Freedom of information advice and requests

Find out what information is available and make or pay for a request online.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, you have the right to request access to general information that we hold.

Before submitting a request

Before you submit a request you may find it useful to look at the disclosure logs below. These are a monthly list of requests which we have already responded to. You can request a copy of the response, which will be sent to you within five working days.

You may also wish to check the council's  publication scheme (pdf / 173 KB) which identifies information already published by the council.

It is important to remember that within North Yorkshire there are seven district and borough councils as well as the county council. Each are responsible for different functions within North Yorkshire, as follows:

County council

  • information regarding bona vacantia cases
  • education and libraries
  • highways and public transport
  • household waste recycling centres and the North Yorkshire County Council and City of York waste treatment contract (there are specific details about  obtaining information on the waste treatment project (pdf / 55 KB))
  • public rights of way
  • social care
  • trading standards

District councils

  • benefits and social housing
  • council tax collection
  • electoral register and elections
  • environmental health (including stray animals) and waste collection
  • leisure facilities
  • on street closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras
  • planning applications

Submit a request

If the information you are requesting is in relation to a county council service, you can make a request for information using our online form below. Otherwise, see contact your district or borough council to make a request.

Make an FOI request

Or, you can contact the information governance team by emailing infogov@northyorks.gov.uk or writing to Information Governance Manager, Internal Audit Service, County Hall, Northallerton, DL7 8AL, stating your name, postal or email address and what information you would like. It will help us if you explain as clearly as possible exactly what information you are interested in. 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 within 20 working days.

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. See  additional information on the reasons why we might not be able to provide information (pdf / 137 KB).

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 advise you if this is the case. See our  freedom of information charges (pdf / 20 KB).

If we have contacted you requesting payment, you can pay using our online form:

Pay for an FOI request

Frequently asked questions

Bona vacantia is a legal term used when an individual dies without leaving a next of kin and without a last will and testament. This is also known as dying intestate.

Depending on where an individual is resident when they die will determine which organisation is responsible for trying to locate benefactors of the estate, or referring the case to the Treasury Solicitor's office. If an individual dies in a residential care or nursing home and was receiving social care services this responsibility usually falls to the county council.

We regularly receive requests under the Freedom of Information Act for information about bona vacantia cases. To facilitate public access to this information, and to reduce the workload associated with responding to these requests, details of bona vacantia cases are routinely published. The published information includes cases which have been passed to, or which are under consideration to be passed to the Treasury Solicitor. Cases dating back to 2003 are published (excluding cases which have been resolved) and the information will be updated every two months. Any individual submitting a freedom of information request for this information will be redirected to this page under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act (information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant by other means).
 
We have chosen not to publish private addresses of deceased individuals as this information could be used in the pursuit of crime (by targeting empty properties). This information is therefore withheld under section 31(1)(a) - Law Enforcement (Prevention and Detection of Crime) of the Freedom of Information Act and we publish the town of death only. The exception is where the individual was resident in care home at the time of their death, in which case we will publish the name of the care home.

North Yorkshire County Council bona vacantia cases

A list of bona vacantia cases managed by the county council can be found here:

Further information

If you are interested in bona vacantia cases across North Yorkshire you may also wish to contact the seven district and borough councils in the county and the relevant health trusts as they have responsibility for some bona vacantia cases, depending on the circumstances in which an individual has died.

Public health funerals

Under the Public Health Act (1984) if a resident passes away outside of a hospital and there are no persons willing or able to pay for a funeral then necessary arrangements must be made by the local authority to arrange a public health funeral. Within North Yorkshire this responsibility lies with district and borough councils, rather than the county council. You can find more information on the relevant council's website.

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 emailing the information governance manager at infogov@northyorks.gov.uk or by writing to:

Information Governance Manager
Internal Audit Service
County Hall, Northallerton, DL7 8AL

The corporate director strategic resources will appoint an officer who was not involved with the original decision to conduct the internal review. The officer will evaluate your request, the information held by the county council and the initial response which was sent to your request. You will then be informed of the outcome of the review in due course.

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 remain dissatisfied, you can seek an independent review from the information commissioner. Requests for a review by the information commissioner should be made in writing directly to:

The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545745
Email: casework@ico.org.uk

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

We recognise there is likely to be significant public interest in the planning and regulatory functions committee decision for Third Energy to undertake fracking for shale gas in the vicinity of Kirby Misperton.

See the Kirby Misperton shale gas application by Third Energy page for further information about the planning application process.

Viewing documents

You can view all documents relating to this application by going to the online planning register.

The maps below show the application site in a local and county context.

Video recordings of the planning meetings

See the Kirby Misperton shale gas application by Third Energy section on the planning application page for video recordings of the planning and regulatory functions committee meeting from 20 May and 23 May 2016.

Minutes of all meetings with Third Energy

Minutes of all meetings with Third Energy can be found on the planning register and  additional minutes of meetings with Third Energy not relating to the planning merits can be found here (pdf / 226 KB).