Freedom of information

About the Act

The Freedom of Information Act gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, including the council. Individuals already have the right of access to information about themselves under, for example, the GDPR. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 extends this right to allow public access to all types of information held.  For further information visit the Information Commissioner web site.

How to make a request

Before making a request for information, please check our publication scheme to make sure that the information you require is not already available. If the information is already on the publication scheme then we will not provide this again under the Freedom of Information Act. Requests for information not available through these means can be submitted online or in writing to the address at the bottom of this page.  You will need to provide a contact name; a contact address, and your request (which MUST be specific). You can also email the request to

We will respond within 20 working days. Please do not contact us during this period, unless you have further information to add to your request.

Submit a Freedom of Information request


We will usually provide the information requested free of charge. However, where a charge is made you will be notified of the amount payable in writing prior to us providing the information.

Under the Freedom of Information Act there is an upper limit above which we do not have to provide information. This limit for local authorities is £450. The general guideline for working out whether or not a request may exceed this total is whether the amount of work involved in retrieving the information is likely to exceed 18 hours (2.5 working days).

We aim to advise the requestor of the information that the request will cost more than £450 as early on in the process as possible so that they have the option to adjust their request to bring it under the £450 limit.  As soon as the charge is determined a letter will be sent requesting that payment is made before the information can be sent.  We can also provide the information on a cost recovery basis if the requester wishes.  Where there is an existing charge for information these charges will still apply.

Business rates Freedom of Information requests

We receive several Freedom of Information (FOI) requests of a similar nature for information which relate to business rate accounts. We now publish an Excel spreadsheet which covers the most requested information such as:

  • property reference
  • account name
  • property address
  • current rateable value
  • liability start date
  • current valuation description
  • relief awarded and start date of this
  • net liability

You can view these spredhsheets on our business rates FOI page.