Anyone can request to see recorded information held by the Council. You do not have to state why you want the information, although you will need to describe the information you require in enough detail to enable us to determine whether the information you have requested is held.
To ask for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 you will need to:
- Ask us in writing
- Tell us your name
- Tell us your address so we can to write to you
- Describe the information you want (giving as much detail as possible)
Please provide as much detail as possible; this will help us to process your request quickly and efficiently. Where appropriate, include names, dates, references and descriptions to enable us to identify and locate the required information. Your request may also incur a charge for printing, copying or postage. We will contact you if we require further information or for your approval if a charge has to be made.
What happens next
We will write and tell you we have received your request. We may also ask you for more details to help us find the information you are interested in.
We will write to you within 20 working days telling you whether or not we hold that information (this is known as the ‘duty to confirm or deny’) and if it exists, to let you have the information unless an exemption applies.
Where an exemption applies, we will tell you which one we have used, unless this would reveal the information.
If you are not happy with our response or how we dealt with your request, you can ask the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to investigate.
A request for information can only be refused if:
- It falls under one of the exemptions contained in the Act
- Where the information is not actually held
- The cost of providing the information exceeds £450
There are 23 exemptions under the Act. The ICO provide more information on When can we refuse a request for information
Where an exemption applies, we will tell you which one we have used, unless this would reveal the content of the information.
More information about this can be found on the Information Commissioners Office website here. Or you can contact the Information Commissioner in writing at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF
Tel: 0303 123 1113
There is also a right to appeal against any decisions of the Information Commissioner. More information about this can be found here.