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The day in FOIA: academia and the arms industry, Tony Blair’s ‘gold plated’ pension, attacks on emergency service workers and pothole compensation

Top universities take £83m from arms industry

Some of Britain’s top universities have accepted millions of pounds from the arms industry giving the controversial trade “a veneer of respectability,” campaigners said today.

Figures obtained by the Huffington Post under Freedom of Information requests show that in the three years from 2008-2011 leading British universities received at least £83m from British arms companies and government military agencies.

The figures, analysed by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), focus on the 24 Russell Group universities

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Paddy McGuffin | Morning Star | August 23rd 2012

Blair’s £400,000-a-year bill to taxpayers: Multi-millionaire ex-PM enjoys perks and pension

Tony Blair is costing taxpayers more than £400,000 a year despite building up a £30million fortune since leaving Downing Street.

Figures have revealed that multi-millionaire Mr Blair is drawing the maximum Prime Ministerial pension – worth about £70,000 a year.

The gold-plated pension comes on top of the £115,000 allowance that Mr Blair received last year to support his ‘public duties’.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, the Treasury confirmed that under the Parliamentary and Other Pensions Act 1972 former premiers are entitled to a pension ‘based on one half of salary at the time of leaving office’.

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Kirsty Walker | Daily Mail | August 24th 2012

Emergency Workers Attacked Three Times Every Day In South Ayrshire

MORE than 180 emergency workers were attacked in the line of duty in South Ayrshire last year.

That is an average of more than three assaults every single week.

But shockingly only 41 of these attacks were ever reported to the procurator fiscal, and only 17 of the thugs responsible were convicted.

The worrying statistics were revealed to the Post under the Freedom of Information Act.

Doctors, nurses, police, ambulance staff and paramedics were all victims of the 181 reported attacks on emergency workers that took place in the 2011/12 financial year.

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Jennifer Buchanan | Ayreshire Post | August 24th 2012

Councils’ £15m bill for cars damaged by potholes as one in eight motorists suffer damaged vehicles

One in eight motorists have suffered damage to their cars from neglected roads and potholes in the past two years, with millions of pounds being paid out in compensation by cash-strapped councils.

The one in three local authorities that responded to a nationwide survey revealed that they had paid out £4.8million after claims by drivers following two harsh winters.

With data lacking from two out of three councils, this means the compensation bill for this period could well be up to £15million.

Britannia Rescue issued Freedom of Information requests to 434 city, district, borough and county councils.

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Daily Mail | August 23rd

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