Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Media update

Mirror - CAMERAS NET £114M
"MOTORISTS caught by speed cameras are being fined £114 million a year, according to figures revealed yesterday. Of that, £22 million is going straight to Treasury coffers. The figures, obtained by the Conservatives under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that £92 million was spent on safety campaigns and maintaining Gatso cameras between 2003-2004."

"POLICE spent almost £4,000 and put four senior officers on a probe into "anti-Welsh" comments by Anne Robinson on TV. In a reply under the Freedom of Information Act police said the probe cost "approximately £3,800" with 96 hours spent on the case."

Egov monitor - Appointment of new members to Advisory Panel on Public Sector information
"Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster John Hutton MP today announced the appointment of four new members to the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information."

More information on the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information is available from its web site, http://www.appsi.gov.uk

Guardian - How Mark Thatcher exploited his position - and infuriated Whitehall
"A hitherto unknown saga of Whitehall exasperation at Sir Mark Thatcher's use of his position as the prime minister's son is revealed today in files the Guardian has obtained under the Freedom of Information Act."

Editor & Publisher -J-Prof's FOIA Suit Circumvents Government 'Censorship'
"NEW YORK On Aug. 4, the Pentagon agreed to henceforth respond, as expeditiously as possible, to all future Freedom of Information requests for photos of the returning coffins of service members killed in Iraq. In press accounts, credit for this change of course -- the result of a legal settlement -- was often given to a surprising source: a j-school professor in Delaware."

The Times - Student depression is costing £30m
"BRITISH universities spend £30 million a year to provide counselling for students with mental health problems. Figures obtained by The Times under the Freedom of Information Act from 18 leading universities suggest that the number of students seeking counselling has risen by more than 20 per cent to 60,000 in five years."

Formby Times - Our quest to find phone mast sites
"FORMBY Times chief reporter David Sudworth made a request to Sefton Council about phone mast applications under the Freedom of Information Act.However, officers said this request did not specifically fall within the terms of the Act as the information is already in the public domain.Bosses then pointed to a little-known mast register which is held at Balliol House, Bootle, and is open for public inspection." (Comment: a good example of information that should be added to a publication scheme, the Sefton Scheme does not currently list the mast register under the Environment class )

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