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Before making your request

We already make a lot of information available to you. Before you request information from us, please try the three steps listed below. If you still can't find what you are looking for, you can make a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

  • Search our website for the information
  • Check our Publication Scheme
  • Find out if we have already released the information

How to make your request

What is a valid request?

  • It must be in writing
  • State a name and address for correspondence
  • Describe the information requested

Making your request

When you send us your request please:

  • Be specific

You will get the information faster if you help us identify the exact information you require. It will also mean that your request is less likely to be turned down on cost grounds.

Make sure that you provide us with a narrow, tightly focused request and give, where appropriate, a relevant time-frame, for example, 1999 to 2000 or January to April 1985.

  • Let us know how you want the information

Tell us how you would you like the information provided to you, for example, by post or email, or let us know if you would prefer to come in to visit us to view it in person. We will try to meet your preference whenever we can.

  • Provide your contact details

There may be occasions when we have to get in touch with you to discuss your request. It would therefore be helpful if you could tell us how you would prefer us to contact you if we need to do so.

When we receive your request

We aim to reply to you promptly and are obliged under the law to provide a response within 20 working days.

Under the FOIA any person making a request for information is entitled to receive confirmation as to whether such information exists and is held by the Council, and is entitled to have that information communicated to them except where the requested information falls under one of the relevant exemptions. In such a case the information is deemed
to be exempt from the Council’s duty to disclose it.

When that happens, we will tell you which exemption applies and, in most cases, why the information cannot be released.

Find out more about exemptions

Following the Council’s assessment of the information and the relevant exemptions, the Council also has a duty to determine whether the release of the information is in the public interest, despite the exemption applied to it. 

All FOI requests are therefore dealt with on a threefold analysis.

  1. Whether the Authority can identify the information requested
  2. Whether there is an exemption within the FOIA which prevents the information from being released
  3. Whether, despite the exemption, it is in the public interest to release the information requested

Taking the above analysis into account the Authority will then deal with your request for information.

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