How to make a Freedom of Information request
How do I request the information?
If the information you are after cannot be found / or is not publicised on the Council's website you will need to make a formal FOI request which can be done through contacting us by e-mail, in writing, or by using the online form on this page.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, you do not need to have any particular reason for requesting information, but it might help the Council to identify and provide you with the information you need if you can be as specific as possible.
The Council on receipt of your request will acknowledge receipt within 5 working days and will work towards providing you with the requested information within 20 working days, unless of course the information requested cannot be released or that it will take longer to provide, in which case you will be notified in writing within the 20 day period.
If you are not happy with the information received or decision made by the Council you may request for a review to be carried out.
Charges for information
There will normally be no charge for making a request for information, which is contained within the Publication scheme (with the exception of a few specific documents).
Information published on our website can be viewed/downloaded free of charge. Most documents are also available for inspection free of charge at libraries or Council offices. You may get photocopies of most documents. However charges may be applied if significant amounts of work or copying of printed material is required.
There may be a charge for a small number of specific documents. If a charge is applicable this will be indicated in the publication scheme under each class of information and this has been identified in the scheme by one asterisk*. The price of the document will be specified at the time of request.
You may request other information the Council may hold and this will be charged in accordance with the regulation fees under the Freedom of Information Act.
Can I see all information?
Where some of the information requested comes within an "exempt" category under the Freedom of Information Act or other relevant legislation, it will be published with the exempt material deleted.
Exemptions in the Act can be absolute or qualified. Absolute exemption means that the exempt information will not normally be made available to you at all. Qualified exemption means that the information will be made available to you, unless the public interest in not disclosing it outweighs the public interest in disclosure. This means that the Council will have to consider and decide where the public interest is greater.
Some of the absolute exemptions include information which is or relates to:
- accessible by other means (including information included in this Scheme)
- national security
- court records
- personal data (which is protected under the Data Protection Act)
- prohibited from disclosure by law.
Qualified exemptions include information which is or relates to:
- investigations and proceedings
- law enforcement
- health and safety
- commercially confidential.
How is information provided
Information will if possible be provided in a variety of formats - for example Braille, audio, different languages - upon request. You can express your preference for the information to be provided to you in a particular way which can be:
- a copy in permanent form, or other form acceptable to you; or
- provision of a reasonable opportunity to inspect a record containing the information; or
- provision of a digest or summary.
Further, detailed information about the scheme can be found on the following pages: