Councillor’s GDPR campaign given tiny boost
COUNCILLORS were told they can be furnished with information about housing cases they have made representations on, offering a reprieve from the strict limitations imposed on them through GDPR.
Speaking at the meeting of New Ross Municipal District council, Cllr Larry O’Brien asked for an update on what response the council has from the Government, following its plea for GDPR to be withdrawn. ‘Have we written to anyone? Within a few years we won’t be able to control what is coming in to our houses. I don’t know why we are here at all. We have no say anymore. Even to get a list of houses that have been allocated. What use is it for us to know that number two New Ross Heights has been rented. It’s a waste of printed paper to be sending us this’
Cllr Willie Fitzharris agreed, saying: ‘It’s absolutely useless.’
Cllr Michael Whelan said GDPR is making it very difficult for councillors to do their job. He called for the council official responsible for overseeing GDPR to attend the next meeting.
‘I am entitled to have information about the process. You have the person’s consent and in certain cases I haven’t been informed. If I make a representation for someone we should be informed the whole way through the process.’
Housing officer Martina O’Donoghue said it is not a breach of GDPR protocol to update councillors about housing cases they have made representations on. ‘It mightn’t be that you are necessarily being kept out of the loop. There are numerous representations coming in.’
Cllr O’Brien said: ‘If the housing staff can know who are getting houses why can’t we. We absolutely need to stop this because this is our job.’ Cllr Fleming said: ‘GDPR is negative all round. I don’t see anybody yet praising it so obviously it’s not working.’
Cllr Fitzharris said: ‘I think it warrants a lot more discussion. I think we can’t just accept it’s being handed down.’