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Councillors in the Malvern Hills have ditched plans to trial evoting in the upcoming spring local elections after the Government failed to give its full approval for the project to go ahead.

Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) - which had been working with BT to run the Internet-voting project - was recently named as one of 18 authorities to trial evoting.

But the Malvern Gazette reports that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) failed to give the scheme its full approval.

As a result, the council has decided to shelve plans for the e-voting trial in case it caused any disruption.

News of Malvern's decision to pull out of the trial comes as analysts at IDC reckon that IT-related spending on eGovernment initiatives in Europe will grow by 13 per cent to $2.8bn this year.

Said senior IDC research analyst James Weir: "In a soft IT market, eGovernment services are growing fast. From broadband to tax returns, this is an opportunity for service providers to transform Europe's public services."

The research - due to be presented at an eGovernment conference in Dublin on March 6 - names Ireland as one of the most "sophisticated" eGovernment countries in Europe. ®

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