Barlaston Parish Council
1.Freedom of information policy and the model publication scheme
Barlaston Parish Council (BPC) has a commitment to openness and transparency and has always been conscious of making relevant information available wherever possible to individuals who request it, subject to safeguarding the privacy of individuals and to legitimate considerations of national security, law enforcement and commercial interests where relevant.
2.The Freedom of Information Act 2000
The Freedom of Information Act, which came into force on 1 January 2005, gives everyone a statutory right of access to information held by bodies such as Parish Councils
3.The Revised Model Publication Scheme
BPC adopted the revised model publication scheme issued by the Information Commissioners Office.
A significant amount of the information for BPC including financial payments can be accessed on BPC’s website – www.barlaston.org.uk
Individuals or organisations may make a written request for information which they believe BPC holds. To request information under the provisions of the Act, and to help BPC in identifying the precise information you require please email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the Parish Clerk at Barlaston Parish Council, Barlaston Methodist Church, Park Drive, Barlaston ST12 9DP.
As required by the Act, the following will need to be included with the request:
- Name of person requesting the information
- Postal Address or email of the person requesting the information
- A clear description of the information being requested
- A preference of how the information is to be communicated e.g. hard copy, electronic or the opportunity to inspect a record containing the information. BPC will try to provide the information in the preferred media as far as is reasonably practical, or will notify the person requesting the information if BPC cannot do so.
6.Responding to Requests
BPC will inform the person requesting the information in writing if BPC hold the information requested and if so, will provide the information no later than 20 working days after receipt of the request.
7.Information Exempt from the Act
The Freedom of Information Act does identify a number of categories of information which BPC is not required to disclose und the Act. In this case, BPC will write to the person requesting the information, stating the exemption which provides the basis for refusal within Act. BPC will communicate this within 20 working days.
There is no ‘flat rate’ fee to receive information under the Freedom of Information Act and in many cases BPC will provide the information free of charge. However, if the information requested is not readily available in the media in which it is requested, BPC may charge a fee based on the costs associated with providing the information e.g. photocopying and postage.
9.Refusal of Requests
The Freedom of Information Act does permit BPC to refuse a request if BPC estimate that it will cost BPC in excess of the appropriate limit of 15hrs work.
10.Freedom of Information Fees Notice
If a fee is required for disbursements or because the appropriate cost limit, BPC will write advising of the fee required within 20 working days of receipt of the request. This is known as a ‘Fees Notice’. When a Fees Notice has been issued, the 20 working day limit for responding stops and will start again when BPC receive payment. If BPC do not receive the fee within three months BPC are not obliged to comply with the request.
If persons requesting information are dissatisfied with the way BPC has responded to a request for information, please write to the Parish Clerk, Barlaston Parish Council, Barlaston Methodist Church, Park Drive, Barlaston ST12 9DP
The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing the operation of the Act, and you may raise issues with this office at any time. More information can be found on the ICO website or by writing to the Information Commissioners Officer, Whycliffe House, Water Lane, Wimslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.