Sub-postmasters union condemns £15.4m bonus pot for Post Office bosses
Senior Post Office bosses were awarded more than £2m in bonuses last year at the same time as ending a £2.2m incentive scheme for sub-postmasters which led to the latter taking industrial action for the first time.
Sub-postmasters had been receiving a 1p-a-letter payment for separating first and second class post since November. The Post Office decided to scrap the scheme after just five months, but the sub-postmasters were still expected to separate the post.
Their union, the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters (NFSP), said the move led to staff refusing to separate the mail until the payment was reinstated. Read more
Simon Neville | The Guardian | 24th June 2013
How Barrett Brown shone light on the murky world of security contractors
Any attempt to rein in the vast US surveillance apparatus exposed by Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing will be for naught unless government and corporations alike are subject to greater oversight.
The case of journalist and activist Barrett Brown is a case in point.
Brown made a splash in February 2011 by helping to uncover “Team Themis”, a project by intelligence contractors retained by Bank of America to demolish the hacker society known as Anonymous and silence sympathetic journalists like Glenn Greenwald (now with the Guardian, though then with Salon). Read more
Arun Gupta | The Guardian | 24th June 2013
North Circular named as London’s most polluted road
The Walthamstow section of the road in north-east of the city had the worst traffic fumes, the study said. Oxford Street ranked in the worst 15 for its estimated levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Diesel vehicles are responsible for up to 30 times more emissions than petrol vehicles,Clean Air in London said.
The campaign group’s study called for diesels to be banned from London’s most polluted streets by 2020. Clean Air for London said the mayor’s office released the pollution data after they had turned down three freedom of information requests and Clean Air for London used EU legislation to force the mayor’s office to release it.
Of any capital city in Europe, London has the highest levels of NO2, the group said. Read more
BBC | 24th June 2013
Labour calls for publication of report detailing risks of privatised probation
Labour has accused Ministers of blocking publication of an internal risk assessment on probation changes which will see around 70 per cent of rehabilitation work handed to the private sector and voluntary organisations.
The Ministry of Justice has rejected a request under the Freedom of Information Act for the risk register to be published, the Opposition said.
Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan said: “Because of the Government’s secrecy, we don’t know whether the public’s safety is being endangered. What have they got to hide?” Read more
The Yorkshire Post | 24th June 2013