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Charging for Personal Searches

Requested on
Thu 18th August, 2011
Reference
FOI 1427
Resolution
Information provided

Question

Personal searches of the Local Land Charges register.

DEFRA wrote to all local authorities 27.7.10, advising them that a fee for a personal search of the local land charges register is incompatible with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the underlying 2003 European Directive. Such charges are therefore unlawful.

Under EIR/FOI, I should be grateful if you would inform me of:

· The Council’s understanding of the legal position on charges for personal searches.

· The Council’s current charging policy for personal searches.

· Estimates of the financial liability for refunds of charges wrongly made.

The reply should include all recorded information covering the above issues.

I.e. Committee reports, meeting minutes, correspondence within the Council and with outside organisations, including electronic information.

Answer

Charnwood Borough Council does not apply a charge for carrying out personal searches.  This follows the Governments withdrawal of the personal search fee in August 2010 and the outcome of the Information Tribunal cases FER365765 and FER0240911 regarding the charging of fees in relation to Environmental Information Regulation requests.

Attached is the Statuary Instrument notice received in regards to the withdrawal of fees mentioned above.

We do not hold any information regarding the council’s financial liability for refunds, where charges may have been incorrectly applied for searches.

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