Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) and INSPIRE Regulations give you rights to access official information.

The Information Commissioner's Office has a guide to the Freedom of Information Act

The Environmental Information Regulations give you specific rights to obtain environmental information. You can also use a postcode search to check local environmental data.

The INSPIRE Regulations give you the right to view spatial or geographic information. A guide to how they work is available from the Information Commissioner's Office website, INSPIRE regulations

The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations give you the right to re-use most of the information that we hold for the purposes of our public task. More information on our public task can be found in our Public Task Statement

How do I ask for information?

Where information cannot be found in the council's publicly available sources, a request for recorded information can be made in writing.

You can also enquire by email or post. Please tell us clearly what information you require, your name, and an address for correspondence.

What will the council do?

We will respond as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after receiving your request. In most cases, we will give you the information you have requested. However, there may be reasons why we cannot provide the information you have asked us for. We will always tell you why we are not providing information.

What information is exempt?

The FOIA and the EIR recognise that there will be valid reasons why some kinds of information may not be disclosed, such as if its release would damage commercial interests or if it would contain personal information about another individual. For some exemptions we must consider whether the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in releasing it. If we decide that the information cannot be released we must tell you and explain why. We are not obliged to deal with vexatious or repeated requests or, in some cases, if the cost exceeds an appropriate limit. In addition, the FOIA and the EIR do not provide the right of access to personal information about you. This is dealt with by means of a subject access request

What happens if I am not happy with the response I get?

If you are unhappy with our response you may wish to complain about the way in which your request has been processed. Your complaint will be dealt with as a step two complaint in accordance with our complaints procedure. If you are still not satisfied following our response to your complaint you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner