Exclusive FOI Investigation 

INVESTIGATION: Councils spend £10m to silence child sex claims

English councils have shelled out millions to settle historic child sex claims from victims who were abused when they were in the care of the state. Authorities have cumulatively racked up a legal bill of over £10 million to settle claims from victims of child sexual exploitation who were abused while living in children’s homes. The figures are revealed in a series of Freedom of Information requests to all English councils, which revealed the councils who have paid most – and others who are subject to huge police investigations and…

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FOI Investigation Politics 

Notts hospital’s PFI debt just grew to £2bn

Bosses at King’s Mill Hospital has been slammed for ‘failing to renegotiate’ its crippling PFI contract as our investigation finds the bill is continuing to rise. The area’s main medical centre has come under fire for the impact of the debt paid to its builders over a 38-year period, and a doctor at the hospital says the stifling financial arrangement continues to put lives at risk. Hospital bosses signed a deal with Swedish construction firm Skanska in 2005, taking on huge debt as part of the private finance initiative, to…

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FOI Local 

Sexual assault more common in schools than bike theft

Sexual offences outnumber bike thefts as crime in Mansfield schools is revealed Playgrounds and classrooms are supposed to be a “sanctuary” for our children and young people, with their safety guaranteed no matter what’s going on outside. But a new investigation by the Chad reveals how sexual exploitation and other offences have become more common in our schools – second only to incidents of violence. Cases range from teenagers experiencing pressure and unwanted sexual advances in a relationship context, to teachers reporting young children for harmful sexual behaviour – and…

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FOI Society 

Tory housing mission has become the ‘right-to-buy-to-let’

Buyers of council properties have been slammed for “milking the system” after figures revealed almost half of all state-owned flats sold under the right-to-buy scheme in Ashfield and Mansfield have ended up in the private rented market. Rather than provide a low-cost option for poorer families to get onto the housing ladder as touted by the government, an investigation shows the scheme has, in some cases, been lining the coffers of private landlords. A Freedom of Information request made to both district councils revealed 269 leasehold properties, usually flats, have…

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