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Consultations privacy notice

Who will own my data once I submit It

Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Why do you need my information

When we collect and use your information, we need this to help us improve the health and wellbeing of the local population. When you engage with us or reply to a consultation, your information is pseudonymised to protect your privacy and then analysed so that the Council can base policies and decisions on evidence.

The information that we collect about you is:

  • who you are responding as – this is to ensure we have received a wide range of views from across the borough, for example, if you are responding as a local resident, elected Member, representative of a voluntary or community group etc
  • postcode (and very occasionally fuller address details)
  • age

We may occasionally ask for the following information:

    • details about your lifestyle and social circumstances
    • employment and education details

When respondents complete an online survey, we collect the IP address that you accessed any of our online services from but do not use this to identify individuals.

We may also collect sensitive information about you called special category data.  Special category data is defined as:

    • disability
    • ethnicity
    • sexual orientation
    • religious or other beliefs of a similar nature

We collect this information to comply with the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty 2011.  We may also use this information to see if there are differing views between groups of people so that we can make more informed decisions.

We have access to a customer insight dataset called Acorn.  Acorn is a socio- demographic dataset which segments households, postcodes and neighbourhoods into 6 categories, 18 groups and 62 types.  When you access a service within the Council we sometimes use the data you have supplied to us to review the way we are delivering services. When we do this we remove all the personal data that could be used to identify you, group it against postcode area and then match it against the Acorn dataset, this allows us to check for differing views between groups of people from different categories, groups or types of household. Further information on Acorn can be found on the Acorn website.

What allows you to use my information

When we collect and use your personal information for the purposes of research, consultation and engagement, we do so as part of our public duties as a local authority in order to consult with our local population with a view to improving services.   The legislation, policies and guidance that allow us to do this includes but is not limited to:

  • General Data Protection Legislation Article 6 part e
  • General Data Protection Legislation Article 6 Part J
  • Equality Act 2005 and 2010
  • Public Sector Equality Duty 2011
  • Local Government Act 1999 S.3, as amended by s.137 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and detailed in the DCLG Best Value Statutory Guidance 2011 (these state that Local Authorities have a best value duty to consult)

The Council adheres to national gold standard consultation principles, such as the Gunning Principles 2001 and Government guidance most recently revised in The Cabinet Office’s Consultation Principles 2018.

The Council also complies with the Human Rights Act 1998, so that the rights of individuals are respected, whilst also providing appropriate services.  For specific types of statutory consultation, there will also be a variety of other legal bases e.g. Adult Social Care Users Survey.

Who will my information be shared with

Your personal information is never shared with anyone outside of the Council, apart from exceptional circumstances, such as concerns about safe-guarding. Summary reports or grouped data, in which individuals cannot be personally identified, are published in reports or used to inform service reviews.

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

Taking part in any research, consultation and engagement is completely voluntary, and this is made clear to consultees.  If you do not wish to provide the information listed above, we will still include any views and feedback that has already been provided to us in any research or consultation activity.     

How long will you keep this data for and why

We only keep hold of information for seven years after the summary report is written, unless there are statutory requirements to retain them for longer. Paper questionnaires will be destroyed about six months after the summary report is written, unless there are statutory requirements to retain them longer.

How will my information be stored

If data is received on paper, e.g. a paper questionnaire, then these are stored securely while the data is being processed electronically, and are destroyed as confidential data, about six months after the summary report is written, unless there are statutory requirements to retain them longer. 

Online responses are stored in compliance with Data Protection requirements, currently this is on UK based servers by the online account service that we use ‘Smart Survey’ – please refer to their privacy policy below.

Once responses are downloaded, they are stored securely on Council servers.  The number of staff accessing and handling individual data is limited to a small number of key professionals, all of whom undertake regular training about data protection and managing personal information

Digital recordings, which may or may not be transcribed, are destroyed six months after the summary report is written, unless there are statutory requirements to retain them longer.  

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 the Data Protection and Your Rights page on this website 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

When making a request in relation to any of your other rights please read the 'Your other Individual rights request' on the Data Protection and Your Rights page below.

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

You can complain directly to the Council's Data Protection team by email or post.

  • Email:
  • 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 using the following details:

Will this information be used to take automated decisions about me


Will my data be transferred abroad and why


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