What information can I access?
You can see copies of agendas and reports at the Council headquarters at least 5 clear days before a meeting. They are also available on the council meetings and committee diary page.
Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 give individuals and organisations a general legal right to access information held by the council.
We are expected to disclose information we're asked for, unless disclosure is specifically prohibited by an exemption. There are some absolute exemptions which make it illegal to disclose the information. However, most exemptions are qualified by a 'Public Interest Test' where we will have to decide if it is in the public interest to disclose the information.
The types of information that are exempt are defined by both the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulation; examples include information that contains other people's personal data and information that would stop the organisation doing business properly. The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) still deals with access to personal information.
The Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2007 introduced 7 categories of information which we must not make public. These include:
- Information relating to a particular individual.
- Information related to legal matters.
We publish a wide range of information on our website. Where we don't publish information directly, we are usually able to tell you where to find or request it. See a summary of how we publish information.
Attending the Meetings
Members of the public and press are entitled to attend all Council meetings, except when confidential information would be discussed.