Freedom of information advice

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


As the coronavirus pandemic situation continues it is likely that there will be delays in our usual response times. We are slowly returning to normal and hope to be fully back on track shortly.  We will always try to contact you if it is likely that your response will take longer than our usual deadlines. Thank you for your understanding during this unprecedented time. 

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("the Act") was passed by Government to encourage free and open access to information. This is information held by Public Authorities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It allows access for any person or organisation worldwide. There is no need for them to state their reason for wanting the information.

The act requires the Council to

  • develop and maintain a publication scheme and;
  • respond to any request for information within twenty working days in most cases

Who can make a request?

Absolutely anyone may make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

  • there is no age limit
  • you do not need to be a resident of the local region or even of the UK
  • you do not need to go through a solicitor or other third party. Although you are welcome to if you wish

Environmental Information

Environmental Information Regulations are very similar to the FOI Act. The Council will respond to requests within twenty working days in most cases. Examples of environmental information which the Council might hold include information about:

  • planning
  • waste management
  • pollution

Requests under the Environmental Information Regulations can be made verbally. However, we do encourage written requests under this legislation to ensure accuracy

Your rights can be found on the Information Commissioners Office.

You may sometimes be charged for environmental related information.  View details in the Council’s EIR Fees and Charges Policy.

View the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 Policy for further information.

Requesting information about yourself

You have a right to request information about yourself under the Data Protection Act 2018. You need to apply for the information in a different way.  This is because different rules and regulations apply.

For more information please see our Data Protection page.

Freedom of Information quarterly statistics

Council’s are encouraged to publish statistics on how well they have handled requests.  

The data published by Cornwall Council is based on the number of FOI responses that were due within the relevant quarter.  It shows the percentage of FOI responses which met the 20 working day target. 

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