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10 am - 12 pm

Town and Parish Councils are subject to the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and anyone can make a request. Most are straightforward but occasionally they prove to be complex, time consuming to answer and emotionally draining.


Thursday, 12 October 2023


Held online


Phil Brown


£48 for subscribers | £60 for non-subscribers

This two hour course, delivered over Zoom, will be in 2 distinct parts. The first part will make you aware of a council’s legal obligations, how to decide whether a request is valid, the factors to consider for vexatiousness and the various exemptions that can be applied. The second half will see you walk through the process of handling example cases, including how to deal with the ICO should they become involved. Although there is a lot of information, it will be run at a relaxed pace that finishes with a Q&A session.

The course is primarily aimed at clerks, but it will also benefit interested councillors, especially those on a relevant committee. 

Completion of the course will entitle attendees, upon request, to a complimentary Access to Information Policy (AIP) templated document that can be adapted by councils for subsequent approval and adoption. Clerks are also entitled to a complimentary 20-minute follow-up consultation with the trainer. Courses are limited to 12 attendees only.

The tutor, Phil Brown, is has been an independent data protection specialist since 2017, providing consultancy services to a wide variety of small businesses across Norfolk and the UK. Typically, his services focus on the proper implementation of the GDPR by organisations and even to assist them write policies and procedures, as well as liaising with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on their behalf when necessary. Phil also provides advice and guidance to Parish and Town Councils through on-site and virtual training and assisting them on how to respond to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests and data subject access requests (DSAR). In this latter role, Phil is particularly well placed to understand the challenges facing councils, having been a parish councillor himself in Hindolveston, North Norfolk.

Training the whole council

This course can be delivered and tailored specially for your council, which can be a cost-effective approach if you have a number of councillors and staff who require this training. You choose where and when you want our tutor to deliver.


We'll send you a link via email a day or two before the session is due to be held, so you can just click on the link to join in. You'll need a laptop, tablet or smartphone with a camera; if you haven't tried this technology before that's fine - we'll happily conduct a quick test session with you the day before if you like.

This course received a 100% feedback from attendees the last time it was held

Recent attendees described this course as:
Well managed and informative.
Excellent content and well presented. I learnt so much! Thank you.


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