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Environmental Information Requests

The Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 give individuals the right to access environmental information held by public authorities.

Environmental information covers a broad range of topics, such as:

  • The environment itself, including air, water, earth and the habitats of plants and animals
  • Things that affect the environment such as emissions, radiation, noise, and other forms of pollution
  • Policies, plans and laws on the environment

Further information on Environmental Information Requests can be found on the website of the Scottish Information Commissioner.

A request for environmental information does not need to be made in recorded form, but if you are unsure of whether your request is for environmental information you should put it in writing and send it to:

Customer Services, West Lothian Council, Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, EH54  6FF; email customer.service@westlothian.gov.uk

Re-use of Information

Provision of information under access legislation such as the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations does not mean that the recipient has an automatic right to re-use that information, for example to publish it, or adapt it in some way.  Most of the information that West Lothian Council provides in response to Environmental Information requests will be subject to copyright protection and permission to re-use it will be required.  In most cases the copyright will be owned by West Lothian Council.  The copyright on other information may be owned by another person or organisation, as indicated on the information itself.

Where it is confirmed in writing, you will be free to use any information supplied for your own non-commercial research or private study purposes . The written permission may also state that the information can be used for any other purpose allowed by a limitation or exception in copyright law, such as news reporting.  There may be further conditions, such as:

  • Any use must be in context and must not be misleading;
  • Any other type of re-use, for example by publishing the information in digital or analogue form, including on the internet, will require the permission of the copyright owner.

It may be that permission will not be granted, in which case a reason for refusal will be provided.

If you wish to make an application to re-use information supplied to you, further information can be found on the page about the re-use of information

In all cases you should assume that the re-use of the information is not permitted unless you have been specifically informed that you are allowed to re-use the information.

For information where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation, you must apply to the copyright owner to obtains their permission.

The council is allowed up to 40 working days to respond to a request for environmental information.

If you are unhappy with the response from the council, or if you have not had a response, you have the right to request a review.  Please address any request for a review to:

Julie Whitelaw, Chief Solicitor, West Lothian Council, Civic Centre, Howden South Road, Livingston, EH54  6FF; email julie.whitelaw@westlothian.gov.uk

If you are still unhappy following a review you can appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner at:

Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS; email enquiries@itspublicknowledge.info; Tel: 01334 464640; Fax: 01334 464611