The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) gives you the right to access recorded information held by the Council or any other public sector organisations.
Anyone can request information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live.
Your request will be handled under different regulations depending on the kind of information you ask for, for example the:
- General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) or equivalent UK legislation - if you ask for information an organisation holds about you
- Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) - if you ask for environmental information.
Do you have to provide the information requested?
We could refuse your request if the information comes under an exemption in the FOIA.
If the information is exempt we have to decide whether the public interest lies in releasing or withholding the information. If we decide that the public interest lies in withholding the information, we will explain to you which exemption applies.
In addition we can black out (called redaction) information that is used primarily to protect the rights of other individuals and third parties who would be named, referred to or identified by the information we would be providing to you. To protect their rights (under the Data Protection Act) we are obliged to redact any information of this nature. We may also redact information not relevant to your request.
Before you make a request
You might not need to make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to get the information you need, as we publish information in the following sources:
- Planning Online – provides detailed information concerning all planning applications, appeals, open enforcement cases currently being investigated. From March 2010 planning applications with a reference containing 'TWC' display the complete planning application file. To enquire about applications prior to this date please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Publications Scheme - we routinely make available different types of information on our website
- Open Data - we openly publish our expenditure information; including councillor allowances and senior management salaries.
Making an FOI request
Your request must be made in writing (email or letter) and must contain the following information:
- your full name (as the applicant)
- correspondence address (either email or postal)
- a clear and well defined description of the information required.
You can send your FOI requests by email to email@example.com or by to post to:Information Governance
Telford & Wrekin Council
Will there be a charge?
We are allowed to recover the costs of printing, copying and postage and package. We will provide you with a fees notice prior to processing your FOI request if this applies to your request. To avoid any costs we recommend you submit your request by email.
When will you respond?
We will contact you to acknowledge we have received your request. Under the FOIA we have 20 working days to respond to your request. However if clarification is required from you in respect to what information you are requesting then the 'clock stops' until you have provided satisfactory clarification.
What if I'm not satisfied with the response?
Our response will contain full details of how you can make an appeal if you are unhappy with our response. It will also provide details of how you can make a complaint if you are unhappy with how your request has been handled.