Privacy notice

Elections

The London Borough of Hounslow is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. Through this Privacy Notice we have sought to be as transparent as possible and fully explain how your personal data is held and processed.

This privacy notice applies to services provided by Electoral Services on behalf of the Electoral Registration Officer (“ERO”) and the Returning Officer (“RO”) for London Borough of Hounslow and tells you what to expect us to do with your personal information.

If you have any questions about this privacy notice or any concerns about how we process your data, please contact 020 8583 2828 or elections@hounslow.gov.uk.  The privacy notice will continue to be monitored and updated. You are advised to check this page from time to time.

What type of information we have?

We currently collect and process the following information:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Dates of birth
  • National Insurance Numbers
  • Nationality details
  • Telephone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Service Numbers (from HM Armed Forces voters and Crown Servant voters)
  • Gender
  • Bank account details

How do we get your information?

Most of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you for one of the following reasons:

  • Application to register to vote
  • Application for an absent vote (voting by post, voting by proxy, postal proxy voting) at elections
  • Response to an annual household canvass communication and Household Notification Letter
  • Application for your name to be changed in the electoral register
  • Documentary evidence to prove your identity for your voter registration application or change of name application
  • Form completed by another registered elector to attest your application to be registered to vote
  • Application to be registered as a HM Armed Forces voter, Crown Servant voter or Anonymous Elector
  • Renewal of Overseas Elector, HM Armed Forces Voter, Crown Servant voter, ‘Local Connection’ voter or Anonymous Elector declarations
  • To be validly nominated as a candidate at an election
  • To be appointed as an election agent, postal voting agent, polling agent, sub-agent or counting agent for a validly nominated candidate at an election
  • Applying to work on election duties for the RO, or as an electoral registration canvasser for the ERO
  • To prove your eligibility to work in the UK to the ERO and/or RO

We also receive personal information indirectly, in the following scenarios:

  • From other Hounslow Council departments, so that the ERO can carry out their statutory duties to maintain an accurate electoral register; including the data matching of names in the electoral register against other council records before the start of the annual household canvass

If it is not disproportionate or prejudicial, we’ll contact you to let you know we are processing your personal information. ‚Äč

Our Lawful basis for processing your information

The lawful basis we rely on for processing this information is

  • Legal Obligation
  • Public Task

Why we need your information (purposes of processing)

The personal data we collect will be used for the following purposes:

  • To enable the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) to carry out their statutory duties to produce and maintain an accurate electoral register of the borough
  • To enable the Returning Officer to carry out their legal duties to conduct elections and polls in the borough

Who your information may be shared with (internally and externally)

The following organisations are entitled by law to receive a full copy of the electoral register on publication from the ERO:

  • The British Library
  • The National Library of Wales
  • The National Library of Scotland
  • The Returning Officer for London Borough of Hounslow
  • UK Statistics Authority (Office for National Statistics)
  • The Electoral Commission
  • Parliamentary Boundary Commission for England
  • Local Government Boundary Commission for England
  • Jury Central Summoning Bureau
  • The (Acting) Returning Officer for the Brentford & Isleworth and Feltham & Heston constituencies at a UK Parliamentary election, and the Constituency Returning Officer for the South West Constituency at a Greater London Authority election are entitled to receive a full copy of the electoral register for an election.

The following organisations and individuals are entitled by law to receive a full copy of the electoral register on request from the Electoral Registration Officer:

  • Elected representatives whose electoral area cover all or part of London Borough of Hounslow (local Members of Parliament, Hounslow councillors, the Mayor of London, London members of the London Assembly, constituency members of the London Assembly)
  • Holders of relevant elective offices
  • Candidates for Parliamentary constituencies in London Borough of Hounslow at UK Parliamentary elections
  • Candidates for Hounslow Council elections
  • Candidates for Greater London Authority elections
  • Election agents for political parties registered with The Electoral Commission that submit a list of candidates at an election of the London Members of the London Assembly
  • Local constituency political parties
  • Political parties, recognised third parties and permitted participants registered with The Electoral Commission
  • Hounslow Council
  • Other organisations entitled by law to request a copy of the electoral register (the Security Service, the Government Communications Headquarters, the Secret Intelligence Service, any police force in Great Britain, Police Service of Northern Ireland, the National Crime Agency, the Environment Agency, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulation Authority)
  • Public libraries and local authority archives services in London Borough of Hounslow
  • Credit reference agencies registered with the Financial Conduct Authority

By law, the Electoral Registration Officer must also publish a version of the electoral register known as the open register (also known as the edited register).  The open register can be purchased from the ERO by any individual or organisation and be used for any lawful purpose.  Electors that do not want their details included in the open register should contact the ERO at elections@hounslow.gov.uk or 020 8583 2828 to request for their details to be excluded from the open register.

The ERO and RO share your information with external electoral registration and management software providers, contracted printers, the Department of Work and Pensions (“DWP”), and Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (“HMRC”) for the purpose of carrying out their statutory duties.

We will strive to ensure that any personal data in our care will be kept safe and that where your information is disclosed to a third party working on our behalf, we will seek to ensure that they have sufficient systems and procedures in place to prevent the loss or damage of personal data.

How long we keep your information

Record Title

Retention Period

Retention Justification

Full and edited versions of electoral register, monthly notices of alteration and interim election notices of alteration

Indefinitely

Legal requirement for Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) to make the register that is in force available for public inspection; legal requirement to retain a copy of every published edition of the full electoral register for the purposes of checking the last UK registration details of overseas elector applicants

Voter registration applications downloaded from Cabinet Office's Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service (IERDS), and paper electoral registration forms/Invitation To Registers (ITRs)

No longer than 12 months

1) In case of legal challenge or police investigation into an application

2) To correct a clerical error to an elector's registration

Annual household canvass forms and canvass communication letters

No longer than 12 months

1) In case of legal challenge or police investigation

2) To correct a clerical error to an elector's registration

Proof of identification received from voter registration and change of name applicants

No longer than 1 month

Document only held until person's application has been determined

Absent vote application forms (postal vote, proxy vote and postal proxy vote)

Up to 5 years

The ERO will refer back to the application if the scanned image of the personal identifiers (date of birth and signature) on the form is legible when conducting the mandatory check of the personal identifiers on a returned election postal voting statement against the original absent vote application; the personal identifiers on an absent vote are valid for 5 years before the absent voter has to provide a fresh specimen of their signature.

Absent vote personal identifier refresh forms

Up to 5 years

The ERO will refer back to the application if the scanned image of the personal identifiers (date of birth and signature) on the form is legible when conducting the mandatory check of the personal identifiers on a returned election postal voting statement against the original absent vote application

Change of name application forms

No longer than 12 months

1) In case of legal challenge or police investigation into an application

2) To correct a clerical error to an elector's registration

Voter registration attestation application forms

No longer than 12 months

1) In case of legal challenge or police investigation into an application

2) To correct a clerical error to an elector's registration

Household Notification Letters

No longer than 12 months

To correct a clerical error to an elector's registration

Datasets from other Hounslow Council departments that contain resident details

No longer than 1 month after completion of data matching

This information will only be retained for duration of a data matching exercise

Special category elector declaration renewal forms (Overseas Electors, HM Armed Forces voters, Crown Servants, Local Connections, Anonymous Electors)

No longer than 12 months

To correct a clerical error to an elector's declaration

Supporting evidence from anonymous elector applicants

No longer than 12 months

To correct a clerical error to an elector's registration

Nomination papers:
a) Nomination form
b) Home address form
c) Candidate's consent to nomination

12 months (nomination form and consent to nomination form)

21 days (home address form)

Nomination form for candidate are kept with their spending return 

Certificate of Authorisation and Request for Party Emblem

12 months

Documents from candidate are stored with their nomination papers and spending return

Agent appointment forms:
a) Appointment of Election Agent
b) Appointment of Polling Agent
c) Appointment of Postal Voting Agents
d) Appointment of Counting Agents
e) Appointment of Sub-Agent

12 months

Documents from candidate are stored with their nomination papers and spending return

Election notices:
a) Statement of Persons Nominated
b) Notice of Poll
c) Notice of Election Agents

No longer than 6 months

For public information and research purposes

Used and unused ballot papers

12 months

Statutory requirement to retain document for this period in case of legal challenge to election result

Marked copy of polling station electoral registers, postal voter lists, proxy lists and postal proxy lists

12 months

Legal requirement for this document to made available for public inspection for this period, and in case of legal challenge to election result (election petition)

Corresponding Number Lists and Certificates of Employment

12 months

Statutory requirement to retain document for this period in case of legal challenge to election result

Postal voting statements

12 months

Statutory requirement to retain document for this period in case of legal challenge to election result

Election results

Indefinitely

For public information and research purposes

Candidate election spending returns (including candidate and agent declarations)

2 years

Legal requirement for the Returning Officer to make these documents available for public inspection for this period

HMRC Start Checklist forms

4 tax years

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) requires employers keep the documents for this period

Election and canvasser staff records

Indefinitely

For election and canvasser recruitment and audit purposes.

Proof of identification from election staff and canvassers

No longer than 6 months

In case of additional checks of a person's eligibility to work in the UK

Correspondence from the public

No longer than 1 year

In case of any further investigation into a resident's query

We will then dispose your information in the most secure manner possible.

Transfers to third countries

All the information you provide us is held within the UK & European Economic Area

National Fraud Initiative (NFI)

As part of the council's fraud prevention and detection activities, the council participates in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI). The data matching exercise is run by the Cabinet Office.

Data matching involves comparing sets of data, such as the payroll or benefits records of a body, against other records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. The data is usually personal information. The data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency that requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

The processing of data in a data matching exercise is carried out Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under data protection legislation or the GDPR.

All bodies participating in the Cabinet Office’s data matching exercises receive a report of matches that they should investigate, so as to detect instances of fraud, overpayments or underpayments and other errors, to take remedial action and update their records accordingly.

Further information on the National Fraud Initiative and the data sets used

Your data protection rights

The rights available to you depend on our reason for processing your information. For further information about your data protection rights and how to make a request, please see ‘Your rights

Your right to make a complaint

The Council tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate.

If you want to make a complaint you can contact us on:

Complaints Team
London Borough of Hounslow
Hounslow House
7 Bath Road
TW3 3EB
 

 

Data Protection Officer

The Council’s Data Protection Officer can be contacted on:

InformationGovernance@hounslow.gov.uk
Information Governance Team
London Borough of Hounslow
Hounslow House
7 Bath Road
TW3 3EB

Information Commissioner’s Office

The Information Commissioner is the UK's independent body set up to uphold information rights.

If you would like to know more about your rights under the Data Protection law, and what you should expect, visit the Information Commissioner’s website: https://ico.org.uk/

If you have any concerns regarding any privacy practices or about exercising your Data Protection rights, you may contact the Information Commissioner’s Office:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745

Email:  casework@ico.org.uk

A full list of what information we control and process and for what purposes is set out in our notification with the Information Commissioner's Register of Data Controllers. Our registration number is Z5761176.  You can view our registration on the Information Commissioner's website.

Appendix 1

  • Section 9 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 requires the ERO to produce and maintain the electoral register; Section 9D of the Representation of the People Act 1983 requires the ERO to carry out an annual canvass to identify who is eligible to vote in every residential address in their registration area.
  • Under Regulation 23 of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001, the ERO may require a person to give information required for the purposes of the ERO’s duties to maintain the electoral register.
  • Regulation 25 of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 requires Special Category Electors (Overseas Electors, Crown Servant voters, Local Connection voters, Anonymous Electors) to renew their declaration on an annual basis, and HM Armed Forces voters to renew their declaration every five years
  • Under Regulation 26 of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001, a person shall provide their full name, current home address, previous home address, National Insurance Number, and date of birth on their voter registration application.
  • Under Regulation 26A of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 requires existing electors that have changed their name through marriage or by deed poll to complete a Change of Name form and provide documentary evidence of their name change to the ERO.
  • Under Regulation 26B of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001, the ERO may require a voter registration applicant to provide a copy of a document that proves their identity, before they can be added to the electoral register.  If the applicant is unable to provide a document, the ERO may require the applicant to provide an attestation that confirms that the applicant is the person named in the application.
  • Under Regulations 31G of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001, an Anonymous Elector applicant must provide either a copy of a court order or the name of the ‘qualifying officer’ who is supporting their application so that the ERO can determine their application.
  • Regulation 32ZBA (8) of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 – Every year before conducting the annual household canvass, the ERO has the discretion to match all or part of the electoral register against other council data sets.
  • Regulation 32ZBB of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 – Every year before conducting the annual household canvass, the ERO must disclose the details of registered electors to the Minister for the Cabinet Office as part of a national data matching exercise against data held by the Department of Work and Pensions.
  • Under Regulations 35 and 35A of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001, the ERO is authorised to inspect records kept by the council that appointed them and any registrars of births and deaths
  • Under Regulation 51 of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001, postal vote applicants shall provide their full name, home address, the address where they want their ballot paper sent to, date of birth and signature.  Proxy voter applicants must also provide the name and home address of the person they want to appoint as their proxy.
  • Regulation 60A of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 requires absent voters to provide fresh personal identifiers (their date of birth and signature) at five yearly intervals.
  • Under Regulation 85A of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001, the RO must be satisfied that a postal voting statement has been completed by the voter and compare the date of birth and signature on the postal voting statement against the date of birth and signature on the voter’s absent vote application.
  • Under Section 67 of the Representation of the People Act, election candidates should submit the details of the person(s) they wish to appoint as their Election Agent, Polling Agent(s), Postal Voting Agent(s), Counting Agent(s) and Sub-Agent to the RO.
  • Section 81 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 requires candidates to submit their spending return to the Returning Officer no later than 35 days after the election result has been declared.
  • Schedule 1, Rule 6 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 and Rule 5 of The Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) Rules 2006 requires election candidates to provide their full name, date of birth, home address, the names and electors of registered electors subscribing their nomination paper, and the name and home address of the person witnessing the candidate’s consent to nomination
  • Schedule 1, Rules 32 and 37 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 and Rule 17 of The Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) Regulations 2006 requires Presiding Officers to record the elector number of each elector that has been issued a ballot paper in their polling station at an election on a Corresponding Number List
  • Section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2005, the ERO and RO need to collect and process personal information to employ election staff and canvassers, and to determine their eligibility to work in the United Kingdom

Last updated on 13 August 2021

rating button