Freedom of Information (FOI) and Environmental Information Regulation (EIR)

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 gives you a general right of access to recorded information held by public authorities, including Herefordshire Council. The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004 provides the same right of access for recorded 'environmental' information. Recorded information includes printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs, audio and video recordings.

Herefordshire Council has two main responsibilities under the legislation:

  • We must produce a publication scheme, approved by the Information Commissioner's Office. This is a guide to the information we publish as a matter of routine. The scheme is intended to make sure that a wide range of information is easily available without the need to make a specific request for it
  • We must deal with individual requests for information. This is known as the 'right to ask'. Any person or body, including companies, resident in or outside the UK, has the right to ask whether the council holds the particular information in question

Before you make a request

You may not need to make a request to obtain the information you need, as it may already be publicly available on our website.

Check our disclosure log

A response to an FOI or EIR request may have already been published by the council to our disclosure log. Responses have been published since October 2021, and the log is searchable by keyword, month and year. If the information you require is not displayed within the disclosure log, then you can make a request for it under the terms of the FOI Act or EIR.

You can find further information on the operation of the disclosure log in the disclosure log policy.

Check our website

Information may have also been published on the relevant sections of this website. Before submitting a request please check to see whether the information has already been published. The publication scheme, which sets out the information published as a matter of routine, may help you with this.

Some frequently requested information which is available for download and is regularly updated includes:

If your query is about council housing stock, please note, Herefordshire Council carried out a transfer of its entire housing stock to Herefordshire Housing Ltd (now known as Connexus) in 2001. The council has recently taken the decision to become a Registered Provider and to start to develop housing again.

If you cannot find what you want on our website you can submit an FOI or EIR request for it.

Can I request my own personal information?

No, if you want your own information, you are entitled to it under the subject access provisions of the data protection legislation rather than FOI.

Request information under FOI

Requests for information under the FOI Act must:

  • Be in writing (including our online form, email or letter)
  • Have a name and address to respond to
  • Outline enough information for the council to clearly understand what information is being asked for. If your request is not clear to us we will contact you to clarify what you are seeking access to

Request information under FOI

Request environmental information

Requests for information under the EIR:

  • Can be verbal or in writing (including via an online form, email or letter)
  • Have a name and address to respond to
  • Outline enough information for the council to clearly understand what information is being asked for. If your request is not clear to us we will contact you to clarify what you are seeking access to

Request information under EIR

What happens next?

The legislation allows us up to 20 working days to respond to your request but we will answer as soon as we can. You can find details of how your request will be handled in our FOI/EIR procedure.

Information request charging policy

Download our policy on charging for information requests.

Request review procedure

If you are dissatisfied with your response to a request for information, you can ask for a panel of staff not previously involved with the request to review the response.

Download the request review procedure.

How we process your data when you make a request for information

Herefordshire Council is the data controller under data protection law and will use the information you provide to request information only for that purpose.

The legal basis for processing this data is the legal obligation under various legislation and to process requests for information. This legislation includes the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

We keep your data for six years after the close of all action regarding your request.

Your information will be shared within the council and with our partners only as required to answer your request. If you approach a regulator, including the Information Commissioner's Office, we will share the information we hold with the regulator if they need it from us.

Anonymised responses to requests may be published on the council's disclosure log. Any responses which are published will remain on the log for up to three years.

Individuals have a number of rights under data protection law, including the right to request their information. You also have a right to make a complaint about our handling of your personal data to the Information Commissioner's Office.

You can contact the council's data protection officer, Carol Trachonitis at informationgovernance@herefordshire.gov.uk

Information access team contact details

For further information on FOI or EIR please contact:

Address: Information Access Team, Herefordshire Council, Plough Lane, Hereford HR4 0LE

Telephone: 01432 260535

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