Privacy notice for electoral registration

This privacy notice is published in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018. The notice provides general information on the way in which the personal information you provide is managed and processed by the Electoral Registration Officer (the ‘data controller’).

The Data Controller and contact details

The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) is the Data Controller for the personal data you provide. The contact details for you to exercise any of your data protection rights or to raise any concerns you may have regarding your personal data are:

Data Protection Officer
West Suffolk Council
West Suffolk House
Western Way
Bury St Edmunds
IP31 2UJ

Tel: 01284 757173


We collect your personal information for the following purposes:

  • To undertake our statutory obligation to ensure that all eligible persons in West Suffolk are registered to vote.
  • To enable eligible persons to stand as candidates in elections in accordance with statutory requirements.
  • To enable all registered electors to participate as voters in elections/referendums.

With regard to the above, we will specifically use personal information on the Electoral Register to:

  • conduct an annual canvass of all households to establish all eligible persons who are entitled to be registered
  • produce poll cards and postal ballot packs.

Categories of personal data

Electoral registration

In order to carry out these purposes we collect and obtain your name, address, email address and telephone number. Sometimes we collect other information you may feel is sensitive to you. This might be your nationality, date of birth, national insurance number or the reason why you might require a postal or proxy vote. We may also ask you to provide additional evidence to confirm your identity such as copies of your passport, marriage certificate or driving licence.

There is certain personal data such as nationality that is categorised under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as special category data. This is because it may reveal a person’s racial or ethnic origin.

The Electoral Registration Officer, as Data Controller, can only process special category data if he has a policy document in place which sets out details of the retention and erasure of special category data.

Candidates standing for election

In order to carry out these purposes we collect and obtain your name, address, email address and telephone number.

Legal basis for processing

The legal basis for processing your personal information is contained in the following legislation:

Electoral registration

  • Representation of the People Act 1983
  • Representation of the People Act 1985
  • Representation of the People Act 2000
  • European Parliamentary Elections (franchise of Relevant Citizens of the Union) Regulations 2001
  • Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001
  • Electoral Administration Act 2006

By law, a person who has receives a Household Enquiry Form (HEF) must provide the information required to the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO). There is a criminal penalty of up to £1,000 for failing to provide the information to the ERO.

By law, a person who fails to return an Individual Electoral Registration (IER) form can be fined £80.

Candidates standing for election

  • Local Elections (Principal Areas) (England and Wales) Rules 2006
  • Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules 2006

Information sharing/recipients

We may share personal information about you.

We are required by law to provide copies of the full Electoral Register to certain organisations and individuals (such as the British Library, Office for National Statistics, Jury Central Summoning Bureau, elected representatives and candidates at elections). They may use it for their own reasons which are different to ours but they still have to look after the data contained in the register in the same way that we do.

To verify your identity, the data you provide will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service managed by the Cabinet Office. As part of this process your data will be shared with the Department of Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors for the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service. Find out information about this.

If you have opted to be included in the Open Register, by law your register information can be shared with anyone who requests it. They may use it for their own reasons that are different to ours but they must look after your data in the same way that we do.

In accordance with law, the Full Electoral Register has to be made available for public inspection and we do this by making it available to inspect at:

  • West Suffolk Council, Council Offices, College Heath Road, Mildenhall, IP28 7EY
  • West Suffolk Council, West Suffolk House, Western Way, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 3YU

Inspection is done under supervision. People who inspect the register can make handwritten notes but cannot take copies or photographs of the register.

The Open and full versions of the Electoral Register do not contain your telephone number and/or email address.

Automated decisions

For Electoral Services, all decisions made regarding electoral registration and candidates standing for election involve human intervention.

Data retention

Electoral registration

We will retain any documents that contain your personal information (for example HEF and ITR forms) for only as long as it takes for your registration application to be determined following which we securely dispose of the documents.

We retain electronic information about persons on the electoral register for only as long as they remain registered, following which the information will be deleted.

Candidates standing for election

We are required by law (Principal Area Rules 2006) to retain candidate nomination papers for candidates standing in elections for no longer than 12 months after the election, following which the documents are securely destroyed.

Home address forms provided by candidates standing in general elections are retained for a period of 21 days after the return of the legal writ, following which they are securely disposed of. However, if an election petition relating to the election is presented within the 21 calendar days, the home address forms must be kept securely until the conclusion of the petition proceedings (including any appeal from such proceedings). They must then be securely destroyed on the next working day following the conclusion of the proceedings or appeal.

We are required by law to retain candidate election expenses documents for a period of no more than two years from the date on which the expenses are received. At the end of the two year period, the respective candidate can request the return of the expenses documents. Otherwise the expenses documents will be securely disposed of.

How to exercise your rights

If you wish to exercise any of your rights including where you are seeking a copy of your personal information, please submit your request to or by post to:

Data Protection Officer
West Suffolk Council
West Suffolk House
Western Way
Bury St Edmunds
IP31 2UJ

How to raise a concern

If you wish to raise a concern about the council’s handling of your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer at

Whether you are exercising your rights or raising a concern, you will normally need to include documents that prove your identity as well as a clear and precise description of your request/concern.

We will process requests in accordance with the legislative framework and statutory timescales and inform you should an extension of time be necessary.


If you are not satisfied with the way we have answered a request from you or handled your personal information, you have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at

This right is not dependent on you raising a complaint with us first but we would encourage you to contact our DPO so we can consider your concerns as quickly as possible


We may update or revise this privacy notice at any time but the most up to date version will always be provided on this web page.

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