Data protection

Personal Information Privacy Notice
We value your personal information. Sefton Council collects and processes personal information about its service users and its employees. It processes this information in accordance with The Data Protection Act. It will only gather the minimum information necessary. The information will only be used to provide you with an effective and joined-up service. It will be adequately protected, and shared with other agencies only where the law permits. Finally, it will be destroyed as soon as it is no longer required.

Sharing your personal information with other agencies or departments.
Sefton Council, along with all other Public Sector agencies, are committed to providing joined-up, cost-effective services to all our customers. To do this it is sometimes necessary to share your information with other departments, agencies or external service providers. This will only be done where the Law permits, and will be done in compliance with the Law and with the Information Commissioner's Statutory guidance on Data-sharing.

For more detailed information see our Legal notices, or visit the Information Commissioner's website. You can also Search the Data Protection Register to find out what processing of personal data is being carried out by a particular data controller. Sefton Council's DPA Registration number is Z6451588.

Sharing without your knowledge
In certain very rare and limited circumstances the Data Protection Act permits us to share your personal data without your knowledge. This is principally where the information is needed for:

- the prevention and detection of a crime including fraud.
- the apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
- the assessment or collection of tax or duty.

The Council will still refuse to release personal information if it feels the request is not compliant with the requirements of the Data Protection Act, in particular if it feels the request is not fair or lawful.

Access to personal information

You are entitled to request,from the Council, access to those Council records which hold personal information about you.

This entitlement is under the Data Protection Act ‘Subject Access Request’ provision.

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.

If your request concerns your present or past experience as either a Childrens or Adults Social Care records then please see Access to Personal Files information in Social Care.

If your request is outside of the two Social Care departments then please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs About Your Records) below.

If you decide to progress your request please use the electronic form below.

For any further details please contact the Data Protection Officer.

FAQs About Your Records

We need to keep your personal information to help us make decisions about services provided to you, and to plan future services. Everyone who receives a service from the Council will have some type of record.

Different information is kept, depending on the reason for your contact with us. The record is likely to include basic information such as your address and date of birth.

(If you are seeking Social Care records held by the Council, please contact the Access to Files Officer on 0151 934 3405)

Information is held on paper files and on a secure computer database in the relevant Council Department. Paper files are locked in secure cabinets when not in use, and all computers are password protected.

Closed paper case files are archived in secure storage rooms, and electronic files are closed down.

All staff are required to keep information confidential, and only authorised staff can access your information.

Under the Data Protection Act you have a right to access your records, however there are legal restrictions on some types of information.

By completing a subject access request form (non social care). This can be obtained by emailing

Alternatively, you can complete an electronic version of the access to files request form.

The form can be printed blank for you to complete by hand and sign, or you can save a copy to your computer, which allows you to fill in your details electronically and print a copy to sign.

You need to provide two forms of identification, one which confirms your identity and one which confirms your current address. Please send only photocopy documents, do not send originals as these can be lost in transit.

Acceptable confirmation of identity includes:

  • Current Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Unexpired photo card driving licence (full or provisional)

Acceptable confirmation of current address includes:

  • Utility bill dated within the last three months
  • Council Tax bill for current year
  • Unexpired old style paper driving licence
  • Bank statement dated within the last three months
  • Benefits Agency / State Pension correspondence (on letter-headed paper) dated within the last three months

If you want to nominate a friend or representative to access your records on your behalf, you will need to confirm this on your request form. They will also need to provide two forms of identification from the above list.

We will provide access to your records within forty calendar days of receiving your completed application form and identification.

The Department will read through your entire record and remove any information which is not about you. We may also need to contact other services and people such as schools and health professionals, for permission to release any third party information they have provided.

Sometimes the volume of information may take longer than forty days to process. Where appropriate, we will contact you to discuss timescales when we receive your request.

Any errors within your record will be corrected. If you disagree with any statements within your record, your comments can be added to the record for reference.

Records are kept in accordance with the authority’s Retention and Disposal Schedules. The length of retention will depend on the type of service you have received from us. The relevant Officer can confirm the retention period for your record.

Access to other Council information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 enable the public to have access to unpublished information that the Council holds, subject to certain conditions and exemptions.

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI)
Sefton Council are required to participate in the Audit Commission's National Fraud initiative and to share certain limited personal information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds. This enables them to prevent and detect fraud. Our Fraud Detection Privacy Notice gives details of why we must do this and how your personal information may be used.

The Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act aims to promote a culture of openness and accountability amongst public sector bodies, by giving the public rights of access to the information held by them. It is expected that these rights will facilitate better public understanding of how public authorities carry out their duties, why they make the decisions they do and how they spend public money.

The Sefton Council FOI Publication Scheme and Guide to Information will guide you to the information that we publish. It will show how to obtain it, and whether or not there is a charge involved. You can also find more information on the Freedom of Information Act and your rights.

Health Data
All Local Authorities have a duty to improve the health of the population they serve. To help with this, we use data and information from a range of sources including hospitals to understand more about the nature and causes of disease and ill-health in the area. Please see our Privacy Notice below:

Privacy Notice For Public Health Services (pdf 56KB)

You will also find more information on our Public Health pages.

If you would like to request a copy of the information Sefton Borough Council holds and shares about you, please see the third section on this page, “Access to personal information”.

Last Updated on 27 September 2017

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