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Privacy Notice for Councillors

Mendip District Council (MDC) and its elected Councillors are committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services and when you approach a Councillor for assistance or a response to a query.

This Privacy Notice explains how Mendip Councillors use information about you and how, together, we protect your privacy.

How Councillors use personal data

What is Personal data?

Personal data can be anything that identifies and relates to a living person. This can include information that, when put together with other information, can then identify a person. For example, Mendip Councillors are likely to collect personal data about you, such as name, address, email address, telephone number, as well as specific information about your issue, in order to be able to help you. Councillors may also need to share some of that information with the council, or other public bodies, to deal with your issue.

Special categories of personal information

Some information is 'special' and needs more protection due to its sensitivity. It's often information you would not want widely known and is very personal to you. This is could include:

  • Sexuality and sexual health
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Ethnicity
  • Physical or mental health
  • Trade union membership
  • Political opinions
  • Genetic/biometric data
  • Criminal history

Why Councillors need your personal information

In order for the MDC Councillors to deal with your request for assistance, or to respond to your query, it is necessary for them to collect, store and process your personal information to provide you with the relevant help, services or support requested.

How the law allows Councillors to use your personal information

Generally Councillors will use your personal information based on the Public Task lawful basis, or Substantial Public Interest condition when dealing with 'Special Category' personal data. Where a Councillor wishes to use your personal data for a different reason, they may need to seek your consent to do so.

If a Councillor has your consent to use your personal information, you have the right to remove your consent at any time. If you want to withdraw your consent, please contact your Councillor directly.

Councillors only use what they need

Where they can, Councillors will only collect and use the minimum amount of personal information that they need to help deal with your request or query, including when they share information with council Officers or third parties.

If they don't need personal information they'll either keep you anonymous or they won't ask you for it.

Who do Councillors share your information with?

To assist in dealing with your request or responding to your query, Councillors may need to share some of your personal information with Officers of MDC. They may also need to share your personal information with other relevant agencies and bodies, such as other local authorities, government agencies, public bodies, health trusts and support organisations.

Any sharing will be made on a case-by-case basis; using the minimum personal information required, with the appropriate security controls in place and on a "need to know" basis. Where the information is shared with another relevant agency or body, they will inform you with whom it was shared, unless there is a legal reason not to do so.

Political campaigning

When campaigning for election as the representative of a political party, Councillors can use personal information, such as mailing lists, legitimately held by their parties. However, personal information they hold in their role as your local representative, such as complaints casework, should not be used in this way without your consent.

What you can do with your information

The law gives you a number of rights to ensure you have control over your personal data that is being used by a Councillor. The application of these rights depends on the lawful basis being used to process the data, which means that some rights only apply in certain circumstances.

Your rights

You are entitled to the following rights:

  • Right of access: you have the right to request a copy of the information that a Councillor holds.  This is known as a Subject Access Request
  • Right of rectification: you have a right to correct data that a Councillor holds about you if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • Right to be forgotten: in certain circumstances you can ask for the data a Councillor holds about you to be erased from their records
  • Right to restriction of processing: where certain conditions apply you have the right to ask Councillors to restrict [quarantine] their processing of your data
  • Right of portability: in certain circumstances you have the right to have the data a Councillor holds about you transferred to another organisation
  • Right to object: you have the right to object to certain types of processing, such as direct marketing
  • Right to object to automated processing, including profiling: you have the right to ask for a decision made on wholly automated basis which legally affects you to be reviewed by a human being
  • If you wish to exercise any of these rights, you should contact the Councillor directly

How long Councillors keep personal information

Councillors will only keep your personal information for as long is required to deal with your request or query. In the main Councillors will review all records containing personal information annually and delete those that are no longer needed. Where information is shared with an Officer of the Council, the council's own retention schedule will apply.

Where you can find advice

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) at:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane


Phone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number