FAQ: Freedom of Information

What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) gives you the right of access from 1 January 2005 to information held by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council (the Council) although the Council may refuse access to the information if that information falls within any of FOIs 24 exemptions. The exemptions protect against the disclosure of information that would harm commercial interests, information provided in confidence, personal information and other important

How do I get information?
1: The Council already produces a Publication Scheme. You can obtain information about our Publication Scheme via this website or you can obtain a hard copy at any Council building reception. This is a guide to the types of information that the authority routinely publishes, the format in which the information is available, where it is available and how much it will cost if there are any charges. The information is presented in the form of classes (categories) of information. These are split between:
  • general information relating to the Council and its area
  • information relating to the individual services provided by the Council
2: If the information you want is not available via the Publication Scheme, or available elsewhere on the Council's website, you may make a specific request for information and the Council must deal with it in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 . To make a request, please put your request in writing to the Council:

Principal Governance Officer
Redcar & Cleveland BC
Redcar & Cleveland House
Kirkleatham Street
TS10 1RT

You must include:
  • your name and address.
  • the information you require in as much detail as you can offer.
Online Request Form

How long will it take?
Once a written request for information is received, we will respond promptly, and certainly within the statutory 20 working days. This time can be extended where we are obliged to consider the public interest.

How much will it cost?
This depends on a number of factors including the volume and complexity of material requested. Responses to enquiries that cost the Council less than £450 to process (including the cost of finding, sorting or editing the material) will be provided free of charge, although there may be a charge for disbursements (photocopying, printing or postage). The Council has a right to refuse a request if the costs of locating and retrieving the information exceed £450, or additional hours can be charged at £25 per hour. In all cases, we will notify you of any estimated costs before proceeding with the request.

Can I have any information at all? The FOI Act allows you access to almost all information that a public body holds. But some information cannot be revealed to the public, like information about national security, law enforcement, commercially sensitive information or personal information about other people. Information that is available by some other means, including our website, can also be refused.

The FOI Act does not require the Council to create information in response to your request nor comment on any hypothetical scenarios, or make future estimates. You have a right to ask for information that we hold at the time of your request. If we do not hold the information that you ask for, then we must tell you and help identify who might hold the information.

Do I need to give a reason to see information?
No. You do not have to give a reason as to why you want to see any information. The Council must give you an explanation if you are not
given what you ask for.
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