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.

Website advertising

The Council Advertising Network are responsible for delivering advertising on our website. Please take a moment to read their privacy policy which includes cookie information and details on how to opt out.

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

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.

Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support, Discretionary Housing Payment and Council Tax Hardship Scheme Privacy Notice

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.

Business Rates Privacy Notice

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.

School Admissions, Appeals and Exclusions Privacy Notice

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.

Planning Privacy Notice

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.

Insurance and Risk Privacy Notice

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.