Sunday, October 22, 2006

Media update

Coverage of FOI costs/fees regs story

Daily Telegraph
- Freedom of information curbed 'to spare red faces'
"Fear of more embarrassing disclosures about Government ministers are behind Labour's plan to rein back Freedom of Information legislation, it was claimed last night. The allegation came as officials named the top QC who has been hired to prevent information being released about the £5.4 billion ID card programme."

The Guardian -letters - Restrictions on freedom on information

Independent - Ministers water down Freedom of Information Act

Politics - FOI changes 'could reduce scrutiny'

Other stories

"THE knife culture in British schools has reached a terrifying level, a Daily Mirror probe can today reveal....During the first 20 school days of September, 83 serious incidents were reported in secondary schools and 28 in primaries..our shock findings, uncovered under the Freedom Of Information Act, will further alarm parents worried about school safety in the wake of recent tragedies."

Cambridge Evening News
- Full-time cleaner is axed at 'filthy' pool
"A SWIMMING pool branded "disgusting" after a £300,000 refurbishment has been criticised for not having a full-time cleaner....Paul Burns, the man behind consumer website Leisure Connection Watch, has used the Freedom of Information Act to force Paradise Pool into finding out how the pool is cleaned. He found the centre has dispensed with a 20-hours-a-week cleaner and now asks the pool's lifeguards to do the cleaning."

Newswire today
- Let’s Look at the 'Scores On the Doors' – Salford Puts Food Safety Results
"Salford City Council’s Environmental Health service has become the first UK local authority body to publish fully accessible details of all its food hygiene site inspections, using the new Authority Public Protection web toolkit from Civica plc, one of the UK’s most experienced providers of consulting, software and services for the public sector."

IC South London - 'Gambling risk from dome'
"A SUPERCASINO at the dome would increase the risk of residents becoming gambling addicts, according to a report commissioned by Greenwich council. Greenwich council has been widely slated for not publishing the report, prepared for "exclusive use". It has now been released following requests under the Freedom of Information Act."

Belfast Telegraph - Airport defends Ryanair deal secrecy
"City of Derry airport manager Seamus Devine has claimed to a tribunal that disclosure of Derry City Council's arrangements with Ryanair could have major implications for the airport's future. The tribunal was set up after Derry City Council lodged an appeal against an order by the Information Commissioner to release the information, requested by the Belfast Telegraph under the Freedom of Information Act."

Sheffield today - Tourists cost Sheffield hospitals almost £300,000 claim
"Figures reported in a national newspaper today claim to show that Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has outstanding debts totalling £296,586 from foreign patients not entitled to treatment on the NHS. The Trust, which runs the Royal Hallamshire, Northern General, Weston Park, Jessop Wing and Charles Clifford Dental hospitals, has been named as the tenth worst hospitals trust in the UK for unpaid bills for NHS treatment for overseas visitors from 2005. Overall health tourism is costing the NHS £9 million in unpaid bills, the newspaper claims. It gathered the figures under the Freedom of Information Act."

This is London - Brown 'has raided £100 billion from pension funds'
"The Treasury has fought requests under the Freedom of Information Act for the amount that the Chancellor expected to get from the raid to be revealed."

Observer -Loans plan to tackle scandal of Britain's empty homes
"If a council won't disclose information on its empty properties, a written request can be made under the Freedom of Information Act. There are also websites that can help, although these tend to concentrate on specific areas., launched in 2004 by the Empty Homes Agency, the government and seven west London councils, provides details of empty homes in west London and has recently begun to list properties in the Midlands too."

Boston Today
- Council admits breaching Freedom of Information Act
"THE county council has admitted breaching the Freedom of Information Act by not answering a Boston pressure group's requests for figures about the town's Transport Study."

MK news - Council reveals consultants’ cost
"The social services department has spent £105,480 on consultants to review its eligibility criteria for the elderly and vulnerable, we can reveal."

The Guardian - BBC reveals increase in party donors nominated for peerages
"The latest figures were disclosed under freedom of information legislation by the Lords Appointments Commission, which vets nominations. In the 27 months between July 2003 and October 2005, the two parties nominated eight donors to become members of the House of Lords. In the nine months between October 2005 and July this year, they nominated 11 donors."

Sunday Times - Academies are failing on GCSE results
"HALF of the first wave of Tony Blair’s flagship academies are failing their pupils, according to internal reports released under freedom of information laws. "

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