The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) gives you the right to request information held by the council, subject to exemptions.
It doesn’t give you the right to council documents, records, or information on other people. This means that there will be times when only some parts of a document or record will be made available to you.
If you are seeking information about yourself, you already have the right of access under the Data Protection Act. Find out how to request personal information about yourself.
The council already makes a lot of information publicly available. We are committed to being transparent with how we spend public money and also publishing open data in line with the Local Government Transparency Code.
Before submitting an FOI request please search to see if the information you require is already published online, either in the disclosure log or in existing data categories.
The disclosure log gives you access to responses that the council has made to FOI and environment information requests in the past. We aim to publish all previous responses, but in some cases it may not be possible to include all attachments.
If the information you require is not already publicly available the easiest way to make an FOI request is via our online form. Anyone can request information under the Act regardless of age, nationality or location.
You can submit your request online, or by email or post.
By post: Information Management Team (Information Services), 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP.
Your request must include:
The council does not have to respond to broad requests for information. Please make your request as specific as possible, and ensure that the description of information you require is clear and detailed. This helps us locate the information you are seeking faster.
If we don’t have enough information to find what you want, we may come back to you with more questions.
Your request will be acknowledged within 5 working days.
The council has up to 20 working days to comply with your request, as set out in the The Freedom of Information Act 2000.
We will consider your request, and let you know if we can provide the information you requested or explain why we can't.
Before you contact us check how long it has been since you made the request:
If the work required to retrieve the requested information costs more than £450, we are allowed to charge you for it.
The council also reserves the right to charge for disbursements eg. photocopying and postage.
If we intend to charge a fee, we will tell you first and you then have 3 months in which to pay. Once we get the fee, we will respond to your request.
If the cost of meeting your request exceeds the appropriate limit in the regulations, we are not required to meet your request. If you refuse to pay the fee, the council can refuse to supply the information.
These fees do not apply to the normal charges made for some publications as set out in our Publication Scheme.
A request for information may only be refused if:
If your request is refused, we will explain why and give you details of how to apply for an internal review of this decision.
We will always try to help you with queries and requests for information.
If you disagree with any exemptions applied to your request for information, or you are not satisfied with how we have handled your request, you are entitled to ask for an internal review of the council’s response.
If you would like to request an internal review please contact the Information Management Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the address provided on the response letter.
If you are still not satisfied with the outcome having gone through the council’s Internal Review procedure, you can ask the Information Commissioner to review the decision.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, public authorities are required to have a publication scheme. A publication scheme is a guide which tells people about the broad classes of information that we will routinely make available to the public. It includes information held in any form for example, websites, paper files and public registers.
We have adopted the Information Commissioner's Model Publication Scheme (PDF, 293KB) for local authorities. The Information Commissioner is an independent regulator who enforces and advises upon the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations and has produced and approved this scheme.