What is the Freedom Of Information Act 2000?

Any person or organisation has the right to request any information from the council that the council holds, subject to the exemptions listed in the Act.

The Act intends to promote a culture of openness and accountability and therefore facilitate better understanding of how the council (and other organisations) carry out their duties, why we make the decisions we do and how we spend public money.

Common Freedom of Information requests

If the information you want is not already available on this website you may make a specific request for information and we must deal with it in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Before you submit a Freedom of Information request please visit our common freedom of Information requests page to see if the information you require is already publicly available on the website.

We also provide a publication scheme which lists the types of information that we publish and how to access the information.

Where documents are not available online, contact details are provided so that you may request a copy of the information or arrange a viewing time where appropriate.

How do I make a request for information?

If the information you want is not already available on our website, please make a request by completing our online form.

Request for Information (Freedom of Information Act 2000)

You can also put your request in writing to the address below.

Please include your name and address for correspondence, and the information you require in as much detail as you can offer.

Information Governance Officer 
Second Floor
Town Hall 
Lancaster Road 
Preston 
PR1 2RL

Timescale

The council will normally be required to respond to your request within 20 working days from the date of receipt. However, this can be extended in certain circumstances.

Exemptions

The council must supply the information you have requested (if we hold it) within the timescale previously stated unless an exemption applies.

An exemption may either permit the council to withhold some or all of the information. If an exemption applies, the council may take more time to consider your request. In either case you will be kept informed.

Charges

There is no charge for searching for information. However if the staff time involved to search, identify and retrieve the information exceeds £450.00, a charge can be made or we can refuse the request.

We can make a nominal charge for disbursements e.g. photocopying at 10 pence per A4 sheet. If a charge for searching for information is payable we will advise you but the information you have requested will not be supplied until that fee is paid.

Other legislation

If you make a request for information relating to yourself it will be dealt with under the Data Protection Act 1998 and you will be advised accordingly. 

If your request relates to the environment it may be covered by the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and again you will be advised as to how your request will be actioned.

Advice and assistance

The council has a duty to provide advice and assist to help you obtain information from the council.

This could be in the form of:-

  • Providing help and assistance if you are visually impaired 
  • Arranging assistance in interpreting information into other languages where practically reasonable 
  • In exceptional circumstances noting down the request for you and obtaining your confirmation of the details 
  • Referring you to other agencies for help such as the Citizens Advice Bureau 
  • If the council does not hold the information requested but believes that some or all of the information is held by another public authority we will either provide you with the contact details of the other public authority or transfer your request to them with your consent