our accounts, and about environmental              has got it on our behalf. However, the Act says
   FREEDOM OF                                      matters. We’ve always let people have
                                                   information in most circumstances, but this
                                                                                                      we don’t have to give you information in some
                                                                                                      circumstances. This is usually where giving you

                                                   Act gives you new legal rights.                    information    might    harm   someone     else.
                                                                                                      Examples of these (called exemptions] are
                                                   Who can make these requests?

     ACT 2000                                      Any individual, legal partnership or company
                                                   can make a request, whether they’re from Leeds
                                                                                                      •   Information we or someone else has to give
                                                                                                          to the public, free or otherwise, under other
                                                                                                          legal rules – for example, information about
                                                   or elsewhere.                                          our decisions, or information available
                                                                                                          through our Publication Scheme
                                                   How do I make one of these requests?               •   Information in court documents, or
       YOUR RIGHT TO                                                                                      documents for an inquiry or arbitration
     INFORMATION FROM                              You have to make a request in writing (email is    •   Personal information about you (you can get
                                                   okay), and you must give your name, and an             this anyway under the data protection rules)
     LEEDS CITY COUNCIL                            address for us to write to. A request has got to   •   Personal information about someone else, if
                                                   describe the information you want. Where it’s          that would breach the data protection rules
                                                   necessary to identify and find the information,    •   Information which is confidential legally
                                                   we can ask you for more details. We’ve got to      •   Information which we can’t disclose because
                                                   advise and help people who’ve made a request,          of other legal rules
                                                   or who want to make one.
                                                                                                      There are other exemptions which are subject to
                                                   For example, if you’re not sure how to do this,    a “public interest test.” Examples of these are
                                                   or have trouble with writing, we could take a
                                                   note over the phone, and then send it to you so    •   Information that we or someone else is going
                                                   you can check it and then send it back to us as        to publish in the future, where it would be
                                                   a request.                                             reasonable not to disclose it until then.
                                                                                                      •   Information where its disclosure would be
                                                   How long have we got to answer these
                                                                                                          likely to prejudice our or someone else’s
                                                   requests?                                              commercial interests, or the economic
                                                                                                          interests of Leeds
What is Freedom of Information?                    Generally, we have to comply “promptly,” and at
                                                                                                      •   Information where its disclosure would be
                                                   the latest within 20 working days. If we need
                                                                                                          likely to prejudice crime prevention or
From 1st January 05, the Freedom of                more details from you, or if we think an
                                                                                                          detection, catching or prosecuting offenders,
Information Act means you or any other             exemption applies where we have to apply the
                                                                                                          or tax collection
person can make a written request for              “public interest test” (explained later), we can
information, and we have to say whether                                                               •   Information where its disclosure would be
                                                   take longer.
we’ve got that information. If we have, we                                                                likely to endanger someone’s physical or
have to give you a copy, or a summary, or let                                                             mental health, or safety
                                                   Does we always have to give the information
you come and inspect it, as you prefer.            requested?                                         •   Information held for certain investigations
                                                                                                          and proceedings
This won’t affect your other legal rights to get   No, not always. You can ask for any
information from the Council. For example,         information, whether it’s in a file or on a
you’ll still have rights to get information        computer, and whether we’ve got it, or someone
about what decisions we’re taking, and about       else (such as a contractor or service provider)
What does the “public interest test” mean?             Clare Millington – Legal, Licensing &            Paul Taylor - Education Leeds
                                                       Registration                                     Merrion House, 110 Merrion Centre, LS2 8DT
This means we have to decide what’s best in the        St George House, 40 Great George Street,         E-mail:
public interest. We can’t say these exemptions         LS1 3DL                                          Tel: 24 77889
apply, unless the public interest in not giving        E-mail:
the information outweighs the public interest in       Tel: 24 74416
giving it.                                                                                              What happens if we don’t give you the
                                                       Kate Arscott – Democratic Services               information you want?
Can you complain if we don’t give you the              Civic Hall, LS1 1UR
information you want?                                  E-mail:                If you send your request to one of the people
                                                       Tel: 2474189                                     named above, and they say you can’t have the
Yes. If we refuse a request we’ve got to say why,                                                       information, you can ask for your request to be
and we’ve got to tell you about our compliments        Paul Burns - Resources                           dealt with through the compliments and
and complaints procedure. We’ve also got to tell       2nd Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR       complaints procedure. This means the director
you that once you’ve gone through this                 E-Mail:               or a chief officer will review your request, and in
procedure, you can go to the Information               Tel: 22 43913                                    some cases consult with the Executive Member
Commissioner to decide whether we should give                                                           for that service.
you the information or not.                            Jayne Conboy – City Development
                                                       Leonardo Building, 2 Rossington Street,          If the director or chief officer decides not to let
Who should I send my request to?                       LS2 8HD.                                         you have the information, then usually you can
                                                       E-mail:                ask the Information Commissioner to decide
If you want some day-to-day information about          Tel: 24 77897                                    whether the Council has dealt with your request
our services, you can just contact us in any of                                                         properly. The Commissioner can tell the Council
the usual ways. If you want to ask for anything        David Reid – Environment and Neighbourhoods      to agree to a request in some cases. The
more general or unusual, please put it in              Merrion House, 110 Merrion Centre, LS2 8QB.      Commissioner’s details are as follows
writing, with your name and address, and send          E-Mail:
it (or email it) to one of the staff mentioned         Tel: 24 76255                                           Information Commissioner’s Office,
below. These people have been specially trained,                                                               Wycliffe House,
and will know how to handle your request. It           Tom Smith – Environmental Services                      Water Lane,
would help us if you try and send it to the            Knowsthorpe Gate, Cross Green, Leeds,                   Wilmslow,
directorate you think will have the information,       LS9 0NP                                                 Cheshire,
but if you’re not sure, just send it to anyone on      E-mail:                          SK9 5AF
the list, and they’ll make sure it gets to the right   Tel: 39 51672                                           Telephone: 01625 545700 Fax: 01625
person.                                                                                                        524510
Joanne Lancaster – Planning, Policy and                Martin Foster – Adult Social Care & Children’s          Email:
Improvement (Executive Support)                        Services                                         Website:
Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR.                            Merrion House, 110 Merrion Centre, LS2 8QB.      This publication is produced by Legal
E-mail:                  E-Mail:               Licensing & Registration and is
Tel: 24 76947                                          Tel: 24 78607
                                                                                                        available in Braille, Large Print, on
Victoria Ashwood - Planning,           Policy   and    Dean Backhouse – Procurement                     Tape or CD Rom. (Updated 18/06/08)
Improvement (ContactLeeds)                             Civic Hall, LS1 1UR
6 Grace Street, LS1 2RP                                E-mail:
E-mail:                         Tel: 2243702
Tel: 37 60086

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