Access to Information

Our Publication Scheme

What is the publication scheme?

Hartlepool Borough Council has adopted the Model Publication Scheme published by the Information Commissioner's Office. Our Publication Scheme outlines the information we routinely publish with the purpose of developing a culture of greater openness that provides greater transparency and accountability. It also provides greater accessibility to information about the council's services, the functions it undertakes and the decisions it makes. The Scheme is based on the Definition Document for principal Local Authorities published by the Information Commissioner’s Office. 


The Council's publication scheme:

  • Provides seven classes of information that the council publishes or intends to publish
  • Identifies the web link or relevant contact to obtain the specific information

The Classes of information

Our publication scheme has 7 classes of information:

  1. Who we are and what we do
  2. What we spend and how we are doing
  3. What are our priorities and how are we doing
  4. How we make decisions
  5. Our policies and procedures
  6. Lists and registers
  7. The services we offer

About the scheme 

As a council we are not always able to disclose every document we hold.

In some but not all cases, it may be necessary for us to limit the availability of the information we publish in each class. This is because there are statutory exemptions that we must observe when processing information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and the Data Protection Act 1998.

It is important for you to note that we do not:

  • Create information to satisfy individual requests. The information we create is for public use
  • Publish information that is available by public inspection for example, public registers such as planning or licence registers. We advise you to contact the relevant service area to make inspection arrangements
  • Publish information where:
    • Data is genuinely regarded as personal data or where data has been provided to us in confidence, for example, housing / anti-social behaviour complaints
    • It would prejudice the commercial interests of the council or any other organisation that the council works in partnership with
    • The publication would endanger the health and safety and security of individuals or an organisation(s)
    • It is prohibited by law or a Court Order as this would constitute a contempt of court. Information in relation to ongoing criminal or civil proceedings is also exempt
    • The information would adversely affect the operations of the council or other organisations. 

If the information you are looking for is not contained within the Publication Scheme please contact: 

Freedom of Information Officer,

Legal Division, Civic Centre, Hartlepool, TS24 8AY                                                       


Charges and inspection

Most of the information in the publication scheme is available free of charge but there are some exceptions to this rule.

If a charge applies it is likely to be stated on our website. We reserve the right to make a reasonable charge where providing hard copies, CD ROMs, multiple print outs, extensive photocopying and postage costs are seen as excessive. We will tell you about any charges well in advance. In some cases an inspection of the council's information may be available but this will need to be organised with the relevant team.


The information supplied to you in the publication scheme or by a Freedom of Information request is protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 unless otherwise stated.

You are free to use the information supplied to you for your own purposes, including non-commercial research and news reporting, but any re-use of the information for commercial publication requires the permission of the council as the copyright holder.

The council will either grant a standard re-use licence that sets out the conditions of how the data can be re-used or will issue a fee licence that stipulates the percentage of commission to be paid based on the commercial gain from the information used.  

For the re-use of third party information, you will need to seek permission from the copyright holders.

Inventory of Data -Transparency Code

In October 2014 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government issued the "Local Government Transparency Code 2015" and the "Local Government Transparency Code 2015 Frequently Asked Questions". The code sets out the minimum data and information that all Local Authorities must publish, the frequency it should be published and how it should be published. To access the information published by the Council under the Transparency Code, please click here.