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Ribble Valley Borough Council

Freedom of Information and Data Protection

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004

What are the Environmental Information Regulations 2004?

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (the EIR) have similar aims to the FOIA. The EIR are, however, in some respects wider in scope than the FOIA (partly because the public interest in respect of allowing access to environmental information is perceived to be even greater than that in respect of other, more general, information).

How do I request environmental information from Ribble Valley Borough Council?

Information can be obtained under the EIR from Ribble Valley Borough Council by submitting a request:

  • by email to toni.towers@ribblevalley.gov.uk; or
  • in writing to: The Freedom of Information Officer (Legal Department), Ribble Valley Borough Council, Council Offices, Church Walk, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 2RA.

A request under the EIR need not be submitted in writing, nor does it need to specify that it is made under the EIR. It would, however, be helpful if you could set your request out in writing. It would also be helpful if you could specify in your request the format in which you would prefer our response (e.g. email or hard copy).

In some cases a charge for information may be applied. Our "Fees Policy", contains further information on this.

When will I hear back from Ribble Valley Borough Council?

Ribble Valley Borough Council will respond to an  request for environmental information quickly and will usually (except in certain prescribed circumstances) respond within twenty working days following the date of receipt of the request.

We may extend the period of twenty working days to 40 working days where we believe that the complexity and volume of the information requested means that it is impracticable either to comply with the request within the earlier period or to make a decision to refuse to do so.

Where we cannot comply with your request within these time limits or where an exception under the EIR applies, we will write to you to explain why/what the exception is.

When will Ribble Valley Borough Council not provide me with information that I have requested?

The EIR apply only to environmental information, as defined in the EIR.

Where we do not consider the information to be environmental information, we will treat your request as a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will respond accordingly.

The EIR recognise that certain information either should or, in certain circumstances, may not be made available upon request. In this regard, the EIR provides for a list of exceptions upon which public authorities, such as Ribble Valley Borough Council, can rely when there are good reasons as to why they should not fully comply with a request for information.

The Ribble Valley Borough Council will therefore have regard to these exceptions when it is considering your request.

The Ribble Valley Borough Council is, however, able to provide the vast majority of information that is requested and does do so. In so far as possible, Ribble Valley Borough Council will endeavour to comply with all information requests and to explain our reliance upon the EIR's exceptions whenever these are applicable.

Can I use the information provided for any purpose?

No: If you want to re-use or reproduce our publications (for example, commercially or for circulation for education/ training purposes) you will, in most cases, need to apply for a copyright licence.

What if I am unhappy with the Council's response to my request?

If you, as an applicant, are dissatisfied with our initial response you can seek an internal review of that decision. A member of staff who was not involved with the original request will undertake the review.

If you remain dissatisfied, you can seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner.

Requests for a review by the Information Commissioner should be made in writing directly to: The Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.