Council to seek advice on Freedom of Information Act

Rothbury Parish Council is seeking advice from the Information Commissioner’s office about Freedom of Information requests.

Chairman Mark Gilson said that ‘we don’t want to hide behind the law’ when it comes to Freedom of Information requests.

But he said that the number-one priority was to be, a, legal and, b, sensitive.

Normally Freedom of Information requests can be replied to with ease, but in some cases a council may need further time to look up information, which costs time and money.

A public authority can charge people for the costs of sending the information, such as photocopying and postage. These are known as ‘disbursements’.

At the parish council meeting on Wednesday, Coun Gilson said the situation was ‘more than a little complicated’ as the council has no current tarrif for dealing with Freedom of Information requests.