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Complaints Privacy Notice

Read why we need your information for complaints and how we use it.

Who are we and what do we do  

Gateshead Council operates a structured corporate complaints process. This privacy notice provides specific information about how we process your personal data in relation to complaints. It is an addition to the information contained in our Corporate privacy notice. 

What type of information is collected about you  

We collect personal information to investigate and respond to complaints. Information may include: 

  • name

  • contact number 

  • email address 

  • the type of service your complaint is about  

If a complaint involves another person, we may contact them separately to gain consent, if not already provided.  

The details of your complaint may include special category data such as:  

  • health information  

  • political opinions  

  • race or ethnic origin 

  • religious or philosophical beliefs 

  • sexual orientation and sex life 

  • trade union membership 

How we collect information about you  

We collect information directly from you when you contact us to make a complaint either in person, by phone or email, or via the website.  

We may also receive information from third parties for complaints about services delivered on the Council's behalf.  

Why we need your information  

Our purpose for collecting your personal data is to help us to understand and resolve your complaint. The lawful basis for our processing is: 

  • a task in the public interest with a basis in law  

Our lawful basis for processing of special category personal data is:  

  • reasons of substantial public interest (with a basis in law) 

Who your information can be shared with  

Our Corporate privacy notice explains information sharing the Council carries out. This sharing fulfils statutory obligations, legal requirements and service delivery.   

We may share your information: 

  • internally 

With officers in relevant departments, responsible for handling, investigating and responding to complaints. We manage complaints on a central system, which is accessible by complaints management staff.   

  • externally 

With relevant external organisations to deal with your complaint. For example, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman or Housing Ombudsman. We may share information with service providers for complaints about services delivered on the Council's behalf. 

Our lawful basis for this sharing is a task in the public interest and your consent is not required.   

If we wish to share your information with other council services or third parties for purposes outside of those listed above, we will ask your permission. 

How long we will keep your information  

We keep your information for as long as we need to provide services to you. This will differ depending on the services you receive. We may also need to keep your information in accordance with legal or other obligations. Where we have no need to keep your data it will be securely destroyed. We keep a Record of Processing Activity (a requirement under the GDPR). This sets out the specific retention periods applicable in different circumstances. For more information please contact: 

Where your information is held  

We hold personal information in secure electronic systems on Gateshead council servers.  

How you can update your information 

Our delivery of efficient services depends on the accuracy of your information. 

Please inform us of any changes to the following: 

  • email address 

  • personal circumstances 

  • postal address 

  • any of the other information we hold 

Please contact:  

Your information rights

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.

Marketing and e-newsletters

Please see our email marketing privacy notice.

Business intelligence, profiling and automated-decision making

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.

Protecting your information

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.

Data Protection Officer

Data Protection Officer
Civic Centre
Regent Street

0191 433 3000

Information Commissioner's Office

The Information Commissioner is the UK's independent body for upholding information rights. Visit their website (opens new window) to find out more about your rights under Data Protection law, and what to expect from us.

For privacy practices or data protection rights concerns, contact the Information Commissioner's Office:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF

0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745