PN016 - Complaints, Unacceptable Actions, FOI & EIR Privacy Notice

Torfaen County Borough Council is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services. This Privacy Notice is designed to give you information about the data we hold about you, how we use it, your rights in relation to it and the safeguards in place to protect it.

TCBC Service Area: Resources
Work Area: Complaints and FOI Team
Contact Details:
Privacy Notice Name: Complaints, Unacceptable Actions, FOI & EIR

Data Controller: Torfaen County Borough Council, c/o Civic Centre, Pontypool, NP4 6YB

If you wish to raise a concern about the handling of your personal data, please contact the Data Protection Officer on 01495 762200 or email

The Complaints/FOI team processes personal information about you in its capacity as data controller for the proper handling of complaints, FOI (Freedom of Information) & EIR (Environmental Information Regulations) requests and application of the Unacceptable Actions policy. Information about how we use your personal data is provided below.

Who provides your data to the Council?

The personal information we process is provided to us directly by you in order to consider concerns, complaints or requests for information.


We may also receive personal information indirectly from other sources such as:

  • another member of the public (e.g. complaint or concern)
  • another Council department
  • an elected member of the Council
  • other organisations (e.g. Emergency Services, Landlords, Housing Associations, Information Commissioner or Ombudsman)

How does the Council collect this information?

  • During a telephone/video call
  • In person
  • An online form
  • By letter
  • Through social media or email

What information does the Council collect about you?

The Complaints/FOI team collects a range of information including:

  • Contact details such as name, address, telephone number and email addresses
  • Health and Medical details
  • Identifying details including date of birth
  • Family information including relationships and dependants
  • Financial and legal information such as a Power of Attorney
  • Photographs

Why does the Council process your personal data?

Under Article 6 of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the lawful bases we rely on for processing this information are:

(c) We have a legal obligation.

(e) We need it to perform a public task.

Special categories of personal data

We may collect the following special category data:

  • personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin
  • personal data revealing political opinions
  • personal data revealing religious or philosophical beliefs
  • personal data revealing trade union membership
  • data concerning health
  • data concerning a person’s sex life
  • data concerning a person’s sexual orientation

We collect this under Article 9 of the UK GDPR.


Where we collect criminal data this is processed within the Council under Article 10 of the UK GDPR.

Who has access to your data?

Your data is shared internally only with the appropriate staff where it is necessary for the performance of their roles.

Your data may also be shared externally with organisations for a complaint involving a third party or if it is requested by a regulatory body. These may include, but not be limited to:

  • Health Authority
  • Housing Associations
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
  • The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales
  • Independent Investigators/Independent Persons appointed to undertake Social Care stage 2 complaint investigations.

Apart from where previously stated, we do not pass your details to third parties unless we are lawfully required do so.

Is the Data transferred out of the UK?


How does the Council keep your data secure?

The Council has internal policies in place to ensure the data it processes is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed. Access to this data is restricted in accordance with the Council’s internal policies and in compliance with the UK GDPR.

Data will be stored securely in:

  • Secure network drives

Where the Council engages third parties to process personal data on its behalf, they do so on the basis of written instructions. These third parties are also under a duty of confidentiality and are obliged to implement appropriate measures to ensure the security of data.

How long does the Council keep your data?

The Council will hold your personal data only for the period that is necessary and will follow organisational and Local Authority standards in this area. At the end of the retention period the Council will securely destroy or dispose of the data in line with retention schedules.

  • Information requests – 3 years plus current
  • Internal Reviews/ICO correspondence - 10 years
  • Information requests relating to ongoing complaints and appeals – 10 years after completion
  • Statistics and logs – 10 years
  • Social Care Complaints – 10 years after completion for formal complaints and recurring concerns. 2 years plus current for general customer queries
  • Corporate Complaints – 10 years for Stage 2 and Ombudsman complaints, 3 years for stage 1 complaints. 2 years plus current for general customer queries.
  • Unacceptable Actions files to be kept 10 years after completion.

Are we making automated decisions/profiling with your data?


Your rights

You have a number of Rights you can exercise:

  • Access - to obtain a copy of your data on request
  • Rectification – to require the Council to change incorrect or incomplete data
  • Object, Restrict or Delete - under certain circumstances you can require the Council to delete or stop processing your data, for example where the data is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing
  • Data portability – to receive and/or transmit data provided to the Council to other organisations (this applies in limited circumstances)
  • Withdraw your consent at any time (where consent has been given)
  • To know the consequences of failing to provide data to the Council
  • To know the existence of any Automated Decision-making, including profiling, and the consequences of this for you.
  • To lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority (Information Commissioners Office)

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact: Complaints and FOI Team Leader, C/o Civic Centre, Pontypool, NP4 6YB, email:, telephone 01495 742164.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office (Wales), 2nd Floor, Churchill House, Churchill Way, Cardiff, CF10 2HH. Telephone 0330 414 6421 or e-mail

Last Modified: 17/07/2023 Back to top