Beta

This is a new service - your feedback will help us to improve it.

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.

How we use your personal data

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.

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. 

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

Contact us by email

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.

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.

Data Protection

What is Data Protection?

Data protection is about respecting personal data and only using it appropriately. The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the UK Data Protection Act governs how personal data should be processed by organisations.

What is Personal Data?

Personal data is any information which relates to a person who can be identified (either directly or indirectly) from this information. This also includes information which only identifies someone when combined with other information in a person's possession. For example, a car registration number on its own is not personal data but when combined with information held by the DVLA it can be used to identify someone and accordingly may then form part of that individual's personal data. This means a lot of information falls within the scope of 'personal data' and needs to be processed in accordance with the law.

To process personal data we need to have a lawful basis under Article 6 of the general data protection regulation (GDPR). Those the Council may rely on are:

  • Consent: the individual has given clear consent for you to process their personal data for a specific purpose.
  • Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked you to take specific steps before entering into a contract.
  • Legal obligation: the processing is necessary for you to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations).
  • Vital interests: the processing is necessary to protect someone’s life.
  • Public task: the processing is necessary for you to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions.

What is Special Category Data?

Special category data is personal data which is more sensitive and has the potential to cause more harm if processed inappropriately. It includes the data that used to be categorised as sensitive personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998. The following types of information are special category data:

  • race
  • ethnic origin
  • politics
  • religion
  • trade union membership
  • genetics
  • biometrics (where used for ID purposes)
  • health
  • sex life
  • sexual orientation

To process special category data we also need a lawful basis under Article 9 of the GDPR. The ones which the Council may rely on are:

  • the data subject has given explicit consent to the processing
  • processing is necessary for the purposes of employment and social security and social protection law
  • processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject
  • processing relates to personal data which are manifestly made public by the data subject
  • processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims
  • processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest
  • processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services
  • processing is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health
  • processing is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes

What do we mean by 'processed'?

Processing of data can mean using the personal information in any way, such as:

  • collecting / obtaining / recording
  • storing (including holding on someone else's behalf)
  • reading / viewing
  • sharing and disclosing
  • amending or altering
  • analysing
  • deleting / destroying
  • adapting

Everything the council does with your personal information will be classed as processing.

Walsall Council recognises that this information belongs to you, it is your data, and we are committed to protecting it and only using it appropriately in compliance with the data protection legislation. 

For further information on what personal information we collect and use in order to provide our services please see our Privacy Notice.

Contact us:

Information Governance and Assurance Team

Resource and Transformation

Walsall Council

Civic Centre

Darwell Street

Walsall

WS1 1TP

Telephone: 01922 650970

Contact us by email.

Data Protection Officer

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 used your data, Paul will be able to help.

Contact our DPO:

Office of the DPO

Resources & Transformation

Civic Centre 3rd Floor (HR Suite)

Walsall Council

Darwall Street

Walsall

WS1 1TP

Contact by email.

Email Address:

Phone: 01922 650970

What if I am unhappy with the response?

Should you be dissatisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

You can contact the ICO using its dedicated contact form.

Phone: 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.

Easy read privacy notice

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 for the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service.

You may decide to be on the 'open register' which means that your information is publicly available for anyone seeking to verify your identify, or use the data for other purposes, such as direct marketing. Anyone choosing to use the public data will be legally responsible for ensuring that they comply with the law, including informing you of what they intend to do with it.

You can find more information about this on the government website.

Filming and Photographs

Photographs and video footage may be taken at council events and functions and we will make sure that signage notifying you of this is clearly displayed. If you prefer not to be photographed or filmed you can notify the event organiser and they will ensure that you are not captured on camera.

There may be occasions during these events, and at other times, where we wish to take posed/staged photographs or film of a few individuals or solitary individuals (as opposed to large group shots). In these instances, we will always ask for consent prior to capturing any images.

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.

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 HMRC or the Department of Work and Pensions.

What other information is collected and who is it shared with?

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

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.

What other types of information is collected?

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.

In what other ways is my information used?

The council may also collect, use and share information for the purposes of undertaking or participating in internal or external audits and reviews:

  • to ensure services are delivered appropriately and effectively
  • to support local or national reporting requirements.
  • to comply with service delivery audits
  • to make sure that we are accountable for our decisions

The council is accountable for the services it delivers and making sure that they are useful and accessible to individuals. The council will use information in order to inform and notify, residents, service users and staff of any changes to services or the way in which they are delivered as part of our public functions and duties.

For more details please refer to our directorate and service area privacy notices.

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 on the government website.

How data is used

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.

Service Area Privacy Notices

COVID-19

Elected Members 

Service Areas

Internal - Employees and Casual workers

Easy Read Privacy Notice

Special Category (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.

Special catgegory information is classified as relating to the subjects below:

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

What reasons will the council have for using this information?

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 establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim
  • 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
  • where it is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health
  • where it is necessary for reason of substantial public interest
  • where it is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research

Can I withdraw my consent?

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.

For more details please see the dedicated information on our website.

Contact us:

Information Governance and Assurance Team

Resource and Transformation

Walsall Council

Civic Centre

Darwell Street

Walsall

WS1 1TP

Telephone: 01922 650970

Contact us by email.

Web and Cookie Notice

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
  • Office for National Statistics (ONS)
  • Ofsted

We will share your information with relevant third-parties when required to do so by law and this may entail sharing information with the wider public via our website.

Information relating to crime

There may be occasions where the council has no other option but to publish information relating to the identification of suspected criminals. Our enforcement team is responsible for finding and prosecuting anyone carrying out illegal activities in the borough such as the dumping of rubbish in a public space, or leaving it on land without the owner’s permission. Therefore, we may publish images and or CCTV footage for the purposes of the prevention and detection of crime concerning identifying suspected fly tippers. Such publications are a last resort where other methods of identification have failed and the council is attempting to bring to justice such individuals.

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.

Information sharing safeguards

When sharing your information we 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 dedicated information on our website.

Contact us:

Information Governance and Assurance Team

Resource and Transformation

Walsall Council

Civic Centre

Darwell Street

Walsall

WS1 1TP

Telephone: 01922 650970

Contact us by email.

Why do we collect and use 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

How will it be processed?

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.

Why we use your information - 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.

For more details please see the dedicated information on our website

Contact us

Information Governance and Assurance Team

Resource and Transformation

Walsall Council

Civic Centre

Darwell Street

Walsall

WS1 1TP

Telephone: 01922 650970

Contact us by email.

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

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.

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, or request the application of the above rights please contact Information Rights at:

Information Rights

Resource and Transformation Directorate

Walsall Council

Civic Centre

Darwall Street

Walsall

WS1 1TW

Telephone: 01922 650000

Contact by email

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.

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.

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 set out above 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.

Automated Decision Making - You have the right not to be subject to a decision which affects you, which is solely based on automated processing. This will include profiling. 

This right will not apply if the automated decision making is necessary in anticipation of entering into a contract or if it is authorised in law. You can give us explicit consent to be subject to automated decision making but you can remove this consent at any time. 

3rd Party Applications and web portals

Where appropriate we will support the use of third party apps and web portals which would assist residents and service users with contacting the council or accessing our services. This technology will often provide a secure method for individuals to provide information to the council and ensure that the information is protected and only available to the relevant team and for the appropriate purpose.

Whenever the council considers that the use of third-party applications or web portals may assist individuals they will ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to ensure that any use is in compliance with data protection legislation. This may include having agreements in place between the council and the third party application and clear defined processes for its use and what information can be collected this way.