May elections

You must register to vote in the upcoming May elections before Wednesday 17 April. If you cannot attend the elections, you can apply for a postal vote before 5pm on Wednesday 17 April. Find all the key dates on our election news page.


Environmental Health Services privacy notice

Who we are and what we do

Harlow Council is a data controller under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This means we need to collect your personal data so we can carry out our statutory duties, including responding to customer complaints and enquiries, carrying out investigations, issuing licenses and permits, and carrying out inspections and enforcement. We will only collect the personal data from you that we need to do this. For further details or to complain about any aspect of data protection, the contact details for the council’s Data Protection Officer are:

Data Protection Officer
Harlow Council
Civic Centre
The Water Gardens
Harlow, Essex
CM20 1WG

The type of personal data we collect

To administer our services, we collect all or some of the following personal data:

  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • phone number
  • email address
  • National Insurance number
  • information received from third parties (such as landlords)
  • signature
  • images
  • health information
  • criminal record and driving offences details
  • qualification records
  • accident, injury and notifiable disease records.

How we get the personal information

Generally, the information we hold will have been provided by you (on an application or enquiry form or when we communicate with you), but we may also hold information provided by third parties where this is relevant, for example, complainants, statutory bodies, consultees, local government organisations and other council departments.  We will only ask for personal data that is appropriate to enable us to deliver our services. In some cases, you can refuse to provide your details if you deem a request to be inappropriate. However, you should note that this might affect our ability to provide some services to you.

Why we need your information and how we use it

Our purpose in collecting and using data is to operate as a statutory body carrying out a public task. The most common things we use personal data are to:

  • help us determine applications
  • help us carry out inspections
  • investigate complaints and enquiries
  • write reports and make decisions
  • undertake enforcement action

We use your personal data so we can get in touch, or to ensure the public with whom you may work are safe. We can also use your personal data under many different pieces of legislation.  In many cases there is legislation that says we must or we can process your data and we can do so without your consent or permission. In some instances (for example, when checking medical fitness reports) we will need to refer your data to a third-party organisation. These third-party organisations must keep your details safe and secure and use them only for this purpose.

The Environmental Health Service uses various kinds of information including personal data and occasionally special categories data (previously called sensitive personal data).

Who your information will be shared with

We do not share your information with anyone else, unless this is supported by the law, or it is necessary to enable us to provide our services to you.

We may need to share relevant information with other council services including:

  • Housing
  • Revenues and Benefits
  • Safeguarding
  • Streetscene
  • Insurance
  • Community Safety
  • Legal Services

We may also share your information where it is relevant to your enquiries, service request or licence with other bodies such as:

  • Drinking Water Inspectorate
  • Food Standards Agency
  • Environment Agency
  • Home Office
  • Essex County Council
  • relevant housing association
  • Essex Fire and Rescue
  • police
  • housing associations
  • Public Health England
  • National Fraud Initiative (for the purpose of preventing and detecting fraud)
  • HMRC
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • mortgage providers
  • other local authorities
  • Disclosure and Barring Service
  • DVLA

Some information provided to us we are obliged under the regulations to make available on public registers.  

What is the legal basis for processing your personal data?

Under the GDPR, the lawful bases we rely on for processing this information is outlined in article 6(1) (e) - Public Task. The processing is necessary for the data controller to perform a task in the public interest or for official functions and the task or function has a clear basis in law. Special category data includes information about race, ethnic origin, politics, religion, trade union membership, genetics, biometrics (where used for ID purposes), health, sex life, or sexual orientation. Criminal offence data includes personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences, or related security measure.

How long we keep your personal information

As a matter of principal, all personal information will be held securely and will only be retained electronically for as long as is necessary for the purpose for which it was provided.

Where it is no longer necessary to hold your information, it will be securely destroyed.

More detailed information on our retention periods is available in the council’s records retention policy on our main privacy notice page.

Your rights

You have the right to:

  • ask us for copies of your personal information
  • ask us to rectify personal information you think is inaccurate and ask us to complete information you think is incomplete
  • ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances
  • ask us to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances
  • object to the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances
  • ask that we transfer the personal information you gave us to another organisation, or to you, in certain circumstances

You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you.

How to complain

You can complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data.

The ICO’s address:         

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Helpline number: 0303 123 1113