Request information about the Council

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) gives you the right to request any written or recorded information held by the Council.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) gives you the right to request any written or recorded information held by the Council.

Access to information we hold about the environment is dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations Act 2004 (EIR).

Access to information we hold under the Reuse of Public Sector Information 2015 (RoPSI) is subject to the conditions of the Open Government Licence.

Essex County Council does not hold information about:

  • CCTV recordings of road traffic – traffic cameras watch traffic, but do not record it
  • billing, including Business Rates, Council Tax and Housing Benefit
  • housing, including housing stock, homelessness into housing and listed building consent
  • Housing Enforcement, including multiple occupancy, noise complaints, neighbour disputes, disrepair and infestations
  • disabled facilities grants
  • asbestos removal
  • domestic or business waste, except for the running of recycling centres
  • Domestic Planning Applications
  • licenses for anything not mentioned on our licences page
  • stray dogs or animal licenses
  • Public Health Funerals

Some of this information may be held by our City, Borough, and District Councils across Essex.

What we publish

Before you make an FOI or EIR request you should check whether the information you are requesting has already been published.

Check our Freedom of Information database to see if the information you need has already been requested.

We publish information about the council as part of our publication scheme.

We publish performance data in relation to statutory Requests for Information (XLS, 421.5KB).

We publish all our finance, contract and day-to-day spending information on our spending and Council Tax pages.

We regularly publish councillors' expenses and senior officers' expenses.

Open data about Essex

Open data can come from many sources, including government and local councils. It can enable individuals, communities, and organisations to make evidence-led decisions and act. On the Essex Open Data website, you can find, use and share data with the available range of dashboards, maps and downloadable datasets.

You can explore non-personal data by specific groups, locations or topics including:

  • crime
  • deprivation
  • employment
  • transport
  • views towards the local area
  • health and wellbeing
  • volunteering
  • climate change
  • physical inactivity
  • fire incidents
  • inequality

When we might refuse a request

We support the public’s right to hold us to account for how we deliver public services. Sometimes we need to refuse requests. This is rare, but may happen when:

  • requests include offensive language or cause harassment or distress to our employees
  • there is a history of abuse of the access regime by the requester
  • advice and guidance we have provided to help the requester is not acted on
  • we have responded to previous requests on the topic, but the requester argues points rather than asking for new information
  • we have responded to previous requests on the topic, but the requester refuses an offer to refer the matter for independent investigation
  • we have responded to previous requests on the topic, but the requester continues to challenge without any clear and logical basis for doing so
  • requests lack a clear purpose or reasonable foundation

If you need help forming your request please email

Make a request


Make an FOI or EIR request

If the information you're looking for has not been published already, you can request it by:

You can also write to us at:

Your Right to Know Essex County Council Market Road County Hall Chelmsford CM1 1QH

Make sure you include an email or postal address so we can respond to your request.

After you’ve made a request

We’ll send you confirmation that your request has been received. Your request should be answered within 20 working days, though in some circumstances this could be longer.

If we cannot answer your request, we’ll write to let you know why.

You can find out more on the Information Commissioner’s website about:

In some cases there might be a charge for providing information that you have requested.

If you have questions arising from the information we provide, these might be treated as new FOI requests.

If you're not happy with our response

If you are not satisfied with the response we have given you, you can ask for a review by emailing

You will need to give us your reference number and explain what you would like us to investigate.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of our review, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO will not investigate any concern that we have not had the opportunity to review.