Freedom of Information
South Ribble Borough Council operates an open and transparent culture and many of our documents and records are readily available, and are noted on our Publication Scheme on our website.
The details you provide on this form will be disclosed to officers dealing with your request and will be used within South Ribble Borough Council to locate the information requested. If a third party is referenced within the information requested, we may need to obtain their consent prior to disclosure, or remove it from the information supplied.
South Ribble Borough Council will respond to your request as soon as possible or within 20 working days from receipt of this form, subject to the prompt payment of any fees. There may be occasions where we need to obtain further information from yourselves to assist in locating the information, which may delay our response.
Fees and exemptions
The Freedom of Information legislation allows for the Authority to charge for estimated disbursements (e.g. photocopying and postage). However, in keeping with the Authority's culture of openness and the principles of access to information for all, disbursements costs will normally be waived. Where they are considered excessive, we may need to consider the interests of the public purse and we may decide to charge in accordance with legislation. In these instances, we will write to inform you and only process your request upon receipt of payment. Furthermore, where the cost to locate and retrieve the information you require exceeds £450, the Authority has the right to refuse your request.
To protect the interests of the state and third parties, there are exemptions that can be applied. The Authority will always give due regard to the public interest when applying exemptions and will write to you to inform you on any decisions made.
Access to your personal information
From 25th May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as supplemented by the UK Data Protection Act 2018 will have legal effect. This replacement data protection framework places new obligations on organisations and strengthens the rights that individuals have over the processing of their personal information.
Right to access the personal information we hold about you
You are entitled to ask us for copies of the personal information that we hold about you.
When can I expect your response?
We aim to respond to your request without undue delay and no later than 1 calendar month calculated from the date of receipt of your request, and:
- an original proof of your identity, showing your current name and address.
- any further information (where we have requested this from you) we need to process your request and/or locate and retrieve your personal information
Where it is not possible to respond sooner, and the last day before expiry of 1 calendar month falls over a weekend or on a bank holiday, the latest due date will be treated as the first working day after the weekend or bank holiday.
If your request is complex, we may need to extend the length of time required to respond. If this applies, we will let you know before the latest due date on which you would be expecting to hear back from us. Under the new regulations we can extend the length of time to respond by a maximum of a further 2 calendar months.
Where it is not possible to respond sooner, and the last day before expiry of the 2nd calendar month falls over a weekend or on a bank holiday, the latest due date will be treated as the first working day after the weekend or bank holiday.
We will always endeavour to respond as quickly as we can.
Can you refuse my request?
In certain circumstances we may refuse to respond your request if we consider that it is unfounded, excessive or repetitive in nature.
We will give our reasons if we refuse to comply with your request on this ground.
Will I have to pay a charge?
Ordinarily we will not charge a fee for fulfilling a request from you.
The only exception is where you make repeated requests for the same type of similar information. In these cases, we reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee based on the administrative costs of supplying further copies if we consider a reasonable time period has not intervened since fulfilling a previous request.
Will I get all of the information I am requesting?
Normally this is likely to be the case. But it is important to note that the right of access to your own information does not extend to information about other people who may be identified in the information that also refers to you.
We may therefore redact personal information about other persons (including third parties) where we are satisfied it is reasonable in the circumstances to do so.
In some cases information may be so interlinked that it is not possible to fulfil your request without breaching another person's privacy rights.
The names of professional staff (whether directly employed by us or not) involved in decision-making about your care and education will often be disclosable and their identities will not be automatically redacted, unless this is warranted in a particular case.
The law recognises that there are occasions when it may be appropriate to withhold certain information and provides exemptions in specified circumstances.
If we withhold information on the basis that it is exempt from disclosure, where it is possible to do so, we will explain the exemption(s) we are relying on and the reasons why one or more are necessary.
Can someone else make a request for me?
A friend, relative, advocate or solicitor may act on your behalf. However, this person must supply written authority from you to confirm that they are acting for you and we will still require identification for you.
If you use an agent, they must provide original proof of their identity, original proof of your identity and written authorisation to act on your behalf. You may wish to send your proof of identity by recorded delivery. We will return it to you after verification.
What if a data subject 'lacks mental capacity'?
A person with a lasting power of attorney appointed directly by the data subject or a Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection may exercise these rights.
What about requests involving children?
Unlike Scotland, there is no set age in England which recognises when children are automatically able to exercise data protection rights. A child aged 13 or over is able to create an on line social media account without the consent of a person with parental responsibility.
As a general rule a child must have sufficient understanding and maturity to exercise their own rights and a common sense approach will be adopted in the event a child or young person submits a request.
For children aged under 13, it will generally be expected that a request is made by a person with parental responsibility with whom the child normally resides and 'best interest' considerations will be taken into account.
If you wish to know more about your rights in respect of protection of personal data, you should write to the
Information Commissioner's Office; Wycliffe House; Water Lane; Wilmslow; Cheshire; SK9 5AF.
Data Protection Helpline: 01625 545 745.
Business Rates FOIs
We regularly receive Freedom of Information requests regarding Business Rates.