Before you request information
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 gives you the right to ask for information held by the Council.
The Council makes certain information available to the public as part of its normal communications. Before asking for information, please check the Council's 'Disclosure Log' as it may already be available. If it is, the Council is not obliged to deal with your request under the Freedom of Information Act.
The purpose of the disclosure log is to give you access to information that the Council has previously provided in response to requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
We aim to publish all Freedom of Information and Environmental Information Regulations responses in the disclosure log. In some cases it may not be possible to publish all attachments.
Please take a look and see if the information you require has already been published. You can do this by simply typing in the date and associated ‘key’ words in the search boxes.
You can also check the Council's:
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 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.
Before making a Freedom of Information Request
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. This includes publishing data on the following;
- Suppliers & Contracts
- Supplier Payment & Performance
- Contracts/Invitations to Tender
- Ward Spending
- Council Assets (Property & Site Information)
- Salaries/Expenses & Allowances
- Gender & Ethnicity Pay Gap Report
- Equalities Data
- Transparency Policy
- Census 2011
Counter Fraud Work
Council Organisational Structure
Before submitting a Freedom of Information request please take a look at our Transparency & Open Data page to see if the information you require is already published online.
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.
Use this form to make a Freedom of Information request online.
Alternatively you can download the Freedom of Information request from, complete and send to us by post.
Making a complaint
The Council has a complaints process for handling FOI Act complaints. Complaints are reviewed by the Senior Information Governance and Management Officer.
Following an internal review, if you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request you have the right to contact the Information Commissioner at:
The Information Commissioner's Office
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
Frequently asked questions about Freedom of Information requests
Who can request information under FOI?Anyone can request information under the Act, regardless of age, nationality or location.
What information is available?Any information held by the Council is eligible for release but exemptions may apply.
How do I make a request?You must make your request in writing. You can submit your request via email, fax or by mail. Your request must include:
- your name
- your address (can be an email address)
- a description of the information you want
- preferences for the format of the information
The Council does not have to respond to broad requests for information. Please be as specific as possible: include a clear and detailed description of the information you want. This will help us to identify it.
If we do not have enough information we may come back to you with questions.
What happens when I make a request?When we receive a request for information, we must respond within 20 working days.
We will consider your request and reply. Our reply should confirm or deny whether we hold the information. We should either provide the information you asked for, or explain why it has not been provided.
What does it cost?The Council may charge if it costs more than £450 to find the information.
The Council reserves the right to charge for disbursements eg. photocopying.
If we intend to charge a fee, we will send you a fees notice. You will have three months in which to pay. Once we receive the fee we will respond to your request.
If the cost of meeting your request exceeds the 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.
What happens if my request is refused?A request for information may only be refused if:
- it is vexatious or repeated
- we have asked you for more information to help us meet your request and you have not provided it
- if it falls under one of the exemptions
If your request is refused, we will explain why. We will also give you details on how to apply for an internal review of this decision. See below for how to make a complaint. If, after an internal review, the Council still refuses your request, you may ask the Information Commissioner to review the decision.
How many requests can I make?The Act does not limit the number of requests you can make. However, the Act says that the Council can reserve the right to refuse any vexatious or repeated requests. This may include repeated requests from the same person for the same information, or requests which are intended to disrupt the Council's work.
How can I use the information I receive?The Act does not place restrictions on how the information supplied under it may be used. However, the Act does provide for exemptions for commercially sensitive information, information intended for future publication or information related to investigations, law enforcement and court records.
The Act does not transfer copyright in any information supplied under it.
Can I ask for the information in a different format?You may ask for the information to be supplied in any form. However, the Council is required to meet your request as far as it is practicable. We may also take into account the cost of supplying the information in this form before complying with your request.
You may ask for information in permanent form, in summary form, or for permission to inspect records containing the information.
Advice and assistance
The Council must help you with your information request. Please direct any queries to: