We collect personal information in a variety of ways eg via paper or online forms, by telephone or in face to face meetings, by email and letters. We also record images of people through CCTV.

This information may have been provided directly by you, your representative, a member of staff or by another organisation where there is a legal reason for them to share your information with us.

About Us

We process personal data to provide public services.

Personal data is information about living identifiable individuals. It can be a name, address, contact details, photograph, sound recording; it can be details of someone’s behaviour, lifestyle, physical or mental health needs; it can be a unique number, such as a vehicle registration plate, National Insurance number, etc.

We decide what personal data we need and how to use it, so we are a Data Controller and registered as such on the Information Commissioner’s Register of Data Controllers.

When we collect personal data, we are required to make sure you are clear what data we need and why, what we intend to do with it, what your individual rights are, and who you can contact for enquiries or concerns about the use of your personal data. This is called a privacy notice and we can do this verbally or in writing.

This page is our general privacy notice and we have included specific privacy notices below for the services that process large amounts of personal data, for example council tax, planning, parking, elections, licensing, housing, etc. 

Why we collect and use personal data

We collect and use personal information to:

  • provide, plan and manage our services
  • carry out our regulatory, licensing and enforcement roles
  • carry out any other tasks which we have to do by law
  • make and take payments and grants and spot fraud
  • listen to your ideas about our services
  • tell you about our services
  • evaluate and improve services

We might collect your personal data directly from yourself, from someone acting on your behalf, or from another third party. We might collect this data in person, over the telephone, in writing, or captured as an image, audio or film recording. 

We can only use your personal data if we have a lawful basis for doing so. The lawful basis will be recorded on the Council’s Record of Processing Activity and, where appropriate, on relevant service area privacy notices. 

If we rely on consent to process your data, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. To withdraw consent, either contact the Service that you provided the consent to or contact the information management team. 

Sharing your information

We share personal data internally within the council and also with external third parties so we can carry out our work. Internal sharing might include checking your eligibility for a service (eg free school meals) or keeping accurate records, whereas external sharing might be to ensure you receive the right service (eg social care support). 

Who we share information with depends on the service we are providing and your circumstances, but may include:

  • healthcare, social and welfare organisations and professionals
  • providers of goods and services
  • financial organisations, including debt collection, tracing and credit referencing agencies
  • elected members
  • local and central government
  • ombudsman and regulatory authorities
  • professional advisors and consultants
  • police forces, other law enforcement and prosecuting authorities
  • voluntary and charitable organisations
  • Disclosure and Barring Service
  • Courts and Tribunals
  • utilities providers

When personal data is shared, only the minimum amount is shared and relevant contracts and / or agreements will be in place. 

Fraud Prevention and Detection

We are required by law to protect the use of public funds and for this reason we share information with internal services and other bodies responsible for auditing or administering of public funds to detect and prevent fraud. This sharing includes, but is not exclusive to the Council’s external auditor, Department for Work and Pensions, other local authorities, HM Revenue and Customs, the Police, credit reference agencies. 

We also share personal data with the Cabinet Office for the National Fraud Initiative. This is a national data matching exercise, which takes electronic data from the private and public sectors to identify potential fraudulent claims and payments.

The Cabinet Office stipulates the data that they need and subsequently provides us with details of the cases where the matching indicates an inconsistency or potential for fraud, so that we can investigate further. This data matching is carried out under the Local Audit and Accountability Act (part 6, Schedule 9) and does not rely on your consent. 

How long we keep information for

This varies depending on the type of information, as well as the legal requirements and reason we are keeping the information. In some instances the law sets the length of time information has to be kept. We also have retention and disposal schedules which give details about how long we need to keep different types of information.

Your data rights

You have the following rights in regard to your personal information, to:

  • access copies of any records we hold about you
  • have any information we hold about you corrected
  • have any information we hold about you deleted or destroyed
  • restrict how information we hold about you can be used or shared
  • object to information about you being held
  • have any information we hold about you transferred to a third party
  • challenge decisions relating to you made using automated decision making and profiling (currently we have no services that use automated decision making or profiling for decision making)

Please note there may be times that we cannot fulfil these rights fully because of legal reasons, for example we cannot delete your data if we still need it.

If you want to exercise any of the above rights, please make a subject access request.

Who to contact about the way your personal data is handled

If you have any queries, concerns or complaints about the way we process your personal data, including the way we handle information requests, you can contact our Customer Services or the Data Protection Officer.

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are not processing your personal data in accordance with the law you have the right to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Adult Social Care – Canary Care Assistive Technology Care Assessments

How we will use your information

Under the Care Act 2014, the Council are under an obligation to provide you with the best possible care.  To do so, we will need to carry out an assessment of what level of care you need.

As part of this assessment, we will use Canary Care assistive technology to gather information about your needs at night time.  This will involve placing motion sensors in your home which will collect information about your movement in the home at night time, the movement of entrance doors and level of room temperature to ensure that you are safe. This information will then enable us to determine the best level of care and support that you need through the night. 

The technology helps us to gather enhanced data about movements to inform your support plan and it can help to identify where you require more care.  Examples, of where the technology has provided great benefit, are:

  • picking up sleep problems and identifying where someone requires more care through the night
  • fall sensors or epilepsy sensors which can enable the support team to respond quickly
  • temperature sensors to monitor whether someone’s home is at a suitable temperature

Under Data Protection Law, the information collected by the Canary Care technology is being processed to help assess your needs and to provide assurance that we are providing the best care possible, tailored to your needs and to fulfil our statutory duties under the Care Act 2014.

Who we will share your information with

The Canary Care Technology will be installed by our contractor Tunstall who professionally analyse the information and provide the Council with a care report based on your needs. Tunstall will only have limited personal information about you to carry out this assessment.  We may also share this information with Care Providers who provide care to you on the Council’s behalf.

How long we will keep your information

The information that the Canary Care technology collects and the assessment report provided to us by Tunstall will be kept with your social care file and will be destroyed with your care file when we have no legal reason to keep it.  Tunstall will not keep a copy of your information and will destroy it as soon as the findings and recommendations have been reported to the local authority.

Education - School Admission, Appeals and Exclusions

How we will use your information

We process personal data in order to allocate a school place and to review the admission decisions made that parents or carers are not happy with (eg a child not being placed at a preferred school).

The personal data we process will include the child's:

  • name
  • address 
  • age
  • gender
  • ethnicity
  • details of any other siblings at the school
  • additional information that may support the application or appeal, eg education attainment, behaviour,  medical or health conditions, special educational needs, religious beliefs, etc

We process this information to comply with our legal obligations under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, School Admission Appeals Code 2012 and School Admissions Code 2014; the Education Act 2002 concerning exclusions.

How we will share your information

The information you provide on your school admission form is shared with:

  • the school of choice
  • the Department for Education
  • other English Local Authorities
  • School Transport Service – to assist with determining transport eligibility
  • other council departments, health partners and law enforcement agencies to verify information and ensure that the appropriate services are engaged

The information you provide on your school admission appeal form is shared with:

  • the school for which you have appealed
  • members of the independent appeal panel
  • the School Admissions Team
  • in the event of a complaint, the Local Government Ombudsman

In the event your child is excluded from school, their information will be shared with:

  • Sheffield Inclusion Centre
  • allocated school following reintegration back into mainstream
  • Independent Review Panels (Appeals)
  • Schools Adjudicator, Ombudsman

How long your information will be kept

We keep school admission applications, appeals and exclusions for 2 years from the date the matter is resolved.

Finance – Business Rates

How we will use your information

We collect and process personal data to collect and administer business rates and, where eligible, the assessment and application of business rate exemptions and rate relief. 

The personal data needed to do this includes the account holder’s name, property details, contact details and evidence to support exemptions and rate relief.

This processing is necessary as part of our legal duty to collect business rates under the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (and any subsequent legislation).

Who we will share your information with

We will share your information with:

  • Capita, who we have contracted to help collect and manage business rates
  • Business Improvement District, for the purpose of setting up and administering such districts
  • other local authorities and government departments to validate rate relief and exemptions
  • enforcement agencies and debt recovery agents to prevent, detect and prosecute crime and recover arrears and debts

We may also obtain information from third parties, such as an agent, a former occupier, Companies House or Land Registry.

How long we keep your information

We will keep your personal data for as long as we are required to do so under relevant legislation or in accordance with our operational requirements. Financial records are held for 7 years, however, where there are debts or arrears we keep the records until they have been paid in full.

Finance – Housing Benefit, Council Tax and Discretionary Housing Payments

How we will use your information

We process personal data to provide Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support Discretionary Housing Payment and assistance from the Council Tax Hardship Scheme.

The information we process includes data about you, anyone who lives with you, and your financial circumstances and sometimes health information.

This processing is necessary, so that we can comply with our legal obligations under the Social Security Administration Act 1992, Local Government Finance Act 1992, Council Tax Reduction Schemes (England) 2012 and the Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001 (and any subsequent legislation which applies).  

Who we will share your information with

We will share your information with:

  • third parties we contract to support our Housing Benefits and Council Tax Services
  • with internal council services to provide better customer services, check entitlements (ie free school meals), and keep our records up to date
  • government bodies such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC), other local authorities, enforcement agencies and debt recovery agents, where necessary

We also share data with the Cabinet Office for the purposes of the data matching exercise called the National Fraud Initiative. The purpose of the exercise is to detect fraud and error. The Council is legally required to participate in this exercise.

Information received from third parties

We may obtain information about you from other third parties such as DWP, HMRC, your landlord/ letting agent or a support worker.

How long we will keep your information

We will keep your personal data for as long as we are required to do so under relevant legislation or in accordance with our operational requirements. Benefit claims, entitlements or reductions are generally held for 7 years after a claim has finished, however, where there are debts or arrears we keep the records until they have been paid in full.

Finance – Insurance and Risk

Why we are collecting and processing your Information

We collect the personal data of individuals who have submitted compensation or insurance claims. This is required to manage the claims handling process, including the detection and prevention of fraud. We are also required to keep records of claims for the purposes of purchasing insurance.

What information we will collect

The information we collect may include names, addresses, dates of birth, medical / health data and contact details eg telephone numbers and email addresses, Financial Information, Human Resources Records, and Social Care Records.

If we are unable to collect and process this data we would not be able to accept and deal with compensation or insurance claims submitted to us.

How we will use your information

As part of our claims investigations we may contact other organisations who are able to provide us with information to support this process.

The Council has a Legitimate Interest in processing your personal data in order for us to assess your claim and for the prevention and detection of fraud. This is the legal basis on which we process your data. You have the right to object to the processing of your data on the basis of Legitimate Interest.

We will not share your personal data with any third party for the purpose of marketing services or activities.

How will we share your information

Your personal information will only be disclosed to third parties, where we are obliged or permitted by law to do so. This includes use for the purposes of claims administration as well as checking with organisations and third party managed databases used to help prevent fraud / crime, and to regulatory bodies for the purposes of monitoring and / or enforcing our compliance with any regulatory rules / codes.

We may share and receive your information with / from third parties including:

  • legal advisors eg solicitors, counsel
  • insurance companies
  • law enforcement agencies eg police
  • courts
  • central government gepartments eg Department for Work and Pensions, National Fraud Initiative, DVLA
  • medical services eg NHS and GPs
  • providers of services to the Council for assessment of insurance claims e.g. loss adjusters or motor engineers
  • other central / local Government Departments

All data shared with third parties will be done via secure, encrypted methods and all data will be held securely.

How long your information will be kept

We will retain paper copies of claims records for 7 years from the closure of a claim (or for children, the year in which they reach the age of 21). Electronic records will be kept for up to 60 years.

We will only retain information outside these periods if required to do so eg for the purposes of a public inquiry.


How we use your information

Sheffield City Council uses personal data to process applications for licences, certificates, permits, consents or registrations. 

The information we need includes your:

  • name
  • addresses
  • previous names and addresses (for the last 5 years)
  • relevant business name and details,
  • nationality
  • date of birth 
  • identity and right to work documents 
  • photograph 
  • declarations regarding physical health and criminal convictions

Licensing officers use this information to ensure licences, certificates, permits, consents or registrations are only issued to appropriate people who are fit and proper to hold one and to maintain records of issue, renewal or rejection. 

The information is processed to form part of a contract with the Council, but also to allow the Council to fulfil its public duties (public interest tasks and in the exercise of official authority) in accordance with licensing laws and regulations. Licensing laws vary according to the type of activity, but include the Licensing Act 2003 and Gambling Act 2005.

Who we share your information with

We sometimes need to share your information within the Council to provide advice and assistance to you, carry out our legal duties or to safeguard others e.g. children and vulnerable adults. 

We may also need to share your information with third parties, for example: the Police; Fire and Rescue Service; Home Office (Immigration Enforcement); Sheffield’s Safeguarding Children Board; the Health and Safety Executive, to assess licensing applications and the suitability of applicants and to prevent and detect and prosecute crime.

We are required to maintain and publish Public Registers, which includes personal data of licence holders for Hackney Carriages, Private Hire Vehicles and Operators, Combined HC/ PH Drivers, and the sale of alcohol (personal or premises).

We will also share data with the Cabinet Office for the purposes of a data matching exercise called the National Fraud Initiative. The purpose of the exercise is to detect fraud and error. The Council is legally required to participate in this exercise.

How long we keep your information

We keep information for 6 years from the date of the last action or the expiry of a license, certificate, permit, consent or registration.

Lifelong Learning & Skills

How we will use your information

Sheffield City Council processes personal data as part of its work to provide opportunities for children, young people and adults to gain employment, training and work skills. These opportunities vary from vocational courses to employability skills training and apprenticeships and we help to provide advice and guidance, match people to the right opportunities, monitor and report on their progress, and support them throughout their involvement. 

To do this, we need to process information about the people engaged with the service, their parents, carers or emergency contacts, and the education and training providers and local businesses. 

The information we process includes: name, address, date of birth, age, ethnicity, nationality, language, physical or health needs, emergency contact details, financial circumstances, educational attainment, lifestyle and interests, criminal history.  We also process personal information about attendance, progress and performance throughout the scheme to help evaluate the training or work provider.

We process this information as part of our duty to create and develop learning and employment opportunities across Sheffield. 

How we will share your information

We share information about our learners to find suitable placements at schools, colleges, commissioned training providers, businesses and organisations offering apprenticeships. 

We share information with the Education and Skills Funding Agency, European Social Fund (ESF), DWP and OFSTED to monitor the Council’s performance in supporting people in employment, training and skills development.

How long your information will be kept

We keep a case file on all people we provide opportunities to.  The length of time we keep information varies and may be as little as 6 years or up to 12 years depending if the placement is funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency or ESF and our need to comply with their terms and conditions.

Parking - Enforcement

How we use your information

Sheffield City Council processes personal data to carry out is civil parking enforcement duties, which includes the processing of Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) and Appeals, Bus Lane Contraventions, On and Off-Street Parking.

This information may include:-

  • your vehicle details, e.g. vehicle registration number, vehicle ownership checks (DVLA), vehicle make and model, location of vehicle, civil parking offence details
  • basic details about you such as address, telephone number, email address
  • contact we have had with you, such as any correspondence, formal parking charge notices (PCN’s) and PACE interview forms
  • images of you from our bus lane enforcement cameras or if an enforcement officer has activated their body worn video camera

This processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest to fulfil its obligations as a Highway Authority, the Traffic Management Act 2004 and Civil Enforcement Parking Contraventions 2007, and Transport Act 2000 - Civil Bus Lane Enforcement.

How we share your information

We will share your information with other external third parties in the following circumstances:

  • the DVLA to trace the Registered Keeper of a Vehicle to pursue a Penalty Charge Notice
  • Traffic Penalty Tribunal and/ or Traffic Enforcement Centre as part of the appeals process
  • our contracted debt recovery agents to pursue outstanding debts
  • Police or security organisations to prevent or detect or prosecute crime

How long your information will be kept

We keep records of the enforcement action we have taken for 6 years starting from the end of the financial year the final payment was made or the case was closed (e.g. penalty charge notice cancelled).

We keep Body Worn Video camera footage for 14 days, unless a copy it is being kept as evidence as part of the enforcement record. 

Parking - Permits

How we use your information

Sheffield City Council has created a number of Parking Permit schemes to protect on-street parking spaces outside people's houses or businesses, in areas where parking is limited, and problems are caused by parking by commuters and shoppers, etc. 

You need to have a valid permit to park in one of these schemes, so you need to apply providing us with sufficient information and evidence to demonstrate you're eligible for a permit. 

This information includes name, address and contact details as well as details of your vehicle: make, model and registration. If you park in one of these areas without a valid permit, you are likely to get a Penalty Charge Notice. 

This information is processed to enable us to carry out our public duties, to administer, manage and enforce the permit scheme, under the relevant Traffic Regulation Orders.  

How we share your information

Your information is processed by the Council’s Customer Services and Parking Services to award and enforce permits. 

If you are issued with a Penalty Charge Notice for parking incorrectly, your information may be shared with the:

  • DVLA to identify the registered keeper of the vehicle to pursue an unpaid notice
  • Traffic Enforcement Tribunal as part of an appeals process
  • Council’s Finance team, or a third party debt recovery agent, to pursue a debt
  • Police or security agencies to tackle crime

We will also share data with the Cabinet Office for the purposes of a data matching exercise called the National Fraud Initiative. The purpose of the exercise is to detect fraud and error. The Council is legally required to participate in this exercise.

How long your information will be kept

We keep information about permits and enforcement action for 6 years from the financial year the information was created or resolved. 


How we will use your information

The Development Management Section of the Planning Service processes personal data as part of its work as a local planning authority so it can:

  • make decisions and provide advice on planning applications
  • respond to allegations of unlawful development
  • monitor development
  • enter legal agreements, collect the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), serve notices and promote the best use of land

The personal data we process will include your name, address and contact details, but in some cases additional information might be needed eg health or medical information to support an application.

We use the information provided to us to make decisions about the use of land in the public interest. This is known as a “public task” and is why we do not need you to “opt in” to allow your information to be used.

How we get your information

We get applicant information in two ways – it is supplied to us directly (or via a planning agent on their behalf) or we receive it from a third party website, The “Planning Portal”, which provides a transaction service.

We also receive comments, representations, allegations and questions via email, letter, and through our on-line platform.

How we will share your information

We will make details of planning applications available online so that people can contribute their “comments”. We will sometimes need to share the information we have with other parts of the council, eg to establish how long a building has been used as a dwelling.

We may share your information with statutory consultees as listed in the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure)(England) Order 2015 as part of a statutory consultation requirement.

We may also share your information with non-statutory consultees within other Sheffield City Council departments.

The Local Planning Authority also makes applications available for inspection by members of the public. Some are on the online “Register”, historic applications can be viewed by appointment. Personal information may be redacted or withheld

We may also send out a follow-up survey to a sample of people using our service to see how we can improve it.

We are obliged under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure)(England) Order 2015 to make some of the information you give to us available on planning registers. This is a permanent record of our planning decisions that form part of the planning history of a site, along with other facts that form part of the “land search”.

We do not sell your information to other organisations. We do not move your information beyond the UK. We do not use your information for automated decision making.

Redaction (‘blanking things out’)

We operate a policy where we routinely redact the following details before making forms and documents available online:

  • personal contact details for the applicant - eg telephone numbers, email addresses
  • signatures
  • Special Category Data - eg supporting statements that include information about health conditions or ethnic origin
  • information agreed to be confidential

Sometimes we might decide it is necessary, justified and lawful to disclose data that appears in the list above. In these circumstances we will let you know of our intention before we publish anything.

If you are submitting supporting information which you would like to be treated confidentially or wish to be specifically withheld from the public register, please let us know as soon as you can - ideally in advance of submitting the application. The best way to contact us about this issue is by emailing planningapps@sheffield.gov.uk.  

How long will your information be retained?

The information provided by applicants and appointed agents will be kept indefinitely as required by the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015.

The information provided by neighbouring residents and other interested parties, who comment on applications as part of the Community Consultation process in relation to planning applications, will be retained for four years from the decision.

The information provided in relation to the investigation of unauthorised development will be kept for at least ten years. No personal information is published on any public platform in such cases.

The majority of information provided as part of the Community Infrastructure Levy process will be retained until the CIL application is complete and payment made in full or for 7 years in the case of Social Housing Relief, and 3 years for Self-Build Relief. Liable Party Information will, however, be kept indefinitely. No personal information is published on any public platform in such cases.

Complaints and problems

Making decisions on planning matters is a public task and you do not have the right to withdraw consent. However, if you think we have got something wrong or there is a reason you would prefer for something to not be disclosed, please ask us by emailing planningapps@sheffield.gov.uk.

Procurement – Trade and Non Trade Suppliers

How we will use your information

The information provided to us will be used for the creation of a supplier record on our primary financial system in order for us to: purchase goods/service, pay grants, loans, make insurance payments, compensation payments, refunds and to make payments for those goods/services provided. The information required includes: full name, address, telephone number, email address and bank details.

Who we will share your information with

We will share your information with the following third parties who use our primary financial system on behalf of or in conjunction with:

  • Capita Business Services who provide services on behalf of Sheffield City Council under the Business Services Contract.
  • Sheffield City Region Combined Authority who use our primary financial system for their financial transactions; including purchases and payments.

How long we will keep your information

For inactive supplier accounts ie we have ceased transacting with you, the information you provide will be kept for the default standard retention period for HMRC records which is 6 years plus current, otherwise known as 6 years + 1 after which it will be deleted.

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View the Council Advertising Network privacy policy

Withdawal of use of image consent

If you have given consent for your image to be used in communications but now wish to withdraw it please contact communications@sheffield.gov.uk