Access to information

You can ask to see any information about you that we hold by making a Freedom of information (FOI) request.


The regulations

We see the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations as an opportunity to make the information we hold more widely available and to manage it more efficiently.

When we make a decision, it is important that we tell you how these decisions have been made. We aim to improve:

  • availability - we will make information publicly available unless there are exemptions or exceptions which relate to the information and (where applicable) the public interest balancing test has been met
  • confidentiality - we will not classify documents as 'confidential' without clear justification for doing so
  • exemptions  - we recognise that the exemptions and exceptions to the right of access to information may allow us not to release a document but may not prevent us from releasing that document
  • presumption  - in favour of disclosure where the factors favouring the application of the exemption and the factors favouring disclosure of the information are equal, we will apply the presumption in favour of disclosure and make the information requested available
  • equality - we will develop an environment in which access to information is not dependant on a person's physical, social or educational circumstances, or first language

Make a FOI request

You can ask to see any information we hold on paper or as computer files.

Before you start you can:

To make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, either write to us or email your request to

Personal information

To find out what personal information we hold about you Subject Access Request.

We can't give you

  • Information we no longer have. Our Publication Scheme (PDF) [568KB] tells you what information we make available, how we do it and whether you'll need to pay for it or not.

We reserve the  right to:

  • withhold information until any relevant fee has been paid
  • refuse requests where the cost of providing the information would exceed £450
  • refuse any vexatious or repetitious request
  • obscure or suppress (called 'redaction') information that relates to other third parties (under Data Protection Principles 1, 6 and 7 of the DPA)
  • withhold information if it is confidential or exempt information under the LGA or subject to an exemption under the DPA or FoIA or an exception under, the EIR
  • not provide copies of items subject to copyright restrictions, although these will still be open for inspection

Further details about how we handle requests is available in our Access to Information Policy (PDF) [240KB] .

Our response

The law requires that we send FOI information within 20 working days of your request.

If you are dissatisfied

If you're unhappy with something we've done, you can make a complaint

Complaints about Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) or Freedom of Information (FOI) may be dealt with by contacting the Monitoring Officer or Chief Executive. They can be contacted at:

Council Offices
London Road
Saffron Walden
CB11 4ER

Tel. 01799 510510

The complaint will be dealt with by the Monitoring Officer in the first instance or (if the complaint relates to a decision of the Monitoring Officer) by a Director nominated for that purpose by the Chief Executive. Unless the enquiry is made under the Environmental Information Regulations (in which case any further complaint is made directly to the Information Commissioner) if the applicant remains dissatisfied he/she may appeal to the Chief Executive. If the applicant does not accept the decision of the Chief Executive he/she may complain to the Information Commissioner (either about Data Protection or Freedom of Information) at:

Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Tel. 01625 545745

Further information

Find out about FOI requests on GOV.UK.