Research and Consultation Team - privacy notice

What personal information is being processed and what for

The Research and Consultation Team will retain the information and personal data that you provide in relation to the surveys or consultations you choose to take part in, this data may include:

  • Postcode - We use your postcode to understand the distribution of respondents by geography and socio-demographic characteristics. We ask this to ensure we have received a wide range of views from across the borough and to assess if there are any service gaps in specific areas and/or what services are currently available within a certain vicinity.
  • IPAddress - We use this to ensure that surveys/ consultations have been answered in a fair way and for the purpose of quality control. Further investigation may be required if it seems that results have been tampered with.
  • Who are you responding as - We ask this to ensure we have received a wide range of views from across the Borough from differing interest groups.
  • Age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation and if you are pregnant or on maternity - We ask these questions to ensure we comply with our duty as part of the Equality Act 2010. Also where necessary we will use this data to assess whether there are differing views between any groups of people in regards to specific services so that we can ensure services are targeted effectively and fairly.

Why we are allowed to use your 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 Regulation Article 6, 1(e)
  • General Data Protection Regulation Article 9, 2(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.

Consultation principles: guidance

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 we will share your information with

The Research and Consultation Team will only share individual level data with other Council departments or other third parties if it is necessary to comply with a legal obligation or it is necessary for one of our official functions. We will provide summarised or grouped data to interested Council departments or external services where individuals cannot be personally identified.

Where we get your information from

Consultations and surveys are often placed publicly on the Cheshire East Council website. In this case no prior information about individuals has been obtained.

Where consultations or surveys have been specifically targeted at individuals or groups we will ensure that this is specified in each individual consultation or survey.

How long we will keep your personal information

We keep personal information in line with its retention schedule which is based on retention guidelines for local authorities. You can see details of our retention guidelines on our information asset register.

How your information will be stored

Information and personal data submitted for consultation purposes will be retained securely and in line with Cheshire East’s retention guidelines.

Paper responses are stored in a locked cupboard. Online responses are stored on UK based servers by the online account service that we use ‘Smart Survey’ – please refer to their privacy policy: www.smartsurvey.co.uk/privacy-policy.

Once responses are downloaded they are stored on Council servers in folders only accessed by the Research and Consultation Team.

What happens if you don’t provide us with your information

You do not need to answer any of the ‘About You’ questions if you do not wish to, and you will not be affected in any way if you choose not to answer any, or some, of the questions.

Will your information be used to make automated decisions

No

Will this information be transferred abroad

No

Your rights

You have a number of rights regarding your personal data, including withdrawing your consent where we have asked for it.

You can also ask for a copy of the information we hold about you and ask us to correct anything that is wrong.

For detailed information about your rights please see our Corporate privacy notice.