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Requesting access to data

Please note: there are some temporary changes to how we provide access to information requested as a personal search related to Local Land Charges. To ensure the safety of staff and requesters, we are no longer offering a viewing service to access information under Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Search results will now be emailed directly to the customer until further notice. However, please be advised that current volumes of requests are currently well in excess of our usual volumes due to effects of the pandemic. Both of these factors are resulting in longer search and response times and so you may experience a delay in getting the information you have requested, and in some cases this may be longer than the statutory 20 day timeframe.

We apologise for any inconvenience in advance, but please be assured that we will are aiming to comply with the 20 day timeframe wherever possible.

Information that is already published

Before you start, there is already a lot of information on our website so we recommend you have a look at the site before making your request. Common enquiries include:

Requests for information (RFI)

We publish details of the requests for information we have previously answered which are available to view in our Disclosures Logs. If you require more information about the response or a specific request please contact the Disclosures Team.

How we deal with requests

There are several rights of access to information through the following:

  • the Freedom of Information Act (FOI)
  • the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR)
  • the Data Protection Act (DPA).

It doesn’t matter if you are not sure which law to request it under as we will always tell you how we have answered your request. All FOI/EIR requests will be answered within 20 working days.

A request for your own personal information under the Data Protection Act (a Subject Access Request) will be answered within one calendar month unless it is considered complex, where we may extend by a further two months.

This can be for any recorded information or environmental information held by us, or contractors on our behalf.

Request access to our data

Your personal data

You can request access to your personal data on our your right of access web page.

This can only be for your own information that may be held by us, for example, if we have previously provided you with social care support, or your Council Tax records.

If you are a personal representative requesting information on behalf of someone else then we will ask you for proof of their consent. For records relating to a deceased person, please use the FOI form. We may need to contact you for more details about your relationship to the deceased.

Reasons why you may not get your information

The law providing you with rights of access to information also allows us to refuse the information. These are called exemptions or exceptions.

We only do this in unique circumstances to safeguard other people’s personal data and/or for a legitimate reason that will be explained in our response to you. Details of the exemptions can be found on the ICO website.

If you are not happy with our response

If you are unhappy with how we have handled your FOI or EIR request you can ask for an internal review by replying to the FOI West mailbox outlining your reasons.

  • By post: Disclosures Team, Cheshire West and Chester Council, The Portal, Wellington Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BA

If you are unhappy with how we have handled your subject access request (DPA) you can request an internal review by replying to the DPA west mailbox outlining your reasons.

  • By post: Disclosures Team, Cheshire West and Chester Council, The Portal, Wellington Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BA

If we cannot resolve the matter quickly, an internal review will be arranged and you will be informed of the outcome. An internal review will involve a manager, a legal officer and/or a senior officer. They will independently review the handling and decision making on your request.

If you remain unhappy you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).