Note 7.How do I make a request for information if I am suffering from a disability, am ill or illiterate?
If you are unable to put your request in writing perhaps as a result of illiteracy, disability or illness, please ask another
person or agency (such as the Citizens Advice Bureau) to help you or to make the request on your behalf. The
Council will provide you with assistance examples of which may include:
1. accepting an oral request where you are unable to read, print and/or write due to your disability;
2. enabling you to inspect or have the information you are requesting explained to you;
3. providing guidance in other languages [Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Punjab, Somali and Urdu];
4. taking a note of your request over the telephone and then sending the note to you for confirmation;
5. providing this leaflet in Braille or audio tape.
Requests for further assistance must be addressed to the Freedom of Information Officer at the address detailed in
Note 6 above.
Note 8. Are there limits to the information I can ask for?
YES. Confidentiality is sometimes necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the Council’s decision-making and to
cial interests, information provided in confidence, personal information and other important interests.
For these reasons, some categories of Council information are not covered by the commitment to provide
information. Nevertheless, it is the Council’s aim to ensure that information should be made available unless it is
clearly not in the public interest to do so. All requests for information will be considered on their merits.
Note 9. How do I describe the information I am asking for?
If at all possible, describe the information as fully as you can to enable the Council to identify and locate it. If you are
requesting personal information, please state precisely in whose name the information is held. You will not normally
be given access to the personal information of another person unless you have obtained the written consent of that
person (refer to Note 5 above). Where you provide insufficient information to enable the Council to identify or locate
the information you are asking for or where your request is ambiguous, the Council will as far as practicable provide
you with assistance to enable you to describe more clearly the information you are requesting. The aim of this
assistance will be to clarify the nature of the information sought and not to determine your aims or motivation for
asking for the information. Where information is likely to be refused on cost grounds, the Council will give you an
indication of what information could be provided within the costs ceiling (refer to Note 11 below).
Note 10. What happens if the Council does not hold the information?
The Council may not hold the information you are asking for because the information may have been destroyed in
accordance with the Council’s data retention policies or the information may be held by another public body. In such
cases, you will be told that the Council does not hold the information. Where the Council believes that the
information is held by another public body and that it would be appropriate to transfer your request to that other body,
you will be asked whether you have any objections to the Council making the transfer. The public body will be asked
whether it consents to your application being transferred to it. Your application will only be transferred with your
consent and with the consent of the other public body.
Note 11. Can the Council charge a fee?
YES. Charges will apply in certain circumstances. There will be no charge for the search, retrieval and collation etc
of information where the costs are estimated to be less than £450.00 (the Threshold). The Council may however
charge the full costs of disbursements e.g. photocopying, postage, video, tape, disk, computer runs etc.
There will be a charge for the search, retrieval and collation etc of information where costs are estimated to exceed
the Threshold. A minimum charge of £25.00 per hour will be applied for the time taken to locate, retrieve and collate
etc information for release. In addition to the hourly rate, the Council may charge the full costs of disbursements e.g.
photocopying, postage, video, tape, disk, computer runs etc. If your request falls within this category, you will be
provided with an estimate of the cost of providing the information before the Council starts any work on your behalf.
The Council will suggest ways for you to amend your request so as to reduce or eliminate the amount of the charge.
Fees may be waived or reduced where the information you are seeking would be of particular assistance to your
understanding of an issue of local importance.
Note 12. How do I receive the information I have asked for?
You are entitled to say how you wish the information to be communicated to you. This may be by letter, in the form
of a digest or summary of the information or by inspection of the information at the Council’s Offices on a date and at
a time to be mutually agreed between you and the Council's Freedom of Information Officer.
Note 13. When must the Council respond to my request?
The Council will respond promptly to your request for information and in any event not later than on the 20
day of the date of receipt of your application. If it is likely to take longer, the Council will let you know.
Freedom of Information/Requests Procedure/Application Form and Guidance Note
13 June 2019