Monday, May 16, 2005

Media roundup

Sunday Mail 15th May - Blair set for a bumper pay day when he quits No.10
"Documents released in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act reveal the special pension comes on top of Blair's MP's allowance, which could be payable from age 60because of his long service as an MP. Blair was elected in 1983 and - assuming the maximum 10 per cent contribution from his £59,000 MPs salary each year - he could retire in eight years with a pension of almost £39,000."

Daily Telegraph 15th May - Revealed: how rowdy schoolboys knocked a leg off one of the Elgin Marbles
"The documents, released by the British Museum under the Freedom of Information Act, show that the 2,500-year-old antiquities have had to be repaired after a number of mishaps, acts of theft and vandalism by visitors."

Sunday Herald 15th May- Revealed: the safety ‘failures’ at Dounreay
"In response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act, Sepa has provided the Sunday Herald with a 26-page list summarising every incident at Dounreay. It reveals that, since 1999, there have been an average of 40 problems a year, with the highest number, 53, in 2004."

Sunday Times 15th May - Wembley voting begins
"The five shortlisted names for the new Wembley footbridge were announced on Friday and within hours the London Development Agency had received two official requests under the Freedom of Information Act from some voters unhappy with the choices."

EHealth 12th May - 300 practices' QoF results online at GP's site
"Quality and Outcomes Framework (QoF) results for nearly 300 practices have been put online by a GP who plans to include data for every practice in the UK as figures are released. Dr Gavin Jamie, a GP in Swindon, Wiltshire, has set up his website,, with the figures that have so far been supplied by nine primary care trusts....The Freedom of Information Act has stimulated publication of practice by practice results for the Quality and Outcomes Framework. However, many PCTs approached by Dr Jamie have said they will not release information at the moment as figures for every practice in England are due to be published in early August by the Health and Social Care Information Centre."

ICSurrey - MP's hospital claims rejected by NHS trust
"THE future strategy for Epsom Hospital has come under attack for allegedly planning to cut beds and move to a £20m specialist unit.Chris Grayling, the newly reelected Tory MP for Epsom and Ewell, demanded internal NHS documents from the hospital under the Freedom of Information Act."

"Environmental health officers have written to McDonald's in Cheltenham telling staff to clean up their act. The letter was sent to the restaurant at Kingsditch Retail Park after inspectors found dirty conditions that could allow insects to breed.It said: "According to your own pest control records, debris water beneath the dishwashing machine was prov- iding ideal conditions for flies to breed." The letter was released under the Freedom of Information Act."

Observer 15th May - Exam results reveal gender gulf in schools
'This data shows there are schools that seem to be educating their students to a very high level, but which actually need to be making a major effort to get their boys up to scratch,' said Ralph Lucas, editor of the Good Schools Guide, which requested the data from the Department for Education and Skills under the Freedom of Information Act.

Exeter Express and Echo- JOBS FEAR OF CALL CENTRE
"A summary of the business case for the centre - obtained by the Echo after submitting a Freedom of Information request - says that by the time the centre is up and running it will be operated by 69 staff."


Washington Post - AP President Urges Media to Build Alliance
"Confronted with growing government secrecy, the news media must forge a stronger alliance with the public on the need for open government policies, Associated Press President and CEO Tom Curley said Saturday."

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