A council with 100,000 unsuitable images on its computers, a police force revealing it doesn’t investigate almost a quarter of reported crimes and the rising cost of parking fines – here are 10 stories made possible this week thanks to the Freedom of Information Act.
Councils up and down the country are tasked with promoting their local economies, and they often nick ideas from each other – hence why nearly every town seems to have a German Christmas market (started in Birmingham, I think) or a big wheel (started in Manchester, again, I think). But how far do councils go to ensure they are supporting the local economy through their purchases? The Countryside Alliance used FOI to ask councils if they had a formal policy in place to ensure they tried to buy locally – the answer was that 74% did not.
Sticking with councils for the time being, The Nottingham Evening Post turned up an interesting discovery when it asked the local council how many unsuitable images had been found on its computer. The report states that the council has a software package it uses to track such things – is it possible other councils do the same? Is it worth asking any council how many instances of unsuitable images or unsuitable content being accessed has been reported in the last year? Interestingly, the NEP report says the council considered abandoning its probe into dodgy photographs when it saw the scale of the problem. That’ll solve it, then!