It certainly appears that Thirty Six out of Forty three Ashford Borough Council (ABC) Councillors are NOT signed up to the Register Of Data Controllers. As you may or may not know ALL Councillors must by law sign up to the Register of Data Controllers. To not sign up is a criminal offence, with a fine of five thousand pounds in the local magistrates court or up to half a million pounds in the county/high court. It cost £35 p.a. to sign up and Cllrs are responsible for paying this themselves, not ABC.
Cllrs wear three hats. They are:
As participants in Council Committees and decision-making, they are part of the Council. For Data Protection purposes, they are covered by the Council’s DP notification and any incident or breach involving them would be the Council’s problem.
Comes with membership of a political party. They may sometimes receive personal data from their party for campaigning purposes. In this scenario, the party is responsible for Data Protection.
The strangest hat is the one they wear as constituency representatives. Here, neither the council nor the party is responsible. The Councillor is a Data Controller in their own right.
It would appear thirty six Cllrs in the Ashford Chamber including the Leader of ABC, Cllr Gerry Clarkson
are not signed up and are therefore in breach of the Data Protection Act, which is a criminal offence. The Cllrs have been in office for nearly a year and ALL councillors receive Data Protection Training. So there is no reason or excuse why they should not be signed up, other than they have little regard, if any, for your information.
This may be happening in your district/borough and its real simple to check.
To find out if your Cllr is on the ICO Register of Data Controllers, put in their name and either their home postcode or the Council Postcode and they may or may not appear. If not, they are not protecting anyone’s information and should be reported.
It took Shepwayvox 3 months to get all those Cllrs on Shepway District Council, who had not signed up, to do so , but only because we made it clear that the offence would be reported. There cannot be, and must not be, one law for them and another for us. So if you want to do something about it write to
Ashford Borough Council Senior Solicitor Paul Courtine