Access to Information


Government legislation has been introduced to make public sector organisations more open and accountable to the public.

What legislation currently exists?

In brief, there are three key pieces of legislation that have been put in place to both protect information and make it available when appropriate.

These consist of:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 which protects personal information processed by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority and allows people to have access to their own information and request that changes be made to it.
  • The Freedom of Information Act 2000, which broadens people's access to information that is held by public authorities, for example reports, minutes of meetings, etc.
  • The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 which gives the public increased access to environmental information held by public authorities, for example reports, readings, research findings, etc.

What does Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority do when we receive a request for information?

When we have decided which legislation your request for information comes under - i.e., Data Protection, Freedom of Information or Environmental Information - your request will be dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the legislation.

There will be differences in how requests for information are dealt with. For example, the time limit to deal with a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is 20 working days, while under the General Data Protection Regulation, the time limit is one month.

Information about emergency incidents

Every year we receive hundreds of Freedom of Information requests and many of them are asking for information about incidents that we have attended. We are often asked for information about the same types of incidents and as a result we have developed this interactive file to help people select the information they need without having to submit a Freedom of Information request.

This file has been produced so that members of the public can have the opportunity to view high level emergency incident data broken down to Merseyside district council level. The data is shown on a monthly and hourly basis for the four previous years and the current year. Please note the data runs from April to March. You can view information about our emergency incidents here.