Household Support Fund - Privacy Notice
Who the Council is and what the Council does
The Council is a data controller under the Data Protection Legislation as the Council collects and processes personal information about you in order to provide services and meet their statutory and regulatory obligations.
This notice, in conjunction with our overarching Council Data Protection Policy explains why the Council asks for your personal information, how that information will be used and how you can access your records.
Any questions regarding our privacy practices should be sent to:
Data Protection Officer (DPO)
Cotswold District Council
Council Offices, Cirencester, GL7 1PX
Tel: 01993 861194
Why the Council needs your information and how the Council uses it
The Council is required to identify and support individuals and families in need.
This scheme was originally set up by Central Government to provide LAs (local authorities) with funding to support vulnerable households or individuals in need from October 2021 to March 2022. On 23 March 2022, the government announced an extension to the Household Support Fund with some changes to the guidance.
The funding was allocated to Gloucestershire County Council via the Department of Work and Pensions to help families. Gloucestershire County Council allocated a proportion of its funding to Cotswold District Council to support their local residents within the Government guidance for the fund.
The Household Support Fund scheme is designed to provide support where needed through different types of vouchers or digital solutions.
We will be collecting personal information directly from our Housing Benefit, Council Tax support and Pension Credit databases. We need to use this information to:
- ensure you are entitled to assistance and be able to consider an award
- report information on payments to Central Government, who require numbers and values as a total for households with children, pensioners and persons with disabilities
Those meeting the criteria will be contacted by letter and asked to provide their contact details (name, address, telephone number and email address) in order to receive the voucher or to opt out if they do not wish to receive the support.
What is the legal process for collecting and processing this data
The Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR requires us to have a specific basis for processing your personal data. In this case we rely on:
Article 6 (1) (a) Consent
Article 6(1)(e) – processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.
Please note that without your personal details we are unable to assess your eligibility and provide support through the scheme.
What type of information is collected from you
If you are eligible for the Household Support fund scheme, we will hold information about you because you are in receipt of a qualifying means tested benefit.
The types of information we use will typically include:
- contact details, including name, address, telephone numbers and email address
- information about your family, including personal details of the household that will make up your application
- Information about qualifying means-tested benefit
Who your information may be shared with (internally and externally)
Currently the Council collects and processes your data and shares a limited amount of your personal data with Gloucestershire County Council who then liaises with their nominated voucher supplier.
In April 2023, Cotswold District Council will use a platform to process the vouchers. The platform will allow the management of the vouchers in a digital format and make the process more efficient. We will have arrangements to ensure your data is protected.
We may share your award with:
- Other council services
- Gloucestershire County Council (as mentioned above)
We will not disclose any personal information to any other third parties unless required to do so by law or where it is appropriate to support our duty to protect public funds and / or detect and prevent fraud or other criminal activity or safeguarding requirements.
We will not share your information with third parties for commercial or marketing purposes.
How long the Council keeps your information (retention period)
The Household Support Fund scheme will run until the funds are spent. We may need to retain a copy of your data after this date for legal reasons, including audit purposes, but will no longer be actively processing your data. Your information will be kept for 7 years from the date of your last contact with the service and will then be securely deleted.
How the Council protects your Information
Your data is stored securely on our systems and accessed only by authorised officers using their own username and password created in line with pre-defined user credentials. Personal data is also held in electronic files on the council’s network drives. These are only accessible through personal logon credentials and access privileges to specific drives. Access to our council sites require a personal electronic pass to access staff only areas. The Council has strict procedures for the way this is done. Any and all information about you is treated as confidential and with respect. There are also clear rules and guidance about storing, recording and sharing information which staff receive training on.
The Council will not transfer your personal data outside the EU without your consent.
The Council have implemented generally accepted standards of technology and operational security in order to protect personal data from loss, misuse, or unauthorised alteration or destruction.
Please note however that where you are transmitting information to us over the internet this can never be guaranteed to be 100% secure.
The Council will notify you promptly in the event of any breach of your personal data which might expose you to serious risk.
You have the following rights under the Data Protection Legislations:
- To access your personal data
- To be provided with information about how your personal data is processed
- To have your personal data corrected
- To have your personal data erased in certain circumstances
- To object to or restrict how your personal data is processed
- To have your personal data transferred to yourself or to another business in certain circumstances
- To be told if the Council have made a mistake whilst processing your data and the Council will self-report breaches to the Commissioner.
How you can access, update or correct your information
The Data Protection law gives you the right to apply for a copy of information about yourself. This is called a ‘Subject Access Request'.
If you wish to see a copy of your records you should contact the Data Protection Officer at email@example.com. You are entitled to receive a copy of your records free of charge, within a month.
In certain circumstances access to your records may be limited, for example, if the records you have asked for contain information relating to another person.
The accuracy of your information is important to us to be able to provide relevant services more quickly. The Council is working to make our record keeping more efficient. In the meantime, if you change your address or email address, or if any of your circumstances change or any of the other information the Council holds is inaccurate or out of date, please email us or write to us at:
Cotswold District Council
Cirencester GL7 1PX
If you would like to know more about how the Council uses your information, or if for any reason you do not wish to have your information used in any of the ways described in this privacy notice, please contact the Data Protection Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about data protection please visit: www.cotswold.gov.uk/about-the-council/council-data-and-information/data-protection/
For more information about the Household Support Fund :
If you are concerned about the way the Council is handling your personal information you can contact the Information Commissioner (ICO): https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/
The Council reserve the right to update this privacy notice from time to time by publishing a new version on our website.