Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 promotes greater openness and accountability across the public sector and gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, subject to exemptions.
You can also request information about the personal data the council holds about you.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is an independent body that enforces the Freedom of Information Act, the Data Protection Act and the Environmental Information Regulations, and has produced some guidance at https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/official-information/ on what to consider before making your request.
The type of information you can request
You can ask to have any information that is already held in a recorded form including information held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten documents as well as images, video and audio recordings. However, the Act does not cover information that is not recorded, ie. in someone’s head. We are also not required to have to create new information in order to respond to a request, or find the answer to a question from staff who may happen to know it.
To make a request, contact the Deputy Town Clerk, Amanda Spencer, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by post, and we will respond within 20 working days of receipt (or, if charges are made, within 20 working days of the fee being received). Due to the current closure of the Town Council offices, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we would strongly advise that your request is made by email at this time. The request must be made in writing and include:
- Your full name and address (or email address)
- The specific details of the information you require including dates.
We will provide you with the information unless there is a good reason for not doing so – for example if your request relates to the personal details of another person. If we decline your request, we’ll let you know why we made this decision. If you don’t agree, you can ask us to reconsider our decision. If the request is still declined you can ask the Information Commissioner’s Office to review the decision.
Charges for information
Most of the time we will supply information free of charge. However, sometimes you may have to pay a fee, either to cover administration costs, or to pay photocopying or postage costs, or because of the expense involved in finding and supplying the information.
Details of our fees can be found in the attached document.