HIV cases rise sharply < < < Plymouth Herald
THE number of people who have tested positive for HIV in the city in the last five years has risen by 60 per cent, The Herald can reveal.
Figures from Derriford Hospital’s GUM Clinic, released to The Herald under a Freedom of Information Request, show that in 2008/2009 the number of people who tested positive for HIV was 28. During the last financial year, 2012/2013, that figure rose to 46.
Numbers of parents winning appeals to get help with school transport costs < < < Gloucester Citizen
UTS mean fewer parents are now entitled to get help in paying for school transport – and appeals cost Gloucestershire County Council nearly half a million pounds.
However, despite these payouts, the county council is still on target to save £1.5million on school transport by 2016.
Figures obtained in a Freedom of Information request show that in 2012-13, 89 of 113 appeals were granted, 100 of 165 appeals were granted in the previous year, and in 2010-11, 87 of 139 appeals were granted. That resulted in the council paying out £506,000 in 2012-13, although this includes money paid out for successful appeals and reviews in the previous year.
However, the number of appeals heard and the number granted fell last year.
How councils are spending money on credit cards or ‘procurement cards’ < < < Express and Star
Taxpayers have footed a bill of £7.5 million spent on council credit cards in the West Midlands in a single year – with executives using them to fund foreign trips, hotel stays and even meals at KFC.
Officers in local authorities have used them to pay for visits to Paris and Venice, a tour of Arsenal Football Club and even pay off parking tickets slapped on cars by their own council’s wardens.
An investigation by the Express & Star has revealed five councils spent a total of £7.5m in just one financial year – on almost 1,500 ‘purchase’ or ‘procurement’ cards that are used by their staff.
They have bought two patio sets costing a total of £640.38, three SpongeBob SquarePants cushions at £11.97, eight ukuleles for £159.92 and a bowler hat priced £9.99.