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Data Protection Act


Subject Access Requests

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have the right to apply for a copy of the personal information held about you by Southwark Council.  A request for information about yourself is known as a ‘subject access request’.

Get in touch with us in the following ways:

Email accessinfo@southwark.gov.uk

or write to:

Information Governance Team
PO Box 65429

You will need to provide us with:

  • Your name, and any other names you are known by
  • Proof of your identity, which contains a photograph and signature (if you want us to post your records to you, we will also need your address)

 A list of options is below (please don’t send original documents):

  • Passport
  • Driver’s licence
  • Government issue photo identification
  • ID Card e.g. Union Membership
  • Tenancy Agreement

If you are unable to supply any of the options above, please contact us directly.

If the enquiry is about another living person, written confirmation from that person that you are acting on their behalf.

Any information that will help us find the information you want, such as:

  • Name of the place where you last had contact with the Council (for example a local office) 
  • The approximate date of your last contact with the Council 
  • Your name or address at that time (if it has changed) 
  • The name or job title of the member of staff who you dealt with

If we do not have enough information to find your records, we will ask for more details.

We will work with you so that you can access the information most important to you and the Council can be sure it has found all the information you are looking for.

It is important that we do not send personal data to someone pretending to be you, so please do not be offended if we ask for ID. It means we are looking after your data carefully and checking it goes to the right person.

We are required to respond within 40 calendar days of receiving everything we need to process your request, either with the information you require or with an explanation of any delays.

What can the Council tell you? 

You are entitled to be told if we are using your personal data, or someone is doing so on our behalf.

You can then be given a description of the data involved; why it is being processed; who it may be disclosed to and the source of the information. If your data is processed by a computer (automated decision making), you are entitled to know the reasoning behind any decisions taken by automated means. The ICO website has more information on automated decision making.

If no data is held, or the data falls into a category which is exempt from disclosure, you will be notified in writing. 

What information may not be released?

Some information will be exempt from disclosure (this means it does not have to be released to you), such as personal data relating to other people, information that could prejudice the prevention or detection of crime, or legal advice. 

If any information has been withheld from you, you will be informed in writing with an explanation as to why this is the case.

Please note that the Council is not obliged to comply with a request which simply states "I want everything the Council holds on me.”


Southwark Council does not charge for access to your records.


If you are unhappy with how we have handled your request, please write to us at accessinfo@southwark.gov.uk, explaining what is wrong. We will arrange for a manager to review what has happened and to reconsider any decision we have made.

You always have the right to ask the Information Commissioner to investigate how we have handled your request. More information is available on the Commissioner’s website www.ico.org.uk. 

Sharing information with other agencies

Sometimes the Council has the discretion, or is required by law, to release information to our partners, or other professional organisations; for example the police, other local authorities or solicitors.

If you are looking for information about a client, service user or person under investigation, and wish to access Southwark data under Section 29 or 35 of the Data Protection Act 1998, please use the Southwark Disclosure form

Please don’t use this form if you are looking for information about yourself.


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Information Governance Manager

Address: Information Governance Team
PO Box 64529
London SE1 5LX

Tel: 020 7525 7511



Contact us

Southwark Council
PO BOX 64529
London SE1P 5LX

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