Freedom of Information

Make a Freedom of Information request

Service update COVID-19 (coronavirus) response 

The Council is facing unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Whilst we take our statutory duties very seriously we ask for your understanding that we may not be able to respond to your request within the statutory timescale. 

Thank you for your cooperation.


The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 gives you right of access to all information held by the Council.

Please read the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) guide to freedom of information for further information. 

Please note: If your FOI request relates to Children’s Services please contact our Achieving for Children Service.

Information routinely made available - publication scheme

Before making a request for information please see our publication scheme which provides a guide to the information routinely made available to the public. You can also search this website to see if the information you want is already available.

Make a FOI request

FOI requests must be in writing. You can contact us by email: [email protected]

Your request must include:

  • the name of the person requesting the information

  • an address for correspondence - ideally an email. This may also be useful if we need to clarify your request

  • a detailed description of the information required. Please provide as much detail as possible; this will help us to process your request quickly and efficiently

Environmental Information Regulations

Requests for Environmental information may be dealt with in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR).

The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) cover information on:

  • the state of the elements of the environment, such as air, water, land
  • flora and fauna including genetically modified organisms
  • emissions
  • discharges
  • noise
  • energy
  • radiation
  • waste and other substances
  • measures and activities such as policies and plans, agreements, reports, cost benefit analyses
  • the state of human health and safety
  • contamination of the food chain
  • cultural sites and built structures as they may be affected by environmental factors

What happens next?

We will acknowledge receipt of your request usually within 5 working days. 

We have a maximum of 20 working days from the day after we receive the request to provide the information. If we need to ask for fees and/or any further information needed to clarify the request we will ‘stop the clock’ until we have received this.

Can you refuse my request?

There are a number of reasons for refusing to provide information, including:

  • we do not hold the information

  • it will take more than 18 working hours to provide the information (we will contact you and try to narrow your requirements)

  • if an exemption applies (see below)

If any of these apply we will write to you explaining why we cannot provide the information, along with instructions on how to appeal against this decision.

Exemptions

There is some information that we cannot make publicly available without significantly disrupting the ability of the Council to deliver services. 

The Freedom of Information Act provides 23 exemptions. If any of the information requested is exempt, you will be informed which exemption applies and why. Examples include information that is commercially sensitive, contains personal data or is readily available elsewhere.

Should we be unable to supply anything you request, we will explain the reasons to you.

What happens if I'm not happy?

If you feel that your request has not been handled well or you do not agree that the information will be exempt, you can request an Internal Review of the original decision. Details of how to appeal will be provided with any response to your request.

A chief officer will review your case to ensure that the officers dealing with the original request have done so in line with the requirements of the legislation. If they decide that information should not be exempt then it will be released.

If you are not satisfied with this decision you can complain to the Information Commissioner who is independent of the Council.