About the Act
The Freedom of Information Act gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, including the Council. Individuals already have the right of access to information about themselves under, for example, the Data Protection Act 1998. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 extends this right to allow public access to all types of information held. For further information visit the Information Commissioner web site.
How to make a request
Before making a request for information, please check the website which is the Council’s Publication Scheme to make sure that the information you require is not already available. If the information is already on the Publication Scheme then we will not provide this again under the Freedom of Information Act. Requests for information not available through the Publication Scheme can be submitted by FOI Request Form or in writing to the address at the bottom of this page. You will need to provide a contact name; a contact address, and your request (which MUST be specific).
We will respond within 20 working days. Please do not contact us during this period, unless you have further information to add to your request.
We will usually provide the information requested free of charge. However, where a charge is made you will be notified of the amount payable in writing prior to us providing the information.
Under the Freedom of Information Act there is an upper limit above which we do not have to provide information. This limit for local authorities is £450. The general guideline for working out whether or not a request may exceed this total is whether the amount of work involved in retrieving the information is likely to exceed 18 hours (2.5 working days).
We aim to advise the requestor of the information that the request will cost more than £450 as early on in the process as possible so that they have the option to adjust their request to bring it under the £450 limit. As soon as the charge is determined a letter will be sent requesting that payment is made before the information can be sent. We can also provide the information on a cost-recovery basis if the requester wishes. Where there is an existing charge for information these charges will still apply.
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