Open Data

We are committed to transparency in Local Government and have illustrated this through, for example, providing relevant information to the Community. As part of our commitment we have developed a strategy on Open Data which aims to publish a number of datasets in a format that can be easily manipulated and used by you, and appropriate software packages.

5 key principles

  1. Accountability (transparency, FOI).
  2. Choice (customers, personalisation agenda, social care for example).
  3. Productivity (effective and efficient use of resource).
  4. Quality and Outcomes (aligned to 8 outcomes).
  5. Social and Economic Growth (business, skills training).

Publishing our data

To support this strategy we have established a working group to identify and publish datasets to the Community.

We are working closely with the Open Data Community in Sheffield, as well as other partners on what we make available to the public.

You can use our dataset site to search for, or browse through datasets.

Publication Scheme (Freedom of Information)

We produce a wide range of information about our services and the work we do.

A lot of this information is available at our libraries and reception points, and we also distribute information about our services to doctors' surgeries, advice centres, community centres and so on.

We operate a Publication Scheme under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI). FOI and the related Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by ourselves.

The FOIA aims to promote openness and accountability amongst public authorities and to facilitate better public understanding of how public authorities carry out their duties, why they make the decisions they do and how they spend public money.

We are fully committed to making as much information as possible available and is committed to open and transparent government. We have adopted the definition document for principal local authorities approved by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). This commits us to make information available to the public as part of our normal business activities.

We are currently updating our Publication Scheme and this will be published in the near future.

Types of information available

Our Publication Scheme shows the types of information that we will routinely make available on our website:

  • who we are and what we do
  • what we spend and how we spend it
  • what are our priorities and how are we doing?
  • how we make decisions
  • our policies and procedures
  • lists and Registers
  • services we provide
  • election information

Making a Freedom of Information Act request

If we have not already published the information which you require you can make a Freedom of Information request.

Once you have made your request we must contact you either with the information you require or with an explaination for any delay or why we are unable to provide the information.

We recommend reading the guidance on making a request which is available on the Information Commissioner's Office website before making a request.

Make a Subject Access request

If you are a member of the public wanting to request a copy of your own personal information (or someone acting on behalf of a member of the public) then please make a Subject Access request. A Subject Access request needs to be made in writing by filling out and returning one of our forms. There is a £10 fee per application and we require 2 forms of identification:

  • one with your name and date of birth
  • one with your name and current address (dated within the last 3 months)

If you are the personal representative acting on behalf of someone (ie your child, relative, friend), we will also need some additional identification to prove that you are entitled to act on their behalf. 

Once we have received your request, fee and satisfactory identification, you should expect to receive a response to your request within 40 calendar days.

Organisations requesting personal data: Section 29(3) 

Organisations can request Personal information from us under Section 29(3) of the Data Protection Act. If you are a member of the public wanting to request a copy of your own personal information (or someone acting on behalf of a member of the public) then please make a Subject Access request using the form above.

The Data Protection Act is a law designed to ensure organisations protect any personal information they hold from disclosure to a third party. However, in certain circumstances, there are times when we are permitted to disclose personal information to a third party organisation.

Section 29(3) of the Data Protection Act allows ourselves, to disclose personal information to a third party, where it would help:

  • the prevention or detection of crime
  • the apprehension/prosecution of offenders
  • the collection of taxes

Requests for information like this generally come from the Police, HM Revenue and Customs, UK Visas and Immigration and other organisations with the power to investigate crime and/or collect tax.

Further information - requesting information under Section 29(3)

We will help organisations where possible by disclosing information which would help the prevention/detection of crime and/or for the collection of tax. 

However, disclosures will only be made when we are satisfied that Section 29(3) of the Data Protection Act applies and the requesting organisation has exhausted all other avenues of investigation.

When an organisation submits a request for personal information and states that it is Section 29(3) request, there is no obligation on ourselves to disclose the requested information. 

Even if Section 29(3) does apply, we may decide not to release the requested information.

So that we comply with the Legislation, all Section 29(3) requests submitted to ourselves must clearly detail:

  • what information is required
  • who the information relates to
  • the reason why it is required (this may include what law has been broken and being investigated and/or what type of tax is being collected)
  • how it would assist the prevention/detection of crime and/or for the collection of tax

Any requests which simply state Section 29(3) Request and provide no further details will not be processed.

Request CCTV camera footage & information

Request CCTV (closed-circuit television) footage where you are the person shown on the footage, or you are acting for that person (family member, solicitor, insurer etc).

Please provide some additional information in order to help us find the footage:

  • date and time of incident (24 hour clock hh:mm)
  • describe the incident (give as much information as possible about what happened)
  • vehicle details (if applicable)
  • the camera location/s (include the relevant camera number if possible)

Please use the CCTV Subject Access Request Supplementary Form.

Follow our Subject Access Request process, provide identification documents and pay the £10 fee.

Request footage of third parties

We handle these requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

The majority of requests are likely to be refused if deemed to be the personal information of other people as an exemption from disclosure is likely to apply.

If you do wish to pursue a request for CCTV footage under the FOI you can, email the specific request to

Request footage under Section 35 of the Data Protection Act

Disclosures required by law or made in connection with legal proceedings:

  • organisations required by law or made in connection with legal proceedings
  • disclosure of CCTV footage is required by law

The fee for copies of CCTV images for section 35 for CCTV footage, please email

Tell us what information you would like and why it is necessary for the purpose of legal proceedings or confirm the disclosure is required by law.

Data matching to prevent fraud

We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for:

  • auditing
  • administrating public funds
  • where undertaking a public function

We participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative: a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud.

We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise, as detailed here.

Checking personal information records

The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises. Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match, which is usually personal information.

Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified.Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.