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Freedom of Information Act / Environmental Information Regulations

Freedom of Information (FOI)

Written requests for information that are not seeking your personal information (governed by the Data Protection Act) or environmental information (governed by the Environmental Information Regulations) are governed by the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  These requests for information could be made to any part of the Council or by email to foi@flintshire.gov.uk  If needed, assistance in making your request can be provided by telephoning one of the FOI Contact Officers in the various Council sections and their contact numbers are given below.

Chief Executives  -  01352 702112
Human Resources  -  01352 702714
Finance  -  01352 702210 /702241 / 702206
ICT  -  01352 702802
Legal and Democratic Services  -  01352 702808
Education & Youth  -  01352 704025 / 704012
Social Care  -  01352 701309 / 701482
Housing  -  01352 703305 / 703354
Revenues & Benefits - 01352 704856 / 702911
Planning & Environment  -  01352 703448 / 703292
Transport & Streetscene - 01352 703448 / 703292
Culture & Leisure - 01352 702178
Valuation & Estates / Facilities Services / Engineering Services - 01352 703448 / 703292

Environmental Information Regulations (EIR)

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 give the public similar rights to those in Freedom of Information Act when requesting environmental information.  Whilst requests have to be in writing for the Freedom of Information Act, oral requests are acceptable under the Environmental Information Regulations.

Environmental information includes recorded information the Council has concerning:-

  • The state of the elements of the environment such as air, water, soil and land.
  • Emissions and discharges, noise, energy, radiation, waste and any other such substances. 
  • Measures and activities such as policies, plans and agreements affecting or likely to affect the state of the elements of the environment. 
  • Reports, cost benefit and economic analysis used in these policies, plans and agreements. 
  • The state of human health and safety, contamination of food chain and cultural sites and built structures. 
Such requests are best raised with the Council's Environment Directorate on 01352 703448 or by emailing eir@flintshire.gov.uk

Procedure for dealing with FOI and EIR requests

On receiving a request the FOI/EIR contact officer will send a written acknowledgement and then process your request promptly and normally within 20 working days. 

Sometimes it may not be clear what information you are requesting.  In such circumstances the Council may contact you to provide assistance in clarifying the nature of the information you are seeking. 

In dealing with requests for information the Council may need to consult third parties or other public bodies in order to reach a decision on whether the requested information can be provided.  If you wish to be notified before any such consultation you should say so in your request. 

The FOI and the EIR contain categories of exemptions / exceptions, and this may mean that even though the Council holds the information you have requested it is not appropriate to provide it to you.  In such a situation the Council, in its written reply, will explain why the exemption applies to your request.  

Charges

Normally information the Council holds is made available without charge when requested under the FOI or the EIR.  The circumstances in which charges are made are set out in the charging schedule and also Flintshire Record Office Charges may apply.  Where charges apply you will be notified and asked to pay if you wish to proceed with your request. 

Where the Council does not hold the information you have requested but believes another public authority may hold the information, this will be explained to you and you will be given the contact details of that other authority.  

Complaints Procedure

If you are dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of your request for information, you can ask for an internal review within 2 months of the date of this response.  Where your complaint is a complex one it may not be possible to deal with it within the above timescales.  In such a situation a progress report will be sent within the above timescales. 

Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Council’s Information Governance Manager at:
Information Governance Team
County Hall
Mold
CH7 6NA
Or by emailing: foi@flintshire.gov.uk

Please remember to quote your original request’s reference number.

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at the following address:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF.

However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.

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