Due to the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus), staff are trying to maintain services for the most vulnerable and many are being diverted to assist with essential services which means there may be a delay in responding to your enquiry.
You can ask to see any recorded information we hold on paper or electronically, subject to any FOI/EIR exemptions that may apply. You will need to provide a name and address (email or postal).
Before requesting information, please check our publication scheme and open data pages to see if the information you are looking for has already been published.
Merton Council routinely publishes data relating to its services and previous FOI requests. Please be aware that should you request data that has already been published your request will be refused and you will be directed to the appropriate publication location.
How long it takes
By law, we must provide the information you ask for in 20 working days from the next working day after we received your request. If we need you to clarify your request, the 20 days will start from the next working day after we receive your clarification. If we cannot give you the information you asked for, we will tell you why, and what you can do.
Performance in relation to responding to these requests is reported to the Corporate Management team monthly and an annual report is also produced.
We don’t usually charge for information requests. But if you ask for a large amount of information, we may charge you for printing, photocopying and postage. We will tell you if a charge applies before we process your request, and you can cancel or reduce your request at that time.
What your requests costs
Research carried out by University College London indicated that the average time to deal with a request is 7.5 hours, which at the rate of £25 per hour (the amount assumed in the legislation) means that each request costs an average of £187.50 to handle. Using this guideline, the total cost to Merton Council of dealing with FOI and EIR requests is:
Use of information
You may reuse the information we supply under the terms of the Open Government Licence, as described on the data.gov.uk website.
If you are unhappy with the response you have received or the handling of your request, you can appeal to us. We will review our decision and/or its handling and let you know the outcome.
Details of how to appeal are contained within the response to your request.
Following our review of your request you can then appeal to the Information Commissioner if you remain unhappy.
Make a request
If you have been unable to find the information you require on our website you may request the information by completing an information access form.
Freedom of Information request form
If you cannot access the request form you can submit your request in writing to FOI, London Borough of Merton, Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX.