Transparency of data and information

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We aim to be open and transparent with our data and information and to make it as easy as possible to access.

Here is the information we regularly publish. You can request information from the Council and many of these requests will be dealt with in the normal course of business by the relevant department.  In addition to this, you have rights to request information set out in the Freedom of Information Act, Environmental Information Regulations and Data Protection Act.

For information on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) please click here

The Openness Regulations 2014

The Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2013 ("the Regulations") came into force on 6th August 2014. The Regulations are designed to promote the transparency and accountability of local authorities to their local communities. Part 2 of the Regulations contains provisions on filming, recording and reporting of Council and committee meetings, whereas Part 3 governs how certain officer decisions should be recorded.

The policy and procedure below sets out how St Albans City and District Council has implemented the Regulations.

Local Government Transparency code

The Local Government Transparency Code 2015 requires councils to publish specific data and information.

All of the information published in accordance with this code is available for re-use under the terms of the Government Open Licence for Public Sector Information

The table below gives links to the information we publish under the Local Government Transparency Code 2014. You will find here all the information the code says we must publish and much of the further information it recommends is made available. We are working towards making as much information available as possible.

If you have any questions regarding the information contained in the table please email

Publication scheme – guide to information

Freedom of Information Act 2000

The Freedom of Information Act gives a statutory right to all information held by public authorities, subject to some exemptions.

All requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act need to be submitted in writing.  This can be by email or letter. 

You must supply a name and address that we can reply to.  You will need to provide us with enough detail about your request for us to identify the information.  If you request the information in electronic format, you must supply an email address.

We are required to respond within 20 working days.  You will receive an acknowledgement and this will confirm the deadline for our response.

Making a request is free, however, where the work involved in responding to a request would cost us in excess of £450 (equivalent to 18 hours work) we are not obliged to supply the information.  Where we do provide the information in these circumstances, you will be required to pay the fee. Details of our charging policy are set out in the fees and charges document below.

There are a number of exemptions within the Act and if the information you request falls into one of these areas, we may refuse to supply the information.  Where this applies, we will advise you accordingly.

The Publication Scheme and Guide to Information set out information we routinely make available.   You may wish to look at these documents before submitting your request

Environmental Information Regulations 2004

The updated Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) came into force on 1 January 2005 giving members of the public the right to access environmental information held by public authorities.

The definition of environmental information includes:

  • the state of the elements of the environment, such as air, water, soil, land, landscape, natural sites  and biological diversity;
  • emissions, discharges, noise, energy, radiation, waste and other releases into the environment;
  • measures and activities such as policies, plans and agreements affecting or likely to affect the state of the elements of the environment;
  • reports and cost-benefit and economic analyses;
  • the state of human health and safety, including contamination of the food chain; and
  • cultural sites and built structures (as they may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment).

Exceptions provide some grounds for refusing to disclose information, subject to a “public interest” test. This means they must take into consideration the public interest factors in disclosing the information and those for withholding it and make a balanced decision.

Requests for information can be made in writing, by telephone or in person. Public authorities must respond in writing within 20 working days.  The Regulations allow public authorities to charge a reasonable fee for providing the information in paper or electronic format. No charge will be made for inspection of the information at our offices or for accessing public registers or lists of environmental information.

EIR charges

The Council will charge for any request that will take more than two hours to locate extract and collate either in electronic or paper format.

Public authorities can charge for: 

1) The cost of staff time (salary and overheads) spent locating, retrieving and extracting the information; and,

2) The costs incurred when printing or copying the information and sending to the applicant.

Staff time will be charged as follows:

Planning information:  £25.75 per hour
Regulatory information: £32.97 per hour

Printing and copying will be charged as follows:

10p per A4 mono sheet (double-sided), 20p per single A4 colour sheet
Postage will be charged at estimated cost.

We will send the requestor an estimate of staff costs and any other costs. Payment must be received in advance. Where possible, we will also advise requestors on how they could narrow their request to fall within the two hour limit.

Please note that if the request is estimated to exceed two hours, the quote will be based on the total estimated time to fulfil the request.

Making a request for information

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for within the Council's Publication Scheme, please write or email providing as much detail as possible, to enable us to identify and locate the information requested. 

For postal enquiries please send this to:

Customer Services
St Albans District Council
Civic Centre
St Peters Street  
St Albans 


Internal Review

Where an individual has made a request under the FOIA or the EIR, they can apply for a review of the decision (including a failure to respond) under the Internal Review Procedure (see below).  

Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)

Further information can be obtained from the ICO website

Date of last review: 13 October 2017