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Requesting Information

We aim to be as open with information as we can and you should find a wealth of information on this website.

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Our Publication Scheme - states what information we routinely publish and how to access it.

You also have rights to unpublished information that we hold:

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, you may request information from a public authority. The Act gives you the right to be told whether or not we hold that information; and if so, to have that information communicated to you.

The Data Protection Act 1998, which covers both the public and the private sector throughout the United Kingdom, gives you the right to find out what information, including personnel information, is held about you on computer and in some paper records. This is known as the right of subject access. You also have a right to have inaccurate data corrected, blocked, erased or destroyed, and to seek compensation through the courts for damage and distress caused by such inaccuracy.

Our Information Charter sets out how the we handle personal information and how you can address any concerns that you might have.

The Environmental Information Regulations establish an access regime which allows you to request environmental information from public authorities and those bodies carrying out a public function.

Don't worry! You don't need to know which law gives you the right to know. We will look at all valid requests for information, gather the material together, and respond. The presumption is that we will disclose information unless it is exempt under the laws and regulations designed to protect other rights of individuals and society. If we are withholding information we will explain why.

Providing help and advice

We will, as far as is reasonable and practicable, provide help and advice on asking for information.

Requesting information

You can request information:

  • in writing, including fax or email
  • by phone 
  • in person, if you find that easier.

If your request is not in writing, we may write to you to confirm your request.

We aim to deal with your request as fully and promptly as we can and certainly within the timetables set out by any supporting legislation.

You can help us by:

  • Ensuring your contact details are complete and accurate helps us respond promptly.
  • Provide us with all the contact routes that you can. For example, home and mobile telephone contact numbers, or fax numbers, can greatly speed up the process if we need to get in touch with you.
  • If you are applying in handwriting, please ensure your request is as legible as possible. This helps us to provide you with exactly what you want without having to seek clarification.
  • Paint us as complete a picture of the information you seek as possible. Dates, locations, postcodes, even grid references, can help us to pinpoint documents. If you have an idea where we might store or process the information that helps too.
  • You don’t have to tell us why you seek information but it might help us to ensure you get what you want.
  • Let us know your preference for receiving the information. If we can provide it in a way that best meets your needs we will try to do so.
  • If you think the provision of information might incur a charge please let us know if you have a cost limit in mind. We will try to help you manage the request so that it comes within your budget. In some cases we might make a charge for Information.

If you know which of our offices holds the information you seek, please get in touch with that office direct.

Last updated: 11th July 2017