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The day in FOIA: asbestos in schools, security breaches of Army base, P.E. lessons, abused animals and ineffective courts

Asbestos found in 75% of council-run Devon schools

Asbestos is present in about 75% of council-run schools in Devon, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.

Some people want it completely removed, but a government expert said disturbing it could be more harmful.

Asbestos, which used to be a common building material, is no longer used.

Education authorities in Devon, Torbay and Plymouth have insisted regular checks are done to ensure asbestos does not pose a health risk.

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Jenny Kumah | BBC | August 9th 2012

13 security breaches at Army base

SECURITY at a crack Army unit’s base has been breached 13 TIMES in five years, it emerged last night.

Intruders used false ID or jumped over fences to get into the heavily guarded camp.

One was even smuggled into the HQ of the 16th Air Assault Brigade — an elite fast-reaction spearhead force — three times in a car boot.

Three tutors due to give troops language lessons before they were sent to Helmand were not vetted and were left to wander round Colchester Garrison, Essex, unescorted.

Soldiers based there said the incidents — revealed by a Freedom of Information request — were terrifying. One said: “I think it’s really, really poor. Checks must be carried out properly.”

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David Willetts | The Sun | August 12th 2012

MP slams reduction in schools’ sport time

CONCERNS at the time given over to sport in schools has been raised by Wansbeck’s MP.

With the 2012 London Olympics closing last weekend, Ian Lavery has highlighted new research which shows a 60 per cent drop in the time spent organising sport in schools.

The figures have been compiled by the Labour Party through Freedom of Information requests sent to 150 top-tier local authorities around Britain.

Only 15 authorities failed to respond.

Researchers had asked for information about the number of school sports co-ordinators in 2009-10 and the number of PE teachers released to organise sport through the government’s new teacher release system.

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News Post Leader | August 13 2012

Dozens of animals being hurt or killed

NEARLY 100 animals have been mutilated and killed in Bedfordshire in the past four years.

A Freedom Of Information request has revealed the extent of mutilation crimes against animals dealt with by the police across the country.

In one case children attacked birds with a catapult and in another somebody used an axe to kill five pet chickens and a cockerel.

A 2010 incident saw an intruder break into the back garden of a house and disemboweled the family pet rabbit, and in 2008 the mane and tail were cut from a horse by thugs.

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Luton News | August 10 2012

17 per cent of trials at Boston Magistrates’ Court are ‘ineffective’

ALMOST a fifth of trials set to be held at Boston Magistrates’ Court during a 12 month period were stood down on the day they were due to start it has been revealed.

Figures released to the Target under the Freedom of Information Act show that between May 1, 2011 and April 30, 2012 there were 26 ineffective trials at the court out of a total of 152 scheduled to take place.

This equates to 17 per cent of all trial hearings listed having to be put off and rescheduled for a later date.

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Boston Target | August 10 2012

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