You can access all non-personal information held by us, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and our Freedom of Information policy. This documentation means that:
- as much information as possible is published, so that you can access it easily
- information is only withheld from you where this is necessary for reasons such as the protection of the economy, law enforcement, health and safety, to ensure the proper conduct of public affairs, the protection of the privacy, or other legitimate interests, of others
- information is deleted or archived once it's finished with, to ensure efficient use of storage space and other resources
- our archive of historic records provides you with a resource for study and research
If you are a contractor, partner or other organisation working with us, we may hold information that you 'own'. This information could be asked for by a member of the public, in which case we'll inform you of the request, and ask if you object to 'disclosure' - you may own the copyright or have other legal rights over the information, these will always be respected.
However, even if you do object, we might still disclose information if it's in the public interest to do so. We have a duty to find the balance between individual and collective rights. We welcome open government and expect that organisations performing public functions will share that view, particularly where they are paid from public funds.
Information about people in a public role
If requested information deals with someone’s personal, family or business life, it's protected data protection legislation. However, if an individual holds a public role (such as public servant, or fulfilling one of the council's public functions), then we try to balance their privacy and their public role. For example, if you ask about a decision that a council officer made, and you need to know their name, we'll only withhold it if an exemption applies.
Information about dead people
Information that relates to a deceased person is no longer classed as 'personal data' and we'll disclose it unless an exemption applies. However, if we know that this will cause distress to a relative we'll discuss the matter with the family.