Data Protection Policy

As a registered charity Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society is duty bound to collect and maintain personal data in order to administer the affairs of the Society. The Society will operate in accordance with the provisions of The Data Protection Act 1998 ("the Act") and uphold The Data Protection Principles set out in Schedule 1 of the Act. The Act implements European Council Directive 95/46/EC and supersedes the Data Protection Act 1984 ("the 1984 Act"). The Act covers all personal data, whether stored on computer or paper - the meaning of personal data is much wider than that of the 1984 Act.

What this means to you

  • We have to tell you what personal data we collect
  • We have to tell you why we collect those data.
  • We have to ensure we do not keep personal data for any longer than is necessary.
  • We have to maintain the data to ensure they are accurate and fit for purpose.
  • We have to ensure that data are accessible only by authorised persons.
  • We have to tell you to whom we will disclose your personal data and why.
  • You have a right to inspect the data that we hold about you.
  • You can object to the Society processing your personal data.

What Personal Data does the Society collect?

If you are a member of the Society, we will collect your name, postal address and telephone number. If you are a junior member we will also collect your date of birth.

If you make payments under the Inland Revenue's Gift Aid scheme we may require additional information as prescribed by them (for example, your NI number) in order to administer our claims.

We may collect other contact information (for example e-mail addresses) at your discretion.

As a result of your membership of the Society other personal data will be generated, including records of payments made by you to the Society, records of items borrowed from the Society and records of any keys for Society premises issued to you.

If you visit the Society we will collect your name, address, contact telephone number and in some cases your e-mail address.

Information PadlockWhen we collect personal data we will draw attention to the fact by use of the "information padlock" symbol on the form, document or web page. The Data Protection Commissioner and the National Consumer Council devised the symbol in order to alert individuals, at a glance, that personal data are being collected for processing.


Why does the Society collect these data?

We have to collect a minimum amount of information to maintain membership records and to enable us to send notices (for example of the Annual General Meeting) to members, as we are legally bound to do.

We require information prescribed by the Inland Revenue in order to administer Gift Aid.

We may use additional information (if you are prepared to supply it) to provide you with other facilities and information to you to maximise your membership benefits.

We have to maintain a record of payments made by you for our accounts (and for making claims under Gift Aid). We also have to protect our property and assets as, again, we are legally bound to do.

If you visit the Society we will need to record information to administer your visit: for instance, we may need to contact you if for any reason your visit cannot go ahead. We may also use such data to derive statistics on our outreach activities.

The Society will not use your personal data for the purposes of direct marketing or for any automated decision-making.

How long will the Society keep Personal data?

We will retain your contact data until you cease to be a member of the Society. If you leave the Society before the end of our financial year we will retain your data until the end of the financial year.

For visitors, we will retain your personal data for the Society financial year in which your visit takes place.

Any personal data no longer of legitimate use to the Society will be deleted within 90 days of the end of the financial year. However, we will keep your personal data for longer if

  • you have items owned by the Society in your possession when you leave the Society
  • you ask us, in writing, to keep you informed of our programme of other Society news and events.

Records of payments made by you will be retained for as long as required for the Society to meet its obligations to maintain financial records.

Records of the loan of items to you; any references to you in the minutes of meetings or copies of correspondence between the Society and you will be retained for so long as may be prescribed by the committee from time to time (in accordance with clause K(5) of the Constitution).

At the end of the financial year we will delete any personal data within 90 days. If you so wish and request us , we may retain personal data to keep you informed of our programme of events.

How will the Society ensure my personal data are accurate?

The Society and the individual both have responsibilities for ensuring that personal data are accurate and fit for purpose.

The Society will issue a subscription renewal notice each year which members must return if they wish to renew their subscriptions. If your personal data change (for example you move house) you must inform the Secretary in writing of the change.

How will the Society ensure that my personal data are secure?

The Society will keep a master copy of your personal data in a database on a secure web site. Only members of the Executive Committee will have access to this database.

Library records are held in written form. The only personal data visible on the library index is your name.

Members of the Executive Committee may, from time to time, take copies of data to enable the administration of the Society. They will destroy any such copies after use.

Paper copies may also be retained in a secure container at our meeting room. Only members the Executive Committee will have access to.

Will the Society disclose my personal data to anyone else?

The Society will only disclose your personal data to:

  • other members of the Society - but only if we have your permission to do so.
  • a named member of the Society who is acting on behalf and with authority of the Executive Committee (for example a member organising an authorised event). Such a member must return all copies of any personal data on completion of the task for which access was granted.
  • Swinton Bottom Club Ltd. - in order to manage membership of Swinton Bottom Clubfor purposes of insurance.
  • the Inland Revenue - if you have agreed to make a payment or donation under Gift Aid.
  • any accountant or auditor appointed by the Executive Committee to audit the accounts as we may be required to do by law. In this case, personal data shall be limited to records of payments made by you to the Society or vice versa.
  • any solicitor acting under instruction of the Executive Committee pursuant to attempts by the Society to recover any Society property in your possession or to secure payment of any proper debt incurred by you to the Society.
  • the Charity Commissioners if they have a lawful right to request such a disclosure. We will also provide personal data to the Charity Commissioners relating to any individual serving on the Executive Committee as we are required to do by law.

Disclosures will also be made

  • where we are obliged to do so by law or direction of the Courts.
  • if we (or the Police) have reason to believe that disclosure may prevent the commissioning of a criminal offence.

How can I see the personal data the Society holds about me?

You should write to the Secretary asking for a copy of the personal data the Society holds about you. You should state clearly which of your data you wish to see. We may charge for this service. We must respond within 40 days.

Can I object to my personal data being processed?

Yes, you can object to personal data being processed if you believe that such processing would, under the terms of the Act, cause substantial damage or distress to you or another individual. In practical terms, the data held by the Society are the minimum for workable administration.

If you object you should do so, in writing, to the Secretary stating what damage or distress would be caused and to whom. We have 21 days to respond, either to comply with your request or to state why we consider the request to be unreasonable or unjustified.

Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society is a Registered Charity in England & Wales, Registered Charity No 1064103.

Registered Address: 147 Queen Street, Swinton, Mexborough, South Yorkshire, S64 8NG

Affiliated to the Federation of Astronomical Societies.

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