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Privacy notice

Privacy notice

How we use your information

This privacy notice tells you what to expect when West Lindsey District Council (“the Council”) collects personal information.  It applies to information we collect about:

  • visitors to our websites
  • people who subscribe to or apply for services that require personal information
  • people who contact us and leave their details for us to respond to
  • job applicants and our current and former employees

Visitors to our websites

When someone visits www.west-lindsey.gov.uk we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns.  We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site.  We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone and we do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

Please note that if you make a comment (called ‘a representation’) on a specific planning application via the website, both your comments and contact details will be made public as part of the planning process.  Similarly, representations about Licensing Applications made under the Licensing Act 2003 will be made public together with name and contact details.  

Use of cookies by the Council

You can read more about how we use cookies, and how to delete or reject them, on our Cookies page.

Search engine

Search queries and results are logged anonymously to help us improve our website and search functionality. No user-specific data is collected by either the Council or any third party.

Online reporting tools

We collect information volunteered by members of the public by surveys and forms.  We only use the personal data we collect to process the information and/or to check the level of service we provide.

Security and performance

The Council’s website is hosted by Ideagen PLC.  Ideagen PLC processes the IP addresses of visitors to help maintain the security and performance of the website.

People who telephone us

When you call the Council we collect Calling Line Identification (CLI) information. We use this information to help improve its efficiency and effectiveness.

We also offer a translation service provided by a third party company for customers when English is not their first language. The company that provides this service does not retain any information from the calls or record them.

People who email us

Any email sent to us, including any attachments, may be monitored and used by us for reasons of security and for monitoring compliance with office policy.  Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to make sure that any email you send to us is within the bounds of the law.

People who use Council services

The Council offers various services to the public.  We have to hold the details of the people who have requested the service in order to provide it. However, we only use these details to provide the service the person has requested and for other closely related purposes. For example, we might use information about people who have requested a service to carry out a survey to find out if they are happy with the level of service they received. When people do subscribe to our services, they can cancel their subscription at any time and are given an easy way of doing this.

Sometimes we may use a third party to run a service on our behalf, but they are only allowed to use the information to provide the service.

People who make a complaint about someone else to us

When we receive a complaint from a person about someone else (e.g. complaints regarding anti-social behaviour, excessive noise, contraventions of planning regulations etc.) we make up a file containing the details of the complaint. This normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.

We will only use the personal information we collect to process the complaint, assist with enforcement, and to check on the level of service we provide. We do compile and publish statistics showing information like the number of complaints we receive, but not in a form which identifies anyone.

We will never disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about unless the complainant gives us their explicit consent or we are legally required to.  We will only share personal information collected about the complaint with relevant agencies and bodies in line with our data sharing agreements.    

We will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with our retention policy. This means that information relating to a complaint will be retained for six years from closure. It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.

People who make a complaint about us

When we receive a complaint about us from a person we make up a file containing the details of the complaint. This normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.

We will only use the personal information we collect to process the complaint and to check on the level of service we provide. We do compile and publish statistics showing information like the number of complaints we receive, but not in a form which identifies anyone.

We usually have to disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about. This is inevitable where, for example, the accuracy of a person’s record is in dispute. If a complainant doesn’t want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, we will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis.

We will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with our retention policy. This means that information relating to a complaint will be retained for six years from closure. It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.

Job applicants, current and former Council employees

When individuals apply to work at the Council, we will only use the information they supply to us to process their application and to monitor recruitment statistics. Where we want to disclose information to a third party, for example where we want to take up a reference or obtain a ‘disclosure’ from the Disclosure and Barring Service we will not do so without informing them beforehand unless the disclosure is required by law.

Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for one year plus the current year after the recruitment exercise has been completed, it will then be destroyed or deleted. We retain de-personalised statistical information about applicants to help inform our recruitment activities, but no individuals are identifiable from that data.

Once a person has taken up employment with the Council, we will compile a file relating to their employment. The information contained in this will be kept secure and will only be used for purposes directly relevant to that person’s employment. Once their employment with the Council has ended, we will retain the file in accordance with the requirements of our retention schedule and then delete it.

Use of CCTV

The Council operates monitored CCTV systems in some of our locations used by members of the public. The purpose of this CCTV is for the safety of the public and staff at these locations and to prevent and detect crime. In locations that have CCTV there are signs displayed notifying you that CCTV is in operation.

We will only disclose CCTV images to third parties for the purposes as stated above. CCTV images will not be released to the media for entertainment purposes or places on the internet.

CCTV images will be monitored, used and retained in accordance with the council’s CCTV Code of Practice. You can view the Council’s CCTV Code of Practice online.

You have the right to see CCTV images of yourself and be provided with a copy subject to certain criteria. Please visit our CCTV page to learn more about completing a Subject Access Request.

The Council also operates public space and private customer CCTV solutions. You can find out more about these services on our CCTV page.

Access to personal information

The Council tries to be as open as it can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. If we do hold information about you we will:

  • give you a description of it;
  • tell you why we are holding it;
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

To make a request to the council for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing either by emailing it to our Freedom of Information Department, or writing to the address provided below in the 'How to contact us' section at the bottom of this page.

If we do hold information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes by, once again, contacting the Freedom of Information Department.

Disclosure of personal information

In many circumstances we will not disclose personal data without consent. However, when we investigate a complaint, for example, we will need to share personal information with the department concerned and with other relevant bodies.

Information sharing

We may disclose your information to others, but only where this is necessary, either to comply with our legal obligations or as permitted by the Data Protection Act.  This includes for the purpose of the prevention and/or detection of crime, or where it is necessary to allow a third party working for or acting on behalf of the Council, to provide service.

We strive to ensure that your personal data in our care is protected and secure, where your information is disclosed to a third party, we will seek to ensure that they have sufficient systems and procedures in place to protect your personal data and will only use for the specified purposes it was provided for.

Where we need to disclose your sensitive or confidential information (such as your ethnic origin, for instance) to a third party, we will only do so once we have obtained your explicit consent, unless we are legally required to do so, or where we have good reason to believe that failing to share the information would put you or someone else at risk of harm.

We will not pass your personal information to external organisations for marketing or sales purposes or for any commercial use without your prior express consent.

We will only transfer your personal information overseas, where we are obliged to do so by law or in individual cases where there is a specific requirement and then only with your consent.

Data matching for the prevention and detection of fraud and crime

West Lindsey District Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers.  We may share information provided to us 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, as detailed here.

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.  It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

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

Complaints or queries about our collection of personal information

The Council tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information.  For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously.  We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate.  We would also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.

This privacy notice was drafted with brevity and clarity in mind. It does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of the Council’s collection and use of personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Any requests for this should be sent to the address below in the 'How to contact us' section at the bottom of this page.

Links to other websites

This privacy notice does not cover the links within this site linking to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated on 30 March 2017.

How to contact us

If you want to request information about our privacy policy you can email us or write to:

Customer Services
West Lindsey District Council
Guildhall
Marshall’s Yard
Gainsborough
Lincolnshire
DN21 2NA

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