Personal information retained by, or submitted to, Northumberland County Council is governed and protected by the Data Protection Act 1998.
This means only necessary information will be kept accurately, safely and securely. Northumberland County Council is registered on the public register of data controllers, with the registration number Z1727733. This entry identifies the nature of data kept and why we keep it.
Data protection principles
All organisations must adhere to eight principles. We ensure your personal information is:
- fair and lawfully processed
- processed for limited purposes
- adequate, relevant and not excessive
- accurate and kept up to date
- kept only for as long as necessary
- in accordance with your rights
- kept secure
- not transferred to other countries who don't have an adequate level of protection
What is personal information?
This includes data that can be used to identify a living person, either on its own or when referenced with data held by an organisation. This includes data such as your name, address and council tax reference number. Data relating to more than one individual, such as council tax records, can also be personal.
Information identified as sensitive includes ethnic origin, religious belief and sexuality. This information is subject to additional rules and safeguards. Photographs taken at public events and venues for the promotion of council services may also be included. If you can be identified in these, we ask permission before publication.
Information is also used for statistical and research purposes but does not include personal data.
What does processing data mean?
This includes collecting, storing, accessing, changing and destroying held information. The volume of data held depends on services used. There may be times we are required to share information between departments in order to provide the required service to you.
You have a right to request we stop processing your personal information by writing and explaining your reasons. We must respond within 21 days advising you of the outcome of your request.
It is vital personal information is accurate. If you consider the information we keep may not be accurate, you can let us know by contacting us. We will respond within 21 days.
Who will process my information?
Your information can be processed or accessed by employees and elected members to perform their duties. They only access what is appropriate for the required purpose. Personal information is not passed to third parties without your knowledge, unless there is a legal reason to do so.
Why might information not be provided to me?
Some data may be withheld if it also refers to others or may compromise crime prevention. In this instance, we will inform you about the nature of the data we keep and why.
Generally, members of the public are prohibited from accessing data about others. In certain circumstances, this may be permitted if you have written permission from the subject of the data or if you are a parent seeking information from your child’s social care or education records. In such cases, we may ask for additional information before data can be released.
By law, the council is also required to protect the public funds it administers, and therefore may share information provided with other relevant bodies in order to prevent and detect fraud.
Can I see information about other people?
You do not have the right to access personal information about other people, unless:
- you have written consent to request the records
- you are a parent requesting to see your child's social services or education records
- you have written authority to act on behalf of someone
We have a right to request further information before we adhere to the request or may refuse to provide information if there is a duty of confidentiality to the data subject.
Access to personal information you hold about me (subject access request)
You can request to access your information at any time by printing out and completing the subject access request form.
You can also contact us to request a form be posted to you.
There is a £10 fee, per person, for this service and you are required to provide two original forms of identification. This may include a driving licence, passport or a recent utility bill. At least one of the documents must contain a photograph and at least one must contain a home address.
You can post your documents to us at the address provided on the form or can make an appointment with our Information Governance Team to come in to County Hall and see someone. Please note we will not be able to see you without an appointment.
Once your request has been processed we will endeavour to respond to you within 40 calendar days.
Access to adoption records
Those wishing to access adoption record information should contact our adoption support service for advice and guidance.
Access to adult social care records
Access to occupational health records
The occupational health service delivered by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been redesigned to offer more appointments and acess to a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals in a timely and convernient way.
Former and current council staff wishing to access occupational health record information should contact the occupational health service on 01670 529213 for advice and guidance.
The consent form for release of occupational health records can be downloaded here
. The completed form should be sent to the occupational health service, their postal address is:
Occupational Health Service
Wansbeck General Hospital
Schools - data protection
Schools are independent data controllers and, therefore, responsible for the information they hold.
Schools retain information on pupils in order to support their teaching and learning, to monitor and report on progress and to provide appropriate pastoral care. This includes contact details, national curriculum assessment results and attendance information.
Other data, including ethnicity, special education needs and relevant medical information is also retained. Occasionally, schools are required to provide this data to various government agencies.
For further data protection information
Useful data protection links