The Council and democracy Freedom of Information

Dealing with your request

We will either provide the information you have asked for or let you know if we: 

  • do not hold the information you want, 
  • Neither confirm nor deny if the information is held if doing so would disclose exempt information, 
  • If we cannot deal with your FOI request for procedural reasons, eg it would take more than 18 hours to determine, locate, retrieve or extract the information you require, 
  • if it is already publicly available where/who you can obtain it from, 
  • if any fee/charge applies,  
  • if some or all of the information is exempt from disclosure and why 

If we do not hold the information you have requested, but we are aware of where the information might be held (e.g. another local authority), we will let you know. 

When we might not be able to provide all the information you ask for 

We will try to make as much information available as possible. However, we may sometimes have a good reason for withholding information. 

The FoIA contains a number of exemptions where we are not obliged to release the information. Some of these are 'absolute'.  Others are 'qualified'.  

If the information falls under a qualified exemption, we will determine whether the public interest lies in releasing or withholding the information, and provide you with reasons for our decision if the information is not disclosed 

There are various reasons why information may be withheld, for example: 

  • the information is reasonably available through other means, for example, such as the Land Registry, or online, or accessible under other legislation) 
  • we intend to publish the information in the future 
  • the law says we must not release it, or 
  • disclosure would breach confidentiality or contravene Data Protection legislation, or 
  • disclosure would or would likely harm the effective conduct of public affairs; law enforcement, the economy; commercial interests; law enforcement and investigations; health and safety; national security or defence 

If we decide to withhold information, or otherwise cannot comply with all/part of your request, we will tell you why and explain your rights of appeal. 

Format information is provided in 

We will aim to communicate the information to you in the format you have requested e.g. paper or electronic copy. 

Using the information we supply 

The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to access information but it does not give you the right to make any further use of that information without permission.  

Some of the information we give you may be covered by our copyright, and some of it may be covered by other people's copyright. If you copy, publish or re-use this information without express permission you may be breaching copyright. 

If applicable, any re-use of information released to you must be accordance with the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015. 

Find out more about the Re-use of Public Sector information, including the type of information covered.

We reserve the right to publish a copy of the information we give you under FoIA on our website or by any other means. 

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