A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By David Callaghan, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.

Tax boost for stay at home mothers

Parents who stay at home to look after their children are to be
given a new tax break in tomorrow’s Budget.

Chancellor Gordon Brown will reward mothers or fathers who give
up work to care for the family. The precise level of new ‘child tax
credit’, which will be paid straight into the carers bank account,
will be revealed in the Budget. It will be introduced in April next

Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday 16 April page 1

Courts to lock up child robbers

Home secretary David Blunkett is to announce new powers for
courts to send persistent young offenders to prison. The youngsters
aged 12 to 15 will be sent to local authority secure units at a
cost of £13,000 per month.

It is believed there at least 600 places could be needed to
cater for the teenagers, who are too young to be sent to

Young offenders institutions at Lancaster Farms, near Lancaster,
and at Onley, Warwickshire, will take the offenders.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 16 April page 1

Damilola police case a mess, says QC

The QC defending one of the two brothers accused of killing
Damilola Taylor said the case against the boys was “a mess”.

Ann Mallalieu said detectives just rounded up the local
troublemakers, and Damilola actually fell on a broken bottle
causing the fatal wound to his leg.

She said ‘boy B’, who she is defending, had convictions for
minor offences, but none for violence.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 16 April page 6

Spot the difference

A British surgeon says Hackney is now as dangerous as Soweto.
Justice Malala, a South African journalist who knows his way round
both, is far from convinced.

Source:- Guardian G2 Tuesday 16 April page 4

Scottish newspapers

Private prisons plan ‘flawed’

The Scottish executive’s plans to develop private prisons
are “fundamentally flawed” according to two academics.

Phil Taylor of Stirling University and Christine Cooper of
Strathclyde University also attacked the role of accountants,
Pricewaterhouse Coopers, which advised the executive during its
lengthy review of Scotland’s prisons.

Taylor and Cooper claim that the executive’s conclusion
that a private prison option offered a saving of £700 million
is wrong and misleading. The academics claim that private prisons
could prove to be much more expensive if the prison population
fell, and accuse the accountants, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, of
“hugely inflating” the cost of publicly run jails.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 16 April page 2

Housing associations to be excluded from freedom of
information bill

Scottish housing associations should be excluded from the
provisions of the Freedom of Information Bill, according to the
Scottish executive.

In spite of an earlier vote by MSPs to include them as public
bodies subject to the bill’s provisions, the executive now
hopes to overturn that decision by excluding smaller housing
associations. A spokesperson for the executive said ministers were
of the view that it was “inappropriate and impractical” for all
registered social landlords to be included in the bill.

The executive hope to introduce an amendment that would allow
for individual housing associations – the larger, more
formally constituted ones – to be brought within the scope of
the bill.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 16 April page 6

Welsh newspapers

John Owen inquiry: Crucial school file

Crucial documents relating to the school teaching career of
alleged paedophile, John Owen may have gone missing.

The missing file is seen to be a vital piece of evidence for the
Clywch inquiry, the first investigation to be carried out by
children’s commissioner for Wales Peter Clarke.

The inquiry will look at the circumstances surrounding alleged
abuse by Owen who taught at a school in south Wales. He was due to
stand trial accused of sexually abusing four boys at the school
last year, but killed himself the day before he was to appear in

The first witness will be the mother of a girl who complained in
1991 that Owen tried to force her daughter to commit a sex act on
another pupil in 1991. She said that she thought people would be
shocked by the evidence that has been uncovered by the

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 16 April page 1

Residents support victim of racism

Residents of a community where an Asian shopkeeper was racially
harassed by a former Ku-Klux-Klan leader have held a meeting to
combat racism.

People in the south Wales town of Maesteg, decided to hold the
meeting to show their support after Mohammed Nawaz was racially
harassed by Alan Beshella following the September 11 terrorist
attacks in New York. Beshella was jailed for three months, and is
due for release later this week. Residents want to stop similar
incidents in the future.

Jeff Hurford, of the Bridgend Coalition Against Racism, said
that the meeting was intended to foster an anti-racist presence in
the area. He said that there had been a number of cases of people
from ethnic minorities leaving the valleys because of racism.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 16 April page 3





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