Guidance for Data Subjects & Data Subject Request Form

Personal Information - Your right to know - The Data Protection Act 1998

What is the Data Protection Act 1998?

It is a law, which came into force at the end of October 1998. It was introduced to protect personal data, that is data about individuals (you and me) no matter how it is processed, what it is processed for or who processes it.


How does it protect personal data about you?

By setting rules and conditions which all users of personal information such as Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council (the Act calls us a Data Controller) must obey when obtaining and using information about you. The Act also provides you with certain rights, which the Council must respect.


What are your rights?

  • To ask the Council if it holds personal information about you
  • To ask what it uses the information for
  • To be given a copy of the information
  • To be given details about the purposes for which the Council uses the information and of other organisations or persons to whom it is disclosed
  • To ask for incorrect data to be corrected
  • To ask the Council not to use personal information about you:
    • for direct marketing;
    • for any purpose which is likely to cause damage or distress to you; or
    • to make decisions about you based on the automatic processing of the data.
      • To claim compensation for damage or distress should these be caused by the Councils failure to comply with certain requirements of the Act.

Why do we keep personal information?

So that we can provide you with the services you require, collect the council tax, collect rent, calculate housing benefit etc. and maintain a record of the services provided.


What services does the Council provide?

In addition to those above Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council provides the following:

  • Social Services
  • Education
  • Library and Leisure services
  • Consumer Protection
  • Housing
  • Refuse collection and cleansing
  • Planning
  • Licensing
  • Environmental Health.

Does the Council need your consent to use information about you for any of these purposes?

We require your consent only if we are going to process data about you for purposes other than those we are required to provide by law, or where we intend using data required for one legal purpose for another. All application forms and requests for information explain why we require the information requested and whether or not we need your consent. Your personal data may be disclosed to the Electoral Registration Officer for the purpose of maintaining the electoral register.


How do you ask to see information about you?

You must write to the Council, to the address at the foot of this page, asking to see your records. You will need to provide your name and address, details of the service(s) you are receiving and any other information (e.g. date of birth, rent or council tax number) that could help the Council find your information. Alternatively complete the Subject Access Request Form which can be downloaded below or obtained from any of the Council's offices. Help is available with filling in this form should you need it. The request form will also be sent to you if you have not provided the Council with enough information when writing in.



Do you have to pay to see your information?

The Act allows the Council to charge up to £10 for each request you make. A request can be for all the information that the Council holds about you or for specific information (e.g. your Social Services records). The Councils normal policy is to charge the £10 allowed in each case but this might be reduced in cases of hardship.


What information will you receive?

Where you have made a specific request you will receive all the information held by the Council related to that area. Otherwise, you will receive all of the information the Council holds about you. In both cases you will receive the information held on both the Councils computer and manual records, a description of the purposes for which we process your data, a list of others to whom it is disclosed and information about sources.


How will you be given the information?

You will be given a copy to keep and check for accuracy. This will either be a printout from the computer or a photocopy of your manual records. In the case of Social Services records, the Social Services Department will contact you to discuss exactly which part(s) of your file you wish to see and to offer a personal interview to assist you in understanding the records.


How quickly will you be given the information?

Once you have paid the fee and provided the details needed to help the Council find your information, the Council must provide you with the information within 40 days.


What do you do if the data are incorrect?

You must write to the Council telling us what data are incorrect and asking for the data to be corrected. We must tell you what we have done within 21-days of receiving your request. If the Council does not agree that the information is incorrect, you can ask us to record your disagreement on your records. You can also appeal to the Information Commissioner or the court if the Council does not correct the information.


What do you do if you think you have not been given all of the information you asked for?

You can appeal to the Council through our complaints procedure or you can appeal to the Information Commissioner. The Commissioners staff will look into the matter on your behalf.


How can you prevent the Council from using information about you for Direct Marketing or stop it from using information for a purpose, which could cause you damage or distress?

You should write to the Council asking us not to process your information for the first of these. If you think that the use could cause you damage or distress, you must also write to the Council, this time giving your reasons for asking us to stop the processing.


How will you know if the Council has done as you asked?

The Act requires us to respond no later than 21 days after we have received your request. If we do not do so or refuse to do as you ask you can appeal to the court.


How will you know if decisions about you have been made by automatic means?

The Council will tell you and ask you to write if you have any objections. If you do object the Council will make a new decision but this time will not do so by automated means.


What can you claim compensation for?

If the Council has broken any of the rules or conditions established by the Act and you have suffered damage or distress you may be able to claim compensation. You may also be able to claim compensation if the damage or distress was caused by our use of inaccurate data.


How do you make a claim for compensation?

Claims are made through the court which will only support these if you can show that the Council had not taken reasonable care to ensure it complied with the Act and in the case of the use of inaccurate data it is satisfied that you have suffered damage as a result of our use of such data.


Does the Council provide help in understanding the information?

Yes, if you need help with the information provided, the application form or this leaflet, please let us know and we will provide someone to assist you. A translation service is also available.
Address to which requests for access and other communications to do with data protection should be sent:

Principal Governance Officer,
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council,
Redcar & Cleveland Leisure and Community Heart
Ridley Street
Redcar and Cleveland Council
TS10 1TD

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Last updated:
16/08/2017

Assigned review date:
22/04/2017

Awaiting page content review by the allocated team


Page Section:
The Council
Data Protection & FOI

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