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Are councillors emails confidential from residents?

0 votes
I appreciate this has partly been answered in an earlier question, but can I confirm:

Parish Councillors emails are not confidential and cannot be assumed to be (unless they contain private name/addresses).

A Parish Councillor is free to share with residents any emails that he/she received that are sent between councillors about general council business

It this correct?

related to an answer for: Holding councillors to account
asked by (210 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
What you say is correct - apart from specific sentences or paragraphs in the E Mails that contain information that has been resolved to be exempt or confidential by said Council. Personal Data within the message may need to be redacted unless the sender or anybody referred to in the message has signed a  Privacy Notice.
answered by (22.4k points)
0 votes
All council communication with residents should go through the clerk so there is an audit trail otherwise you could get several versions of the interpreted email. You pay your clerk to be your responsible officer and this is one of their responsibilities.

Under GDPR regulations you should not forward or share any email without the authors permission (even personal emails)
answered by (4.7k points)
So this answer about GDPR seems to contradict the answer above. Is a councillor free to share emails - specifically emails from other Councillors not ones from the public - about council business?
It appears contradictory because of the inappropriate, incomplete and incorrect reference to the ‘GDPR bogeyman.’

This type of misinformation and lack of fundamental understanding is alarmingly common.
GDPR can only apply to any personal information in the email. For example, if a Councillor emails me to say "The pothole in North Road has been repaired" the only personal information is the authors details. Depending who the author is, this could be redacted if necessary before the email is forwarded to a resident.
Also, as Letsbehonest alludes to, there are 6 lawful grounds for sharing personal information of which consent is only one.
"there are 6 lawful grounds for sharing personal information"
Please could you explain further.
Hi Parishpost. GDPR requires any organisation processing personal data to have a valid legal basis for that processing activity. The law provides six legal bases for processing:
(a) Consent: the individual has given clear consent for you to process their personal data for a specific purpose.

(b) Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked you to take specific steps before entering into a contract.

(c) Legal obligation: the processing is necessary for you to comply with the law.

(d) Vital interests: the processing is necessary to protect someone’s life.

(e) Public task: the processing is necessary for you to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.

(f) Legitimate interests: the processing is necessary for your legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party, unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests. (This cannot apply if you are a public authority processing data to perform your official tasks.)
thank you Smallb34r

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