Freedom of Information

What Can I Request?

The Freedom of Information Act, Environmental Information Regulations and INSPIRE Regulations give you the rights to access official information.

Under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations you have a right to request any recorded information held by a public authority, such as a government department, local council or state school. Environmental information requests can also be made to certain non-public bodies carrying out a public function.

You can ask for any information you think a public authority may hold. The right only covers recorded information which includes information held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.

Requesting Information

  • You should identify the information you want as clearly as possible.
  • Your request can be in the form of a question, rather than a request for specific documents, but the authority does not have to answer your question if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion or judgement that is not already recorded.
  • Some information may not be given to you because it is exempt, for example because it would unfairly reveal personal details about somebody else.
    You do not have to know whether the information you want is covered by the Environmental Information Regulations or the Freedom of Information Act. When you make a request, it is for the public authority to decide which law they need to follow.

The INSPIRE Regulations require public authorities that hold spatial or geographic information to make it available so that you can search it in particular ways.

The majority of requests are free, however there may be charges if the request takes over 18 hours work. A list of charges can be found in the Council’s Publication Scheme.

To make a Freedom of Information request please complete the Freedom of Information Request form

For more information visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website

Subject Access Request

What is Subject Access?

The right of access, commonly referred to as subject access, gives individuals the right to obtain a copy of their personal data as well as other supplementary information. It helps individuals to understand how and why you are using their data, and check you are doing it lawfully.

Making a Subject Access Request

If you wish to exercise your right of access, we would appreciate it if you could complete the subject access request application form.

Personal data of the individual

An individual is only entitled to their own personal data, and not to information relating to other people (unless the information is also about them or they are acting on behalf of someone). Therefore, it is important that you establish whether the information requested falls within the definition of personal data.
Further information can be sought from the Information Commissioner’s Office.