Freedom of Information Access to Information Policy
24 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION POLICY
24.1 To meet the requirements of the Act which came into force on 28 February 2003, Saffron Walden Town Council has examined the range of documents it holds and resolved to make many of these available to the public.
24.2 The Town Clerk will take responsibility for the scheme and will manage it on a day to day basis and the full contact details are provided in Appendix I.
24.2 Classes of Information for publication are attached at Appendix II.
24.3 These are based on the Model Scheme for Local Councils and reflect the responsibilities of Saffron Walden Town Council.
Availability of Information
24.4 The details of the scheme will be available:
24.4.1 in person from the Town Council office, Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm or by post from the same address. The full address is in Appendix I.
24.4.2 the website - www.saffronwalden.gov.uk
24.4.3 arrangements will be made with the local RNIB office to have text translated into Braille if required
Charges for Information
24.5 The Town Council will not charge for the inspection of documents or for viewing the information.
The following charges will apply for supplying copies of documents:
10 or under £1
20 - £2
30 - £3
There will be a minimum copy fee of £10 payable (at the discretion of the Town Clerk)
The Council reserves the right to make additional charges to that contained within item 24.5 in line with the charges as published by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
The Town Council complies with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The biggest cost in providing information under the FOI Act is likely to be staff time. Staff time is provisioned at £25 per person per hour, regardless of who does the work, including external contractors. In accordance with the 2000 Act, there is a limit of £600 of staff costs attributable to the FOI request (or 24 staff hours). Any refusal from the Town Council to provide information will be communicated in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Rights and Complaints
24.6 From 1 March 2003 any person will have the right to receive a copy of the information described in the Publication Scheme and, where that information is available in printed format the Council will endeavor to provide copies within 10 working days of receiving the request.
24.7 If you are unhappy with the way in which Saffron Walden Town Council has dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 you should raise the matter in accordance with our usual Complaints Procedure.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000
Saffron Walden Town Council has RESOLVED to adopt the Model Scheme for Local Councils (core classes plus optional classes within core classes and optional classes) as outlined at Appendix II.
Saffron Walden Town Council, 11 Emson Close, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1HL has adopted the Model Scheme titled ‘Saffron Walden Town Council – Access to Information Policy’ produced in accordance with Section 20 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will publish information in accordance with that scheme.
The contact details for the person who will be responsible for maintaining the publication scheme and who should be contacted if any issues arise concerning the organisation’s compliance with the Freedom of Information Act is:
Saffron Walden Town Council
11 Emson Close
Tel: 01799 516 501
CLASSES OF INFORMATION
1. COUNCIL INTERNAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Minutes of Council, Committee and sub-Committee meetings – limited to the last 2 years
Procedural Standing Orders
Councils Annual Report to Parish Meeting
Agendas and supporting papers for Council, Committee and sub-Committee meetings – limited in each case to the forthcoming/immediate meeting.
Terms of Reference for Committees
2. CODE OF CONDUCT
Members' Declaration of Acceptance of Office
Members' Register of Interests
Register of Members' Interests Book
3. PERIODIC ELECTORAL REVIEW
This is information concerning changes to the electoral arrangements for Parish, Town and Community Councils. It includes recommendations for the creation of new wards, the amendment of existing wards, proposals for the names of new wards and alterations to the number of Councillors to be elected to the Council.
Information relating to the last Periodic Electoral Review of the Council area
Information relating to the latest boundary review of the Council area
4. EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Terms & conditions of employment
Equal Opportunities Policy
Health and Safety Policy
Exclusions – ‘personal records’ i.e. appraisals, employee-specific salary details, disciplinary records, sickness records and the like by virtue of being personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998.
5. PLANNING DOCUMENTS
Responses to planning applications
6. AUDIT AND ACCOUNTS
Annual return – limited to the last financial year
Annual Statutory report by auditor (internal and external) – limited to the last financial year
Receipt/Payment books, receipt books of all kinds, bank statements from all accounts – limited to the last financial year
Precept request – limited to the last financial year
VAT records – limited to the last financial year
Financial Standing Orders and Regulations
Safety Inspection records for playgrounds
Fees and charges applied by the Town Council
Exclusions - all commercially sensitive information e.g. quotations and tenders, loan documentation and insurance policies. With regard to quotations and tenders, this information is treated as confidential to ensure that the whole tender process is fair i.e. if tender information is released to a third party prior to the end of the tender period those who initially submitted tenders could be undercut and/or unfairly disadvantaged.
7. DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY
Policy Statements issued by Council
Responses made by Council to consultation papers.
Analysis of responses received to public consultations by the Council.
Complaints handling procedure.
Made for any of the following purposes:
The regulation of a pleasure ground or public space
The regulation of an open space
9. COUNCIL CIRCULARS/NEWSLETTERS
Town, Parish, Community guide
Standard tenancy Agreements
Exclusions: individual tenancy agreements and rent payment records under both privacy and data protection laws
The Town Council will also comply with the information required to be available under the Local Government Transparency Code 2014 which prescribes certain information which must be made available by publication on the Council’s website