Important Statement (Reviewed December 2017)
Environmental Information requests to send compiled information on Local Land Charges and CON29 questions to requestors is diverting a disproportionate level of resources away from the Council’s other statutory and paid for functions. As the requests involve the answering of multiple questions and the compilation, refinement and interpretation of a new dataset for each request and not just the provision of raw data, each one is taking on average 35 mins of officer time to process. This equates to around 140 hours per year at current levels, which in a small team in a council of Barrow’s size diverts staff resources that are already stretched. The council therefore have decided as of the 1 st January 2017 to only make the raw data available to view on inspection at their offices, this will be reviewed on an annual basis to see if it is still appropriate. A internal review was carried out in December 2017 and it was decided that the situation had not changed and the existing procedure would remain for another year. The inspection of the data will be free and can be organised by requesting an appointment through firstname.lastname@example.org. Appointments will be made by agreement on a first come first served basis with at least 5 working days’ notice, on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in 1 hour slots, 10am, 11am, 2pm and 3pm. Please note an appointment slot of 1 hour does not guarantee you 1 hour access viewing our data, it takes time to escort visitors to and from our floor, so please take this into account when requesting an appointment. We can also not extend appointments past 12pm and 4pm as staff cover is not available to ensure visitors are escorted safely out of the building.
"The councils policy on Property Searches has always been to ensure that we provide an efficient and responsive service for Property Searches falling under auspices of The Local Authorities (England) (Charges for Property Searches) Regulations 2008. The policy does not cover requests made under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, as these are not dealt with by the Land Charges section and a separate policy applies to these requests. To ensure the Council encourages regeneration and growth within Barrow it is important that the council can service requests for Property Searches as efficiently and as responsively as possible. To this end the Land Charges section are charged with concentrating their resources on maintaining the data held, responding to official searches submitted to the Council this is then balanced against responding to Environmental Information Requests. The council provide an online service for requesting official searches that enables users of the service to apply for official searches quickly and easily. We also try to return responses electronically in order to ensure as fast as possible turnaround."
If you are requesting to view the information only then you will be offered an appointment to do this within the 20 working days. EIR requests are processed in an sequential order with all other requests received for Council Information. Consequently requests will take longer to process than official searches. EIR average response time is 12 working days. More information on requests under the Environmental Information Regulations and Freedom of Information can be found on the Data Protection and Freedom of Information page.