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Hertfordshire County Council

We look after any personal information that you share with us. We only use it to provide you with a service. Here's our privacy policy.

  • We never sell your information.
  • We take care to keep your personal information safe and secure.
  • At the point that we collect your information for a specific use (in an online form, for example), we'll explain how we'll use it and how long we'll keep it.


We'll only share your information under specific circumstances:

  • with third party organisations who provide you with a service on our behalf. Our contracts require them to treat your personal information with the same care that we do
  • with partner organisations such as the NHS and schools, where it'll improve your service. We'll ask you for your consent before sharing, unless we have a legal duty to share the data
  • with district and borough councils in Hertfordshire if they're responsible for the service you've contacted us about (for example, bin collections).
  • with other organisations such as the police if we think there's a serious risk to you, your family or someone working with them.

 

How different services use your information

We collect more information for some services, less for others.

Here's how each service uses your information.

Adult Care Services

We're responsible for providing  social care assessments and support services to adults who:

  • have care and support needs as a result of a physical or mental impairment or illness; and
  • because of those needs, they can't achieve 2 or more of the outcomes specified in the regulations; and
  • as a result, there is, or there is likely to be, a significant impact on their wellbeing.

Whether you're eligible or not, we'll always give you advice and information about what support is available in the community to help you.

 

Use of your NHS Number in Adult Care Services

The Care Act 2014 places a duty on us to work closely with Health colleagues to ensure the best level of care is delivered to our citizens.

If you're receiving support from us (Adult Care Services) then the NHS may share your NHS Number with us. This is so we use the same number as the NHS to identify you whilst providing your care. By using the same number, we can work together more closely with the NHS to improve your care and support

Public Health

We process personal data to meet our statutory duties and, in line with our official authority for Public Health In Hertfordshire, to monitor and improve the health of our citizens, including pupils in our schools, regardless of where they live.

This includes provision and commissioning of services which are delivered by other agencies and organisations such as:

  • sexual health clinics
  • drug and alcohol treatment
  • pupil measurement (part of the National Child Measurement Programme)
  • health visitor services
  • school nursing and healthy child services
  • local healthy living initiatives
  • health protection and emergency response services to public health incidents.


The Director of Public Health has a statutory duty to publish a report on the health of Hertfordshire. In order to report on public health, the Public Health Evidence and Intelligence team use data and information from a range of sources including information collected at the registration of a birth or a death and information recorded at hospitals.

This helps us to understand more about the nature and causes of disease and ill-health in the area. This data can contain person identifiable data which may identify people such as home address, date of birth, date of death and / or NHS Number.

The legal basis for the flow of data for the above purposes is set out in Section 42(4) of the Statistics and Registration Service Act (2007) as amended by section 287 of the Health and Social care Act 2012 (PDF 417kb)  Opening a new window and Regulation 3 of the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002.

 

The public health intelligence team has access to the following data:

  • Primary Care Mortality Database (PCMD) – the PCMD holds mortality data as provided at the time of registration of the death along with additional GP details (GP code and GP practice code), geographical indexing and coroner details (coroner name, coroner inquest area and date of inquest) where applicable. Information held includes date of birth, date of death, place of death, address of deceased, causes of death, age, sex, GP and practice, occupation and place of birth. More information on this dataset is at www.content.digital.nhs.uk/pcmdatabase.
  • Births – information held includes date of birth, sex of child, birth weight, a birth in marriage indicator, country of birth of parents, occupation of parents, address and postcode of mother, place of birth, a still birth indicator and age of mother.
  • Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) – a data warehouse containing details of all admissions, outpatient appointments and A&E attendances at NHS hospitals in England. This data is collected during a patient's time at hospital and is submitted to allow hospitals to be paid for the care they deliver. HES data is designed to enable secondary use, that is use for non-clinical purposes, of this administrative data. The HES data accessed by the public health intelligence team does not contain person identifiable data.

 

How your data is used

All information accessed, processed and stored by public health staff will be used to measure the health, mortality or care needs of the population; for planning, evaluating and monitoring health; protecting and improving public health. It's used to carry out and support:

  • commissioning and delivery of services to promote health and prevent ill health
  • health equity analysis
  • health needs assessments
  • health protection and other partnership activities
  • identifying inequalities in the way people access services
  • joint strategic needs assessment
  • public health surveillance.

Statistics are presented in such a way that individuals cannot be identified from them and personal identifiable details are removed as soon as is possible in the processing of intelligence.

In relation to births and deaths, the data will only be processed by Local Authority employees in fulfilment of their public health function, and will not be transferred, shared, or otherwise made available to any third party, including any organisations processing data on behalf of the Local Authority or in connection with their legal function.

 

How we keep information secure

Any information we hold about individuals is held securely and in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Information will not be held for longer than required and will be disposed of securely.

Information is stored in secure systems within the council network, in line with the NHS Information Governance framework and guidance from national NHS and Local Authority data services.

These systems are access controlled, so only relevant analytical employees have access to them. All staff are regularly trained to understand the importance of and their duty towards protecting data and good information governance procedures.

 

Your rights

You have the right to opt out of Hertfordshire Public Health receiving or holding your personal identifiable information. There are occasions where service providers will have a legal duty to share information, for example for safeguarding or criminal issues. The process for opting out will depend on the specific data is and what programme it relates to.

For further information, please contact the Public Health team by email on PH.intelligence@hertfordshire.gov.uk or by phone on 01992 555137 or by post at Public Health, Hertfordshire County Council, County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford SG13 8DN.

Children's Services and schools

Schools and education

Schools are responsible for their own compliance with Data Protection legislation. However, there are areas of education where we have a statutory responsibility – in these cases we share some pupil data with schools (and vice versa) to ensure that services are provided and reporting responsibilities are met. This includes:

  • school place allocation and appeals processes
  • pupil census and achievement data
  • Education, Health & Care Assessments and/or Plans
  • where there are safeguarding or wellbeing concerns.


We share contact data for pupils in years 12 and 13 (age 16/17) with the relevant Electoral Roll Registration Services, as we're obliged to assist in the compilation of the electoral roll. The pupil will be invited to register to vote.



Children in our care, or subject to other social work intervention

Where we are caring for children or we're taking action to ensure they are appropriately cared for (in accordance with the Children Act 1989 and related legislation), we'll keep detailed records relating to their needs and circumstances. That includes information about the wider family and action we have taken.

We'll keep these records for a considerable amount of time to ensure they're available to the child when they become an adult and to identify that actions taken were in their best interests at the time.

Where we act as parent to children in our care, we're entitled to information in the same way as a birth parent. That includes information about:

  • their health
  • any involvement in crime (as a victim or alleged perpetrator)
  • education progress and attainment.


We will share information about children with other organisations involved in their care where it's considered to be in the best interests of the child, or where the law requires us to. Organisations might include:

  • health providers
  • schools
  • housing authorities
  • the police.


We'll keep personal data relating to the care of children throughout the period they receive a service from us. That might range from 15 to 75 years (from date of birth) depending on the contact and responsibility we've had.

It can be 118 years for key adoption records.

This is so we can provide information on history of care after a child has reached adulthood and is ready to access their early history.

We'll keep personal data relating to the education processes we're responsible for 3–35 years depending on how involved we've been in providing education support.

Births, deaths and marriages

Personal information collected from you in order to register an event is required by law. The main legislation which governs the collection of registration information is the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953, the Marriage Act 1949 and the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

You may be legally obliged by these acts, and other legislation, to provide certain pieces of information. If you fail to provide information you are required to give us, you may be liable to a fine or we may not be able to provide the service you are applying for (for example, a marriage or a civil partnership).

Personal information may also be collected from you if you apply to us, for example, for a certificate or to correct information contained in a register entry.

The information you provide will be held and processed by registration officers for this registration district.

Registration information is retained indefinitely, as required by law. Any other personal data will be held for no longer than 2 years.

 

Data sharing

We'll provide a copy of any register entry to any applicant, provided they supply enough information to identify the entry concerned and pay the appropriate fee. The copy may only be issued in the form of a paper certified copy (a “certificate”). You can also apply for a certificate to the General Register Office.

Indexes for events registered with us are publicly available to help members of the public identify the registration record they might need. Indexes are available in paper format.

A copy of the information collected by a registration officer will also be sent to the Registrar General for England and Wales so that a central record of all registrations can be maintained.

We may share registration information with other organisations in the course of carrying out our functions, or to enable others to perform theirs.

We'll only share information where there is a lawful basis to do so for the following reasons:

  1. statistical or research purposes
  2. administrative purposes by official bodies e.g. ensuring their records are up-to-date in order to provide services to the public
  3. fraud prevention or detection, immigration and passport purposes.

 

Your rights

Contact the Registrations service for further information about the data we hold and a list of the organisations we share registration data with (along with the purpose and lawful basis for sharing the data).

You have the right:

  • to request access to the personal information we hold about you
  • to be informed about the collection and use of your personal information
  • for incorrect information to be corrected (where the law permits)
  • to request us to restrict the processing of your personal information.


In certain circumstances you have the right to object to the processing of your personal information. Your information will not be subjected to automated decision-making.

 

Data controllers

The superintendent registrar is the data controller for birth, marriage and death registrations and can be contacted at:

The Old Courthouse
St Albans Road East
Hatfield
AL10 0ES.

Hertfordshire County Council is the data controller for civil partnership registrations and can be contacted at:

Hertfordshire County Council
Pegs Lane
Hertford
SG13 8DN.


The Registrar General for England and Wales is the joint data controller for birth, marriage, death and civil partnership registrations and can be contacted at:

General Register Office
Trafalgar Road
Southport
PR8 2HH.

The Data Protection Officer is:

Elaine Dunnicliffe
County Hall
Pegs Lane
Hertford
SG13 8DN.

Highways, roads and pavements

We process personal data to meet our statutory obligations and public task as Highways Authority (Highways Act 1980 and subsequent legislation) including duties for Rights of Way such as Footpaths and Bridleways, and the maintenance of the Definitive Map.

This includes:

  • maintenance of highways met at the public expense and the avoidance of obstruction on all highways and rights of way
  • consultation on new traffic schemes and improvements or changes of route
  • granting licences for temporary and permanent changes which affect the highway or pavement including skips and scaffolding, street cafes and street parties, approving and constructing dropped kerbs.


We'll share data with our third party contractors where it is necessary to provide a service to you, or to respond to your enquiries or complaints about our services. 

We'll retain data as identified in our retention scheme according to the business purposes. Routine highways fault reports are held for 2 years but permit applications, including dropped kerbs, will be held for 7 years.

Libraries

We collect information about you so that you can use the services libraries offer. We keep your membership data safe and secure – we'll delete it if you don’t use our services for 2 years.

 

Data we collect

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth (optional for adults) – so we can apply any age-related concessions and restrictions 
  • Email address
  • Gender (optional)
  • Phone number(s)
  • Ethnicity.

 

Who we share your data with

We'll only share your information with third party organisations who provide services on our behalf. Our contracts require them to treat your personal information with the same care that we do. Those organisations include:

  • BorrowBox – supplier of our ebook and e-audiobook service
  • RB Digital – supplier of magazines online
  • PressReader – supplier of newspapers online
  • Universal Class – supplier of online learning
  • Hoonuit – supplier of online learning
  • Bibliotheca – supplier of library kiosks
  • Netloan – supplier of the public PC booking service in libraries
  • Solus – supplier of the library app
  • Unique Management Service – your library account may be referred to this debt collection agency if you have outstanding charges relating to your library membership for more than 12 weeks.

We may share your data with partner organisations where it will improve your service. We'll ask you for your consent before sharing though. That includes:

  • SELMS (South East Libraries Management Services) – consortium of library authorities who inter-lend books

We'll also share your data with organisations such as the police and security services where we are legally required to do so.

Contacting you about services and events

We’ll ask for your consent to contact you about library services and events. If you agree, we'll sign you up for our monthly e-newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Environment, recycling and waste

We process personal data to meet our statutory obligations and public task as:

  • Waste Disposal Authority
  • Planning authority for Minerals Waste and the council’s other statutory responsibilities
  • Lead Local Flood Authority
  • Transport Authority.

This includes:

  • consultations
  • planning processes
  • provision and management of Household Waste Recycling Centres, including operation of ANPR and CCTV cameras.
  • investigation of flooding incidents and associated risk management
  • investigation of complaints relating to our services
  • issue and management of concessionary and SaverCard bus passes.


Some of this data is collected directly by third party contractors on our behalf. We will also share data with our contractors where it is necessary to provide a service to you, or to respond to your enquiries or complaints about our services.

We will only retain CCTV and ANPR data where there is an incident which requires investigation. We'll delete it once the matter has been fully resolved.

Other data is held  as identified in our retention scheme according to the business purposes.

Fire & Rescue and Trading Standards

Our activities cover the council’s responsibilities and authority under both fire-related legislation and as a Trading Standards authority, including weights and measures.

Most registration data will be held for 2 years. We'll hold data longer:

  • where it is likely to have a significant impact on land underlying premises. In those cases, we may hold the data for up to 60 years (for example, diesel, petroleum and explosives licences)
  • if the data relates to inspection, investigation or prosecution. In those cases, we'll hold data for 10 years after the final resolution of the matter.


Fire – types of data we hold

Fire & Rescue Services Act 2004, Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety) 2005; Civil contingencies Act 2004 and related legislation

  • We hold data in relation to properties where fire appliances have been called out, and some details of people affected by emergencies (if they've been provided).
  • We hold data relating to businesses where premises are required to be inspected or licensed for flammable and explosive materials.
  • We hold personal data where adults and young people have been offered or have taken up fire prevention checks or training courses. This includes safe and well visits and prevention programmes.
  • We use statistical analysis of data, both manual and automated, to understand our local population, its safety risks and future needs.
  • We'll request personal data from other organisations, and share personal data with them where necessary, when we need to manage incidents covered by the Civil Contingencies Act.
  • Where we offer training on a commercial basis to employees of other organisations, we process data under our legitimate interests as a training provider.


Trading Standards – types of data we hold

We process personal data to investigate, regulate and enforce a wide range of legislation which aims to protect consumers. That includes the restriction of age-related products, which may include processing young people's data.

We receive personal data from a number of other agencies who provide enforcement or advice services to enable us to take action on complaints or enquiries.

We also share data with organisations where we believe they have the correct authority to act on your behalf. That includes (but is not limited to):

  • police
  • other Trading Standards services
  • central government
  • local district or borough councils
  • National Trading Standards Scams team
  • National Fraud Intelligence Bureau
  • Citizens Advice (local or national offices)
  • RSPCA.

This is work carried out in the public interest and in the exercise of our official authority

Cameras – CCTV, ANPR and bodycams

We use surveillance cameras in a variety of situations and forms to protect our property and staff. This includes:

  • CCTV inside and outside some public buildings
  • CCTV on and inside fire appliances (fire engines)
  • CCTV on roads to identify congestion by recording number plates and the time taken to travel between points. We don't continuously track vehicles and we can't identify who is within a vehicle. We only hold this data for 30 days – after that the data is overwritten. This data is processed in Canada which meets the EU standard for adequate Data Protection Legislation.
  • CCTV outside household waste recycling centres to show customers if there's a queue. These are set to ensure no personal data is captured.
  • ANPR at our recycling centres to avoid them being used for commercial use and permits are issued where vans or trailers are used.
  • Some staff or contractors' staff wear bodycams.

More about how we use surveillance cameras at recycling centres

Where CCTV is used on school transport, the transport operator is the Data Controller.

Profiling for service planning

We analyse our existing service data to make sure we can provide the services needed in the future.

Sometimes we may compare or combine this data with population data from other sources, official data from Office for National Statistics, NHS Digital or  commercial sources.

We don't use this to identify individuals – only to forecast future demand (for example, demand for school places, social care and health trends.

We also profile to identify people who might be interested in supporting our work in specialised areas (for example, as foster carers or adoptive parents). We might also use profile data to identify people who would most benefit from a targeted service.

Whenever we do this it is to support our official authority and in the public interest. We would also make the opportunity available through other methods.

Website testing panel

Feedback from our website testing panel helps us improve things on the website for everyone.

We want our website to be as simple, clear and quick as possible for you to use.

It’s important that we test the website whilst we develop it to ensure we’re improving things for our customers.

Joining the panel

  • You can join our website testing panel through our secure online form. We'll ask for your name and email address so that we can send you our surveys.
  • We’ll keep the personal information we collect extremely safe.
  • We won’t share the information outside of Hertfordshire County Council. We won’t share your personal information with any other team within the council.
  • We plan to keep your personal information on an ongoing basis, as long as you're happy for us to do so.
  • Email the web team if you’d like to leave the website testing panel at any time.

Completing surveys

When we email you, we'll send you a link and ask you to complete a survey/task using one of these online products:

 

When you complete a survey:

  • We won't directly ask you for any personal information. This means we won't be able to link your responses back to you.
  • We’ll only use the information we collect to see where improvements can be made on our website. 
  • We may share the information collected within the survey with other teams in the council. However, your response will not be personally linked back to you.

 

Like many websites, we place small information files called 'cookies' on your computer. Find out what we collect, why we collect it and how to control it.

We use the same cookies for websites we manage on behalf of others:

 

When you contact us

We also collect your information when you make contact with us.

Questions and complaints

We deal with complaints about services which are part of our statutory authority as part of that task in the public interest.

Statistical information on complaints received is reported through to the Council’s cabinet panels.

We retain data for straightforward matters for 2 years. For complex matters (including complaints investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman) for up to 8 years after the matter is resolved.

We'll share your data with relevant third party contractors when they are providing the day to day operation of the service on our behalf and it's necessary to resolve your complaint.

We require contractors to look after your data in the same way we would and to return or destroy it at the end of a contract unless they have an additional statutory requirement which requires them to keep it.

Complaints you make to other people about our services (for example, to your MP or councillors) may be received by Hertfordshire County Council service departments where it is necessary to resolve the issue.

Consultations

We're obliged to consult users or stakeholders for many of our services. For example, when we're proposing to make significant changes to roads or proposing a significant change to the way a service operates.

All comments received will be made available to elected Members who make the final decision. All responses may be made available in public reports, but we'll remove personal details to maintain individual privacy.

We'll keep responses for 3–15 years, depending on the subject for consultation.

When you add your details to a petition on our website, your first name and surname is information which you voluntarily make public. Other details will not be published.

Jobs – if you apply

We keep records of unsuccessful interview candidates for 1 year.

If you're successful, we’ll use the data you provide to meet our employer obligations to you. That includes getting the necessary equipment and facilities ready for you to start work.

We may share your information with relevant third party contractors if they provide these services on our behalf.

Some of the data will form part of your staff record. We’ll hold it for as long as necessary to fulfil our ongoing obligations to you as an employee.

You can access a copy of the information we hold about you. You can also request that any factual mistakes are corrected.

Partners – when we work with others to provide a service

We'll share data through data sharing agreements with third parties who also have a responsibility for a related service area, but who may not also be our contractors. For example, health providers, voluntary sector organisations or housing providers. This sharing is in the interest of providing a joined up service for our social care service users when they're discharged from hospital, or if their health deteriorates and their care needs to change.

We'll also share data regarding the welfare of children where we have responsibility for either child protection or wellbeing. This might include sharing with health providers and preventative services, schools, housing providers or voluntary sector organisations.

We'll ensure that the data sharing is necessary and, where possible, we'll consult you before we share and respect your wishes.

However, it may not be possible to provide you with the services you need if we can't refer you to the agency which provides that service.

More about our partnerships

Subscribing to our newsletters

If you sign up to one of our email newsletters, we'll use your email address to send your chosen newsletter to.

We won't use your email address for any other purpose.

You can unsubscribe from newsletters at any time via the unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email we send.

 

Your rights

You have the right to access the information we hold about you.

You also have the right to:

  • be informed about what information we hold about you and how we use it
  • correct any factual errors
  • object to us processing your data. However, our responsibilities may mean that we can't stop processing
  • request that your data is deleted. However, again, we may be unable to delete your data if there's a need for us to keep it. In this case, we'll explain why we need to keep the data
  • ask us to stop using your data while we consider a request to have it corrected or deleted. There may be some circumstances where we can't do that – we'll explain if this is the case
  • request data we hold about you in a format that allows it to be transferred to another organisation (in certain circumstances)
  • request that any decisions taken using automated processes are reviewed by a member of staff. You have the right to challenge those decisions.