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10 - 12 NOON

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

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


Tuesday, 9 July 2024


Held online


Phil Brown


£48 subscribers | £60 non-subscribers

This 2 hour course on Zoom, will make you aware of the key points of the FOIA, including the Council’s obligations, deciding whether a request is valid, how to apply exemptions if they are usable and how to deal with the ICO should they become involved.

Course content

  • Review of the most relevant legislation (FOIA, EIR, DPA 2018, UK GDPR)

  • Explore the concepts of privacy, confidentiality, and data protection

  • Examine the differences between information vs documentation

  • A guide to the FOI Act with a view to answering FOI requests, including:

  • principles, implications & obligations

  • requests: valid & invalid

  • requests: cost estimates & limitations

  • requests: refusals & exemptions

  • Examples of FOI requests as they affect parish and town councils

  • Brief review of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004

Although there is a lot of information, it will be run at a relaxed pace that finishes with a Q&A session and will cover some scenario work for group participation.

Your Tutor: Phil Brown is an independent data protection specialist, in 2017 he became a certified EU GDPR Practioner.  A former parish councillor in Norfolk, Phil has a great insight into the needs and challenges of local councils.

Completion of the course will entitle attendees, to a complimentary Access to Information Policy (AIP) template that can be adapted by councils for subsequent approval and adoption.

This course is recommended for all clerks and councillors involved in compliance.


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.

The last FOI course was held in October 2023 and received a 100% feedback score.

Excellent session - very informative, well presented and comprehensive, excellent slides, and so useful that they were available in advance of the course

Very Good. Gained general overall knowledge of FOI.


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