Any one 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.

You might find what you are looking for in our disclosure log if someone has asked for it in the past or it might be published under our publication scheme.

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)

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. They also give advice on Raise a concern with the ICO Opens in a new window.

A request for information can only be refused if:

  1. It falls under one of the exemptions contained in the Act
  2. Where the information is not actually held
  3. 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  Opens in a new window .

Where an exemption applies, we will tell you which one we have used, unless this would reveal the content of the information.

If the information you ask for is contained in the Publication Scheme and a fee is required, we will tell you.  A list of other fees that may apply are available via our Charging Policy.

If the information you ask for is not contained in the Publication Scheme, we may charge a fee.

A limit to the cost of responding to requests has been established at £450. Where the cost of responding to your request exceeds the limit (excluding any disbursement costs such as photocopying, postage, CD's, etc), the Council is not obliged to comply with the request.

Where the cost of responding is less than £450 there will not be a fee for providing the information, however, we are permitted to charge for the disbursement costs.

The cost of £450 is calculated on the basis of a rate of £25 per hour. This means that the Council will commit up to 18 hours of Council officer time to process your request.

If a fee or payment is required we will always send you a 'Fees Notice' stating the amount before we start to process your request. This fee must be paid before any information is released.

If the payment is not received within the stated time provided on the fees notice, we will no longer have to to comply with your request.