Freedom of information

Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act gives rights of access to information held by public authorities such as Newcastle City Council.

Anyone can ask for access to information the council holds, but there are rules under the Act that mean certain types of information may be exempt from being supplied.

A large amount of the information that we hold will be accessible elsewhere on this website.

What information can I get?

Unless it is exempt, you will be able to get any information that the City Council holds.

Classes of information we hold

  • Who we are and what we do
    Organisational information, structures, locations and contacts.
  • What we spend and why we spend it
    Financial information about projected and actual income and expenditure, procurement, contracts and financial audit.
  • What our priorities are and how we are doing
    Strategies and plans, performance indicators, audits, inspections and reviews.
  • How we make decisions
    Decision making processes and records of decisions.
  • Our policies and procedures
    Current written protocols, policies and procedures for delivering our services and responsibilities.
  • Lists and Registers
    Current lists and registers held by the council
  • Services provided by the council
    Information about the services the council provides including leaflets, guidance and newsletters.

The classes of information will not generally include:

  • Information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure.
  • Information in draft form.

Links to frequently asked for information

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for on our website, you may wish to make a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

How do I request information under the Freedom of Information Act?

Your request must be made in writing (using our online form, by letter or by e-mail) and should contain:

  • your name;
  • your email or postal address
  • a clear indication of the information you are interested in.

To request information we hold:

  • email us
  • write to Freedom of Information, Information Governance Team, Floor 6, Civic Centre, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH

Environmental Information Regulations Requests

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 give individuals right of access to environmental data held by councils and private organisations who carry out a public function, such as utility companies, rail network etc.

Examples of environmental records include:

  • land use
  • waste
  • energy
  • food contamination
  • pest control
  • pollution
  • refuse
  • dog patrol

EIR requests can also be made verbally, by email, by telephone or in writing at the address above.

Can I get personal information that the City Council holds on me?

Not under the Freedom of Information Act. Please visit our Data Protection page for information on how to access your personal information. This is known as a Subject Access Request. You can find out more about Subject Access Requests from the Information Commissioner's website.

Is there any information I cannot get?

You may not be able to get the information you request if it is exempt. You can find out more details about the exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act from the Information Commissioner's website.

If we decide that we cannot disclose the information you have requested, we will explain the reasons for our decision.

How much will it cost?

We will deal with most requests free of charge. However, if the request takes us more than 18 hours to satisfy, we may make a charge. We may also charge you for the cost of copying, printing, postage or translating the information where this is significant. We will tell you about any charges before we start work on your request. The same charges will apply to requests for environmental information.

How quickly will I get the information?

We are required to respond to FOI requests within 20 working days.

What can I do if I am not satisfied with the Council's decision on my request?

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your request, you can make a complaint through the City Council's FOI internal review procedure. We will provide you with details of how to complain when we respond to your request.

Internal reviews will be carried out by a review panel, which will comprise of at least two officers, who have not been directly involved with the initial decision process.

We will acknowledge your request for review within two days of receiving it and will confirm when we expect to be able to respond to your request for review. We will respond promptly and usually within 20 working days of receiving your request for review. There may be rare occasions when we are unable to respond within 20 working days, for example, very complex requests. In these cases, we will notify you of when a response can be expected.

Once the review panel has met to consider your request you will be informed of their decision, the reasons for that decision and how to make a further appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office if you are still not satisfied with the outcome .

You are entitled to approach the Information Commissioner's Office at any time, however they will not generally consider a matter until the council's internal review procedure has been completed.

The Information Commissioner's website also gives more details about Freedom of Information.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane,

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