How local authorities can protect themselves from unethical heir hunters


Philip Turvey outlines best practices for local authorities to follow when dealing with heir hunters.

Council clerk convicted of breaking Freedom of Information Act


A council employee has been fined for illegally deleting an audio file in the first conviction under the Freedom of Information Act.

Councils handling nearly half a million FOI requests every year


Councils receive around 467,000 Freedom of Information (FOI) requests every year, nearly double the number compared to estimates in 2010, a new report has revealed.

Councils urged to give views on FOI laws


Councils have been asked to respond to proposals for improving Freedom of Information laws.

The top ten things for local government to be aware of in 2019


2019 looks set to be a year of interesting challenges and opportunities for local government. Tiffany Cloynes and Clare Hardy offer their predictions for the year ahead.

Council warned over FOI delays


Trafford Council is being monitored by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) following concerns about how quickly it is responding to freedom of information (FOI) requests.

Call for LEPs to be subject local government transparency code


Local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) must be covered by the Freedom of Information Act to prevent billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money being hidden from public scrutiny, the News Media Association (NMA) has said.

Only 43 Syrian refugees have been resettled in London, charity reveals


The capital has only taken 3% of all Syrian refugees given sanctuary in the UK since 2014, according to research by Citizens UK.

Practise what you preach: Instilling good governance within local government


The growing number of local government meetings are a significant and seemingly unavoidable budget consideration in themselves. But, that's not to say they can't be run more cost-effectively with a more efficient meeting management process, argues Alister Esam.

FOI request reveals rise in council suspensions over social media breaches


An investigation by the BBC has found there was a 19% rise in council workers being suspended last year for breaking social media rules.

Councils call for tighter controls on freedom of information requests


Freedom of information requests are a ‘burden’ on local authorities, and their use should be subject to tighter controls according to council leaders.

Council to investigate after children at 'risk of radicalisation' are named


Waltham Forest Council is conducting an investigation after the names of school pupils at risk of being radicalised were made public.

CCTV a 'great earner' for councils claims report


The number of councils using CCTV to catch motorists committing traffic offences has risen by 76% since 2012, according to

Councils urged to test their disaster recovery plans


Nearly 40% of city councils have not tested their disaster recovery plans in the past year, according to new research.

Rise in ‘exorcism and witchcraft’ child abuse cases


The number of child abuse cases linked to witchcraft and exorcism accusations has increased, according to a new investigation.

Slow council hiring 'wasting' £437m a year claims research


New research has found that the slow hiring practices of local councils wasted an estimated £437m last year.

FOI request reveals 2,600 empty council homes across Ireland


Politicians in Ireland have demanded the country’s 2,600 empty local authority homes are put to use to tackle the ‘growing housing emergency’.

FOI request exposes upheaval experienced by foster children


A freedom of information request has revealed that a quarter of foster children have to move home at least twice a year.

Councils refute 'wasting' millions on media monitoring


Britain's biggest local authority has hit back at claims in a national newspaper that it has 'wasted' huge sums of money checking how it is reported in the media.

Council-run cremation costs climb by a third


Council cremation prices have risen by a third since 2010, with average costs for adults now reaching £640.

Public bodies leaking private data once a fortnight warns website


Public authorities have accidentally released personal information at least once a fortnight since 2009, according to analysis by mySociety.

FOI reveals 21% rise in unfinished roadworks per council


A third of all car journeys are delayed by road works, with the number of unfinished council maintenance projects climbing by a fifth – research reveals.

Dog poo fines down almost 20%, figures reveal


The number of dog owners fined for failing to pick up their pooch’s poo fell almost a fifth in the last year, research has revealed.

Councils spent 42,000 days ‘snooping’ on public


An investigation has revealed councils spent 42,000 days on covert and direct surveillance operations, ‘snooping’ on pigeon feeders and motorists.

Councils spent £750,000 hiring celebrities investigation reveals


Councils spent more than £750,000 last year on booking celebrities to appear at events, according to new figures.

Council spends £140k on ‘Berlin wall-style’ barrier around estate


A south London council spent £140,000 constructing a ‘Berlin Wall-style’ spiked fence around a housing estate.

Councils urged to embed transparency in outsourcing contracts


A report is calling on local authorities to consider transparency before signing outsourcing contracts, due to limitations of the freedom of information act.

Security warning as 55% of councils use unsupported software


More than half of councils in England are still using unsupported versions of Java, leading to concerns of a future ‘security disaster’, according to new research.

Three councils warned over FOI delays


Three councils are being monitored by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) following concerns they are too slow at responding to freedom of information (FOI) requests.

Bus services facing 'crisis' over council cuts


Bus services are being lost at an ‘alarming rate’, with half of councils in England and Wales reducing funding this year, new research suggests.

Councils face up to £100m in road repairs backlog


Councils are facing a huge backlog of road repairs, with some authorities needing up to £100m to complete work, according to new figures.

Data breaches costing local government millions, FOI reveals


Data breaches have cost local government over £2.3m in fines since 2010, with council organisations named some of the worst for protecting confidential information.

Four councils warned to improve FOI practices


Four councils are being monitored by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for being too slow to respond to freedom of information requests.

Revealed: The top ten bizarre questions posed to councils


A demand to know what plans are in place to protect Wigan from dragon attacks has topped the list of the wackiest Freedom of Information (FOI) requests sent to councils.

Exorcism inquiry sent to council


Councillors in Wigan have been forced to expose how many times cash swapped hands for exorcisms at the local authority.

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