Your right to information

About Gosport Borough Council

The Council is responsible for most of the day-to-day public services in Gosport.  It serves a population of around 78,000 and is responsible for services such as:

  • Managing council owned housing
  • Planning applications and control
  • Refuse collection and recycling
  • Street cleaning, public toilets, litter collection
  • Housing benefits, council tax and business rates collection
  • Electoral register and elections
  • Car parks and residents' parking permits
  • Leisure activities - museums, sports pitches, sports development, parks and open spaces

More information is available elsewhere on this website.

Hampshire County Council also provides services in the town such as education, social services, libraries highways and transport.  You can contact them on 01962 841841 or access their website www.hants.gov.uk.

What information do I have a right to see?

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires all public bodies including council to adopt and maintain a publication scheme.

The Publication Scheme is a guide to the information published routinely or automatically by the Council.  It is not a complete list of documents because this would change almost daily as new documents are produced.  Instead it is a list of classes of document that are published.  However, on the Council's website FOI links have been placed to key documents covered by the scheme.

We are committed to openness and we have tried to take into account the type of information that is frequently requested in the drawing up the classes for the scheme

What information do the scheme's classes cover?

Who we are and what we do. 
Organisational information, locations and contacts, constitutional and legal governance.

What we spend and how we spend it. 
Financial information relating to projected and actual income and expenditure, tendering, procurement and contracts.

What our priorities are and how we are doing. 
Strategy and performance information, plans, assessments, inspections and reviews.

How we make decisions. 
Policy proposals and decisions. Decision making processes, internal criteria and procedures, consultations.

Our policies and procedures. 
Current written protocols for delivering our functions and responsibilities.

Lists and Registers. 
Information held in registers required by law and other lists and registers relating to the functions of the authority.

The Services we Offer. 
Advice and guidance, booklets and leaflets, transactions and media releases.  A
description of the services offered.

The classes of information will not generally include:

  • Information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure.
  • Information in draft form.
  • Information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons.

What information is not included or "exempt"?

Exemptions Summary

FOI has a number of exemptions that permit public authorities to withhold some or all of the information requested, where a justifiable reason exists.

Absolute Exemptions (if one of these applies the information can be withheld)

Section 21 - Information accessible to applicant by other means
Section 23 - Information supplied by, or relating to, bodies dealing with security matters
Section 32 - Court records, etc
Section 34 - Parliamentary privilege
Section 36 - (part) Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs (only applies to information held by House of Commons or House of Lords)
Section 40 - (Part) Personal information (where the applicant is the subject of the information) - or personal data about another person
Section 41 - Information provided in confidence.
Section 44 - Prohibitions on disclosure where a disclosure is prohibited by an enactment or would constitute contempt of court.

Qualified Exemptions where the public interest test applies

Even if one of the exemptions applies, the information must be disclosed unless the public interest in withholding it is greater than the public interest in releasing it.

Section 22 - Information intended for future publication
Section 24 - National security
Section 26 - Defence
Section 27 - International relations
Section 28 - Relations within the United Kingdom
Section 29 - The economy
Section 30 - Investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities
Section 31 - Law enforcement
Section 33 - Audit Functions
Section 35 - Formulation of government policy, etc
Section 36 - (part) Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs (except information held by the House of Commons or the House of Lords)
Section 37 - Communications with Her Majesty, etc and honours
Section 38 - Health and safety
Section 39 - Environmental information as this can be accessed through the Environmental Information Regulations.
Section 40 - (Part) Personal data where section 10 of the Data Protection Act applies (i.e. likely to cause damage or distress)
Section 42 - Legal professional privilege
Section 43 - Commercial interests

Some documents are not available because they contain personal or commercially sensitive information.  Others will not be published if they would affect the Council's ability to carry out its duties in legal matters, audit functions, health or safety, security or effective conduct of public duties.  Further exemptions are set out in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which can be viewed on the HMSO website at www.legislation.gov.uk. (external link)

Your existing rights to information

The scheme is in addition to your existing rights of access to information such as your right to access your personal information which is covered by data protection and your right to access Council meetings, the information used in the meetings and ask questions at meetings of scrutiny committees.

For more information on data protection contact Freedom of Information Officer on 023 9254 5401 or email foi@gosport.gov.uk and to find out more about attending meetings and your rights, click here for the Democratic Services website.

Do I have to pay to see information?

You can view and download most of the documents covered by this scheme on our website for free.  Most paper publication are free of charge for your own use but we may charge you for the cost of photocopying, postage and packaging, if we have to copy a larger document for your.  Some documents may attract a small charge such as planning documents including development briefs, decision notices, lists of planning application and the Local Plan.

Fees and Charging

Gosport Borough Council will charge for FOI requests in line with the national FOI fees regulations.

If the cost to GBC of finding and retrieving the information does not exceed £450 (equivalent to 18 hours work), there will be no charge other than for disbursements (see below)

If above cost exceeds £450, GBC will decline the request. However, we will assist the requester to refine the request and determine what might be achieved within the £450 limit.

Disbursements (photocopying, copying to different media, postage etc) will be free up to £10. Above this, we will charge the full costs.

Where fees are required, we will issue a Fees Notice requesting payment. Following this, the request will not be progressed until the fees have been paid. The time taken to pay the fees does not count as part of the 20 working day target for responding to requests.

If you would like a copy of this scheme in another format, please contact the Freedom of Information Officer, Town Hall, High Street, Gosport, PO12 1EB
Telephone: 023 9254 5401  Fax: 023 9254 5587
Email: foi@gosport.gov.uk

Icon for pdf Document Retention Schedule [135.98KB]