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Privacy Notice

This Privacy statement covers the use of personal information that the Council collects when you use any of our electronic services

From time to time, you may be asked to submit personal information electronically about yourself (e.g. name & address) in order to receive or use services.

By entering your details in the fields requested, you enable the Council to provide you with the services you need, and it may also help us to identify you when you contact us. Whenever you provide such personal information, we will treat it in accordance with this statement. When using your personal information the Council will act in accordance with current legislation.


When you contact us by phone, email or through the Council’s website we may need to collect personal information about you or your family so that the appropriate service can be provided. The information we require from you may include personal information, such as:

  • First name
  • Family name or surname
  • Address
  • Telephone numbers
  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • Email address
  • Payment information
  • Income/Expenditure – Benefit / Council Tax Reduction

We use your personal data within the rules set out in the Data Protection Act 2018.

We process this data for the following reasons:

  • where you have consented to the processing
  • to ensure we meet our legal requirements
  • to allow us to communicate and provide services appropriate to your needs
  • where we are legally obliged to undertake data processing e.g. prevention and/or detection of fraud and crime
  • to process financial transactions
  • where necessary to protect citizens from harm or injury
  • to conduct research or statistical analysis in order that we continually improve our service to you
  • to assist the council in responding to emergencies or major accidents. This allows the council, in conjunction with the emergency services, to identify citizens who may need additional support.

Please note: phone calls to our customer service team are recorded for training and quality improvement purposes. You will be asked for your permission to record the conversation, and you may refuse at which point recordings are turned off. Please see Call Recording.

If we are required to, we will only share your information with internal departments and other service providers, contractors and/or partner bodies, but only where it is necessary:

  • to comply with a legal obligation
  • where permitted under the Data Protection Act 2018
  • where the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of the prevention and/or detection of crime
  • where it is necessary to allow a third party working for or on behalf of the Council

We will strive to ensure that any personal data in our care will be kept safe and that where your information is disclosed to a third party, we will seek to ensure that the third party has sufficient systems and procedures in place to prevent the loss or damage of personal data.

We will not use your personal data for third party marketing purposes.

Information from your communications with Customer Services is kept for 3 years from the point of contact.

When a resident/customer accesses us through by using our website or online forms, some of the information we collect is submitted into a third party system, which integrates with our core service applications, and which is applicable to the service you are requesting – for example our Planning Portal.

When someone visits the Council’s website we use third-party services to collect standard internet usage log information. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone.

The My Services portal provides you with a safe and flexible way to access housing benefit and council tax services, including setting up direct debits, e-billing and change in circumstances. The portal is continually being developed, and will provide further insight into your transactions / communications with the council.

Future developments will include the ability to view requests recorded with the contact centre and blue badge renewals.

Data Matching and Auditing

We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may use the information you provide to us for the prevention and detection of crime. We may also share this information with other bodies that are responsible for auditing or administering public funds including the Audit Commission, the Department for Work and Pensions, other local authorities, HM Revenue and Customers and the Police. 

We are required to take part in national data matching exercises undertaken by the Audit Commission. The use of data by the Audit Commission in a data matching exercise is carried out under its powers in Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned. 

We recognise that the information you provide may be sensitive and we will respect your confidentiality. We keep information about you confidential. This means we store it securely and control who has access to it. We will not store any information where we are not legally required to do so. All the information you provide us is held within the European Economic Area (EEA). 

We have implemented call recording across several of our customer service lines. The implementation of the associated software supports proactive training and quality of calls, to assist us in delivering excellent customer service, and enable the council to deal with complaints more efficiently.

Call recording is performed as a matter of course on the following telephone numbers:

Corporate Contact Centre

01744 676789

Corporate Contact Centre - Switchboard

01744 676000

Corporate Contact Centre - Internal Switchboard


Contact Cares – Adults & Children’s Social Care

01744 676600

Council Tax

01744 675255

Housing Benefits

01744 676666

Business Rates

01744 675264

Council Tax Recovery

01744 675285


Our welcome message will advise you that your call will be recorded, and once you connect with our advisors, they will ask you for your consent to continue recording the call. If you don't want your call to be recorded, then please tell the advisor at the beginning of the call, and the recording will be stopped.

Our contact centre will take payments over the phone, but at the point that a payment is about to be taken, the recording stops automatically, and will only resume once the payment process has completed.

Our recordings will be kept for a period of 3 months, at which point they will be deleted. Recordings are stored securely on servers of our call handling software provider.

You can request a copy of the recording by submitting a Subject Access Request

Our Call Recording Policy is available for your information




For more information around the Data Protection Act 2018 and the introduction of the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), you can check the following reference points:

If you require further information please contact us:

Web:         www.sthelens.gov.uk/contactus

Telephone: 01744 676789