Access to archival information

Freedom of Information act (2000) and Environmental Information Regulations act (2004)

Please note: this page refers to the Freedom of Information act (2000), the Environmental Information Regulations act (2004) as applied to the records held by the County Record Office only.

For more information on how to access other information from Warwickshire County Council visit their website.

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information Act came into full force in January 2005. It gives everyone an opportunity to find out what publicly funded bodies do, and how they do it. One of its key aims is to make public authorities more accountable and open.

Warwickshire County Record Office is part of Warwickshire County Council. This means that the archives and other information that we hold are covered by the Freedom of Information Act, as well as information and records about the management of Warwickshire County Council services.

How does it help me to access the records held by the County Record Office?

The Freedom of Information Act governs the way we deal with requests for information held in records that are unavailable for general access in the public searchroom. These would be records that are of a sensitive or confidential nature such as some medical, coroners’ and court records.

Whilst the Act gives you the right to ask for such information, it does not mean that all information requested will be released, as the Act lists a number of “exemptions” – categories of information that cannot be released.

How do I make an FOI request?

If you would like access to information contained in records that are unavailable for general access, you should write to or email us with details of what you want to see. Or, if you prefer, you can download the Freedom of Information request form.

We may refer you to our Paid Research Service in order for us to establish whether or not we have information which is relevant to your enquiry. If we do find relevant information, we may have to consult with a third party before we can determine whether or not the information can be released to you. We will let you know what is happening at each stage of your enquiry. The charge for the Paid Research Service is £30.00 per hour, or part thereof.

Please note:
If you write to us about access to information which is freely available for consultation in our public searchroom we will inform you of this and invite you to consult the material in person.

Similarly, if you want to use our paid research service, we will send you details and an application form for this service. Alternatively you can download an application form from the paid research service page.

What if I am not happy with the final response?

If we refuse to supply all or part of any information you have asked for, we will write to you giving our reasons for refusal. If you are not satisfied with the reasons or the manner in which your request was dealt with you have the right to request that the County Council carry out an internal review of the matter.

All requests for an internal review should be made in writing and the matter will be dealt with under the County Council’s internal review procedure, as follows:

  • The matter will be dealt with on behalf of the Monitoring Officer by a senior officer with appropriate knowledge and experience. Ordinarily this will be the Deputy Monitoring Officer, the Corporate Legal Services Manager or a member of their team as nominated by them.
  • The internal review procedure is a single stage review process which in most cases will be completed within no more than 20 working days from the date of the request.
  • In some circumstances the review may take longer (e.g. if the matter is complex) however it should take no longer than 40 working days from the date of the request.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may also appeal to the Information Commissioner if you feel we have not complied with our obligations. Your rights are explained on the Information Commissioner’s publication.

If you need further advice, please do not hesitate to contact us online or contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Useful links

Please see our Privacy Notice for how your personal information is used.