Publication Scheme and access to information

In implementing the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we aim to promote an understanding of the work the Council does to foster a spirit of trust with residents, local businesses and other organisations. We achieve this by promoting transparency in the way we make our decisions and by providing clear information about our policies and processes through our publication scheme.

Publication scheme

A Publication Scheme is a guide to the kinds of information that the council routinely makes available.

We became a Unitary Council in 2009, taking responsibility for all services in the north of the county. The Publication Scheme has been updated to include information previously held on Bedfordshire County Council’s website.

Access to information

The guidance below gives examples of the type of information the we routinely make available.

How to find the information you need

Who we are and what we do

Bedford Borough Council became a Unitary Authority on 1 April 2009, and provides a vast range of services for more than 185,000 residents.

Council Constitution

Council democratic structure

Council directorate structure

Location and opening times of Council properties

Information about locations, opening times and contact details of all the Council’s centres/buildings, which are there to enable the public to access Council services.

Information regarding registrar of births, marriages and deaths

Currently elected Councillors’ information and contact details

Contact details for customer-facing departments

Most recent election results

Relationships with other authorities/organisations

Information about:

What we spend and how we spend it

Financial Statements, budgets and variance reports

Capital Programme

Spending reviews

Financial audit reports

The Members’ Allowances Scheme and the allowances paid under it to Councillors each year

For example allowances members are allowed to claim and for further information regarding the amount each member received in expenses please contact Member Services email

Staff allowances and expenses

  • Mileage, accommodation, subsistence rates that can be claimed by staff. Information can be found in the Pay Policy document on our Transparency page.

Pay and grading structure

Details of contracts currently being tendered

List of contracts awarded and their value

District Auditor’s reports

Financial statements for projects and events

For the former Bedfordshire County Council’s Statement of Accounts – email

School spending

Election expenses

Internal financial regulations

What our priorities are and how we are doing

Annual Reports

Strategies and business plans for services provided by the Council

Internal and external organisation performance reviews

Strategies developed in partnership with other authorities

How we make decisions

Timetable of Council meetings

Agendas, Officers’ Reports, background papers and minutes of Council Committee, Sub-Committee and Standing Forum meetings.

Major policy proposals and decisions

  • Information on major policy proposals and decisions (including facts and analyses of facts considered when framing major polices) can be found in the Executive Decisions Database.

Public consultations

Consultation papers or information, any summary of the responses and the outcome of the Consultation exercise.

Our policies and procedures

Policies and procedures for conducting Council business

Policies and procedures for delivering our services

Policies and procedures about the recruitment and employment of staff

How will I request information not covered by the scheme?

The Council includes as much information in the Publication Scheme as it can, however, if you cannot find what you are looking for within the Publication Scheme or on the Council's website, you can make a request for the information.

The Act is retrospective and information requests can be for information created before the Act came fully in to force in 2005. However, where any of the information comes within an exempt category either under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or other relevant legislation, it will be published with the exempt material deleted.

Email for further information.

Will I be charged for published information?

Material which is published and accessed on the website can be downloaded free of charge. Some information may only be available in hard copy and some information will only be available for inspection.

Charges may be made for information subject to a legal charging regime such as those requests covered by the Environmental Information Regulations. Charges under the publication scheme may be made for actual disbursements such as:

  • Photocopying
  • Printing
  • Postage and packaging
  • The cost directly incurred as a result of viewing information

Any charges will be in accordance with the Council’s policy.

Who do I contact?

For information concerning the publication scheme or if you wish to make a request for other information please email:

Reviewing and maintaining the Scheme

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 states that a publication scheme should be reviewed from time to time. The Council is responsible for reviewing and maintaining this guide to information and the data it contains. Material will be updated and any outdated information will be removed. This guide and operation of the scheme will be reviewed regularly.

Material supplied under this Publication Scheme is subject to copyright. However, if you wish to re-use information which is contained within Bedford Borough Council’s website, including the Freedom of Information Disclosure Log or Publication Scheme then this is covered by the Open Government Licence (OGL) no request has to be made but re-users must follow the terms of the OGL. For more information see Reuse of public sector information