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Is George Osborne’s energy stance influenced by Lord Howell, Greenpeace asks

Is George Osborne’s energy stance influenced by Lord Howell, Greenpeace asks

Greenpeace has submitted Freedom of Information Act questions in a bid to discover how many times Lord Howell has met the Chancellor and discussed energy questions. Lord Howell is the father of George Osborne’s wife, Frances.

Lord Howell is a foreign office minister with responsibility for international energy issues in the Lords, but it is his role as president of the British Institute of Energy Economics that is exercising Greenpeace.

The Institute has Shell, BP and BG Group as corporate members, while the Energy Department is one of its eight sponsors.

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Roland Gribben | The Telegraph | July 30th 2012

Ten per cent of East Lancashire police have second income

ALMOST 10 per cent of serving police officers in East Lancashire have a second income.

At least 81 officers in Eastern and Pennine divisions of Lancashire Constabulary have a second business interest.

In Eastern division, which covers Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley, 37 officers have declared a second income to bosses.

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request submitted by the Lancashire Telegraph shows more than 300 officers in Lancashire have two incomes. The highest ranking officers to register a second income are three Chief Superintendents.

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Vanessa Carnall | Lancashire Telegraph | July 30th 2012

ICO power to stop FOI dodgers ‘some way off’

Christopher Graham, the information commissioner, has said that implementation of the justice committee’s recommendation for his office to have more time to prosecute people who destroy data requested under freedom of information (FOI) is “still some way off”.

Although it is an offence to destroy information so as to avoid responding to an FOI request, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) currently has only six months in which to prosecute an individual.

Under current law, the six months runs from when the offence was committed, not from when the ICO receives a complaint.

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The Register | July 30th 2012

Bolton’s plague of rats

BOLTON has one of the worst records for rat problems in the country.

The council was called out to almost 5,000 pest problems last year.

And figures obtained by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) under the Freedom Of Information Act put Bolton 10th worst for the number of rat problems tackled out of 314 English local authorities between April 2010 and April, 2011.

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The Bolton News | July 30th 2012

Welsh councils spent £1m in a year to publish their own newspapers

WELSH councils spent £1m a year on publishing their own newspapers, it emerged yesterday.

Data released under the Freedom of Information Act, showed at least 15 councils used taxpayers’ cash last year to produce and deliver their own newspaper.

Cardiff Council spent £331,000 in 2011-2012 on 13 editions of its taxpayer-funded “Capital Times”.

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Tom Bodden | Wales Online | July 31st 2012

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