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Complaints about Councillors privacy notice

Who will own my data once I submit it?

We will own your data once it has been submitted.

Why do you need my information?

We need your information to:

  • communicate with you about the process for making and considering complaints
  • deal with your complaint under our arrangements for dealing with complaints under Members’ Code of Conduct  (“Member Complaints Arrangements”).

We may also receive your correspondence and information indirectly from third parties such as councillors and town/parish clerks.

What allows you to use my information?

When you provide us with your information in order to make an enquiry to make a complaint, we collect and use your information in order to undertake our official duties as a public authority so that we can deal or respond to allegations against members for failure to follow their council’s code of conduct.  

The legislation and guidance that allows us to do this includes, but is not limited to:

  • General Data Protection Legislation Article 6 part e
  • Localism Act 2011 Chapter 7 on Standards  and the Member Complaints Arrangements made by us under section 28.

Who will my information be shared with?

Under the Member Complaints Arrangements, we may share your information with the following, depending on the progress of your complaint:

  • two independent persons and the two parish representatives who have been appointed by us to be consulted on complaints about member conduct
  • the subject member against whom any allegation is made
  • members (councillors) of
    • Cheshire West and Chester Council, including group leaders and members of Audit and Governance Committee
    • the relevant town/parish council, including the Chairman
  • the relevant town/parish clerk
  • an investigator appointed by the monitoring officer to conduct an investigation into your complaint and any witnesses and other third parties considered relevant to the investigation
  • the police or other relevant regulatory agency
  • the Cheshire Association of Local Councils (ChALC)
  • the public, where your complaint is investigated and then referred to the Standards Complaints Panel for hearing
  • the Information Commissioner and the Local Government Ombudsman (other legislation/public task)

Do I have to provide this information and what will happen if I don't?

This information is required in order for us to deal with your complaint about a member’s conduct. 

In dealing with your complaint, the monitoring officer is unlikely to withhold your identity or the details of your complaint unless they have good reason to grant your request for confidentiality, as set out in our “Complaints under Members’ Code of Conduct – Guidance note”. If you request that your details are kept confidential, the monitoring officer will consider your request alongside the substance of your complaint and will then contact you with the decision.

If your request for confidentiality is not granted, the monitoring officer will usually give you the option of withdrawing your complaint.

In certain exceptional circumstances where the matter complained about is very serious, the monitoring officer can proceed with an investigation or other action and disclose your information, even if you have expressly asked them not to do so. 

How long will you keep this data for and why?

Your information will be kept for the period specified in our data retention schedule i.e. six years after the complaint file is closed.

How will my information be stored?

Your information will be stored within the Civica system in Legal Services, with access restricted to the monitoring officer and legal officers dealing with complaints about members.

What rights do I have when it comes to my data?

Under data protection legislation you have the right to request access to the information that we hold about you.

To request a copy of your data or ask questions about how it is used, please read our Data Protection and Your Rights page and then submit your request by following your preferred method of contact in the 'How do I ask for my personal information' section.

In certain circumstances, under data protection legislation, you may also have the right to:

  • object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed
  • prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • object to decisions being taken by automated means

To make a request follow the instructions on our Data protection for you page.

Who can I complain to if I am unhappy about how my data is used?

You can complain directly to our Data Protection team:

  • Online: Contact the DPO
  • By post: Phil Orchard, Data Protection Officer, HQ, Nicholas Street, Chester, CH1 2NP 

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office:

Will this information be used to take automated decisions about me?

No

Will my data be transferred abroad and why

No

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