If it’s not personal, commercially sensitive or dangerous, the council wants to make it open.

On 28 November, Cabinet members of Bath and North East Somerset Council joined the Council’s Strategic Management Team in supporting an Open Data policy for the local authority. The policy itself is available at: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/your-council-and-democracy/local-research-and-statistics/wiki/open-data

What does this mean?

This means that the council is committed to release all data on demand, with a few exceptions:

  • Personal or Sensitive Personal data as defined in the Data Protection Act or other legislation and organisational policies
  • Data covered by commercial licensing or otherwise defined as commercial in confidence.
  • Data that, if released, could represent a security risk to the Council

Also, if it’s going to be very expensive to get data released then it will be necessary to build a business case to support the release. But the best thing to do first is to just ask.

This is also about recognising and celebrating the incredible work already happening in the community. The council wants to continue this and formally acknowledge its role, so hopefully very little will change. What it does mean is that there’s now a commitment from the top to work with local open data communities to get data out there.

So how can I get hold of data?

Just ask. Our approach to data is one that is grounded in conversations and genuine demand from the community, rather than top-down decision making. If there’s something you want to find out about, get in touch with the council on research@bathnes.gov.uk or alternatively tweet the community @bathhacked.

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