Merton Council

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Freedom of information

You have a right to access much of the information that the council holds. That right is provided by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ('FOI') and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 ('EIR'). Before requesting information, please check our publication scheme and open data pages to see if the information you are looking for has already been published.

Request information

To request information from us email

Under FOI and EIR certain information will not be disclosed, such as personal details about individuals, information provided in confidence or information that may prejudice the prevention of crime. If your request will take us more than 18 hours we will ask you to refine it. If we cannot supply the information you ask for we will tell you why, and which FOI or EIR exemptions apply.

You can ask for a copy of personal information we hold about you; details are on the page How to request your information.

How long it takes

We will normally provide the information requested within 20 working days, starting from the working day after we receive your request. If we need to ask you to clarify your request, the 20 days will start from when the request is complete.

Our charges

Normally there is no charge for information requests. However, if you ask for a large amount of information, we may charge you for the printing, photocopying and postage costs. We will tell you if a charge applies before we process your request, and you can cancel or reduce your request at that time.

What your requests cost

Research carried out by University College London in 2010 indicated that the average time to deal with a request is 6.4 hours, which at the rate of £25 per hour (the amount assumed in the legislation) means that each request costs an average of £158.33 to handle. Using this guideline, the total cost to Merton Council of dealing with FOI and EIR requests is:

Year Requests Cost
2016/17 1,630 £258,077.90
2015/16 1,500 £237,495.00
2014/15 1,489 £235,753.37
2013/14 1,543 £244,303.19
2012/13 1,263 £199,970.79
2011/12 1,259 £199,337.47


If we have refused to supply information and you do not accept that refusal, or if you do not agree that we have provided the information that you asked for, you can appeal to us. We will review our decision and let you know the outcome. If you are still unhappy with our response, you can then appeal to the Information Commissioner.

Other information

The Publication scheme page lists information that public bodies must make available. Councils are also required to publish information under the government's 'transparency agenda', and you will find this on our Open data pages. There is information about the RPSI regulations on the Re-use of public sector information page

We also publish brief details of recent requests made on the Recent information requests page.

Contact us

The Information Governance Team
Merton Civic Centre
London Road

Telephone: 020 8545 4634

This page was last updated on Monday 5 June 2017

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