The Council and democracy Freedom of Information

Making a Freedom of Information request

A freedom of information request must be made in writing, and include your real name and an address for correspondence (e.g. email, postal address, or social media account) 

A request made under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 can be made verbally or in writing. However, a request made in writing will help us to deal more efficiently with your request.  Your request will be dealt with under the appropriate legislation. You may send your request by: 

  • completing an online form.  Using this form is the quickest and most efficient way for us to process your request   
  • email   
  • Writing to us at Information Compliance, Democratic Services Legal Team, Legal Services, PO Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA, or 
  • Contacting any Manchester City Council department 


We only charge for the provision of information where this is specifically allowed for under legislation or, to recover the costs of any photocopying, printing postage or other costs incurred in supplying the information where these costs exceed £5. 

If we plan to charge a fee for answering your request, we will tell you what the fee will be before we provide information. You will have up to three months to pay the fee and once this is received in cleared funds, the information will be supplied to you. 

Most information requests will generally be processed free of charge. We do not charge for officer time spent answering your request, but we are not obliged to provide you with information if it would involve more than 18 hours work. In these cases we will contact you and provide assistance with how your request can be modified or narrowed. If you amend your request, this will be treated as a new request.  

If the information is already publicly available we will inform you of this and advise whether any fees and charges apply. 

Processing time 

We will confirm receipt of your request and may need to ask for clarification if we are unclear about the information  you want.  If we need to do this, the request will be paused until clarification is received. 

Once we have identified what information we hold, we will usually respond to your request within 20 working days 

If some or all of the information you have requested falls under an exemption it may take us longer than 20 working days,to assess where the public interest lies. We will tell you if we require additional time and the basis for this. It should not take more than 40 working days from the date we received your request if additional time is required to consider the public interest. 

Find out more about how we deal with your request

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