How we use your personal information for Public Protection purposes
The Council provides services for local communities and the people who live in them. Undertaking this work means that we must collect and use information about the people we provide services to and keep a record of those services. Because we collect and use personal information about individuals we must make sure that they know what we intend to do with their information and who it may be shared with.
We have summarised in this privacy notice some of the key ways in which we use your personal information for Public Protection purposes. This information should be read in conjunction with the Council’s corporate privacy notice.
1. Who we are, what we do.
As Public Protection Services, we are responsible for delivering a wide range of regulatory and statutory functions on behalf of the Council. We enforce a wide range of legislation aimed at protecting public health, ensuring a safe trading environment for citizens and businesses and protecting the environment.
Our Environmental Health services ensure that we investigate requests for service and take action to tackle pollution and public health issues (including pest and animal control), and this includes undertaking proactive inspections for environmental permitting, private water supplies and contaminated land duties. We also protect food safety or workplace health issues by inspecting businesses and investigating complaints or accidents and take action to protect the public from contagious and infectious diseases. We ensure that homes meet legal standards and are safe and healthy for residents to live in. We seek to ensure that long standing empty properties are reoccupied and that dilapidated buildings are brought back into a good state of repair. We licence residential mobile homes sites and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
Our Trading Standards service ensures that businesses can trade fairly, that consumers’ rights and safety are protected, that food standards are maintained, that rogue traders and those profiting from counterfeit goods are tackled and that the health and welfare of animals going into the human food chain is protected. We protect victims of scams and work with partner agencies to provide access to support for victims.
As a Licensing Authority, we licence premises to ensure responsible retailing of alcohol, music and dancing to ensure that they do not have a negative impact on the local community. We also ensure that the County Borough has a fleet of taxis that safely meets the needs of our communities and whose drivers are subject to strict vetting. We licence additional activities such as pet shops, animal boarding and breeding establishments and scrap metal dealers. As a service, we also licence skin piercing activities (such as tattooing), firework sale and storage facilities and regulate premises that store and sell petroleum.
2. What and whose personal information we hold?
In order to investigate complaints of criminal breaches or action requests for a service, we hold certain information. This will include details about the person making the complaint, the person/ activity or business the complaint is about and information about who owns land, property or businesses. The information we collect and hold is to enable us to perform our statutory duties and enforce legislation. This information is required in order to fully investigate any offences in question and take appropriate action, using legal powers if necessary.
This information is often given to us via an application you make for a licence, permit or certificate.
We hold information about current and previous complaints, complainants and traders / businesses.
The type of information we hold and process will typically include:
- Contact details, including name, address, telephone number and e-mail address
- Identifying details, including date of birth and national insurance number
Additional information we hold and process, where it is of specific relevance to your type of licence application, complaint or service request may include:
- If you have been a victim of a scam, we may hold additional information in respect of your level of vulnerability, in order that we can assess whether you qualify for a specific intervention, and to liaise with partner agencies to ensure you gain access to the support that is required. This can include information relating to any vulnerability, such as your health and disability and of those that live with you.
- Financial information, such as payments made for goods and services, and bank account details. We also collect this information if you have requested and paid for a pest control treatment or paid to get your stray dog back from detention.
- Nationality information, relevant criminal record details and medical information where this is required by law for certain types of licence or certificate application that you make.
- To control contagious or infectious diseases, we use health information including National Health Service numbers, doctor details, information about the organism causing the infection and your symptoms. We also hold family / dependant children information, occupation details, travel patterns and any other personal details relevant to the epidemiology of the disease such as sexuality.
- If you have been in an accident at work which is reported in accordance with the law, we may hold details of your occupation, employer, details of the accident and your injuries.
We will hold information about our investigations including reports and details of inspections and visits we make. We also keep records of legal orders and notices we serve as part of our statutory duties. We are required to have public registers of some of the information we hold for example in relation to registered food businesses, licensed houses in multiple occupation and processes with an environmental permit.
3. Where does the service get my information from?
The majority of the information that we hold and process will have been provided to us from you, via a request for service, a complaint or an application for a licence, permit or certificate.
Information is also gathered through application forms and information gathered during inspections and investigations.
We may also obtain personal information from other Council Departments such as Council Tax.
Information is also provided from external sources such as Elected Members, MP’s, Assembly Members, Residential Social Landlords, third sector organisations and Welsh Government.
Some information about Trading Standards matters is given to us by our partners the Citizens’ Advice Consumer Service (CACS). CACS and Trading Standards will ask for personal information only where it has a bearing on the complaint or enquiry that you are contacting us about.
We may also receive information from partner organisations and other Council departments, where they have identified an issue that Public Protection Regulatory Services have the power or duty to help to resolve. Partners / Agencies have a duty to share information to us to enable us to enforce the law.
In relation to infectious and contagious diseases, we obtain some of this information from Public Health Wales (part of the NHS) and other information we obtain from you. In relation to accidents at work, we get information from the Health and Safety Executive and from you.
To enable us to deal with Housing Standards matters, we get some information from the Housing Advice Centre, Homelessness Prevention Services or Landlords. If you are a Landlord or Letting Agent, we have information from Rent Smart Wales. Where information is given to us or we share it with other Statutory Agencies or Departments, the duty to share information for this reason is set out in legislation.
4. What we will do with your personal information?
We will use this personal information to:
- investigate your complaint or service request and aim to provide resolution of it.
- process and make a decision about your application for a licence, permit or certificate.
- make a decision on controls or action we need to take to protect public health and safety, the environment, traders and consumers or residents.
Your personal information about infectious or contagious disease is used to determine if you are a one-off case or part of an outbreak. We also use the information to determine if you or your family need additional medical treatment or, depending on your occupation, whether you should be excluded from work while you have the disease.
If the Council undertakes an investigation which results in a court hearing, your personal information will be subject to the Disclosure requirements under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996; what this means is that some of the personal information you have provided will not be disclosed to the defence. In some circumstances you may be asked to provide a Victim Personal Statement which provides you with an opportunity to explain the impact that a crime has had on you and your family: in the event of this, you may choose to include personal information which supports how you feel.
From time to time we will share your personal information with third parties, including other services within the Authority, other local authorities and the National Agencies such as National Trading Standards Team, Natural Resources Wales, Health and Safety Executive or Public Health Wales. Your personal information will be shared where the law or guidance says that your case is best investigated outside of this Authority.
5. What is the legal basis for the use of this information?
The legal basis for our use of your personal information is:
“the processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject”
i.e. to ensure we can undertake our statutory duties and enforce the legislation for which we have responsibility.
We may need to process your personal information to determine if a criminal offence has been committed, and what the most relevant course of action should be under the Authority’s Corporate Enforcement Policy.
6.Does the service share my personal information with any other organisation?
From time to time we may share your personal information with other organisations so that they can help us carry out our legal duties. These may include:
Internal Council Services such as:
- Public Health, Protection and Community Services Department
- Housing Advice Centre
- Homelessness Prevention Services
- Council Tax
Government agencies and organisations such as:
- National Trading Standards Team
- Public Health Wales/ NHS
- Health and Safety Executive
- Cwm Taf Local Health Board
- Welsh Government
- Natural Resources Wales
- Welsh Water (Dwr Cymru) and other water suppliers
- Rent Smart Wales
- Other Local Authorities
- South Wales Fire and Rescue Services
- Registered Social Landlords
Trusted third party suppliers and organisations who provide service on our behalf:
- Environmental Consultants working on behalf of the Council
- Hope Rescue Animal Rescue Charity
- RH Environmental Ltd who provide 'The noise app', which enables complainants to record noise nuisance in order to aid an investigation'
In each case, we will only share your personal information to the extent that we consider it to be reasonably required for these purposes.
7. How long will my information be kept?
We will only use your personal information for as long as we need it to investigate your complaint/ service request, process your application or make decisions related to our legal duties, unless the law requires us to keep it for a longer period.
In practice, this means that your personal information may be retained until the investigation of your complaint or request for service has been concluded.
In cases where the Council initiates legal proceedings, the information will be retained until the conclusion of court action, and for a period of six years afterwards. This is determined by the Limitation Act 1980.
For investigations about infectious and communicable diseases, we adhere to the NHS guidelines on retention of records and information is kept for 6 years or if it relates to a child until they reach the age of 18.
8. Your information, your rights
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you important rights, including the right to access the personal information the services hold about you.
View further details on your information rights and how to exercise them.
9. Contact us
If you have any concerns or would like to know more about how the service using your personal information please contact us in one of the following ways:
By email : firstname.lastname@example.org
By telephone : 01443 425001
In writing : The Public Protection Service, Public Health, Protection and Community Services Department, Ty Elai, Dinas Isaf East, Williamstown, CF40 1NY