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Data Protection & Freedom of Information

Welcome to Barrow Borough Council's Access to Information pages.
On 1st January 2005 the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Regulations 2004 came fully into force.  These were followed by the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations which came into effect on 1st July 2005.
Barrow Borough Council is committed to keeping you informed about what we are doing for you.  We will provide access to as much information as possible about the way we make decision, do business and deliver services that directly affect you.
The purpose of this section of the site is to explain what these pieces of legislation mean, how to make a request and how your request will be handled.  It also describes the wide range of information which Barrow Borough Council already publishes and where to find it.

On this page: What would you like to know? | Summary of legislation for different data types? | Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) | Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) | Data Protection Act |Copy Charges under FOIA and EIRsUseful Links 

What would you like to know?

Find out more about the legislation:

Summary of legislation for different data types

Type of information being requested Format in which request needs to be made Legislation which the information falls under Deadline to provide information
General Advice e.g. opening hours, how to get to the office, anything which can be answered immediately from memory e.g. local knowledge, etc. Any format None.  None (but there may be internal targets)
Information about the applicant (or someone authorised to act on their behalf). Must be written. Data Protection Act. 40 Calendar Days
Information about someone else (a "third party"). Must be written. Freedom of Information. 20 Working Days.
 Information about the environment or human interaction with the environment (land landscape, soil, water, air, atmosphere, flora and fauna, emissions, pollution and SMOG, sewers and drainage, cultural sites, the food chain, pesticides, policies and any plans and agreement affecting any of the above). Can be oral or written. Environmental Information Regulations. 20 Working Days.
 Any other written information which may be found in the corporate records. Must be written. Freedom of Information. 20 Working Days

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)

Freedom of Information logoFreedom of Information is about improving Citizens' access to information about the organisation that they deal with everyday.  FOI will deliver greater openness and transparency throughout the public sector and applies to all public authorities.


When did the Act come into effect?  The Act came into effect in two stages - since March 2003 public authorities have been required to maintain a Publication Scheme and since January 2005 any person has had a statutory right to request information under the Act.

What exactly does the Freedom of Information Act do?  The Act gives any person or body resident in or outside the UK the right to access to all types of recorded information of any age in public authorities.  Subject to certain conditions and exemptions, anyone who makes a request to the Council for information will be entitle to receive it.

Information requested, unless exempt from disclosure under one or more exemptions contained in the Act, must be supplied within 20 working days of the request.  A refusal to release the information must be given in writing and the reasons for refusal specified along with the applicant's right to appeal.

How to make a request.


Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs)

The Environmental Information Regulations 1992 and Environmental Information (Amendment) Regulations 1998 give a right of access to environmental information held by Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council.  This can include information relating to air, water, land, natural sites, flora and fauna and activities or measures relating to and affecting any of these.

Information can be viewed free of charge. 

Charges made under FOIA and EIRs for Plans and Documents held by Barrow Borough Council from December 2012


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How to make a request.


Data Protection Act (DPA)

The Data Protection Act gives individuals the right to request organisations to provide them with any "personal data" that is held covering them.  Data is defined as personal data under the Act it it either relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data, or from that data and other information which is in the possession of, or likely to come into the possession of the Data Controller, i.e. Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council.  Individuals have the right to know whether or not the Council holds any personal data about them and, if so, what it is.

Find out more about Barrow Borough Council's Data Protection Policy.

How to make a request.

Links to Useful Information on Specific Acts

For further information about any of the Acts specified on this area of the website simply click on any of links below and you will be taken directly to information on the Internet regarding a specific Act.