Town hall’s email breach

Wigan Town Hall
Wigan Town Hall

Town hall chiefs have been censured for diverting a former councillor’s emails in to a “holding area”.

The Information Commissioners Office ruled Wigan Council must stop automatically moving Peter Franzen’s communications.

Council officers are supposed to be impartial and are employed to serve the people, not the ruling political party

Peter Franzen

The Wilmslow-based watchdog heard that the town hall have continued to place his email’s into a disciplinary ‘holding area’ - despite the Golborne man losing an election and leaving the debating chamber more than eight years ago.

Douglas Burton of the ICO in Cheshire confirmed that he had agreed to “overturn” his initial assessment, which ruled in favour of the council, and now found that it was “unlikely” that the council had complied with the Data Protection Act.

He said: “It is our view that there is now action required by the council.

“This is because I believe the council has breached the first data protection principle which related to the fair and lawful processing of individuals personal data.

“It is my assessment that the council has breached this principle as it has not shown consistency with the way in which it handles your personal data.

“Specifically, it diverts your correspondence from one of two email accounts which you use to correspond with the organisation.”

He has now told the council to remove Mr Franzen’s email address from being “diverted” through the council’s managed mail system.

But warned Mr Franzen that the council had the right to review the decision if in future his correspondence “breaches the town hall code of conduct”.

A council spokesman said: “We received a request for information from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) relating to Mr Franzen’s email.

“Following receipt of our response the ICO asked the council to remove Mr Franzen’s email address from

the council’s managed mail system which has now been done.

“The ICO has confirmed that the council can keep this decision under review, which we will do.”

Mr Franzen, who founded the once ground-breaking Community Action Party, welcomed the victory.

He said: “Council officers are supposed to be impartial and are employed to serve the people - not the ruling political party.”