You have the right of access to information held by public authorities, such as Nottingham City Council under Information Rights legislation governed by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).
Nottingham City Council's FOI and EIR Policy document outlines our commitment to the principles of openness, transparency and accountability embodied in the FOI and the EIR legislation.
Note that personal data held by us about you or someone else is covered by the Data Protection 1998.
Use the following links to find out more about how you can access non-personal information held by us:
- What information can I have access to?
- How do I make a request for information?
- What happens once I've made a request for information?
- Can Nottingham City Council refuse my request?
- What will making a request for information cost me?
- What can I do if I'm not satisfied with the Council's response?
- Find out more about access to information
Information Rights (FOI and EIR) legislation covers all information held by us. You can submit a request for any information you think we hold. Examples of previous requests for information submitted to us include:
- Numbers of parking tickets issued in specific areas
- Maintenance of Council-owned buildings
- Decisions about street markings or traffic light settings
- Details of suppliers of school dinners
- Structure charts for council departments
We also publish many of our responses to FOI and EIR requests and these can be found on our Disclosure Log. We are looking to review the disclosure log function in the future to make it as useful as possible to you.
Information about routinely published information can be found in a number of places:
Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) must be in writing.
You can make a request using the following methods:
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information Rights and Insight Team
Nottingham City Council
4th Floor Loxley House
Your request must include:
- Your Name
- Either an email or postal address for correspondence (and a contact telephone number is also useful)
- A description of the information required.
Your request does not have to mention the FOI or EIR legislation and you do not have to tell us why you want the information. But the more detail you give us, the more effective we can be in providing the information you require.
Making a Verbal Request for Environmental Information
Under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) you can also make a request for information verbally. Phone the Council's Information Rights and Insight Team on 0115 876 4376 and an officer will transcribe your request and confirm it in writing to you. The EIR only applies to the environmental information held by public authorities.
We will aim to acknowledge your request quickly so you can be assured that your request is in progress. We normally have 20 working days to from the day after we receive the request to provide a response to your request. Sometimes we are able to extend the deadline to a request, but if we do this we will let you know.
Sometimes we may not handle your request formally as an FOI or EIR request if we consider this to be a 'normal course of business' enquiry in which case we would deal with it as a normal customer enquiry under our usual customer service procedures.
If we are unclear at all about exactly what your request is, then we will contact you to clarify exactly what you want and the timescales for responding to your request will not start until this clarification has been received. We allow 20 working days for clarification to be received before closing the request.
There are a number of reasons where we may need to refuse an entire request:
- It would cost too much or take too much staff time to deal with the request
- The request is vexatious
- The request repeats a previous request from the same person
The appropriate limit applied to requests under FOI is £450, which roughly equates to 18.5 hours work, though this is generally plenty of time to deal with most requests.
In some cases, there will be a good reason why we will not be able to make public some or all of the information requested:
- If we do not hold the information
- If an exemption/exception applies (see the 'Exemptions' section below).
If any such criteria apply, we will write to you explaining why we cannot provide the information requested.
Nottingham City Council aims to be as open and transparent as possible, but there are some circumstances where we will exempt information from disclosure. This can only be done where there are clear legal grounds for doing so and our response to you will indicate that we have exempted information and the legal basis of that decision.
A full list of valid exemptions under the FOIA and EIR legislation can be found on the ICO website using the following links:
Nottingham City Council does not charge for most information requests under the FOI and EIR. However, there are some circumstances where charges are applied for the provision of information. But you will be advised of any charges before the information is collected, asked whether you still want to go ahead with the request and advised on how to make a payment.
The Following Charges May Therefore be Applied
Charges under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
The fee scales for requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 are laid down in statutory instrument and case law. These state that there is an 'appropriate limit' to the costs an authority may incur in locating and retrieving the information required to answer a Freedom of Information request before we pass those costs on to the requester
This appropriate limit is £450, which roughly equates to 18.5 hours work
Once a request exceeds the appropriate limit all costs incurred in locating and retrieving the information can become chargeable to the requester. This charge is often calculated at £25 per person per hour plus reproduction and postage costs
Please note that where possible information is provided electronically to limit any reproduction charges being made to a customer
If the costs involved in reproducing the material are over £10 then a charge will be made at:
- 10pence per A4 side (20pence for a double-sided sheet)
- Any other sheets - e.g. colour; A3 etc - are charged at the cost this authority has incurred to reproduce them
Charges under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
Authorities are permitted to charge for requests made under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 in similar circumstances to FOIA requests. Please therefore refer to the 'Charges under the Freedom of Information Act 2000' (above) for our current fees.
The authority does not charge for most information requests though. And there is no additional charge for viewing files in person at Nottingham City Council premises.
If you are unhappy with the response to your request, you believe that an exemption has been incorrectly applied or that you have not received all of the information you are entitled to, you can request a review of the original response, referred to as an Internal Review.
Details of how to appeal will be provided with any response to your request.
A senior officer will review your case to ensure that the officers dealing with the original request have done so in line with the requirements of the FOI and EIR legislation.
To request an internal review you should write in the first instance - and state the reasons for your dissatisfaction - to Information Rights and Insight Team Manager
Alternatively, you can contact us by email:
If you remain dissatisfied you can request an independent review of your case by contacting the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
Use the procedure on the following ICO page to report your concerns
Or contact the ICO using the following methods:
Phone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.
You can find further information about access to information from the following government websites:
- The Information Commissioner's Office website
- The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and explanatory notes
- The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and explanatory notes
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