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Ambassador held official talks with US defence firm he later joined

Ambassador held official talks with US defence firm he later joined

Sir David Manning, the former UK Ambassador to Washington and a foreign affairs adviser to Tony Blair, met with senior executives at Lockheed Martin and gave advice on the handling of contracts affecting the company before taking a paid role with the defence giant.

Documents released under a Freedom of Information request disclose the contacts Sir David had with the multinational arms manufacturer before he left the diplomatic service and became a non-executive director of the UK wing of Lockheed Martin.

The documents, which were released only after pressure from the Information Commissioner, will raise further concerns about the “revolving door” involving defence companies and senior figures from the public sector. Read more.

Adam Sherwin | The Independent | 28th October 2012

How passenger plane was left with no-one at the controls after BOTH pilots fell asleep 

Two pilots fell asleep while in sole charge of passenger planes thousands of feet up in the air.

Their co-pilots had been on the flight deck at the time and both had been alone in the cockpit, the Civil Aviation Authority revealed.

One one occasion, the captain left to use the toilet and then tried to radio his first officer – but got no reply.

He then had to use a code to get back into the cockpit and found his second-in-command slumped over the controls. Read more.

Emma Reynolds | Daily Mail | 29th October 2012.

Stress-related absences rise at Gloucestershire Police

Stress-related absence has increased by two-thirds over a 12-month period at Gloucestershire Police, according to figures obtained by the BBC.

The number of days lost to stress rose to 4,254 in 2011/12, an increase from 2,586 in the previous year.

Gloucestershire’s Assistant Chief Constable said she was “concerned” by the findings.

The statistics were released under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, following a request by the BBC. Read more.

BBC | 29th October 2012

Welsh council admits £1m worth of publicly funded kit remains unused

A Welsh council official has said he remains “totally confident” that 2,400 publicly funded laptops worth £1m will find a home soon, despite the expiration of the devices’ warranties nearly nine months ago.

Torfaen County Borough Council, based in south Wales, controversially procured 8,600 laptops in April 2011 from XMA, amid claims from reseller rivals that the process was unfair as the original tender was for the much smaller amount of just 408 devices.

Freedom of Information request filed by ChannelWeb showed that, of the original 8,600 HP notebooks, 6,200 are finally in use across Torfaen and Monmouthshire as part of the iLearnWales initiative, while the remaining portion gathers dust in storage. Read more.

Hannah Breeze | Channel Web | 29th October 2012

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