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Reuse of Public Sector Information

Re-use of information means using public sector information for a purpose other than the initial purpose for which it was originally produced, held or disseminated. Public sector information within the public task is presumed to be re-usable once access is obtained, unless the information is otherwise restricted or excluded.

Common examples of restrictions and exclusions include copyright exclusion and protection of personal data.

The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 establish the framework for the re-use of public sector information and how the information is made available. They are not about accessing information, which is dealt with under information access legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Under the Regulations, any information that we produce, hold or disseminate within our public task must be re-useable by members of the public unless the information is restricted or excluded.

Please view the Council’s publication scheme.

Open data

Some information is already available via the Open Data (transparency page).

Making a request for re-use

If you wish to submit a request to re-use information, you should write to:

  • The Information Governance team, 7th Floor, Merton House, Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3UU
  • or email
  • Include your name and address for correspondence
  • Specify the information that you want to re-use and the purpose you intend to use it for

You do not need to ask permission to re-use any information if we have already made it available under the Open Government Licence by publishing it or via a request under another piece of information legislation, but you must comply with the terms of the Open Government Licence.

When we receive a request to re-use information, we will respond within 20 working days. This time limit can be extended if the information is extensive or the request raises complex issues, but we must inform you of this within the 20 day period.

Information which has not already been disclosed

If the Council has not previously disclosed the information requested, then we will deal with this as a request under the appropriate legislation (e.g. under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environmental Information Regulations 2004) in order to decide whether the information is exempt. This will be the first stage of dealing with the request and once responded to we will then deal with the re-use request.

We will make the information for re-use available in the format and language in which it is held by the Council. If we do not already hold it in an open format, but it is possible and appropriate to make it available in this way, then we will do so. There may be a charge for re-use, and a separate licence may need to apply, however we will advise if this is the case.

Charging for re-use

Requested information will be sent to the requester via email, free of charge. If information is required in hard copy or other formats, the council can charge the requester for the costs of printing, photocopying, postage and supplying the information in a particular format. These are known as ‘disbursement’ charges and are set out below:

Photocopies of Documents

Per page A4 £ 0.25

Per page A3 £ 0.50

Plan printing £ 2.00

Postage – Based on current Royal Mail rates for recorded delivery. 

View the Planning Service Fees and charges, available on the Planning & Building Control page

Our response will tell you about any conditions for re-use, and if you will be charged a fee to re-use the information. In most cases information will be available to re-use free of charge. If you require paper copies of documents we may charge you for each copy as indicated above and the cost of postage and packing. If the information is available electronically and you are happy to receive it by email there will be no charge.

Making a complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of a request for re-use by the council, or need the council to review its decision on charging, licensing, refusal or any other aspect of the council's response, you should write to the Information Management an Governance Lead, Sefton Council, Merton House, Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3UU or email:

If you are still dissatisfied following the Council’s review, then you can make a request to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a Decision. Visit the Information Commissioner’s website.


The 2015 Regulations do not affect the Council’s copyright. The supply of documents and information to you by the Council [for example under Freedom of Information and on our website] does not give you the right to re-use them in a way that would infringe our copyright.

You may reproduce brief extracts from those documents without our permission under the “fair dealing” provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988: for the purposes of research for non-commercial purposes; private study; criticism; review and news reporting - all subject to an acknowledgement of the Council as copyright owner. Wider re-use requires our permission. This applies equally to any of the Council’s logos.

We may choose to allow re-use under a licence, imposing conditions on the re-use of the information to ensure that it is not used in a manner inconsistent with our copyright; and we may also decide to charge a re-use fee.

Last Updated on Monday, July 8, 2024

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