Freedom of Information
People's Rights - Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 ('the Act') came into force in 2005. Anyone can now request information from the Council.
What information will be available?
Any information held by the Council will be eligible for release. This is subject to a number of exemptions which may be applied to protect information which should properly be kept confidential. Should the information requested relate to the environment, it will be dealt with under the terms of the Environmental Information Regulations, 2004 (see below).
How to make a Freedom of Information request
- Put your request in writing (emails are acceptable or apply online)
- Tell us what information you would like to access
- Include your name and address
- Tell us how you would like to access the information (for example by inspection at one of the Council's Offices; or sent to you as a paper copy or via email). The Council may take into account the cost of supplying the information in the form you request.
Please send your Freedom of Information request to Freedom of Information Requests, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1LD or email the request to FOI@stockton.gov.uk
The Council may need to transfer your request to another public authority which holds the information you want or to consult other public authorities and/or third parties in order to reach a decision on whether the requested information can be released. If you wish to be notified before any transfer of request or consultation is made, please say this in your request.
If you have difficulty in identifying the information you require, the Council will be pleased to help you. In the first instance address these queries in writing to the Director of Law and Democracy, PO Box 11, Municipal Buildings, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 1LD.
Environmental Information Regulations, 2004.
These Regulations give the public access to information relating to the state of the environment covering a wide range of themes such as air, atmosphere, water, soil, land, flora, fauna, emissions, waste, energy, noise, human health, legislation and policies. The Regulations take account of the Freedom of Information Act, and requests made should follow the same general approach, but there are a few notable differences between the two regimes:
- requests can be made in any format, including verbally,
- only environmental information is covered (with the Freedom of Information Act applying to all other information held by the Council),
- a reasonable fee may be charged (not applicable where information is kept on a public register, or where the information is examined at the offices of the Council),
- the 20 working day time limit for response by the Council may be extended up to 40 working days where the request is complex and voluminous,
- requests may be refused on specified grounds such as being too general, manifestly unreasonable, for unfinished documentation or for internal communications. All information released is subject to the public interest test (namely whether it serves the interests of the public to disclose or withhold the information).
What happens when you make a request under the Freedom of Information Act?
When the Council receives a request for information, we will consider the request and respond as soon as possible, and not later than 20 working days after receiving your request, or on receipt of any fee which is payable.
The reply will state whether we hold the information, and either provide the information you requested, or explain why it has not been possible.
What happens if the Council doesn't understand your request?
We will contact you to clarify your request.
What does a Freedom of Information request cost?
If you are requesting information contained in the Council's publication scheme; the scheme will give details of whether (and how much) you will be charged for the information.
If you are requesting information not contained within the publication scheme, the authority may charge you a fee, as laid down in regulations and if you refuse to pay the fee, the public authority can refuse to supply the information.
If your request is refused?
A request for information may, for instance, be refused by the Council if it falls under one of the statutory exemptions or you refuse to pay the fee.
If your request is refused, the reply from the Council will explain why. If you are not satisfied with the decision you can ask for the decision to be reviewed. How you can do this will be explained in the letter you receive.
If, after a review, the Council still refuses your request, you may ask the Information Commissioner to review that decision:
The Information Commissioner
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Tel: (01625) 545700
Fax: (01625) 545510
Comments, Commendations and Complaints
Should you wish to contact us regarding your request, for example the way your request was handled or the response you have received, please contact the Council's Customer Service Team who will deal with your enquiry in accordance with our Corporate Comments, Commendations and Complaints procedure.
Stockton Council has a policy of not allowing footage captured by our CCTV network to be sold to media companies.
Stockton Council is not responsible for the content of external websites.
Freedom of Information
- About Stockton Council
- Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner
- Comprehensive Area Assessment
- Council Consultation
- Council Finances
- Councillors and Council Meeting Information (E-genda)
- Data Protection Act & Personal Information
- Electoral Registration
- Equality and Diversity
- Freedom of Information
- Heritage of Stockton-on-Tees
- Internal Audit Service
- Learn about Democracy
- Legal Notices
- Local Councils, MPs, Parish/Town Council Contacts
- New standards arrangements
- Petition Scheme
- Plans and Strategies
- Report Fraudulent Activity
- Stockton Council's Performance
- Stockton-on-Tees Data Warehouse
- The Lord Lieutenant
- -The Stockton Borough Council Constitution
- -The Stockton Borough Council Publication Scheme (March 2011)