Council taxpayers in Birmingham will not bear the full brunt of the £80,000 cost of replacing stolen voting booths, a local authority spokesman said yesterday.
The announcement was made after it emerged yesterday that thieves broke into the council's election storeroom in Hockley and targeted 400 Continentalstyle voting booths made of plastic and aluminium.
They stripped the booths of their metal legs in the night-time break-in. It is believed the legs may have been targeted for their scrap value.
A council spokesman said: "Not all of the cost will fall on city council taxpayers because the Government makes a big contribution as the booths are used for parliamentary elections. The police are investigating."
The raid caps an unhappy time for the city elections office which was accused by a High Court judge this year of organising local elections marred by "corruption on a scale which would shame a banana republic".
City elections officer John Owen was subsequently suspended for several months and disciplined when uncounted votes were discovered by police hidden in his office. He was later reinstated.