Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Media update

News stories about or featuring freedom of information:

News of the World - Is there a mast near you?
"The News of the World has made Freedom of Information requests to every council in England. Here’s a full list of where the masts are - and how much your council is earning from them from the mobile phone companies. Some councils refused to tell us where their masts had been placed - denying voters vital information which could affect their health."

Guardian comment - Afraid of the daylight
"Given their record, no wonder ministers want to sabotage the Freedom of Information Act."

Computer Weekly - NHS IT schemes 'under-funded and over-ambitious'

Young People Now - Information sharing: National ID firm charged with delivery of opportunity card
"The consultancy involved in developing the Home Office's controversial ID card scheme and implementing the tracking of young offenders is working with the Government on the proposed youth opportunity card...The Government has so far spent £1.15m on developing the pilots, according to information obtained by Young People Now under the Freedom of Information Act."

Contractor UK - NHS forced to cut patient database
"Such is the verdict of a new paper handed to Leeds Teaching Hospitals – the UK’s largest NHS trust – obtained through a Freedom of Information request by Computer Weekly magazine. It reportedly states that downsizing the electronic warehouse – the showpiece of NPfIT - will not cut the £12bn cost of the IT upgrade, which is already behind scheduled and over budget."

BBC news - Drink and drugs pupils excluded
"Hundreds of pupils in the East Midlands have been suspended or expelled from school because of drink or drugs, the BBC has learned. Figures obtained using the Freedom of Information Act showed 775 pupils were excluded for drink or drugs in the year 2005/06, with 48 permanent exclusions."

Regional news

"As part of its campaign, Exeter, along with Norwich and Oxford, commissioned a study by the Institute of Local Government at Birmingham University to look at the benefits of home-rule. Details of the costs have been obtained by the Echo under the Freedom of Information Act."

IC-Solihull - School taxis a multi-million pound drain
"CABINET member for education Councillor Ken Meeson has defended the £2 million spent on providing taxis for borough school children each year.....The Solihull Times applied for the information under the Freedom of Information Act after covering the story of 15-year-old Christopher Lucas."

Norwich Evening News - Was Blackdale playing fields grab a done deal?
"Because of public discontent over the sale, which many people said was a “done deal” long before councillors had their say on the decision, the Evening News asked for copies of all correspondence about the sale using the Freedom of Information Act."

The Argus (Brighton) - Peace message comes at a cost
"He has racked up 33,000 air miles in two years and spent more on foreign travel than the combined councillors of Arun, Adur, Wealden, Crawley, Mid Sussex, Eastbourne, Chichester, Rother, Horsham, Hastings, Lewes and Eastbourne councils, according to figures released to The Argus under the Freedom of Information Act."

Belfast Telegraph - Axed dentist's patients still not registered
"Using the Freedom of Information Act, the Telegraph learned concerns over his practice were raised as far back as 1998 - nearly seven years before he was suspended and eight years before he was struck off."

Manchester Evening News - Airport safety alert over 29 'near misses'
"AIRCRAFT flying to and from Manchester airport have been involved in 29 `near misses' in the last six years, the Manchester Evening News can reveal. Five of the incidents took place above Manchester, one in the city's airspace, and another near Ashton-in-Makerfield, according to records released under the Freedom of Information Act."

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