Freedom of Information advice

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) gives people a general right of access to information held by public authorities.

The act was introduced to help bring about a culture of openness within the public sector. Information held by public authorities should be available and accessible to everyone.

It gives the public access to most structured information held by the council. This means reports, documents, emails, maps, and audio visual recordings, unless the council is entitled to apply for a legal exemption.

The Information Commissioner is the independent authority responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act. Under the Act all councils needs to adopt a publication scheme.

How to make an FOI request

Most information about the council can be found on our website or via our publication scheme.

If the information you are seeking is not on any of these then you can search our disclosure log which provides a list of information that has been provided in response to FOI requests.

If you cannot find the information you are seeking on the disclosure log then you can make a FOI request by:

  • filling in our online FOI request
  • filling in a FOI request form available from the council’s Ideas stores, libraries and One Stop Shops
  • emailing foi@towerhamlets.gov.uk
  • in writing 

Contact details

The Information Governance Team
Chief Executive’s Directorate
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
E14 2BG

Tel: 020 7364 4354
Fax: 020 7364 4804

All requests must be in writing and a valid correspondence email or postal address must be provided. 

You should give as much detail as possible to help us identify the information you are seeking, though we will be happy to assist you with this. If we need more detail from you to identify the information, we will contact you.

Will there be a charge?

If the council can provide the information you have requested within 18 hours of staff time there will be no charge for staff time.

The only other charge that might be taken into account is the cost of photocopying and postage (disbursements).

For more information on charges visit:

How will we respond?

We will respond as far as possible in the way you wish us to. This can be by post, email or arranged personal collection, for example.   We will provide you with the information requested within 20 working days where we can, or tell you why we are unable to do so. If for any reason there is likely to be a delay, we will let you know. 

What you can do if you are unhappy about a decision on your request?

Initially, you should contact the council’s Information Governance Team at the above address. If the officer is unable to help, then you should complain through the council’s complaints procedure:

Corporate Complaints
Chief Executive’s Directorate,
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
E14 2BG

Tel: 020 7364 4161
Email: complaints@towerhamlets.gov.uk

If you remain unhappy with the council’s response, you can then contact the Information Commissioner and ask him to investigate the matter.

Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 016 2554 5745

Email: data@dataprotection.gov.uk

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