Solihull Council is committed to respecting your privacy. We have structured our website so that, in general, you can visit it without identifying yourself or revealing any personal information. Once you choose to provide us with any information by which you can be identified, then you can be assured that it will only be used for stated purposes which will be made clear to you when you are asked to submit information.
We have to notify the Information Commissioner of the types of personal information we process and for what purpose we use it for and whom we share it with. You can see what is recorded on our Data Protection Notification entry if you search for Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council on the Information Commissioner's web site.
Solihull Council uses and shares your personal information in order to enable it to identify, plan, deliver and monitor services that it provides to you and the community as a whole.
The Data Protection Act 1998 sets out a series of rules which the Council must keep to when it uses your personal information, namely:-
- it shall be used fairly and lawfully
- it shall be obtained for one or more specified and lawful purpose and not used in a way that is not compatible with those specified purpose(s)
- it shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purpose that it was obtained
- it shall be accurate and where necessary kept up to date
- it shall not be kept for longer than is necessary
- it shall be used in accordance with the individual's rights
- it shall be kept securely
- it shall not be transferred to a country which does not have adequate protection for the rights of the individual
The Data Protection Act 1998 gives individuals a number of rights, namely:-
- to find out what information is held about them
- to be informed what information is held, what it is used for and to whom it may be disclosed
- to be given a copy of the information
- to be given an explanation of any codes used or the logic involved in any automatic decision making processes
- to have inaccurate information corrected or destroyed
- to prevent further use of personal information if it causes, or is likely to cause, substantial damage or distress
- to seek compensation for any damage and distress caused by the use of inaccurate information
- to prevent use of their personal data for direct marketing
Accessing Your Information
The Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act) gives individuals the right to request, and in most cases to be given, a copy of the information which the Council holds about them.
Please note that the Act only entitles an individual to see, or be given a copy of, their own information. You are not entitled to see someone else's information unless they have given their permission for you to do so. Likewise, someone else can not ask for your information unless you have given permission for them to do so. This applies to spouses, relatives, friends etc.
Under this legislation, we are required to confirm the identity of the requester, to ensure that we only disclose personal information to those who have a legal right to receive it. Therefore, before we can process your request we need to see proof of identification. Please be aware that we will need to see one document from each list.
A clear full colour copy of one document from each of the lists below should be provided (unless an original is specified)
Identity Documents List 1:
- Current passport
- Current full driving licence
- Birth certificate (original certified)
- Adoption certificate (original certified)
- Marriage certificate (original certified)
- NHS Medical Card
Identity Documents List 2:
- Gas, Electricity or Water Bill (dated within last 6 months for your current address)
- Fixed Line Telephone Bill (dated within last 6 months for your current address)
- Council Tax Statement/Payment Book (dated for current year)
- Current bank, building society or credit card statement (showing your current address)
NOTE: We cannot accept provisional driving licences or mobile phone bills as identification.
If you want to see or be given a small amount of your own information, for example, a copy of a form that you have recently sent to the Council, you should contact the service area concerned directly. You may be asked to provide proof of identity before being given the information.
If you want to see, or be given, a full copy of your record(s) you will need to make your request in writing. Your request must include enough information about yourself and the information that you are seeking to enable the Council to identify you and your record(s).
You can download an access to records form or call the Corporate Information Governance Team on 0121 704 6251 to request a copy.
All written requests for access to records should be addressed to:
The Corporate Information Governance Team
Corporate Performance, Policy and Information
Frequently Asked Questions
If I want my records, what details does the Council need?
- we will need as much information as possible to enable us to identify you and the record(s) that you are seeking. Please look at the guidance notes and request form that we have produced
If I only want a certain part of my record can I have just that?
- yes. If you tell us what part of your record you want, for example a specific document or information on your record between certain dates, we will give you a copy of just that
Will I have to pay for a copy of my records?
- if you are applying for a copy of your record(s) held by the Council you will not be charged for this service
- if you apply for a copy of your record(s) from any other organisation, for example a school, you may be charged a fee for the service
Can I see or have someone else's record(s)?
- no. The Act only entitles you to access your own information - this also means that no one else can access your information. This applies to spouses, relatives and friends etc. There are, however, special rules that apply to a parent seeking access to their young children's information
- sometimes a person may not be able to make the request for themselves, and may ask someone else to act on their behalf. Before the Council will process a request from a 'representative', it will require proof that the person whose information is being sought has given their permission for the representative to act on their behalf
Will I be given everything?
- yes, normally the Council will give you a complete copy of the information (paper and electronic records) which you have requested. However, there are a few situations where the Council may not be able to provide you with all, or some, of the information that you are requesting, for example:
- if your record contains information that identifies someone other than yourself, or an employee/agent of the Council (third party), we may need to get permission from that person before it can disclose the information to you
- if your record contains information that was provided by a person other than yourself, or an employee/agent of the Council (third party), we may need to get permission from the provider of the information before it can be disclosed to you
- the Council can also refuse to give you the information that you are requesting if in doing so it may prevent the detection of a crime
How long will it take to get my records?
- the Act requires the Council to give you a copy of your information within 40 calendar days of receiving your request
- if you apply to another organisation for access to your records they may have different timescales in which to give you the information, for example a school has 15 school days to provide the information
How will you get the information to me?
- this will depend upon the nature of the information. Normally we will give you a choice. We can, depending upon the size of the information:
- send it to you by encrypted email,
- or post the information to you by Special Delivery Service,
- or arrange for you to collect it from one of our offices.
- important - please be aware that if you wish us to post the information to you, we will take every care to ensure that it is addressed correctly. However, we can not be held liable if the information is lost in the post or incorrectly delivered or opened by someone else in your household. Loss or incorrect delivery may cause you embarrassment or harm if the information is 'sensitive'
What if I want information about the Council that is not personal information?
- requests for all other types of information, which is not personal information, is dealt with under the provision of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
What if you are not happy?
If you feel that the Council has acted unreasonably when dealing with your request for access to records, or you have identified any errors in your record(s), please write to:
The Corporate Information Governance Manager
Corporate Performance, Policy and Information
and tell us of your concerns. Your concerns will be investigated and you will be notified of the outcome within 10 working days of receiving your letter of concern.
If you are still not happy with the outcome, you may refer the matter to the office of the Information Commissioner.
Further information on your rights
Because of limited space we are only able to give you very basic information about the Data Protection Act 1998. If you would like to know more about this, or about how we deal with the records that we hold, please feel free to contact the Council's Corporate Information Governance Team:
Telephone: 0121 704 6251
The Information Commissioner is the independent person who is responsible for enforcing the Data Protection Act. The Commissioner offers a range of publications about your rights, as well as advice and assistance.