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Privacy Notices for Councillors

Councillors represent constituents as part of their work in the community. They contact officers of BCP Council and other organisations on your behalf to investigate your concerns and respond to your enquiries. For this part of their elected representative functions they are Data Controllers in their own right and registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

They are responsible for looking after the personal information they process about you. This Privacy Notice sets out how councillors will process this data in line with the requirements of data protection legislation.

Councillor Privacy Notice

As an elected councillor, I regularly hold advice surgeries and respond to casework and policy queries raised with me by residents in my ward. In order to provide assistance and respond to these enquiries where this concerns Council business, it is necessary to process personal data relating to the constituent making the request and other individuals who may be involved or identified during the course of my enquiries.

As an elected member, I will only be able to investigate the concerns you raise if I can use your personal information, for example so I can contact you with the result of my enquiries. If your query relates to your own involvement with the Council, then I will need details of this involvement in order to be able to assist you. I will only collect the personal information I need to process your request or provide you with relevant information.

What type of personal information do I collect?

This will generally include personal information such as your name, address and contact information together with details of your problem or concern.

The law treats some types of personal information as ‘special’ because the information requires more protection due to its sensitivity. This information consists of:

  • racial or ethnic origin
  • sexuality and sexual life
  • religious or philosophical beliefs
  • trade union membership
  • political opinions
  • genetic and biometric data
  • physical or mental health
  • criminal convictions and offences

It will only be necessary to collect this type of information where it is relevant to the request you are making.

What are my lawful powers to obtain and use personal data?

I must have lawful reasons under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act to collect and use your personal information.

The ones that will most often apply are:

  • A task in the public interest, or in the exercise of official authority vested in me – discharging my functions as an elected representative is a public task that supports and promotes democratic engagement 
  • Legitimate interests – this is likely to be most appropriate where you would reasonably expect me to use the personal information you have provided and the impact on your privacy is minimal. If I rely on this condition I will consider and protect your rights and interests. This applies particularly to children.
  • To protect your vital interests - such as a life or death situation or to protect you from harm, or the vital interests of another person

I will not usually need your consent to process your personal information, but if I do use consent you have the right to withdraw it at any time.

For some activities I may need to process more sensitive personal data or criminal conviction data about you, for example where this is necessary to respond to your request. For this type of data, I rely on the following lawful reasons: 

  • Substantial public interest
  • To protect vital interests – when you are unable to give consent and you or someone else is at risk of harm.

Where a request comes from someone other than you, I will only process ‘special’ data without your consent for one of the following reasons:

  • Your circumstances are such that you cannot give consent
  • I cannot reasonably be expected to obtain your consent
  • Obtaining your consent would prejudice the action I need to take to address the issue
  • Using your data is necessary in the interests of another individual and you have unreasonably withheld your consent 

Who do I share your information with?

Personal information about you will only be disclosed on a ‘need to know’ basis to a relevant organisation and/or individual who is able to provide information to help address or resolve your concern.

Relevant third-party organisations and/or individuals will vary according to the nature of the concern you have raised. As an elected member of BCP Council I would normally pass your personal details and the circumstances of your query/complaint to the relevant department within the Council, so they can investigate the issues but is not unusual for constituents to also raise issues with me about other bodies. If this happens, I will need to refer the question/complaint to them. These third parties are likely to include:

  • local and/or central government.
  • elected representatives and other holders of public office
  • landlords
  • statutory law enforcement agencies and investigating bodies
  • healthcare, social and welfare advisers or practitioners

Any third parties who I may share your data with are obliged to keep your details securely and to use your data for purposes already communicated to you.

The personal information you provide and which I may receive from organisations or individuals in the course of my enquiries will only be used to progress the problem or concern you have raised. Your personal data will not be used in a way that goes beyond your reasonable expectations.

If you specifically ask me not to disclose information identifying you to other third parties it is necessary for me to contact, I will try to respect that. However, please be aware that it may not be possible to progress a matter for you on an anonymous basis.

Do I share personal data with anyone else?

Unless the law requires or permits the sharing of information e.g. crime prevention or detection or the safeguarding of vulnerable children or adults, personal information obtained by me will not be further disclosed other than for the purpose of progressing and responding to your requests.

Personal information may be stored on my behalf by the Council on a dedicated part of its secure network or on other computer services (such as cloud-based systems). Other than technical and monitoring operations, access and processing is undertaken only in accordance with my instructions.

What other individuals do I process personal data about in connection with requests from constituents?

In representing constituents, I will from time to time also process personal information relating to:

  • employees working in the Council and/or other public sector, third sector or private sector organisations
  • elected representatives and others in public office
  • complainants and enquirers
  • relatives, guardians and associates of the constituent I represent
  • business or other contacts
  • the subject of complaints

How long do I hold personal data for?

Unless required by law, or specifically requested by you, personal data held for the purposes of responding to requests received from constituents and obtained in the course of my enquiries will normally be kept for six (6) years after the case has closed. 

How is personal data kept safe and secure?

Reasonable security measures are taken to ensure that personal information within my control is protected from accidental loss or alteration, inappropriate access, misuse or theft.

As the Council provides support services for elected members, communications addressed by post to me at the Council or using my Council email address are held securely on a dedicated controlled area of the Council’s secure network with access restricted in accordance with my instructions.

Your rights

You have the right to request a copy of the information I hold about you, the right to ask me to rectify, erase or restrict processing of your data, the right to ask for your data to be transmitted (data portability), the right to object to automated decision making, and, if I am relying on consent, the right to withdraw consent at any time.  There are some exemptions to these rights. Please see the ICO website for more information.

To exercise these rights please contact me and I will consider your request. Please note that I may not be able to put your request into effect if the information is subject to a legal exemption. If you wish to exercise any of your rights, including where you are seeking a copy of your personal information, please write to or email me.

Complaints

You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner if you are unhappy with how I have handled your personal data. It would be helpful if you contacted me first about a data protection concern to see if I can resolve the problem.

If you wish to complain to the Information Commissioner, the contact details are:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

or by completing the ICO on line form at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/handling/