The police force that thinks it would be unfair to name escaped prisoners … unfair on the prisoners, that is

A great FOI story here from the Blackpool Gazette, which asked Lancashire Police for details of any prisoners who had absconded from their local jail. It was more than just a speculative fishing trip – not that there’s anything wrong with those by the way – by the Gazette, as a quick search of GoogleContinue reading “The police force that thinks it would be unfair to name escaped prisoners … unfair on the prisoners, that is”

FOI: The council which wants the power to determine what is ‘lazy journalism.’ Really

If you believed many of the public sector submissions to the Government’s Freedom of Information review, this country is blessed with a public sector which is passionate about transparency but gets bogged down by FOI being abused by people who just want to waste time. And, you know, we’ve got budget cuts, so something needsContinue reading “FOI: The council which wants the power to determine what is ‘lazy journalism.’ Really”

FOI Friday: The Tories who clearly love the Freedom of Information Act – and 9 other stories made possible by FOI this week

You don’t need Freedom of Information to expose a politician as a hypocrite. The Daily Mail proved that when it took a matter of hours to call out Chris Grayling after he attempted to ‘shame’ the media for using FOI to get stories! Grayling, it turns out, was a serial user of FOI when inContinue reading “FOI Friday: The Tories who clearly love the Freedom of Information Act – and 9 other stories made possible by FOI this week”

The chilling impact the Government’s FOI Commission looks set to have on our right to know

If a picture tells a thousand words, then a screen grab of an article on the Guardian’s website is perhaps a bit of a con, but it sums up neatly the grave threat currently facing the Freedom of Information Act: The post-election review set up to look into the working of the Freedom Of InformationContinue reading “The chilling impact the Government’s FOI Commission looks set to have on our right to know”

FOI Friday: Full cemeteries, unsolved crimes, snooping coppers and accidents at theme parks

The social care crisis for councils < The Herald Councils face a mounting crisis with thousands of disabled people unable to meet their bills for social and personal care. According to figures obtained by The Herald, more than 14,000 people facing bills for personal and social care are in arrears. Campaigners say the levels strugglingContinue reading “FOI Friday: Full cemeteries, unsolved crimes, snooping coppers and accidents at theme parks”

The police and crime commissioner who wants to turn whistleblowers into criminals

When police and crime commissioners were first proposed by the coalition government, the idea was that they would make police forces more accountable. According to the Association of Police and Crime Commisioners: The role of the PCCs is to be the voice of the people and hold the police to account. They are responsible forContinue reading “The police and crime commissioner who wants to turn whistleblowers into criminals”

FOI: Thinking beyond the obvious when asking for data

Last week, many newspapers and other media outlets carried stories triggered by and FOI which asked for details of the crimes committed by children. Nothing unusual in that, given how common the ‘x number of 10 year olds arrested for x’ which have been made possible by FOI over the years. But this particular FOIContinue reading “FOI: Thinking beyond the obvious when asking for data”

FOI: The council boss who threatened to sue a hospital

Good work from the Chester Chronicle in uncovering a remarkable spat between a local council and a local hospital. The Chronicle used FOI to obtain letters between Cheshire West and Chester Council and the Countess of Chester Hospital following a spat between the two bodies. As Chester West and Cheshire has long been one ofContinue reading “FOI: The council boss who threatened to sue a hospital”

FOI: So who is wasting time really? FOI requesters or the Local Government Association?

Remember this FOI press release from the Local Government Association, the publicly-funded lobbying body for local councils in the UK? I wrote about it back in August, asking why the Local Government Association, which proved itself utterly ineffective at getting the Con/Lib coalition to listen to it when this Government’s spending cuts were being plannedContinue reading “FOI: So who is wasting time really? FOI requesters or the Local Government Association?”

FOI Friday: Thefts from churches, Christmas cuts, Coventry’s oldest driver and hospital drug thieves

Tax relief for independent schools < Croydon Advertiser CROYDON’S independent schools received £6.8 million in business rates relief over the last six years. Figures obtained by the Advertiser through a Freedom of Information request to Croydon Council show the extent to which the town’s private schools receive financial support. What gets stolen from churches? <Continue reading “FOI Friday: Thefts from churches, Christmas cuts, Coventry’s oldest driver and hospital drug thieves”