This Privacy Notice explains how we use any personal information provided to Housing Services.
Wirral Council respects your right to privacy and are committed to maintaining it. We only collect information necessary to enable us to deliver our services. We store and process your personal information in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679.
You don’t need to take any action but our Privacy Notice will help you better understand why, and how we use your personal information to provide you with good customer service.
Wirral Council is the data controller. This means it decides how your personal data is processed and for what purposes. Wirral Council’s main contact address is:
PO Box 290
Issues of how data is handled are dealt with by the Council's Data Protection Officer who can be contacted by email at DPO@wirral.gov.uk or by writing to: Data Protection Officer, Treasury Building, Cleveland Street, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 1AH.
Housing Services hold a wide variety of different categories of data depending on the relationship the Council has with you and the services you are using, and may include as applicable:
- address of property which service request relates to.
- contact details (phone numbers, email address etc)
- date of Birth
- benefit status and information
- financial information
- job status
- advocate, carer or agent details
- health, social care or other need relating to support via a housing service
- property improvement, adaptation or repair scheme detail
- offending history or previous convictions
Legal basis for processing your personal information
As part of a public body the legal basis for Housing Services processing personal data includes if:
- necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority, for example:
- Housing Acts 1985, 1988, 1996, and 2004,
- Homelessness Act 2002, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985,
- Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002,
- Housing and Planning Act 2016,
- Homelessness Reduction Act 2017,
- Children Acts 1989 and 2004,
- Equality Act 2010,
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and
- Any associated regulations, statutory guidance and codes of guidance
- necessary for the performance of a contract e.g. Tenancy Agreements
- necessary for compliance with a legal obligation e.g. Health and Safety Legislation
- you expressly consented
Whilst the majority of information provided to Wirral Council is mandatory due to compliance with a legal and statutory obligation, some of it is provided to us on a voluntary basis.
To comply with current Data Protection Legislation we will inform you whether you are required by law to provide certain information to us; if you do have a choice to provide information that is not mandatory, your explicit consent will be requested.
You have the right to withdraw your consent if this is applicable to processing your data.
Special Category Data
In addition to a lawful basis for processing personal data, some data is classed as Special Category Data and for this type of data there need to be additional separate condition(s) for processing.
This type of information includes, for example, details of your:
- physical, mental or sensory health medical needs
The Wirral Council Housing Service processes special category data as it:
“Is necessary in the field of social security and social protection law; for reasons of substantial public interest; the provision of health or social care; and statistical purposes”
Criminal Offence Data
In addition to a lawful basis for processing personal data, some data is classed as Criminal Offence Data and for this type of data the Wirral Council Housing Service processes personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences as an official authority.
Reasons for data collection
Housing Services collect data for a range of reasons to ensure that housing services and the housing stock in the borough meet the needs of a wide range of households; and that housing services enable residents to access suitable accommodation, and are able to live and remain in safe, secure and appropriate housing.
Data is also used for adapting and improving housing stock to meet the needs of the occupiers, supporting residents to access housing provision, influencing the development of new homes, improving housing conditions in the borough to protect residents, ensuring housing meets the specific needs of diverse households, and to influence the design of housing support services.
Data will also be used to inform service users of changes to service provision including the introduction of new services and may seek views from service users and potential service users.
Data will be used to monitor, evaluate and review the quality of our services, assess performance and targets; and produce statistics and reports to research and plan new services. Statistics are used in such a way that individuals or families cannot be identified from them.
How we collect data
The vast majority of the data held by Housing Services is collected directly from you, face to face, over the telephone, in writing or through the provision of required documentation; however, some of the data is collected in other ways including:
- partner agencies that share information to provide a joined up service
- when members of the public report issues to us
- when the emergency services, including law enforcement agencies and Probation Services share information to safeguard residents
How we protect your data
We will take appropriate steps to make sure we hold records about you (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we will only make them available to those who have a right to see them.
For more information on how we protect your data please see Wirral Council’s Principal Privacy Notice
People we share data with
Although we collect personal data primarily to provide Housing Services, we may share information about you to third parties where permitted or required by law to do so for all lawful purposes as specified in this notice.
We may share data with:
- other Council teams so they can carry out their statutory roles and support our service, for example Social Services, Complaints, Business Intelligence, Corporate Finance, Legal Services, IT Services, Quality Assurance
- third party or service delivery partners who deliver housing services on our behalf
- Wirral’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
- Wirral’s multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) that carries out safety planning for high-risk victims of domestic abuse. It brings together the police, independent domestic violence advisers, children’s social services, health, social landlords and other relevant agencies.
- emergency services (e.g. treatment centres, hospitals in their function of providing in patient care)
- Government departments e.g. Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, Home Office
- other local housing authorities
- banks or organisations that lend money
- social housing providers
- private rental landlords and/or housing companies
- estate agents and/or property management companies
- credit reference agencies
- police and fraud prevention agencies
- HM Courts and Tribunals System
- solicitors and other advocates
- your lawyer or representative (if you have instructed one)
We may share your name and mobile telephone number with Government Digital Service and its service providers. They deliver the Council’s text messaging service. We sometimes notify you of information requests or appointment times by text message and use this provider to do so.
How long do we keep your data?
For as long as it is necessary to perform the function that it was originally collected. After this function has been performed all data is kept unused for a period of time as detailed in Wirral Council’s Retention and Destruction policy, prior to being securely destroyed.
Your data rights
You have a range of rights relating to your personal data including the right:
- to be informed. Our privacy notice is one of the ways we try and let you know how data is handled.
- of accessing your personal information (exceptions apply in certain circumstances
- to update inaccurate data,
- to restrict processing of any inaccurate data.
- to object to certain processing e.g. such as direct marketing
- to data portability in cases where consent is given or processed by automated means
- to erase data if Wirral Council no longer has a lawful basis or legitimate grounds for processing it.
- to withdraw your consent when it has previously been given where required
- to complain about data handling
For details on how you can access your personal information see our Data Protection Policy.
Automated decision making and profiling
We do not carry out ‘automated decision making’ using your data but we do sometimes carry out profiling to ensure services are targeted at the correct service users.
Personal Data Transferred outside of the EU
No personal data is shared outside of the EU.
The right to complain about data handling
The Council sets very high standards for the collection and appropriate use of personal data. We therefore take any complaints about data handling very seriously. We encourage you to bring to our attention, misleading or inappropriate and we also welcome suggestions for improvement.
In the first instance we would ask that you try and resolve data handling issues directly with the relevant department before applying for a formal resolution.
If you are dissatisfied with the informal resolution of your complaint you can request a review by the Data Protection Officer by email DPO@wirral.gov.uk or by writing to: Data Protection Officer, Treasury Building, Cleveland Street, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 1AH
If you remain dissatisfied following an internal complaint, you can lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner:
Information Commissioner's Office
Changes to our Privacy Notice
We regularly review our privacy notice and encourage you to check it from time to time. This notice was last updated in August 2019.