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Privacy Notice - Complaints

This privacy notice tells you what information Spelthorne Borough Council will be collecting and using, in order to deal with your complaint fairly, consistently and professionally. We also detail your rights regarding your information.

The categories of this information that we collect, process, hold and share include:

  • personal information (name, address, phone number and email address)
  • specific details of your complaint

Why we collect and use this information

Spelthorne Borough Council (SBC) would like to store and use your personal data to:

  • enable us to carry out investigations into your complaint
  • provide a response and agree appropriate actions
  • learn from the experience to inform change in policy and/or process

The lawful basis on which we use this information

Local Authorities are required to have a published complaints procedure to enable members of the public who are in receipt of any service to should they feel their needs are not being met. Therefore, we are carrying out a public task, which is carried out in the public interest and is in the exercise of official authority vested in us as a Public Authority.

The legal basis for processing your information for enquiries is because it is necessary for the performance of the task carried out by the Council, which is carried out in the public interest.

Collecting this information

Whilst we require information such as your name and contact details in order to respond to your complaint, additional information is provided to us on a voluntary basis.

Storing this information

We hold personal data for complaints resolved at Stages One and Two for one year from the date the issue is resolved. Data relating to complaints that are escalated beyond Stage Two, ie to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, will be held for five years.

Who we share this information with

When a complaint is escalated beyond Stage One, we will share your information with senior officers charged with investigating your complaint and may share it with the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO). 

The Local Government Act 1974 ("the Act") gives powers to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) to investigate complaints made by members of the public about the service they have received from the Council. SCC is listed as an authority which can be investigated by the LGSCO under section 25 of the Act. We are required under Section 29 of the Act to furnish the LGSCO with any information they may require. This may include the Council producing documents which will process your information in order to assist with the LGSCO investigation.

In certain circumstances where there is a potential for the involvement of fraudulent or unlawful practice, we may need to refer your complaint to other statutory bodies including enforcement agencies and Courts of law.

We do not share information about individuals without consent unless the law and our policies allow us to do so.  We share information securely. Anyone who receives information from us is legally required to keep it confidential.

Further information

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you have the following rights, regarding your data:

  • you have the right to be informed via Privacy Notices such as this
  • you have the right to request access to and to receive a copy of any information we hold about you (including in an electronic format) - to request a copy of this information you must make a subject access request in writing
  • if you find that the information Spelthorne Borough Council holds about you is no longer accurate, you have the right to ask to have this corrected
  • you have the right - under certain conditions - to ask us to erase your personal data
  • you may request that Spelthorne Borough Council stops processing your personal data in relation to any council service (this may delay or prevent us delivering a service to you, we will seek to comply with your request but may be required to hold or process information to comply with our legal duties) 

To exercise any of these rights contact the Data Protection Officer at

You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). This is an independent body responsible for making sure that organisations comply with Data Protection legislation.

The ICO will always expect you to have raised your concerns with us before submitting a complaint.

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