Edge Hill University named
1 of UK's least transparent Universities
THE University and College Union (UCU)
has named the Edge Hill University as 1 of the least transparent in the UK.
The University failed to provide details of its Vice Chancellor's pay and perks
in response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request from the Union.
It was 1 of just 8*
out of 161 Universities who did not respond, and is something of a serial
offender having also refused to respond in 2016. UCU has
reported the University to the Information Commissioner and asked that Edge Hill
completes its statutory duty and replies to the Union. 5 Universities used FoI exemptions to avoid answering any of the questions.
UCU said greater sanctions were needed to ensure universities justified some of
the largesse that has embarrassed higher education in recent years. It has
called for a national register of senior pay and perks in UK Universities.
The Union said any University that claimed the answers to its questions were
available online had either not read the questions properly or was being
UCU will be releasing its latest pay and perks survey later this month and said
that universities should not escape the spotlight by refusing to answer
legitimate questions about how they spend public money.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said:- "Freedom of Information
legislation is important in holding Universities that spend millions of pounds
of public money to account. It is extremely disappointing that the University of
Bolton has once again refused to provide us with this information.
It is not acceptable for Edge Hill and a handful of other universities to refuse
to comply with the law and dodge Freedom of Information requests. We believe the
time has come for a national register of pay and perks in our Universities. The
information we requested is not available online and any University that
suggests it is either did not read the request properly or is being deliberately
We have written to the Information Commissioner's Office and we would like to
see greater sanctions on those universities that blatantly ignore these requests
or try to wriggle out of their responsibilities with exemptions."
* 8 of the 161 institutions failed to respond to UCU's FoI request:-
University of Bolton.
University of Coventry.
University of Cranfield.
Edge Hill University.
University of Roehampton.
Rose Bruford College.
University of Southampton.
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
5 institutions used exemptions under the FoI Act to avoid answering all
Birmingham City University.
University of Hull.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
University of St Andrews.
Another train assault
underlines key role of guards
A Train Guard's calm and professional
actions in the aftermath of a serious sexual assault aboard a Trans Pennine
Express service, last month, underlines the importance of a guard on every train,
Britain's biggest rail union says.
News of the 6 January assault; with striking similarities to an incident on
Merseyrail a month before; emerged as RMT entered crunch talks with Merseyrail
bosses today to head off the threatened removal of all guards on the franchise's
The victim of the 6 January 2017, attack has praised the "unbelievably
kind and compassionate manner" in which the guard assisted her in the wake of the attack; and said she did not know what would have happened had there not been a guard
on the train.
The guard on the TPE evening service between Manchester Airport and York was
able to calm the passenger and gently guide her in making a complaint to Police
who, on reviewing the CCTV footage, have launched a criminal investigation into
a serious sexual assault.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:- "This latest awful incident has
come to light to the very day that our reps have gone into crunch talks with
Merseyrail bosses who want to remove all guards from their trains; despite
creaming off an average of £10 million in dividends for their shareholders every
Once again a safety trained guard has come to the assistance of a passenger in
highly distressing circumstances, and it beggars belief that anyone could
suggest that trains without guards are anything other than a huge step
Fortunately assaults like this are rare, but we know that passengers feel safer
with a visible, uniformed guard on board their train, not least women travelling
alone at night.
That alone should make a guard essential on every train, but they are also there
to take charge and help passengers to safety in the event of an emergency like a
fire or derailment, and to ensure that passengers get on and off trains safely.
RMT has drawn a line in the sand over the removal of guards from trains and will
not accept any extension of driver only operation; and that is the message our
reps have taken to Merseyrail."
Kelvinside fly tipper given
suspended prison sentence
A Meols man, who deliberately dumped
waste on public land, has been handed a custodial sentence after pleading guilty
to 7 offences, at Wirral Magistrates Court. Richard Devonshire Young, 71,
of Hamil Close in Meols, received a 6 month sentence for each of 6 of the
offences, from District Judge Abelson. There was no further penalty for the
seventh charge. The custodial sentences were suspended for 2 years.
Young was also ordered to pay £1,540 as a contribution to costs and compensation
worth £1,380. A victim surcharge of £80 was also awarded.
The offences took place between January and March 2016 when Young deliberately
dumped controlled waste on land on Kelvinside in Wallasey, on 5 different
occasions, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1990. He was also not
registered to transport waste in the course of business or otherwise with a view
to profit, which contravenes the Control of Pollution Act 1989.
DJ Abelson heard sentencing arguments and accepted that it was a deliberate act.
He supported Wirral Council, in bringing the action and acknowledged the
financial and time commitments in the investigation and clean up of these flying
tipping incidents. As part of the sentencing, the judge advised Young that
he could have confiscated his van and disqualified him from driving, but in
light of guilty pleas, his age and other mitigating circumstances he did not.
Cllr Bernie Mooney, Wirral Council Cabinet member for Environment, said:-
"This successful court action and tough sentence should warn anyone thinking of
dumping rubbish illegally that there will be consequences. Our officers have a
range of investigative powers at their disposal and they will not hesitate to
use them to deter and detect those who think they are above the law."
Local charity worker donates
kidney to her best friend
WITH Christmas a distant memory, you
could be forgiven for thinking the season for giving has been long forgotten for
another year. But not so in the North West, as a charity Merseyside fundraiser
has give the most precious gift of all to her friend, her kidney! Andy
Clewes, 46, is a radio DJ with Macclesfield Station Silk 106.9, he's suffered
with chronic kidney disease since birth, but it's was only in the last few years
that the illness started to have a devastating impact on Andy's life. Andy and
Helen met in 2006, when Andy's radio station ran:- 'Bring A £ To Work
Day.' a charity fundraising event. Helen, who is a fundraiser for local
children's charity, the Children's Adventure Farm Trust and took part on behalf
of the charity. Ever since they have remained close friends. Helen
Crowther, 46, was Best (wo)Man at Andy's wedding to Christine in October 2016
and the friends, who were born exactly a week apart, describe themselves as
"2 peas in a pod." It became apparent in 2015 that Andy's kidney disease
had progressed to the stage where a transplant would be needed and Helen didn't
hesitate to step forward. The 1st step was a simple blood test to ascertain
whether they were a match, a nerve wracking wait which was thankfully rewarded
with a very positive "yes." Andy and Helen, despite not being
related, were a close match and a long year of tests began. Helen, who is a
Runcorn resident, originally from Stockbridge Village, before the operation
said:- "It's been a long process determining whether my kidney was healthy
enough to give to Andy, but it's all finally going ahead! I can't deny that the
prospect of having such a big operation scares me, but all I can think about is
getting Andy well. For me, it's just a couple of months out of my life when I'll
feel a bit tired and sore, but for Andy it will be a whole new life. It'll be so
lovely to see him healthy and happy, without the worry of his worsening
condition getting him down."
The pair are now hoping to use their experience to encourage others to sign up
to the Organ Donor Register. Andy, 46, from Crewe, also before the operation
said:- "I've lived with chronic kidney disease for a long time now, but I
feel lucky and grateful to be able to have this transplant. It means I can get
my life back and I'm very much looking forward to a future when I will be well.
I'd like to appeal to everyone to sign up to the Organ Donor Register, or even
to consider being a living donor, as you really will be changing lives. I've
been lucky to have a friend who is willing and able to help, but others aren't
so fortunate and rely on the kindness of strangers."
Andy and Helen have undergone operations at separate Hospitals, in separate
Cities; a common occurrence for transplant teams throughout the UK as organs are
donated from all four corners of the country. Helen's operation took place at
the Royal Liverpool Hospital, on the morning of the 24 January 2017, when her
kidney was removed then carefully transported to the Manchester Royal Infirmary,
where Andy received the kidney later that same day. The Royal Liverpool
University Hospital is a regional centre for kidney transplantation, treating
patients from Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales. Mr Sanjay Mehra,
consultant transplant surgeon at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital,
added:- "Across the UK, 1 in 10 people in need of a transplant die,
waiting for a donor. It's vital that we get more people signed up to the Organ
Donation Register, as we know that 1 donor could potentially change the lives of
up to 8 people. You can join the register
online or by calling:- 0300 123 2323. The short
term and long term outcomes from a living donor transplant are excellent,
however for a small minority of patients there may not be the expected result.
Following his operation we would like to wish Andy the best outcome from his