COVID-19, Energy Rebate & Help with Energy Costs
This privacy notice explains how Welwyn Hatfield borough Council may collect, use and protect personal data specifically with regards to the coronavirus pandemic, the administration of the council tax energy rebate and providing support with energy costs.
This Council already holds data on our residents, employees and stakeholders. Where we already hold information regarding vulnerability, as defined in the current guidance from the Government and Public Health England, we may share this for emergency planning purposes or to protect your vital interests by sharing with services both inside and outside the Council.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, we may need to continue to process patient data in order to continue to support residents from the ongoing risk of Covid. This could mean that we need to ask you for personal data including sensitive personal data that you have not already supplied. This could be your age or if you have any underlying illnesses or are vulnerable. This is so the Council can assist you and prioritise its services.
The Covid information held by this Council will be retained for 8 years before a review takes place to see if it will be destroyed.
If we have health information indicating that you are vulnerable, we may contact you to ensure your safety and to assist you where possible. You can view the Council's main Privacy Notice which contains more information on how we collect, use and protect personal data generally, as well as your rights as a data subject.
Virtual-Remote Access Meetings
The Coronavirus Act 2020 provides for 'persons to attend, speak at, vote in, or otherwise participate in, local authority meetings without all of the persons, or without any of the persons, being together in the same place'.
The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 provides us with greater flexibility in the conduct of our meetings, including allowing Councillors to attend remotely and for public and press access to those meetings.
We use Microsoft Teams or Zoom conferencing technology for remote attendance at meetings by Councillors, where they can hear and where practicable see, and be similarly heard or seen by:
(a) other Councillors, whether attending in person or in remote attendance; and
(b) any members of the public who are attending remotely to exercise a right to speak at the meeting in accordance with constitutionally adopted procedures; and
(c) any other members of the public and press attending the meeting remotely to observe.
The press and members of the public are able to observe our meetings (held in open session), through https://welhat.public-i.tv/core/portal/home.
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council will record and retain records of individual payments of Business Grants. This information will be stored in accordance with all relevant data protection requirements such as the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 and shared with Government upon request. The information will be used by the Government monitoring and evaluation purposes, as well as for prevention and detection of fraud and/or other criminal activities, as well as for suspension and/or recovery of the grant where necessary. The Government may share information for the purpose of counter fraud activity and debt recovery with other government departments, agencies and/or local authorities.
Council Tax Rebate
The government has introduced an Energy Rebate scheme to help households with rising energy bills. In order to administer this scheme, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council will supply some of your personal information to TransUnion International UK Limited, which is a credit reference agency. TransUnion will use personal information to administer application for an Energy Rebate payment by checking identity and helping prevent criminal activity such as fraud and money laundering. More information about TransUnion and the ways in which it uses and shares personal information can be found in its privacy notice at transunion.co.uk/legal/privacy-centre.
Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding and Alternative Fuel Payment Alternative Fund (AFP AF)
The council will process data relating to the Energy Bills Support Scheme Alternative Funding and Alternative Fuel Payment Alternative Fund.
We process information to support these schemes; specifically to confirm your identity; facilitate payment and prevent, detect and investigate fraud and errors. We may also assess your liability for council tax on the property you have stated as your sole and main residence on the application. We share this information with and receive information for this purpose from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ).
This information will include:
- Application reference number;
- Name (and any contact details for any third-party individual supporting or making the application on your behalf);
- Date application received;
- Outcome of application and reason for decision-making;
- Assurance evidence in line with the Guidance (such as bank account details, Council Tax records, UK Driving licence, utility bill, care home invoice, tenancy agreement);
- Payment fraud or error, money recovered and subsequent fraud and error reporting.
Special category data is not expressly requested in connection with applications for the scheme, but it is possible that co-incident collection and sharing of special category data could occur as a result of information provided by you (or third-party individuals acting on your behalf) in connection with the applications, including, but not limited to, information relating to your ethnic origin or data concerning health or age.
We have a data-sharing agreement with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and DESNZ to facilitate this arrangement.
Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund
We have a data sharing agreement with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF). The primary purpose of this is to improve the energy performance of social housing stock. In accordance with the DPA and UK GDPR, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council will collect and process SHDF data to deliver performance management, official reporting, and evaluation of SHDF, allowing data to be shared with BEIS’ research and evaluation partners and processed for delivery, administrative, research and statistical purposes.