Accessibility Toolbar Accessibility Statement

Guidance on Publication Schemes, Classes of Information and Guidance to Information


Freedom of Information Act 2000 - publication scheme

In implementing the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council promotes an understanding of the work undertaken within the Council to foster a spirit of trust with the public and other organisations. We achieve this by promoting transparency in the way we make our decisions and by providing clear information about our policies and processes through our publication scheme. We deal with individual requests for information courteously and promptly and provide advice and assistance if necessary.

What is Freedom of Information?

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities. It lists exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities.

The Act came into force in two stages:

  • The first stage was in February 2003 when the Council adopted a Publication Scheme.
  • The second stage came into force in January 2005. Any person now making a request to a public authority for information must be informed whether the public authority holds that information and supplied with that information. This is subject to a number of exemptions listed in the Act.

What is a publication scheme?

A Publication Scheme is a guide to the classes of information that the Council publishes or intends to publish routinely. The term “published” is broad and is not limited to information produced in paper forms. As far as the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is concerned, information made publicly available has been published. Therefore, information on the Council’s website is as much part of the Publication Scheme as printed documents.

What are classes of information?

A requirement of the Act is to specify “classes” of information that the Council will publish within its Publication Scheme.

The Information Commissioner has issued a ‘Model Publication Scheme' and the Council has adopted the ‘Model Scheme’.

The information covered by the Model Scheme is included in the 7 classes of information listed below, where this information is held by the authority:

  • Who we are and what we do
  • What we spend and how we spend it
  • What our priorities are and how we are doing
  • How we make decisions
  • Our policies and procedures
  • Lists and registers
  • The services we offer

Examples of the type of information available are given below under the Guidance to Information.

By adopting the Information Commissioner’s ‘Model Scheme’ the Council is committed to the following:

  • To proactively publish information (including environmental information which is held by it and contained within each class)
  • To provide a means by which the Council can ensure the public are aware of the sorts of information the Council has committed to make readily available, how they can access it and whether they will have to pay for it.
  • To review and update the information on a regular basis and in accordance with The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities Review Guidance

How will I request additional information not covered by this scheme?

The Council includes as much information in the Publication Scheme as it can however, if you cannot find what you are looking for you can make a request for the information.

The Act is retrospective and information requests can be for information created before the Act came fully in to force in 2005. However, where any of the information comes within an exempt category either under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or other relevant legislation, it will be published with the exempt material deleted.


Will I be charged for information?

Material which is published and accessed on the website can be downloaded free of charge. Some information may only be available in hard copy and some information will only be available for inspection. Charges may be made for information subject to a legal charging regime. Charges under the publication scheme may be made for actual disbursements such as:

  • Photocopying
  • Printing
  • Postage and packaging
  • The cost directly incurred as a result of viewing information

Any charges will be in accordance with the Council’s fees and charging guidance.

Who do I contact?

For information concerning the scheme you can contact the following:

The Borough Solicitor
Tameside One
Market Place



Making a complaint, suggestion or compliment

If you are not satisfied with the Council’s response to a request for information you may make a complaint to the address below:

The Borough Solicitor
Tameside One
Market Place

Send a message

If after going through the Council’s formal complaint and appeals system you are still not satisfied then the Freedom of Information Act 2000 makes provision for you to complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office:

The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House,
Water Lane

Reviewing and maintaining the scheme

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 states that a publication scheme should be reviewed from time to time. The Council is responsible for reviewing and maintaining this guide to information and the data it contains. Material will be updated and any outdated information will be removed. This guide and operation of the scheme will be reviewed annually in accordance with The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities Publication Schemes Review Guidance.

Copyright and re use of materials

Reproducing material supplied under this Publication Scheme without the express permission of the Council may be an infringement of copyright.  Requests for permission should be addressed to the Borough Solicitor at the address detailed above.  Further information can be found here.

Guidance to information

The Council’s A–Z web pages provide a guide to the information available; there is also a search facility to assist you to find other information that may not be included in the A-Z. 

The guidance below is intended to assist you by giving some examples of the type of information the Council routinely makes available.

Where a document is indicated as available within this guidance it will be the current version.

The classes of information detailed below will not generally include:

  • Information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure.
  • Information in draft form.
  • Information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons.
  • Information that is not held by the Council.

1. Who we are and what we do

  • Council constitution

The Council’s Constitution

  • Council democratic structure

Information about the functioning and process of meetings (Council Meetings, Executive and other Committees); information about decision-making and scrutiny.

  • Council directorate structure

Information about the various directorates and service areas within the Council, plus contact details for the Chief Executive and Corporate Directors; (see the Management Structure in the Council’s constitution).

  • Location and opening times of council properties

Information about locations, opening times and contact details of all the Council’s centres/buildings, which are there to enable the public to access Council services.

  • Currently elected councillors’ information and contact details

Currently elected councillors including party, membership of committees, address, telephone number and email contact.

  • Contact details for all customer-facing departments

Telephone numbers for customer contacts or one stop shops.

  • Most recent election results

Election results indicating the political composition of the Council.

  • Relationships with other authorities

For example, information about the Greater Manchester Fire Service, the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities and the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive.

2. What we spend and how we spend it

  • Financial statements, budgets and variance reports

The Council’s Statement of Accounts.

  • Capital programme

Budget Report, including the capital programme, and Asset Management Plan.

  • Spending reviews

The Council’s Statement of Accounts and Committee reports.

  • Financial audit reports

For example within District Audit Reports, Annual Governance Reports and Best Value Reports.

  • The members’ allowances scheme and the allowances paid under it to councillors each year

For example the allowances members are entitled to claim and the amount members receive in expenses.

  • Staff allowances and expenses

Mileage, accommodation, subsistence rates that can be claimed by staff.

  • Pay and grading structure

Salary bands for all grades, including senior and chief officer grades.

  • Procurement procedures

Procurement standing orders and guidance.

  • Details of contracts currently being tendered

Contracts currently available for public tender.

  • List of contracts awarded and their value

Contracts awarded under the Public Contract Regulations 2006 as published in The Official Journal of the European Union.

  • District auditor’s reports

For example within District Audit Reports, Annual Governance Reports and Best Value Reports.

  • Financial statements for projects and events

The Council’s Statement of Accounts.

  • Internal financial regulations

Financial regulations under the Council’s Standing Orders, as contained in the Council’s Constitution.

  • Funding for partnership arrangements

Details of partnership funding for example The Children's Fund was launched as part of the government's commitment to tackle disadvantage among children and young people.

3. What our priorities are and how we are doing

  • Annual reports

The Council’s Statement of Accounts and Annual Report.

  • Strategies and business plans for services provided by the Council

Strategies, business and service plans, including the Corporate Plan, Budget Report, including the capital programme, and the asset management plan.

  • Internal and external organisation performance reviews

Performance information including, for example, the Corporate Plan.

  • Strategies developed in partnership with other authorities

For example housing strategies and plans, education strategies, homeless strategies, customer involvement strategies and crime reduction strategies.

  • Economic development action plan

Economic development strategy and plan.

  • Forward plan

The Council’s Forward Plan which details the Key Decisions that the Council is going to take over a four month period.

  • Capital strategy

Budget Report, including the Capital Programme, and the Asset Management Plan.

  • Inspection reports

Publicly available inspection reports for example Local Development Framework Annual Monitoring Reports, the Council’s Statement of Accounts and Annual Report, and Scrutiny Panel Reports.

  • Statistical information produced in accordance with the Council’s and departmental requirements

For example information about schools attendance, population and employment.

  • Impact assessments

Executive Reports containing Impact Assessments, including Equality Impact Assessments .

  • Service standards

Customer Service Charters.

  • Public service agreements

Local public service agreements.

4. How we make decisions

  • Timetable of council meetings

Committee dates for the current year.

  • Agendas, officers’ reports, background papers and minutes of council committee, sub committee and standing forum meetings

Public information on the Council’s decision recording system.

  • Major policy proposals and decisions

Information on The Council’s Forward Plan and via public information on the Council’s decision making meetings and recording system.

  • Facts and analyses of facts considered when framing major policies

Information on The Council’s Forward Plan and via public information on the Council’s decision making meetings and recording system.

  • Public consultations

Consultation papers or information, any summary of the responses and the outcome of the consultation exercise.

5. Our policies and procedures

  • Policies and procedures for conducting council business

The Council’s Constitution.

  • Policies and procedures for delivering our services

For example Service Charters and Equality and Diversity Schemes.

  • Policies and procedures about the recruitment and employment of staff

For example, information about current Jobs and vacancies, Equality and Diversity information, Equal opportunities policy, and health and safety information.

  • Customer service

For example Service Charters and Complaints information.

  • Records management and personal data policies

For example Data Protection information.

  • Charging regimes and policies

For example Licensing Fees and Charges, Building Control Charges, Local Land Charges.

6. Lists and registers

Available for inspection only

  • Public registers and registers held as public records

For example Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Register of Electors, Register of Premises Licences and Club Premises Licences, Register of Hackney Carriage Drivers.

  • Asset registers

Corporate Asset Management Plan.

  • Register of councillors’ financial and other interests

Register of Members’ Interests in accordance with the Local Government Act 2000 (Section 81).

  • Register of gifts and hospitality

For council officers at assistant director level and above.

  • Highways, licensing, planning, commons, footpaths etc.

For example Definitive Maps, Register of Adopted Highways, Register of Planning Applications, Register of Common Land.

  • Register of electors

The Register of Electors and information about the Register and where it can be inspected.

7. Services provided by the council

Details of all the Council’s Services can be found in the Council’s A to Z and sitemap.

  • Regulatory and licensing responsibilities

For example hackney carriage licensing, motor salvage licensing, amusement licensing, liquor licensing.

  • Services for local businesses

For example business services and advice in respect of financial support, property advice, business opportunities, recruitment of staff.

  • Services for other organisations

For example student groups, youth groups and club activities.

  • Services for members of the public

Details of all the Council’s Services can be found in the Council’s A – Z and site map.

  • Services for which the council is entitled to recover a fee, together with those fees.

For example Licensing Fees and Charges, Building Control Charge and Local Land Charges.

  • Information for visitors to the area, leisure information, events, museums, libraries and archive collections

Information about the local area.

  • Leaflets, booklets and newsletters

Various leaflets and council publications available in council offices, district centres, libraries etc.

  • Advice and guidance

For example advice on debts and benefits, consumer advice, affordable housing.

  • Media releases

Press statements and releases.

  • Election Information

For example election results, forthcoming elections and voting procedures.

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