Freedom of information

What The Freedom of Information (FOI) is and how to request information.

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 gives you the right of access to recorded information held by public authorities. This includes:

  • central and local government
  • parliament
  • NHS
  • schools
  • universities
  • the police and others

It is designed for public authorities to be open and transparent about the work they do, the decisions they make and how public money is spent.

Information you can request

You can ask for access to recorded information that the council already holds at the time of the request and which is not already available to the public. The act does not cover information that is already in the public domain or can already be viewed by the public.

There are some types of information that we do not have to provide under the act, such as:

  • personal information
  • commercially sensitive information
  • information that we do not already hold in recorded form

There is no obligation for us to create new information in response to a request or to answer questions which ask for speculation and opinion.

How to access your personal data

Personal information about you is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, but is covered by the Data Protection Act 2018.

To access information about you, you will need to make a Subject Access Request.

How to make a request

You can also make a FOI request by sending an email to or by post to the Information Governance Team, Room 233, Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove, BN3 3BQ.

Further help and advice 

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is an independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest. Get guidance from the ICO website

Download our Freedom of Information Policy (PDF 380KB).

Please contact our information governance team if you need any more help and advice.