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Revenues and Benefits Privacy Statement

Your Personal Data - Who we are

We are Lancaster City Council and your privacy is important to us. We aim for full transparency on how we gather, use, and share your personal information in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation.

We keep our privacy notice under regular review, and we will place an updated version on this page.

This will help ensure that you are always aware of what information we collect and how we use it.

When do we collect personal information?

We will only collect basic personal data about you which includes your name, address, telephone number, email etc. together with information you have given us and information that we receive from third parties e.g. landlords.

We may also obtain information from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to assist with the collection of Council Tax.

Why do we need it?

The Council uses your personal information in order to:

• administer and enforce Council Tax under the Local Government Finance Act 1992
• administer and enforce National Non-Domestic Rates under the Local Government Finance Act 1988
• administer Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support under the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006, the Social Security Administration Act 1992, the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) (England) Regulations 2012 and Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Lancaster) Regulations 2018.

The processing of your information is necessary for compliance with the legal obligations contained in these Acts.

What do we do with it?

Your personal information will be treated as confidential, but it may be shared with other Council services in order to ensure our records are accurate and up-to date, and to improve the standard of the services we deliver.

We will only use your information in ways which are permitted by the General Data Protection Regulation and the current UK Data Protection law.

We have a Data Protection Policy in place to oversee the effective and secure processing of your personal data.

Who do we share it with?

This authority has a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and may use information held about you for all lawful purposes, including but not limited to the prevention and detection of crime including fraud and money laundering and the matching of Council Tax and benefits data with other internal and external Government departments including the Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC. For more information on the National Fraud Initiative please see here.

The Council may also use your information for the purpose of performing any of its statutory enforcement duties. It will make any disclosures required by law and may also share your information with other bodies responsible for detecting/preventing crime including fraud or auditing/administering public funds.

The Council may share Council Tax data with a data analytics company to assist with recovery of arrears.

For more information please visit Ascendant Solutions data management website.

We will also share your data with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to help with the production of statistics related to the economy, population and society and to help with the Census.

Details of the information we will share and how it will be used can be viewed on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website.

We may also share your information with the Electoral Registration Officer in order to maintain a complete and accurate electortal register. 
(The Electoral Register is not automatically upated when you amend your council tax details)

There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by Lancaster City Council. This information can include:

• your IP address
• browser type
• domain names
• access times
• referring Web site addresses.

This information is used by Lancaster City Council for the operation of the service, to maintain quality of the service, and to provide general statistics regarding use of the Lancaster City Council Web site.

We will not disclose your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes.

The legislation also allows us to share information (where appropriate) with other Billing Authorities, the Courts, HMRC, the Insolvency Service, the Valuation Office and the Valuation Tribunal Service. This may include the Council sharing information about suspected rate mitigation or avoidance schemes with other Billing Authorities.

What are your rights?

You have the right to:

• request a copy of your information (known as a subject access request)
• request rectification or erasure of your information
• request a restriction on the processing of your information
• object to processing of your information
• complain to the Information Commissioner's Office about the way the Council processes your information
• set your browser to remove or reject cookies before using Lancaster City Council website

If you require further information about the use of your data or would like to exercise any of the above rights, please see the council’s main privacy notice.

Transferring information overseas

In certain circumstances we may transfer your information to organisations in other countries on the basis that anyone to whom we pass it protects it in the same way we would and in accordance with applicable laws.

How long we keep your information

We will keep your information for as long as it is required by us or other regulatory bodies in order to comply with legal and regulatory requirements or for other operational reasons. In most cases this will be a minimum of six years.

We reserve the right to amend this privacy notice at any time. However, we take your privacy very seriously and will never change our policies or practices to make them less protective of your personal information.

If we make any changes to this policy that significantly affect you, we will aim to notify you directly if we hold contact details for you. You will always be able to find the most up-to-date version of this policy on our website.

Last updated: 26 September 2023

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