A different kettle of fish in Salford? BBC MediaCityUK row rumbles on as scandals and complaining staff continue
As the BBC’s move to Salford Quays remains embroiled in controversy, MM asks whether prejudice is rife among those formerly established in London?
For many BBC staff, the migration north to MediaCityUK may have been a welcome relocation, but for others, it was a deal breaker.
According to a recent request under the Freedom of Information Act made to GMP, there have been a number of crimes against BBC staff in the last year, including a producer being chased by four youths trying to steal bikes from staff and a worker being shot with an air rifle.
Todd Fitzgerald | Mancunian Matters | 31st May 2012
Thousands of 12-point motorists on UK roads
New research has revealed that thousands of motorists are currently driving around Britain’s roads despite having 12 points or more on their licence, even though they could be eligible for disqualification under current regulations.
According to a Freedom of Information request made by the Co-operative Motor Group to the DVLA, almost 9,000 drivers with at least 12 points on their licence continue to use UK roads. While motorists who amass 12 points or more within the space of three years are eligible for a ban, the DVLA stated that courts have the option to “use their discretion” when deciding whether or not to implement such a sanction.
“It is concerning that motorists with so many points on their licence can legally be allowed to continue to drive,” said Co-operative Group managing director Tony Guest. “We would hope that at the very least these drivers are having to undertake re-training to ensure that they do not re-offend, but understand this is rarely the case. We would push for a standard test for drivers that reach 12 points for the safety of all road users.”
Katy Robinson | World News Report | 30th May 2012
Swansea AM demands action as cost of thefts revealed
THE cost of metal theft from publicly owned property in Swansea hit £74,579 last year.
A Freedom of Information request submitted to Swansea Council revealed the cost of stolen items such as road signs, lead, cabling and downpipes during the financial year 2011-12.
The issue was raised in the Assembly chamber by Swansea West AM Mike Hedges, who asked the First Minister what action is being taken to combat metal theft in Wales. It was his information request which revealed the figure for Swansea.
South Wales Evening post | 31st May 2012
Flight Lieutenant Joseph Pasquini has found huge discrepancies between the data he collected following the UK’s biggest nuclear test blast at Christmas Island in the Pacific on 28 April, 1958 and those those issued by the MoD and the Atomic Weapons Results Establishment, the Independent reports.
Pasquini said: “I made several Freedom of Information requests and looked at the readings officially given and they were utterly false. My records for the MoD and AWRE are inaccurate. I didn’t say anything for 50 years because I was sworn to secrecy by the Official Secrets Act, and not even my wife knew what I knew. But people need to know the truth about what happened.”
Freedom of Information legislation abused to intimidate researchers
Freedom of information laws are being used as tools of intimidation against scientists and university researchers, forcing them to reveal unpublished manuscripts, according to an article in the Independent. Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, criticised the way scientists involved in contentious research such as tobacco use and climate change are pressured to disclose part of their work.
Last September, the Independent reported that Stirling University was fighting an FoIA request by tobacco giant Philip Morris International, which sought access to thousands of confidential interviews with British teenagers as part of the university’s investigation.
Health Secretary ordered to release NHS reforms Strategic Risk documents
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has been told by the Information Commissioner to disclose the Strategic Risk Register for the NHS reforms under the FoIA after a 12-month battle. The Daily Mirror reports the request was logged by Labour’s former Shadow Health Secretary John Healey.
Local councils cash in millions of pounds from parking services
A FoIA request filed by the Co-operative Motor Group has revealed a steep rise in the amount of money local councils make from parking services. As The Telegraph reports, local authorities have received an extra £184 million from parking charges in the years 2008 to 2010, compared to 2007.
UK Schools don’t know where their food comes from
Only 30 per cent of local education authorities know the country of origin of school food, a FoIA request by the Countryside Alliance Foundation has revealed according to the Telegraph.
Sure Start Centres funding slashed all across UK
The Sunday Mirror’s FoIA investigation into English local councils’ spending on Sure Start Centres showed that 90 per cent will reduce their funding next year. Sure Start Centres were set up by Labour in 1998 with a pledge to tackle child poverty, give children the best possible start in life and provide a lifeline to young mums as a place to meet other parents.