Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) gives every citizen the right to request information from public sector organisations, including Government, local authorities, the National Health Service, Schools, the Police and the Fire Service. You can use this and other legislation such as the Environmental Information Regulations and the Data Protection Act to request information from Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Our Publication Scheme

​The Council already makes a great deal of information available, by publishing it or allowing people to inspect it.

Our Publication Scheme provides a guide to the current information we routinely publish, or intend to publish. It aims to help you understand what information is already available, how to find/access it and whether or not a charge applies.

If you cannot find a reference to the information you want in our publication scheme or by searching our website, you will need to ask us for it.  

What if I'm not happy with my response?

​If you have made a Freedom of Information request to the Council and you are not satisfied with how this request has been dealt with or responded to, you have the right to have this decision internally reviewed.

Making a request for Information (RFI) under the FOIA 2000 and EIR 2004

Before making a request, you might want to check that:

To make a Freedom of Information request you can:

Freedom of Information,
Cheshire West and Chester Council,
58 Nicholas Street,
Chester,
CH1 2NP

Please set out what information you would like to see and details of how we can contact you.

Your request will be dealt with under FoIA or the access rights applicable under other legislation, such as the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. (Information about the right of subject access under the Data Protection Act may be found on our data protection pages).​​​

Can I have all the information I ask for?

​In response to a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, the county council may refuse to supply some or all of the information, or may be unable to process your request for another reason. In such situations, you will be advised of the reasons why. This link provides reasons why you may not receive the information you have asked for; it is not a comprehensive legal guide, but is intended to provide general information.​​​

Frequently asked questions

​Public Health Funerals

 

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Lifetime Services organise the borough’s Welfare Funerals. Details of the services provided and how to contact the Lifetime Services team are available on the following pages:

https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/residents/births-deaths-and-marriage/burials-and-cremations/welfare-funerals.aspx

The Council receives a steady flow of requests for information relating to Welfare Funerals and has taken the decision to make available information we routinely disclose. Below represents the most frequently asked questions accompanied by the information held.

This information will be updated annually and no later than 2 months after each financial year end.

 

 

 Q:- How many public health funerals take place each year and how much does this cost the authority:

  

Year

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

No of funerals

6

7

7

6

4

10

16

21

Total cost

£8,561.00

£ 11,852.50

 £   9,416.00

 £   9,596.00

 £ 5,626.00

 £ 11,760.00

 £ 19,872.41

 £ 29,414.53

Total recovered

£3,543

£   7,114.30

 £   1,379.50

 £   2,937.59

 £            -  

 £   9,644.82

 £   4,071.00

 £ 13,148.21

Difference

£5,018

£4,738

£8,037

£6,658

£5,626

£2,115

£15,801

£16,266.32

Avg cost per funeral

£      836.36

 £      676.89

 £   1,148.07

 £   1,109.74

 £ 1,406.50

 £      211.52

 £      987.59

 £      774.59

 

If you require further information you can submit a request online via:  https://eforms.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/?page_id=445

Please note that when considering requests for information concerning public health funerals the Council generally applies an exemption to the following information relating to welfare funerals -

The deceased persons first name and surname

Dates of birth / ages at death

Date of death

Last known address

Maiden surnames of married or widowed females

Estimated value of estates

Have next of kin/family members been traced

The exemption to disclosure under Section 31 (1) (a) of the Freedom of Information Act applies to this information. 

Section 31(1) (a) of the FOIA states:

Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice -

(a) the prevention or detection of crime,

(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders,

(c) the administration of justice,

(d) the assessment or collection of any tax or duty 

(ICO Guidance entitled Law Enforcement Section 31 issued in May 2013.)

Section 31 is a prejudiced based exemption and is subject to a public interest test.

It is considered that disclosure of the requested information would, or would likely to, prejudice the prevention or detection of crime. The information, if disclosed, represents enough data to commit identity fraud. Whilst the commission of identity fraud is not of itself a crime the use of another’s identity is for the purpose of the commission of a crime.  CWaCC consider that there is a real and significant risk of prejudice.

It should be noted that simply because the Council has arranged a funeral does not mean that there are no next of kin.  There may be relatives of the deceased who are financially affected as heirs to any estate which has been stolen from them and/or would suffer damage and distress as a result of fraud being committed using the deceased’s details.

The greater the potential for a disclosure to result in crime, the greater the public interest in maintaining the exemption.  The victims of crime can be both organisations and individuals.  Although there is a public interest in protecting both, there is a greater public interest in protecting individuals from the impact of crime.   The impact of crime is not confined to its immediate victims.  For example a request for the addresses of empty homes provided the opportunity to consider the wider repercussions of crime in more detail.

For the reasons outlined above, the Council does not usually disclose information that could be used fraudulently and prejudice the prevent and detection of crime.  For that reason, whilst the Council will continue to consider each request it receives individually it is unlikely that applicants will receive any information that it considers is covered by the exemption above.

   
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