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Electoral Services Privacy Notice

Read why we need your information for electoral registration and how we use it.

Who are we and what do we do  

Electoral Services is part of Gateshead Council. We are based at Gateshead Civic Centre and provide the following services: 

  • compiling and maintaining the Gateshead Electoral Register 
  • delivering local and national elections and referenda for the residents of Gateshead 
  • issuing Voter Authority Certificates 

This privacy notice provides specific information about how we process your personal data. It is an addition to the information contained in our Corporate privacy notice.  

What type of information is collected about you  

We collect personal information from:  

  • candidates and their agents 
  • citizens 
  • people we need to pay  
  • potential and actual electors 
  • staff employed at an election 
  • voters 

This information may include:  

  • name 
  • address 
  • date of birth 
  • details and records about the service you have received 
  • if you are over 76 or under 16/17 
  • nationality  
  • notes about relevant circumstances 
  • other occupants in your home 
  • photographs for the issue of Voter Authority Certificates 
  • previous or redirected addresses 
  • scanned application forms and dates of any letters of correspondence 
  • unique identifiers (including National Insurance number) 
  • whether you have chosen to opt out of the open version of the register  

How we collect information about you  

We collect information about you from various sources to ensure that we meet your needs, including: 

  • online applications 
  • paper application forms 
  • telephone contact with electors  

Between 1 July and 1 December each year, we conduct a canvass of the register of electors. We contact every household in Gateshead to determine voter registration at that address. We provide the details currently held and ask households to contact us with any changes. This includes adding those electors not yet registered and removing those no longer resident.    

Householders can respond to the canvass online, by telephone, email or by completing and returning a postal form.   

Why we need your information  

Our purpose for collecting personal information is to enable us to carry out specific functions for which we are responsible and to provide you with a statutory service.  

If you do not provide us with the annual canvass information then eligible citizens will not be able to register to vote and you may be breaking the law.  

Photographs are only required to provide electors with a Voter Authority Certificate which enables them to vote in person at a polling station when they do not already have suitable ID.  

The lawful basis for our processing is:  

  • legal obligation to which the data controller is subject under the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended)   

The legislation the service is obliged to comply with includes: 

  • The Representation of the People Regulations 2001 

Who your information can be shared with  

Our Corporate privacy notice explains information sharing the Council carries out. This sharing fulfils statutory obligations, legal requirements and service delivery. Electoral Services can share your information with:  

  • agents 
  • the British Library 
  • candidates 
  • contracted printers to print poll cards, postal packs and other electoral material 
  • credit reference agencies 
  • elected representatives 
  • the Electoral Commission  
  • electoral teams in neighbouring local authorities for administering Parliamentary elections where constituencies cross local authority boundaries 
  • other permitted participants who can use it for electoral purposes only 
  • other statutory recipients of the Electoral Register  
  • registered political parties 
  • UK Statistics Authority 

The Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service (IERDS) will verify your identity. IERDS is managed by the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC). We share personal information with the Department of Works and Pensions and DLUHC suppliers who are data processors for the IERDS service. You can find more information about this at Register to vote

We are required by law to report certain information to appropriate authorities, for example: 

  • to law enforcement agencies for the prevention or detection of a crime or the detection of fraud as part of the National Fraud Initiative 
  • to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau indicating those persons who are aged 76 or over and are no longer eligible for jury service 
  • where the health and safety of others is at risk 
  • where a formal court order has been issued 

Anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential. 

We can share details of whether (but not how) you voted to those entitled in law to receive it after an election.  

The Electoral Register is a public document which can be viewed by appointment only under strict control.  

How long we will keep your information  

We keep your information for as long as we need to provide services to you. This will differ depending on the services you receive. We may also need to keep your information in accordance with legal or other obligations. Where we have no need to keep your data it will be securely destroyed. We keep a Record of Processing Activity (a requirement under the GDPR). This sets out the specific retention periods applicable in different circumstances. For more information please contact: electoralregistration@gateshead.gov.uk or call 0191 433 3963. 

Where your information is held 

We hold personal information in secure electronic systems on Gateshead Council servers. Paper copies are stored securely within council premises. 

How you can update your information 

Our delivery of efficient services depends on the accuracy of your information. 

Please inform us of any changes to the following: 

  • email address 
  • personal circumstances 
  • postal address 
  • any of the other information we hold 

Please contact: electoralregistration@gateshead.gov.uk or call 0191 433 3963. 

Your information rights

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.

Marketing and e-newsletters

Please see our email marketing privacy notice.

Business intelligence, profiling and automated-decision making

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.

Protecting your information

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.

Data Protection Officer

Data Protection Officer
Civic Centre
Regent Street
Gateshead
NE8 1HH

DPOcouncil@gateshead.gov.uk

0191 433 3000

Information Commissioner's Office

The Information Commissioner is the UK's independent body for upholding information rights. Visit their website (opens new window) to find out more about your rights under Data Protection law, and what to expect from us.

For privacy practices or data protection rights concerns, contact the Information Commissioner's Office:

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

0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745

casework@ico.org.uk