Skip to main content
Luton Borough Council

Revenues and Benefits


We're committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services. We have a data protection officer who makes sure we respect your rights and follow the law.

If you have any concerns or questions about how we look after your personal information, please contact us at [email protected].

Open all

Common to all services

  • Name, address, contact details
  • Correspondence (emails, letters, supporting documents)
  • Conversations (recorded and typed notes of telephone conversations)
  • Case notes
  • Bank account details if applicable

Council Tax and Business Rates

  • Dates of occupancy
  • Tenancy agreement and landlord details
  • Agent details if applicable
  • Business accounts and trading information (Business Rates only)
  • Medical information only when required to support specific Council Tax exemptions and reductions

If you choose to pay by direct debit, we will also collect some financial information from you.

Sundry debts

  • Services provided
  • Payments made and outstanding

Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Discretionary Housing Payment and Council Tax disregards, discounts and reductions

  • Date of birth, gender
  • National Insurance number
  • Financial information (income, savings, assets and where necessary, expenditure)
  • Benefits you're in receipt of
  • Details of others living in your household
    • Sometimes we need information about people other than the person who has applied for a benefit or service to work out what that person is entitled to. For example, where a person makes a claim for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction, we need information about other people who live in the same household to work out how much the person will be paid
  • Landlord name, address and contact
  • Medical information only when required to support your claim in specific circumstances

Free School Meals

  • Date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • Financial information
  • Benefits you're in receipt of
  • Child's name, address, date of birth and school

Revenues and Benefits uses your personal data to:

  • administer and enforce your council tax account
  • administer and enforce your business rate account
  • administer housing benefit
  • help us collect debts owed to the council
  • assist in the recovery of Housing Benefit overpayments
  • applications and payments for Housing Benefit, Discretionary Housing Payment and Local Welfare Provision
  • entitlement to free school meals for your children
  • personalise your use of the council’s website and communicate information advice and guidance
  • communicate with council tax and business rate payers information about their entitlement to grants, exceptions and discounts
  • financial assessment for Adult Social Care
  • protect public funds we administer, we may use information held about you for all lawful purposes, including and not limited to:
    • the prevention and detection of fraud
    • matching council tax data with electoral registration records
    • protecting public funds in investigating misuse of public money
  • research and statistics
    • sometimes we may use the information you have provided us for research and statistics to help us better deliver services and share this with our partners. This may also involve sharing information we hold about you with government departments who lawfully request it.
    • in most cases we remove any personal information that may identify you as an individual or household and only use and share anonymous statistics.

The Revenues & Benefits Service’s data processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject - as provided for in the GDPR’s Article 6 (1)(C). The council has a legal obligation to process the information in accordance with the following legislation:

  • The Local Government Finance Act 1988
  • The Local Government Finance Act 1992
  • The Local Government Finance Act 2012
  • Local Government Act 2003
  • The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992
  • The Non-Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists) Regulations 1989
  • The Business Improvements Districts (England) Regulations 2004
  • Social Security Administration Act 1992 and associated regulations
  • Social Security Contribution and Benefits Act 1992 and associated regulations
  • Housing Benefit Regulations 2006
  • The Welfare Reform Acts 2011 and 2012 and associated regulations
  • The Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001 and associated regulations
  • Education Act 1996 and associated regulations

We collect and use this information under powers given to local authorities (councils). Under the General Data Protection Regulations, the following categories of lawfulness apply.

Personal data

  • 6(1)(b) Contract: processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked you to take specific steps before entering into a contract.
    • Sundry Debts
  • 6(1)(c) Legal Obligation: processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation
    • Sharing with government departments and the police
  • 6(1)(e) Public Task: processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller
    • Council Tax, Council Tax Reduction, Business Rates, Business Improvement Districts, Housing Benefits, Discretionary Housing Benefits, Free School Meals

Special Category data

  • 9(2)(b) Social Security: processing is necessary for carrying out obligations under employment, social security or social protection law, or a collective agreement
    • Housing Benefits

There are occasions when government departments require your personal information and we will ensure only a minimal amount is shared for a specific purpose

Revenues and Benefits may share your personal data with internal Luton Borough Council departments and the following organisations:

  • Voluntary, charitable organisations and advice agencies
  • Schools and education departments in respect of education benefits
  • Education Travel Assistance
  • Police and Probation services
  • Tribunals, County and Magistrates courts
  • District Valuer
  • Credit reference agencies – Equifax
  • Authorised 3rd parties
  • Fraud services
  • Ombudsman and regulatory authorities
  • Legal representatives and solicitors
  • Local and central government departments
  • Financial institutions including banks and debt recovery agencies
  • Enforcement Agents
  • Estate, letting agents, landlords & housing associations
    • if your Housing Benefit is paid directly to your landlord, we may discuss payment details (amounts and dates) with them as we have to provide this information
  • Business Improvement District company
  • Valuation Office Agency
  • Policy in practice low income family tracker (LIFT)

LIFT Dashboard

The Council’s Benefits, Council Tax and housing will share data with each other and with an organisation called policy in practice to maintain a low income family tracker dashboard with the aim of identifying residents who are at risk of homelessness and/or poverty.

The dashboard enables analysis of anonymised data to enable the council to understand the volume and geographical location of low income families at risk of financial hardship and eviction.

The information shared is resilience indicators to identify those at risk of homelessness and/or poverty. These resilience indicators including income, economic, disability and benefit status, rent arrears, Council Tax data, pension credit uptake, discretionary housing payments, those impacted by the Local Housing Allowance.

It also includes eligibility for free school meals, pension credit, free healthy start food vouchers, WaterSure sheme and social tariffs for energy, phone and broadband. Where agreed, personal data may then be used by designated council officers to contact residents with offers of appropriate support such as maximising benefit income, homeless prevention, targeting of hardship payments, free school meals and making referrals for debt advice.

Financial resilience data derived from data held by the services listed above may be shared with other services such as welfare support, public health and children, families and education to enable the identification of people known to those services who are at risk of becoming homeless or experiencing poverty. This will be done so that these individuals may be offered additional support to prevent poverty or homelessness.

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 and Social Security (Information-sharing in relation to Welfare Services) Amendment and Prescribed Bodies Regulations 2013 enables a local authority to share data between relevant departments in order to prevent or reduce homelessness and/or poverty, award local welfare assistance, support disabled and adult social care users to access financial assistance and to support children.

The sharing of data with policy in practice has been approved by the Department for Work and Pensions and the use cases are consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding on data sharing between Luton Borough Council and the DWP.

Your information may be shared:

  • to detect or prevent crime
  • for enforcement action
  • for credit reference checks
  • tracing debtors
  • to enable delivery of your services and/or to meet our legal obligations

Council Tax billing
When you submit an online form to update your Council Tax information, our system may process this automatically and determine a new bill. if you disagree with the outcome you can appeal as standard.

Housing Benefit
Some claim assessments are automated based on the information the claimant has provided to us directly or from other Central Government departments. All applicants are offered a right of appeal as standard.

Income collection
If you have not kept up with payments or have not made an acceptable arrangement to pay, our system will automatically escalate your account and you will be issued with a reminder notice.
If payment or an acceptable arrangement has still not been made for Council Tax and Business Rates, the system will automatically escalate to court proceedings. The enforcement process will occur once a court liability order has been obtained.
If you disagree with the outcome, you can appeal to have it reviewed by a person in the normal way by responding to the notices. If the case has progressed to court proceedings you may only be able to address this in court.

We do not send any information we collect about you outside the United Kingdom.

We have a record retention schedule which details how long we keep different types of records and what we do with them when we no longer need them.

You have the right to ask us to amend or delete your data as well transfer or limit its use. You also have the right to request a review of an automated decision where you think this is wrong.

Each request will be considered individually. Where we are required to keep your data by law we may be unable to action your request. In all circumstances we will explain our decision making in writing to you.

Please see our main privacy statement using the green button below If you want more information on how:

  • we keep your data safe
  • to request a change to the records we hold
  • to make a complaint
© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ