which will be introduced in 2018.