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Consultations, surveys and digital engagement privacy notice

Who is the Data Controller for this processing?

Cheshire West and Chester Council is the Data Controller for this processing.

What services are covered by this privacy notice?

Consultations                      

When we collect and use your information, we need this to help us improve the local economy and / or 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.

When we collect your views on a consultation, we may also ask if you would like to be:

  • contacted in the future about any updates in relation to the project or consultation you are submitting your views about
  • contacted about any future consultations related to the topic area that may be of interest to you
  • invited to attend an event or meeting related to the consultation or topic area.
  • invited to participate in future engagement panels or focus groups
  • invited to register on our online engagement tool
  • invited to take part in a prize draw.

The information we would collect for these purposes may include:

  • Full name
  • Full postal address
  • Email address
  • Telephone number

Survey

When you respond to a survey on the Cheshire West and Chester Council website, by post, telephone survey or by using one of our online platforms such as Participate Now or Smart Survey, the information we collect is pseudonymised to protect your privacy and then analysed so that the Council can base policies and decisions on evidence

Discussion forms and engagement with our digital engagement platforms

When you comment on a discussion forum or use any of our engagement platforms, we also collect information about your usage of the site, such as pages visited and documents downloaded.

What personal information do we hold?

We only collect and use the minimum amount of personal information required when delivering a service to you.

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
  • gender
  • email address

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 get most of this information from you, but we may also get some of this data from:

  • Central Government Agencies
  • Other Local Authorities
  • Health and social care provider
  • Police and probation services
  • Commissioned partners
  • Family members

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.

How do we use your personal information?

We use your information for one or more of the following reasons:

  • To plan and improve the services we offer
  • For research, however this would be in anonymised form unless we ask for your consent to use your personal information for this purpose
  • To evidence positive outcomes to central government funding agencies

Who else might we share your personal information 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.

What is the legal basis for our use of your personal information?

Most of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you, under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the lawful bases we rely on for using your personal information are:  

  • You gave us your consent (GDPR Article 6 (a) - You are able to remove your consent at any time. You can do this by contacting research@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
  • We need it to perform a public task (GDPR Article 6 (e)

When we collect data about your race, health (including biometric or genetic data), sex life, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, politics or trade union membership, we also rely on the following lawful basis:

  • You gave us your explicit consent (GDPR Article 9 (2) (a))
  • We need to analyse your information (GDPR Article 9 (2) (j))

The legislation we rely on when using your personal information to meet our legal obligations or public tasks includes but is not limited to:

  • 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.

Where will we store your information?

Your information will be securely stored in our offices or on our network.  When we use third party suppliers we have safeguards in place to ensure that the supplier adheres to the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018.

We currently have two online platforms that we use to collect information on consultations and engagement.

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

How long will we keep your personal information?

If we need to use your information for research or reports, your information will be anonymised and any information taken from notes (hand written or typed) during any consultation sessions will be securely destroyed.  The information will continue to be used in a summarised and anonymised form in any research reports or papers that are published. The anonymised information in the papers may be of historic interest and may be held in public archives indefinitely or will be securely destroyed seven years after a summary report is published. 

Paper questionnaires will be destroyed six months after the summary report is written, unless there are statutory requirements to retain them longer.

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.

Your rights

Under data protection law, you have rights including:

  • Your right of access - You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information.
  • Your right to rectification - You have the right to ask us to rectify information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete.
  • Your right to erasure - You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances.
  • Your right to restriction of processing - You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your information in certain circumstances.
  • Your right to object to processing - You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances.
  • Your right to data portability - You have the right to ask that we transfer the information you gave us to another organisation, or to you, in certain circumstances.

You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you.

To make a request follow the instructions on the Data Protection for you page below.

How to complain if you are unhappy about how your data is used

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

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

Will my personal information be accessible outside the UK?

Your information is stored within the UK, but the transfer of personal information outside of the UK could become necessary. 

This would only take place if permitted by law, where there are appropriate safeguards in place to protect the personal information.

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