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Fees and exemptions

Find out more about exemptions and possible fees.

Although the Freedom of Information Act provides a general right of access to information held by the council, there are 23 exemptions whereby we might need to withhold information.

Here are some examples of the exemptions: 

  • Personal data relating to people other than yourself generally cannot be released, as it would be in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998. If you wish to access information about yourself, you may use your rights under this Act and make a Subject Access Request.
  • If the information you require is already in the public domain and therefore reasonably accessible, you will be directed there in the first instance. We try to make frequently requested information available in our Publication Scheme.
  • Certain information relating to national security, information that would prejudice international relations, commercially sensitive information and confidential information may be exempt.

Appealing against exemptions applied by the council 

The Act is monitored by the Information Commissioner, an independent public regulator. However, should you wish to raise an objection to the council's response to your request, you should first make a formal complaint to the council itself. If you are still dissatisfied with the council response to your complaint, you can escalate this to the Information Commissioner’s Office.  

To make a complaint to regarding a Freedom of Information Act or, Environmental Information Regulation Request, please email


The council will make as much information available as possible electronically, using the council’s website. Access to the council’s website and the information contained on it is free of charge. However, we may charge you for: 

  • Information printed from the council’s website in libraries or in office receptions 
  • Publications that have a cover price 
  • Requests for information not available in the publication scheme. 

Please see our fees and charging policy under 'Useful documents'.   

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  1. Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.