Freedom of Information Act
The Publication Scheme 2008 - accessing information
2. How to Access Information
2a. General information (FOI)
Since 1st January 2005 anyone, anywhere in the world can write to any UK public body and request information. The Act provides you with two rights:
- The right to be told whether the information you are requesting is being held by the public body and if it is;
- The right to receive copies of the information, as long as it is not exempt and it is in the public interest to release.
A Freedom of Information request must be in writing. The council will accept a written request by letter, email or fax.
The request must state your name, describe the information you require and provide the address you want the information to be sent to. The council then has 20 working days to respond to your request.
2b. Personal information requests (GDPR)
Under Artile 15 of the General Data Protection Regulations 2016, you have the right to request to see personal information held by the council about you. This is known as a Subject Access Request.
Subject Access Requests can be made in writing or orally. There is a form (DSAR1) available to help you make your request, though it is not a statutory requirement to complete. The form can be obtained from the council's data protection webpage or by contacting the council's Data Protection Officer using the address on page 7. You will be asked to provide two original forms of identification. Copies will be attached to your request, and will be used to ensure your personal information is not released to anyone but you. The council has 1 month to copy and release the information to you.
2c. Environmental information regulations 2004 (EIR)
If you wish to request information about the environment, you should submit an Environmental Information Request. This includes information on air, water, land, natural sites, flora and fauna, built and environmental health. EIR requests can be made in writing or by phone.
The council has 20 working days to provide you with the information, although this can be extended by a further 20 working days if information needs to be compiled into a new format.
You will be advised if this is the case and given a revised target date.