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City of York Council Returning Officer Privacy Notice

We regularly update our City of York Council Returning Officer Privacy Notice; it was last updated in June 2023.

The City of York Council Returning Officer Privacy Notice covers:

  • (Acting) Returning Officer (as Electoral Registration Officer) for UK Parliamentary elections
  • Returning Officer for City of York Council wards and all parishes within City of York Council area
  • Counting Officer for Referendums, including Neighbourhood Planning Referendums and National Referenda
  • Local Returning Officer for the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s election, responsible for running this election at a local level

It sets out and describes how the Returning Officer processes your personal information.

When appropriate we will provide a ‘just in time’ notice to cover any additional processing activities not mentioned in this privacy notice.

The Returning Officer is a Data Controller registered with the information Commissioner’s Office, reference ZB337871, and the current Returning Officer is Ian Floyd.

You can contact the Returning Officer at:

City Of York Council
West Offices
Station Rise

Or you can contact the Returning Officer on email:

The Returning Officer liaises and works with the council’s Data Protection Officer and if you have any questions about this Privacy Notice you can contact the council’s Data Protection Officer.

View the privacy and transparency information for all of the City of York Council (CYC).

Collecting personal data

When the Returning Officer collects your personal information

They will:

  • ensure you know why it’s needed
  • only ask for what is necessary
  • protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn’t
  • ensure you know if you have a choice about giving us information
  • make sure we don’t keep it for longer than is necessary

We ask that you:

  • give us accurate information
  • tell us as soon as possible of any changes
  • tell us as soon as possible if you notice mistakes in the information we hold about you

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Processing personal data

This notice sets out why the Returning Officer processes your personal information.

The Returning Officer has a statutory duty to process personal information for the purpose of administering an election. This includes:

  • publishing the notice of election
  • administering the nomination process
  • printing the ballot papers
  • publishing the notice of poll, statement of persons nominated, notice of situation of polling stations and notice of election agents
  • the provision of polling stations
  • appointing Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks
  • managing the postal voting process
  • verifying and counting the votes
  • declaring the result
  • notice of poll
  • production and issue of poll cards
  • waivers
  • election notice(s)
  • absent voter application forms
  • postal voting statement
  • postal vote rejection notices
  • the provision of a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC)

We may use the information we collect in presentations, statistics and reports. Any presentations, reports and statistics for publication or use outside of the authorised council staff will be anonymised and cannot be linked back to you or individuals. Reports containing anonymous information may also be shared with the general public and other organisations.

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Personal data

This notice set out what personal information the Returning Officer will process.

To be able to stand as a candidate at an election, you are required by law to provide the Returning Officer with personal information and special categories of personal information. This includes:

  • candidate full name(s)
  • candidate commonly used name(s)
  • candidate date of birth
  • candidate full home address
  • party name
  • candidate signature
  • candidate qualification(s)
  • subscribe name(s), signature(s) and elector number(s)
  • witness personal information including signature
  • candidate consent to nomination
  • certificate of authorisation (party candidates)
  • name, address, office address and signature of appointed election agent
  • counting agents and polling agents’ details
  • statement of person(s) nominated for each ward
  • criminal convictions and offences (including alleged offences)

If you need a Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) you are required to provide the Returning Officer with personal information and special categories of personal information. This includes:

  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • photograph
  • personal contact details

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Lawful basis for processing personal information

Any personal data including special category data and criminal conviction or offence data, that the Returning Officer processes is done in accordance with Article 6, 9 and 10 of the UK GDPR and Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Ac 2018 (DPA 2018).

Article 6(1)(c):

  • to comply with legal obligations

Article 6(1)(e):

  • for the performance of a public interest task which has a clear basis in law or in the exercise of official authority vested in them as Data Controller, such as administering the election in the public interest, as provided for in electoral law

Article 9(2)(g):

  • for reasons of substantial public interest under the laws that apply to them where this helps to meet broader social obligations such as where it is necessary to fulfil legal obligations and regulatory requirements

Where we process personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences, this is also under Article 10 UK GDPR that covers processing in relation to criminal convictions and offences or related security measures. In addition, section 11(2) of the DPA 2018 specifically confirms that this includes personal data relating to the alleged commission of offences, or proceedings for an offence committed or alleged to have been committed, including sentencing.

The legal obligations and/or relevant legislation are:

Some of the Schedule 1 conditions for processing special category data and criminal conviction or offence data, requires an Appropriate Policy Document (APD) to be in place, that sets out and explains the procedures for securing compliance with the principles in Article 5 and policies regarding the retention and erasure of such personal data. This document explains this processing and satisfies the requirements of Schedule 1, Part 4 of the DPA 2018 and supplements this privacy notice.

We will not use your information for any other purpose than set out in this privacy notice and will not disclose to a third party such as other companies or individuals, unless we are required to do so by law for the prevention of crime and detection of fraud, or, in some circumstances, when we feel that you or others are at risk.

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Storage of information

We will keep the information you give us in the council’s secure network and make sure it can only be accessed by authorised staff.

Your information will only be kept for as long as is necessary and in accordance with the retention periods referred to in the table below and then we will securely and confidentially destroy it.

Retention periods based on election and document types

Election type Main election documents Election documents - other Candidate expenses
UK Parliamentary 1 year retention period *1 21 day retention period *1 2 year retention period *2
European Parliamentary 1 year retention period *1 21 day retention period *1 1 year retention period *2
Local - Unitary and Parish 1 year retention period *1 21 day retention period *1 2 year retention period *2
PCC 1 year retention period *1 21 day retention period *1 2 year retention period *2
Referenda 1 year retention period *1 N/A 2 year retention period *2

*1: The retention period starts with the day of the declaration of result. Documents must not be disposed of if the retainer is aware of an election petition or court order. All documents must be disposed of in a secure and confidential manner.

*2: The retention period starts from the date of receipt from the candidate/agent.

At the end of the retention period, we may pass any relevant information to the City Archives where it is required or appropriate to do so.

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Further processing of personal data

If we wish to use your personal information for a new purpose, not covered by this Privacy Notice, we will provide you with a new notice explaining the purpose prior to commencing the processing and the processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, we will seek your consent prior to the new processing.

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Your rights

To find out about your rights under data protection law, you can go to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website.

See further information about your rights relating to your personal data.

If you have any questions about this privacy notice, want to exercise your rights, or if you have a complaint about how your information has been used, please contact us on email:, or telephone: 01904 554145 or write to:

Data Protection Officer
City of York Council
West Offices
Station Rise

You can find other useful information on the Electoral Services and Electoral Registration Officer Privacy Notice.

And also on the Electoral Commission's website:

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Also see

Data Protection Officer

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 554145