Woodbridge Town Council forced to defend itself after data loss

Councillors Eamonn O'Nolan and Patrick Gillard Picture: EAMONN O'NOLAN

Councillors Eamonn O'Nolan and Patrick Gillard Picture: EAMONN O'NOLAN - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk town council has confirmed it has lost held data after allegations were made by two of its own councillors.

A loss of data at Woodbridge Town Council was revealed to this paper by two of the town’s councillors Patrick Gillard and Eamonn O’Nolan.

The news comes days after Woodbridge Town Council renewed their policies in regards to data storage and information incidents.

“We are concerned that the council has lost a lot of data and is keeping it quiet,” said the councillors.

“We are worried that the council cannot fulfil its obligations to FOI requests.

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“This lets down the people of our town and makes all councillors potentially liable.

“This is going to cost taxpayers’ money to sort out.

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“It has already cost a lot of staff time and will cost more.”

Amongst the councillor’s allegations are that the town council has lost important financial information, including information regarding how and why money was spent at the council.

The councillors are also concerned that the Town Council failed to set up backup systems for their data despite warnings given to them over a year ago.

The council have hit back at the criticism.

A spokesperson for the council said:“Some data was deleted, possibly inadvertently or as a result of implementing the new GDPR legislation.

“This came to our knowledge in early April when Members were informed.

“Woodbridge Town Council spoke with our data support team who were able to recover data.

“We believe that no public money was lost; this was confirmed during our recent Audit.

“As there has been no loss of personal data, under data protection legislation there is no requirement to bring the matter to the attention of the Information Commissioner.

“We believe no criminal act has taken place; this has been confirmed by both Suffolk Constabulary and by independent legal advice.

“The Town Council has conducted a review of its systems and processes and is satisfied that it has taken sufficient steps to prevent a future occurrence.

“The Town Council now considers the matter closed.”

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