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How we use your information

What information do we collect about you?

By providing services for you we ask for a wide range of information, some of which is personal. Personal information can include (for example) information used for the assessment and collection of Council Tax and Business rates, the payment of benefits, grants and loans administration, applications for housing and accommodation, and for the collection of waste.

Why do we collect this information and how do we use it?

Personal data is collected and held so we can provide you with the services you require and carry out our role and duties as a local authority, eg collection of council tax and rent, delivering housing benefit, collecting domestic waste, planning and building control and maintaining a record of the services provided.

Don't I have to give consent for you to use my personal information?

Usually, the information we hold about you has been collected for a specific purpose, and in some circumstances does not require your consent, for example, a legal obligation (payment of council tax) or a public task (collection and disposal of waste).

Your consent may be needed when we want to use data for a different purpose. For example, we collect your name and address so we can send Council Tax bills, but we would need your consent if we used this information to send you something else at another time.

If you give consent for this action or any other form of (opt in consent), you have the right to ask for this consent to be withdrawn, where relevant.

Your consent is not required when we are obliged under law to assist in the prevention and detection of crime, for example through the National Fraud Initiative or where the information is needed to carry out a legal function, such as the collection of Council Tax.

All application forms and requests for information must explain why we need the information requested and whether or not we need your consent.

Depending on the purpose for which we originally obtained your personal information, we may share with other local authorities or organisations such as suppliers or contractors, voluntary organisations or not for profit organisations for the purposes of carrying out joint ventures or referring you to support services. 

On occasions the council will undertake research into various topics. When using personal data for research purposes, the data will usually be anonymised to avoid the identification of an individual, unless consent has been given for the use of the personal data.

Can I see what personal information you hold about me?

Yes - under the General Data Protection Regulation which provides the following rights for individuals:

  • The right to be informed – this is the information given to you in a privacy notice
  • The right of access – see the personal information we hold about you
  • The right to rectification – if you feel your information is incorrect you can ask for it to be corrected
  • The right to erase – there are some circumstances when you can ask for your personal information to be erased
  • The right to restrict processing – there are some circumstances when you can ask for the processing of your personal information to be restricted
  • The right to data portability – you may request to acquire and reuse your personal information for your own purposes
  • The right to object – you can object to processing if you feel your personal information is not being used for the purposes that you gave it to us for

Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling – you have the right to know if your personal information is used in an automated process which could result in an unfavourable decision against you. If any of the personal information we take from you is used in the processes above we will tell you at the time it is taken.

What do I have to do if I want to exercise one of my rights above?

In regards to all of the above you can ask us for confirmation your data is being processed, access to information that we hold about you and other supplementary information. This is called a Data Subject Access Request.

Normally the Council must respond within one calendar month of receiving your correctly completed Data Subject Access Request. Under some circumstances this period can be extended, but if this is the case the council will contact you to explain. There is normally no fee for each request but again under some circumstances the GDPR does allow costs to be passed on.

Make a Data Subject Access Request

If the information we provide is incorrect you must write to us and tell us what information is incorrect and ask that it be corrected. If we do not agree that the information is incorrect you may ask us to record your disagreement. There is no charge for this service.

How can I contact you if I don't understand what I have read?

If you don't understand what you have read, you may contact us online.

Alternatively, you may write to us at:

Customer Services
Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils
Endeavour House
8 Russell Road
Ipswich IP1 2BX

You may also visit us in person:

Customer Services
Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils
54 Ipswich Street
Stowmarket IP14 1AD

Where can I find more information about my rights?

The Government has set out a number of data protection principles and rights for you that we must follow when using your personal data. These principles and rights are detailed in the General Data Protection Regulation. How we comply with these principles and rights is explained in our Babergh & Mid Suffolk Data Protection Policy and our Record Management Guidance.

Babergh & Mid Suffolk councils act as a Data Controller registered with the Information Commissioner You can search for the councils' register entry which gives a general description of what personal data is used for using the Register of Data Controllers


If you wish to complain about the way in which your request has been processed then your complaint will be dealt with as a Step two complaint in accordance with our complaints procedure.

If, after an internal review, you are still unhappy with the decision, you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Other legal requirements in regards to personal information

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI)

The information you give when you complete and return a form electronically or on paper will be held in accordance with current data protection legislation.

We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information.

Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

We participate in the Cabinet Office's National Fraud Initiative; a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise.

Read more about the National Fraud Initiative

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the GDPR 2018.

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice

More information on the Cabinet Office's privacy notice.

Email us for more information on data matching at Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Councils