The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”) provides public access to information held by public authorities. It does this in two ways:
1. Public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities.
2. Members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.
The FOIA covers any recorded information held by a public authority, which includes local/district councils. Recorded information includes printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs, and sound or video recordings. The FOIA does not cover environmental information, such as water and air-quality reports. Requests for environmental information are dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
The FOIA assumes all government information, including information held by local councils, will be made available unless there is a reason not to do so, for example, the Council is not obliged to provide information it does not already hold.
To make an FOI request please complete our freedom of information form or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please give us much information, including:
- Your full name.
- An address we can respond to (this can be email or postal).
- The information you seek, including time periods where applicable.
We can accept a request by social media, such as Twitter, provided it meets the above requirements, but we will only respond via letter or e-mail, to ensure we can provide a detailed response.
We must provide any information requested within 20 working days. In cases where this may not be possible, or there may be a delay, we will discuss how your request can be met. If the request requires exceptional effort, you may be asked to pay the costs of meeting your requirement.
Information currently available from the Council under existing arrangements, such as Land Charges enquires are not affected by the FOIA. To find out more, please visit www.foi.gov.uk.