On occasion, when we need to know more detail about what our residents, partners and wider communities think about specific issues that affect them, we consult with them.

Processing activity - we sometimes have a statutory requirement to consult our residents eg: for issues such as the local plan. Statutory consultations are bound by legal requirements, with strict rules on how they should be conducted. This Privacy Notice is supplemented by the Privacy Notice for Planning Strategy and the Privacy Notice for Planning Services: Development Management.

There is also a range of other non-statutory reasons that we might want to run a consultation exercise or survey.
These include:

  • to improve planning, policy and decision making
  • to make better use of resources
  • to access new information, ideas and suggestions
  • to encourage greater participation in our activities
  • to measure residents’ satisfaction with us
  • to shape our activities around residents’ needs and aspirations

Non-statutory consultations have no legal status, but do enable us to hear from a representative cross-section of the population. We identify the people or groups who are likely to be affected by, or have an interest in, the focus of the consultation or survey eg: older people, younger people, people from different ethnic backgrounds, people on low incomes, people with disabilities, homeless people, travellers, migrant workers, faith groups etc.

Information requirements - we may ask for your name, address, organisation name (if relevant), phone number and email (business or personal) address so that we can contact you:

  • if you have asked to be notified about our forthcoming surveys or consultations
  • if you have requested to be kept informed about the results of a particular survey or consultation and/or subsequent decisions about the proposals
  • if you have said you would like to be involved in planning or implementing future services or to volunteer in other ways
  • to administer incentives, such as prize draws, that encourage participation in our surveys

If required for a specific topic, we may ask about your postcode; household; family, lifestyle, or social circumstances; financial circumstances; physical or mental health or condition; physical characteristics (eg: height and weight); education and professional training; employment status; and satisfaction with us. It is in the public interest to process this data to inform service development and shape our policies. This is particularly important in public health, as well as other areas for which we are responsible or involved.

We will process any other personal data provided in the responses for the purpose of informing the development of our policy, guidance or other regulatory work in the subject area of the request for views. In the case of consultations, we will publish a summary of the consultation responses and in some cases, the responses themselves, but these will not contain any personal data, unless you are acting on behalf of a public body, company or organisation, in which case your job title for example may be published.

Lawful bases - the lawful bases for processing your personal information are:

  • UK GDPR Article 6(1)(a) - consent (of parent or guardian (young people consultation);
  • UK GDPR Article 6(1)(c) - to comply with our legal obligation(s) e.g. where there is a statutory requirement to consult
  • UK GDPR Article 6(1)(e) and Data Protection Act 2018, section 8(c) - for the performance of a public interest task which has a clear basis in law or in the exercise of official authority
  • UK GDPR Article 9(2)(j) and DPA 2018, section 10(2) and Schedule 1, Part 1, para.4 (research etc.) - where processing is necessary for the reasons of substantial public interest

Some of the information that is collected is classified as special category personal data eg: health, gender and ethnicity related personal information (UK GDPR  Article 9(1)). This is processed for reasons of substantial public interestunder the laws that apply to us where this helps to meet our broader social obligations such as where it is necessary for us to fulfil our legal obligations and regulatory requirements. We have a Data Protection Policy that sets out how this information will be handled.

  • for the purposes of our legitimate interest (we can use ‘legitimate interests’ if we can demonstrate that the processing is for purposes other than for performing our tasks as a public authority). In this context, our objectives may include research into customer satisfaction, awareness and usage surveys and consultations on what our residents, partners and wider communities think about specific issues that affect them.

We have a Legitimate Interests Policy that sets out how this information will be handled.

Anonymisation - your personal information may be converted ('anonymised') into statistical or aggregated data in such a way that ensures that you cannot be identified from it. Aggregated data cannot, by definition, be linked back to you as an individual and may be used to conduct research and analysis, including the preparation of statistics for use in our reports.

Data processor(s) – we may use data processors eg: specialist companies to help facilitate our surveys. Data processors process information in line with our requirements. This may be done via an online reporting tool.

We may use Snap Surveys to gather information on our behalf - it will be clear if we are using Snap Surveys. Any data collected by Snap Surveys for us is stored on UK servers.

Data sharing – we may share your responses to our consultations or surveys with:

  • statutory bodies eg: the Planning Inspectorate
  • local authorities
  • our councillors
  • local/regional partners or public agencies (where the consultation or survey is run on behalf of or in association with them)

Retention period - we keep your personal information for the minimum period necessary. The information outlined in this Privacy Notice will be kept in accordance with the retention periods referred to in our Information Asset Registers unless exceptional circumstances require longer retention. All information will be held securely and disposed of confidentially.

Changes to this Privacy Notice - we review this Privacy Notice regularly and will place updates on our website.

Please refer to our Corporate Privacy Notice for further details of how we process your personal information and your rights.

GDPR/Privacy Notices/ Consultations and Surveys Privacy Notice