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Clerk won’t provide details of residents on the allotment waiting list

0 votes
We have formed an allotment working group to deal with this issue which has been on the agenda for over 15 years.  We’re a brand new bunch of councillors who just want to move things along.  We have asked the clerk for details of residents on the waiting list so we can consult with them on land we have available. We’ve asked for names and addresses so that we can start to verify whether or not the list is still valid and put together letters to them to talk about what we have on offer.  She is refusing to provide these details telling us that “names and addresses held by the clerk are covered under Data Protection”. We are arguing that the residents applied to the council for allotments, and not to the clerk.  We’re also arguing that in asking the council to put them on the waiting list, it is reasonable to assume they are happy to be contacted by the council on this matter.  Is she correct in withholding these names?
asked by (740 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
This is a popular misconception,  which crops up often on this board, as a result, I believe, of poor advice from NALC.  In fact, as you suspect, it is the Parish council which 'holds' the information and decides who needs to view it and not the clerk. This will be evidenced by the fact that it is the Parish Council, and not the clerk, which is registered as data controller with the ICO.
Therefore, if the Parish Council wishes the allotment working group to have the names and addresses, the clerk has no authority to refuse. Nor do you need consent from those on the waiting list,  as you have a legitimate interest in using their information to contact them.
If you receive further challenge I suggest that you call the ICO's helpline, or use the webchat which offers you the facility to have a copy of the advice sent to you at the end of the chat.
answered by (1.7k points)
selected by
Thank you everyone for your comments. Smaalb34r I have since received information from our local branch of the local authorities association, and you are correct.  The council needs to have a legitimate reason for using the data and of course need to be mindful of the privacy regulations when using it.  As such the clerk has no right to refuse to provide it.  Doing so constitutes a refusal to carry our a reasonable and lawful request which in fact is a breach of the employment contract.
0 votes
I don’t know about the rights and wrongs of this but why not get the Clerk to print and issue the letters you can always ask for the replies to be sent straight to you
answered by (4.9k points)
0 votes
As an alternative to Jules' reply, which is a good way to go, you could ask the clerk to write to all on the list asking permission for their details to be shared with the allotment working group. As far as GDPR goes, if they give their permission there is nothing to stop the clerk giving you those details. I doubt any would refuse. I also think  that if someone writes to 'the council' they are consenting to details being share with the Councillors. But I don't really know for sure.
answered by (1.2k points)

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