The Scotsman used FOI to find out how much cremation and burial charges had risen as a result of recent spending cuts – in some places it has doubled, while overall the amount raised from such services has gone from £8million to £16million.
Spotting a theme here yet? Maybe. The BBC’s Inside Out programme – ie the programme the BBC bigwigs want to slash the budget of, despite being the only regional current affairs progeamme the BBC currently produces which breaks stories – used FOI to ask councils how much they’d made from residents parking permits in recent years. No surprise, the figure has rised rapidly.
An investigation by GP magazine has revealed that dozens of primary care trusts are blocking access to drugs which have been approved by NICE, the government’s drug approval/rationing (depending on your point of view) agency. The NHS constitution says that any drug approved by NICE should be made available, so this could be an FOI for local newsapers to follow up.