Information requests

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, you have the right to gain access to general information that we hold. Some of the data you need might already be published, or you may wish to submit a request to us.

You can find out more about FOI on the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

Making a freedom of information or environmental information request

Anyone is able to make a freedom of information or environmental information request.

If the information you are requesting is not available already for example through our website and relates to one of our services, you can make a request for information which  must be in writing by email to or by writing to:

Y&NY Combined Authority
(c/o) Assistant Director – Information Governance
County Hall

A request should contain the following information:

    • a contact address (postal or email)
    • a detailed explanation of the information you would like to access
    • the way you would like the information to be sent to you, for example via email, as paper copy (where we have an email address for you, unless you request otherwise, we will respond to your request by email.)

We generally reply to requests by email, but if you would like the information in any specific format let us know when you make your request. We will respond as soon as possible and normally within 20 working days. There may however be occasions where we need more time  to process a request such as to consider the public interest in releasing the information. If we need to extend the time taken to respond we will write to you and let you know.

When making a request you do not need to state if you are making a freedom or information or environmental information regulations request.

After submitting a request

Your request will be passed on to the relevant service area, who will be responsible for replying to you.

We will always provide as much information as possible, but there are rules that allow us to withhold certain types of information. For example, if providing the information would infringe someone else’s privacy or, if the information you have asked for is not environmental, would take longer than 18 hours to acquire. If we are unable to provide any information we will explain why.

Paying for an information request

Where we can provide information electronically, there won’t usually be a charge. If we need to provide a lot of information in hard copy, there may be a charge to cover printing and postage costs but we will tell you if this is the case.

In the case of a very complex request and the cost to service a request is estimated to cost in excess of £450.00 (more than 17 staff hours plus £25 disbursements) then the full cost, including staff time will need to be charged where the fee is calculated at over £450.00.

However in the case of a complex or particularly wide-ranging request which is likely to be expensive to answer, we will discuss this with the applicant to see if the question could be refined to a more manageable level to bring it below the £450 limit, which is in line with the requirement to provide advice and assistance to applicants.

If after providing advice and assistance, as required the request is still over the appropriate limit we can either turn the request down or answer the request and charge a fee;

Any fee would be calculated in line with our Charging Structure. If a fee is payable then we will advise you of this before processing your request.

Payment in advance will be necessary and if you do not pay the fee within three months of the original request, your request will be considered lapsed.

What can I do if I’m unhappy with the response I have received?

If you are unhappy with the way in which we have handled your request, the fee we have charged, or the reasons we have given for not providing information, you have the right to appeal.

The review of the request and information provided is a two-stage process.

Stage one

You can ask for an internal review of the response by a senior member of staff by contacting:
Assistant Director – Information Governance (Veritau)
Information Governance Office
County Hall

An officer who was not involved with the original decision will be appointed to conduct the internal review. The officer will evaluate your request, the information held by the Combined Authority and the initial response which was sent to your request. You will then be informed of the outcome of the review once it is complete.

If your request was for environmental information you need to write to us within 40 working days of our response to you.

Stage two

Following the internal review, if you are still dissatisfied, you can seek an independent review from the information commissioner. Requests for a review by the information commissioner, you can do this via the ICO’s website.

ICO helpline: 0303 123 1113.Tel: 01625 545745

You can find out more about the information commissioner on the ICO website.

Data protection

Your data protection and subject access requests

How to access personal data, information or records we hold about you or someone you are responsible for.

Data protection rights

Every individual has certain rights in relation to their own personal data and their privacy, and in relation to the information we keep about you.

Personal data is any information related to a living person, that could be used to directly or indirectly identify that person. A data subject is the living person that the personal data is about.

Right of access (subject access requests)

You have the right to access personal data we hold about you. This is called a subject access request. This could be electronic information in emails or databases, or paper information in files, records or archives. You can only access your own personal data. If data about other people is included within your files then it is likely that we may not provide you with this information.

Can I access someone else’s data on their behalf?

If you are acting on behalf of a data subject (such as if you are a parent, legal guardian, or solicitor) then you may still have a right of access to information about the data subject. You may need to provide us with documentary evidence. We would need the following evidence to be able to disclose records about someone else to you:

Data subject Evidence required
Child under 12 (or older child lacking mental capacity) Demonstrable evidence that you have parental responsibility for that child.
Child over 12 Your child may be asked to consent or agree to disclose data to you in certain circumstances.
Adult (who lacks mental capacity) Official paperwork listing you as legal guardian of the data subject.
Solicitor or agent (acting on behalf of an individual) A form of authority addressed specifically to the council and signed by the data subject or their legal representative. In some circumstances we may also request explicit consent from the data subject.

Can I access the records of someone who has died?

We cannot release information about someone who has died, except to the person who represents their estate. This is because of the common law of confidentiality that protects each person’s privacy. The person who represents the estate can be a person who has a ‘grant of probate’ (if the deceased left a will) or letter of administration (if the deceased did not leave a will or died intestate).

If you are the personal representative for the deceased person’s estate and affairs we will need to see the legal documentation proving this before giving you any records.

Do you have to give me the information I ask for?

In some circumstances we can not give you information. Examples of situations when this might happen include information from a court, or information which could prejudice a criminal investigation or cause mental or physical harm. These are known as exemptions.

Exemptions are not applied to information very often. We may not tell you if an exemption applies to the information, or why.

Right to erasure, right to rectification and right to restriction

Everyone has the right to request that we delete, correct or limit part or all of the personal information that we hold about you.

Where we are using your personal data based on a legal power or an official authority that we have, we will only agree to do this if:

  • we no longer require your personal data for the purpose that it was collected.
  • it is certain that the personal data we hold about you is incorrect; or

In most cases we will keep a record of your complaint or request along with the rest of your information.

Every situation is different and we make decisions in response to these requests on a case-by-case basis. We take into account anything that may be relevant, to decide whether we will take action.

Right to objection (right to object to automated decision making)

When we have used any ‘automated decision making’ software (that is, if a computer has made a decision about you without human involvement) then you have a right to ask for a human being to check the decision.

We will always tell you when we do use automated decision making and provide you with details about how you are able to appeal.

Making a data protection request

Download the data protection request form here.

You can send your completed form to the data protection officer via email or post via the address on the form.

You will also need to send copies of documents that prove your identity and address, so that we can be certain that only you have access to your personal data.

What kind of identification do I need to provide?

For proof of identity and address, you will need to provide a copy of two documents, one from section A and one from section B. You are advised to only send copies of these documents to us, and not the originals.

You can post us copies of these documents.

Primary trusted documents

  • current and valid passport;
  • current and valid driving licence photocard (full or provisional);
  • birth certificate (issued after time of birth);
  • adoption certificate;
  • marriage / civil partnership certificate;
  • HM Forces identity card; or
  • firearms licence.

Secondary trusted documents

    • mortgage statement – issued last 12 months;
    • bank or building society statement – issued in the last three months;
    • bank or building society account opening confirmation letter – issued in the last three months;
    • credit card statement – issued in the last three months;
    • financial statement, for example pension or endowment – issued in the last 12 months;
    • P45 or P60 statement – issued in the last 12 months;
    • council tax statement – issued in the last 12 months;
    • work permit or visa – non-expired;
    • letter of sponsorship from future employment provider – non-expired;
    • utility bill – issued in the last three months;
    • benefit statement, for example child benefit, pension – issued in the last three months;
    • central or local government, government agency, or local council document giving entitlement, for example from the department for work and pensions, the employment service, HMRC – issued in the last three months;
    • EU national ID card – non-expired;
    • cards carrying the PASS accreditation logo – non-expired; or
    • letter from head teacher or college principal – non-expired.

How long does it take?

Once we have checked your identity, and we are certain of what your request is, then we will let you know as soon as possible.

We then have up to 30 calendar days to respond to your request.

If your request is complex or very large, we may need a further 60 calendar days to deal with your request. We will write to you and let you know if this is the case.

Can I complain if I am unhappy?

If you are unhappy with the way in which your data has been handled or the way in which a data protection request has been answered then you may complain to our data protection officer.

Data Protection Officer
York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority

c/o Veritau

County Hall
North Yorkshire


Telephone: 01904 552848

If you are still unhappy with the response from our data protection officer, or if you would rather complain straight to a regulator, then you may make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office which regulates data protection and information governance matters in the UK.

You can do this via the ICO’s website.
ICO helpline: 0303 123 1113.

You can find out more information about your data protection rights from the Information Commissioner’s Office here.