Freedom of Information

We recognise the benefits of openness and engaging with the local community, and are committed to upholding the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).

Our Information guide lists the standard information required under the FOI publication scheme, using the FOI information classes:

If the information that you require is not already published, you can make a request in writing by:-

Freedom of Information
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters
Sadler Road
Winsford
Cheshire
CW7 2FQ

You must include your contact details and describe the information that you require.

Note in order to ensure proper use of public money, we are not obliged under FOI to provide information that is already published, or published on our behalf (eg by CLG). Please assist us by checking our website and Disclosure Log for available information before you make a request.

If you require any help or advice please telephone 01606 868704 or email us at Freedom-of-Information@cheshirefire.gov.uk

Charges and fees

There is no charge for the information available on this website.

There are charges for some of our services. These are explained in the section on Services.

If you request information and we estimate that it will take more than 18 hours work we can either ask a fee or refuse to produce the information due to the amount of work involved.

If the information you request incurs a charge or fee we will advise you prior to producing the information and try to offer a suitable alternative.

Unless we think the request will require more than 18 hours work, the only charges that we can make are for costs associated with providing the information, for example photocopying and postage.

How we handle Freedom of Information requests

We aim to acknowledge information requests within a few days. We may contact you for more information to help us to find the information you require. If you do not hear from us within a week please contact 01606 868888 or email Freedom-of-Information@cheshirefire.gov.uk

We will send you the information, a link to the information, or an explanation about why we cannot help within 20 working days of us receiving your request.

If you have any queries about the information we provide, or are not happy with our response to your request please contact us so that we can try to help.

Please note that we publish requests that we think may be of wider interest in our Disclosure Log on this web site.

Exempt information

Some information is restricted for legal reasons or falls under the FOI exemptions, such as where:

Providing the information is prevented by law, or is otherwise protected from disclosure.

  • Information is in draft form.

  • Information is in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons.

  • In these circumstances we will try to offer alternative information that might be of interest.

If the information you have asked for falls under an exemption, we will normally provide you with a written explanation, also called a refusal notice.

This will explain which one or more of the FOI exemptions applies, and tell you how to appeal if you disagree with our decision.

You can find out more about FOI exemptions from the Information Commissioner's Office (opens in new window)

Complaints

If you are dissatisfied with our handling of your request, with the time scales we have met or with our response we provide a formal internal process. Please write to the Freedom of Information Manager at the address above to set out your complaint. The complaint will be re-considered independently of the manager who first dealt with your request.

We will respond within 5 working days to acknowledge your complaint and explain the next steps. In most circumstances this will involve our view of our actions and decisions by a more senior officer.

If your complaint is upheld we will:

  • Review any exemptions applied and explain the decisions

  • If we failed to meet timescales we will provide an apology and an explanation    

  • If we can revise our decision we will provide any relevant information withheld

  • Re-evaluate  any costs relating to charges

We will write to you, normally within 25 working days, to explain the outcome of our review and explain our findings and any further options you have, including complaining to the Information Commissioner.

The Information Commissioner

If you are still not satisfied with our decision, or you still feel your complaint has not been handled properly, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner.

The Information Commissioner is responsible for enforcing the FOI Act, and for dealing with formal complaints. However she will only action complaints after the organisation's own complaints procedure has been followed as most issues can be satisfactorily resolved informally.

Information Commissioner website (opens in new window)

Email the Information Commissioner (opens in new window) 

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