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Privacy statement

This privacy notice is for the use of the residents, service users and customers of Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council in fulfilment of our responsibility as a data controller under the Data Protection Regulations.

One of our duties under the regulations relates to being open and transparent and as part of this our Privacy Notice is designed to inform you about the way in which we use, collect, store and or share your information.

Personal data means data which relates to a living individual who can be identified. The individual (known as the Data Subject) must be identifiable from the information, if the information is fully anonymised it is no longer classed as personal information.

Walsall MBC Services

The Council provides a wide range of services across the borough. In order to manage the provision of these services the council is divided in to the following four directorates:

  • Resource and Transformation (formerly Change and Governance);
  • Economy and Environment;
  • Adult Social care;
  • Children’s services.

Each of these directorates is responsible for several services and a full list of these can be found at https://go.walsall.gov.uk/council_directorates

 

Why do we collect and use personal information?

Information we collect and use

How we collect information

Why we use your information - lawful basis

Sensitive information

Who we may share your information with

Electoral Registration Services

National Fraud Initiative

How long we will hold your information

Your rights

Access to your information

Data Protection Officer

 

Why do we use and collect personal information?

Without the information we collect and require or share, the Council would not be able to provide you with the services or support for which we have contractual and legal obligations to deliver. In order to provide and ensure the appropriateness of our services we need to understand and measure the needs of those who require our services. Therefore we use the information collected to ensure our services are meeting the needs of our residents and customers or service users and take appropriate actions to improve services wherever we can.

In particular, we will use information about you:

  • to provide the service you require, for example paying a welfare grant or benefit claim or accessing our leisure facilities;
  • to maintain the electoral register;
  • to keep you informed about appropriate council services and activities taking place in your area;
  • to consult with you and get your views on council services to enable us to continually improve our services;
  • to carry out the our statutory and regulatory functions (such as licensing, planning, parking control, trading standards and sanitation, and the provision of education and social services);
  • meeting legal requirements and complying with legal obligations;
  • to comply with our Public Health functions by sharing Health and other relevant data;  
  • to collecting and process any payments made for services provided by the council ( such as planning applications or Council Tax) and to collect any debts owed to the council;
  • Preventing or detecting crime and fraud and to protect individuals from harm; 

Your information may be manually and/or digitally processed through our systems by people in the UK. These may be internal council staff or external staff via public and private healthcare providers, other public authorities, contractors and other agencies. All people with access to your information will do so under strict adherence to the Data Protection Regulations, with adequate safeguards and appropriate authorisation.

 

Information we collect and use

The information collected and used will vary for each service area and we will only collect and use the information which is necessary in order for you to access and or receive the services.

For example, at initial point of contact we will collect details such as name, address and contact details (telephone number and/or email address). These may be provided by you directly or we may receive them from a third party who is acting on your behalf (such as a relative, a support worker or an advice agency).

Dependent upon the service you wish to access further details may then be collected as necessary. For example our Money, Home, Job service may need details such as your date of birth, your employment status, your relationship status, your financial commitments, whether you currently receive any benefits and if you are currently engaging with any third parties such as solicitors or the CAB, in order to help you efficiently and give you the best guidance and support.

Some services may require bank details in order to take a payment from you. For example Planning Services for a planning application or our Leisure Services for a gym membership.

Adult Social Care and Children’s services will often use information relating to next of kin, physical and mental health details (including mental capacity), referral/assessment information and relevant case information. They will also record details of any risks or vulnerabilities relating to the individual and if appropriate details of police investigations or convictions.

Walsall Council are obliged to monitor our compliance with Equality and Diversity Legislation. This will mean you are often asked to complete an equal opportunities form that collects information such as ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and religion. You do not have to provide this information for these purposes if you do not wish to do so. Choosing not to complete these forms will not prevent you from accessing our services.

Many services may require proof of your age or identity. This may entail us keeping a copy of your passport, driving licence or other form of identification. These will include details of your name, date of birth, facial image and possibly details of your gender and nationality.

For more details please see the directorate/service area privacy notices on our website.

For details of our website and cookie privacy notice please click here.

 

How we collect information

We will collect the information in several ways.

Some will be provided directly by you when you contact us about a service.  This may be when you visit Council offices, call or email us or when you contact us via our website or social media. Information may also be provided by a parent or guardian or other legal representative.

We may receive information from third parties such as friends or neighbours or other individuals you have interacted with, such as a referral from another provider.

Some information will be collected from other organisations such as the NHS, the Police, Schools and other Education Providers, other Councils, Housing Associations, and Government bodies such as HMR or the Department of Work and Pensions.

The council may also obtain information from certain external organisation’s or provide information to them in order to:

  • verify the accuracy of the information supplied;
  • prevent or detect crime;
  • protect public funds from fraud;
  • Collect and make the best use of public funds;
  • To safeguard and protect young and/or vulnerable people;
  • comply with the council's legal obligations;
  • assist with research and statistical purposes;

 

Purpose for processing and lawful basis

When using your information we must make sure that we have a lawful reason to do so. The reasons the Council will primarily use to process your information are:

  • Where processing is necessary for the performance a contract to which you are a party, or in order to take steps before entering into a contract – for example to provide you with a gym membership or access to our library services;
  • When processing your information is necessary to cooperate with and conform to UK law or another legal obligation to which the Council is subject – for example pay benefits or register births, deaths and marriages;
  • When the purpose of processing is to carry out a task in the public interest or the exercise of official authority vested in the controller – for example parking control, waste management and some early intervention support services.

There may be occasions when we use and/or share your information in order to protect you or another individual and prevent serious harm.

In circumstance where none of the above lawful reasons apply we will only collect and use your information with your consent or where there is a legal basis for us to do so. Please note you can withdraw you consent to this processing at any time by contacting us at our main address (detailed below)

For more details please see the directorate/service area privacy notices on our website.

 

Sensitive Information

Walsall Council collects and uses sensitive information known as special category data, to provide some services. Special category data is information which is deemed particularly sensitive. The following information is classed as special category data: 

 

Race, Ethnicity, Political Opinion, Religious or Philosophical Beliefs, Trade Union Membership, Genetic and Biometric Information, Health, Sexual Orientation and Criminal records.

When using your information we must make sure that we have a lawful reason to do so. The reasons the Council will primarily use for the processing of your special category information are:

  • where it is necessary in order for us to carry out our obligations in relation to employment and social security and social protection law;
  • Where it is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for assessment of working capacity of an employee, medical diagnosis or for the provision and management of health or social care systems and treatment – for example much of the special category information we use as part of our Adult Social Care and Children’s Service’s will be on this lawful basis.
  • Necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health;
  • Necessary for reason of substantial public interest;
  • Necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research;

In circumstance where none of the above lawful reasons apply we will only collect and use and or share your information with an appropriate legal and justified reason or your explicit and informed consent. Please note you can withdraw you consent to this processing at any time by contacting us at our main address (detailed below)

For more details please see the directorate/service area privacy notices on our website 

 

Who we may share your information with

In order to comply with our obligations and to provide our services we may need to share your information with the following entities:

  • Adult Social Care;
  • Approved Agencies or third parties;
  • Care agencies;
  • Charities;
  • Children’s Social Care;
  • City/District/Borough Councils;
  • Regulatory bodies such as the Department for Work and Pensions or the Quality Care Commission;
  • Education providers;
  • Health agencies;
  • HMRC;
  • Housing Associations;
  • Police;
  • Ofsted

There may also be occasion when we will share your information with relevant third parties when required to do so by law.

There may be occasions when we use a third party organisation to carry out a service on our behalf. In these circumstances we make sure there are appropriate safeguards, controls and or agreements in place to ensure compliance of the Data Protection Regulations that will not impact on your rights.

When sharing your information make sure:

  • We provide only the information needed fulfill the purpose for the sharing;
  • We only share when there is a lawful basis to do so;
  • We will make sure that information is only shared in a secure way to safeguard against unauthorised access;
  • Where appropriate we will have agreements in place which require all of the above and specify what measures are needed to make sure the sharing is appropriate and secure.

For more details please see the directorate/service area privacy notices on our website 

 

Electoral Registration Services

To verify your identity, the data you provide will be processed by the individual Registration Digital Service managed by the Cabinet Office. As part of this process your data will be shared with the department of work and pensions and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors of the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service. You can find more information about this here:

https://www.registertovote.service.gov.uk/register-to-vote/privacy

 

National Fraud Initiative

Walsall Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers.  It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for; auditing, or administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises. Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match.  This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified.  Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation.  No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

We participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative: a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud.  We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise.  More detail can be found at www.gov.uk.

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.  We consider this to be the legal basis for sharing under the General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act.

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to the Cabinet Office Code of Data Matching Practice.

View further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information

 

How long we will hold your information

There are provisions in UK law that dictate how long we can keep your information. These provisions are known as retention guides or codes of practice.

The Council will only hold and archive your information in line with its corporate retention schedule which has been compiled in accordance with UK legislation such as, but not limited to, the Health and Social Care Records Code of Practice, The Health and Social Care Act, the Public Records Act and the Local Government Act.

 

Your rights

You have the following rights with regard to your personal information:

 

Right to be informed – You have the right to know the following:

  •  what information we intend to collect,
  • why we need your information,
  • the lawful basis under which we can process your information,
  • how we will process your information,
  • whether we share your information,
  • who we might share your information with,
  • your rights until the law,
  • how long we will retain your information and how you can contact us.

 

This Privacy Notice should have detailed all of the above but if for any reason you are dissatisfied with our stewardship of your information, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), contact details are provided below.

 

Rectification of your information – If it is established that information we hold about you is incorrect, you have the right to request that we correct this information.

 

Erasure of your information – In cases where the information we hold about you is no longer required in relation to the purpose for which it was collected and where there are no lawful grounds for holding your information, you can request an erasure of information.

 

The Right to Restrict processing –You can restrict us from using your information if you believe the data is inaccurate or if there are no lawful grounds for using the information but you do not want us to delete the information. In addition you can prevent us from deleting information we no longer use or need if you require it for a legal claim or defence.

Following investigation, if it is determined that the right to restrict processing should not apply the Council will inform you of reasons for this before the restriction is lifted.

 

Right to Data Portability - you have the right to request that information we hold about you be transferred to another public authority or other controller. Your data portability request will have to be made in writing, we will assess your request in accordance with the provisions of the GDPR to ascertain if your request is covered under the law. Our response will contain our decision regarding the viability of your request and asking you to choose between the following:

  • If you want the information handed to you.
  • If you would like the information transferred directly to the public authority or other controller.

 

Right to Object

If you object to the Council using your information in the ways detailed about we will cease to process your information unless we can show there are legitimate reasons which override your interests

Whether or not you have legitimate grounds to object to processing of your information, the Council will respond to your request within one month stating that your request has been upheld or the reasons for not upholding your request if that is the case.

 

Access to your information – If you would like to know what information we hold and process about you, the category of information, who we share your information with, to ascertain the accuracy of the information and the criteria we apply in processing your information, you can make a request to us in writing. Such a request is known as a Subject Access Request.

To make a subject access request and receive a copy of your personal information, contact Information Rights at:

Information Rights
Resource and Transformation Directorate
Walsall Council
Civic Centre
Darwall Street
Walsall
WS1 1TW

Telephone: 01922 650000
By email:informationrights@walsall.gov.uk.

Please be aware we will need you to provide appropriate identification but you can find details of this and everything else about our Subject Access Request process on our website or by typing the link below into your computer browser:

https://go.walsall.gov.uk/access_to_my_personal_records

We should respond to your request within 30 days of receipt but if the request is complex and more time is required we will inform you in writing.

 

 

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council’s Data Protection Officer (DPO) is Paul Withers. If you have any questions about your rights under the GDPR, how the Council uses your information, or you wish to make a complaint about how we have processed or utilised your data, Paul will be able to help. How to contact our DPO:

 

Contact Address:
Office of the DPO
Resources & Transformation
Civic Centre 3rd Floor (HR Suite)
Walsall Council
Darwall Street
Walsall
WS1 1TP

Email Address: Informationmgmt@walsall.gov.uk
Contact Telephone Number: 01922 650970

 

Should you be dissatisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) with the details given below:

 

ICO

Address:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Email Address:
Use the online form via this link https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/email/

Telephone Numbers:
Calling from within the UK 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate.
Calling from outside the UK +44 1625 545 745.

 

Specific Service Area Privacy Notices