Councillors as data controllers
Nature of work
Councillors are likely to have three different roles.
- Member of the Council - Councillors make use of personal data provided by the Council when acting as a member of the Council, for example, as a cabinet member or a member of a committee. In this circumstance the Council is the registered data controller. Personal information held by the Council will not be used for political purposes unless both the Council and the individuals concerned agree.
- Ward Councillor - Councillors use personal case work material in their own right when they are acting as a representative of residents of their ward, for example, in dealing with complaints. In this circumstance, the Councillor is the data controller. All Councillors are required to take into account the context in which personal information is collected to decide whether their use of the information will be fair and lawful.
- Political Party - Councillors access, collect and deploy personal data through their political campaigning, particularly at election time. In this circumstance, the political party will be the data controller. When campaigning for election as the representative of a political party, candidates can use personal information, such as mailing lists, legitimately held by their parties. However, personal information they hold in their role as representative of local residents, such as complaints casework, will not be used without the consent of the individual.
Description of processing
The following is a broad description of the way Councillors may process personal information when acting as a Ward Councillor. To understand how your own personal information is processed you may need to refer to any personal communications you have received, check any privacy notices the Councillor has provided or contact them to ask about your personal circumstances.
How to find your Councillor
You can find out which Councillors represent your area and how to contact them by visiting the Councillors webpage.
Reasons/purposes for processing information
Councillors process personal information to enable them to carry out casework on behalf of individual constituents. The legal basis for processing the information will, therefore, generally be consent based.
Type/Classes of information processed
Councillors process information relevant to the above reasons/purposes. This may include:
- personal details
- family, lifestyle and social circumstances
- financial details
- education and employment details
- housing information
- details of complaints
Councillors may also process sensitive classes of information that may include:
- physical or mental health details
- trade union membership
- racial or ethnic origin
- offences including alleged offences
- political affiliation of elected members
Who information is processed about
Councillors process personal information about:
- elected representatives and others in public office
- Council employees
- complainants and enquirers
- relatives, guardians and associates of the person whose personal information they are processing
- business or other contacts
- the subject of complaints
Who information may be shared with
Councillors sometimes need to share the personal information they process with the individuals themselves and also with other organisations. Where this is necessary they are required to comply with all aspects of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Set out below is a description of the types of organisations they may need to share some of the personal information they process with for one or more reasons.
Where necessary or required Councillors share information with:
- elected representatives and other holders of public office
- local and central government
- statutory law enforcement agencies and investigating bodies
- political organisations
- the media
- healthcare, social and welfare advisers or practitioners
- the subject of complaints
How long we will keep your information
Your personal information will not be retained for any longer than needed and will be securely destroyed when disposed of.
Councillors will have no need to transfer your personal information overseas.