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Freedom of Information (FOI)

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act  provides a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by us, subject to certain exemptions. There are also similar rights to environmental information under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR)

A large amount of our information is already available through our website. If you have trouble locating the information please refer to staff in the relevant Service area or the Information Officer for assistance. Request for Personal Data which we hold about you, can be requested under the Data Protection Act.


How to make a request for information

Requests should be made in writing, and need to include:

  • Your name
  • Contact details (email address is sufficient)
  • What information you would like to request

There is no need to explain why you are requesting the information, however the more detail you provide, the less we are likely to need to come back to you for clarification.

We don't usually charge for providing information under the FOI or EIR, but in some circumstances we may apply a charge to recover the relevant costs of postage, printing and photocopying. 

If a fee is required, we will write to you explaining why. The fee must be paid before the request for information can be processed.


What happens next?

Once the request has been received, we will confirm receipt within five working days and provide our response within 20 working days. If we decide the information requested is exempt from disclosure we will explain why in our response. 

If the estimated time to collate all the information requested exceeds 18 hours, we will refuse to process the request. In this case we will write and explain why it will take this long, and where applicable we will work with you to try and reduce the scope of the request to get it below this threshold.

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your request has been handled please follow the complaints procedure outlined below.

Informal complaints procedure:

Contact the individual that dealt with your request and they will attempt to resolve your complaint on an informal basis. You will normally receive a response within 15 working days.

If you are still unsatisfied with the response that you have been given please follow the formal complaints procedure outlined below.

Formal Procedure:

Put your complaint in writing, providing any supporting evidence, to the Corporate Service Development Officer. The officer will investigate and respond to your complaint within 20 working days.

If they dealt with your initial request for information your complaint will automatically be referred to the Head of Customer Services or the Director of Corporate Services for independent consideration.

I'm still not happy

If after pursuing the above complaints process you are still dissatisfied you may refer the matter to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner's contact details are:

  • Tel: 01625 545 745
  • Email: casework@ico.gsi.gov.uk
  • Post: First Contact Team, Information Commissioner's Office,Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
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