By Clare Jerrom, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.
Children to be dispersed in plan to cut asylum
A secret action plan from the home office and Downing Street
will see thousands of asylum seeking children being dispersed from
London and the south east throughout Britain in a bid to achieve a
“radical reduction” in the number of asylum seekers.
The leaking of the plans for this month’s Downing Street
summit on asylum has angered Tony Blair and David Blunkett, and the
proposal to disperse children under 18 has already been
The home office plan includes many firm proposals marked “for
decision” by ministers such as a package of new amendments to be
tabled in the next two weeks to the nationality and immigration
bill going through the Commons.
They include re-imposing the fines of £2,000 on lorry
drivers who bring in illegal entrants.
New amendments are being drafted to introduce the “certification
of weak and non compliant” asylum applications, which would mean
Blunkett will be able to stop the re-examination by an immigration
adjudicator of thousands of cases ruled out on “technical
Legislation in the bill will contain a “white list” of safe
countries to which those facing removal will be unable to halt
their deportation by appealing.
The Refugee Council has criticised the decision to disperse
thousands of children across Britain.
There are around 6,000 child asylum seekers mainly being looked
after by local authorities in London and the south-east.
The home office plan says they need to be dispersed “to reduce
pressures at ports and to reduce fraud/abuse”.
Terry Smith, head of the children’s section of the Refugee
Council, said: “Policy should be driven by what is in the best
interests of the child…It is not just about putting a roof
over their heads and leaving them with no back up or support.”
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 28 May page 1
The government proposals for large accommodation centres in
rural areas are likely to stoke community tensions, according to
the British Red Cross.
The organisation told home secretary David Blunkett that he
should develop smaller centres in cosmopolitan urban areas.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 28 may page 5
90-year-old left in casualty for four days, check
NHS shortages are resulting in patients with serious complaints
spending up to four days in casualty departments, a spot check has
The independent survey, published yesterday, showed the worst
case to involve a 90-year-old woman who was in casualty more than
95 hours after falling and hurting her hip.
She arrived at Aintree University hospital, Merseyside, on
Thursday afternoon, and was still there on Monday afternoon waiting
for someone to arrange transport to take her home.
The Association of Community Health Councils for England and
Wales performed the annual survey, called Casualty Watch, by
sending inspectors to 167 hospitals at 4.30pm last Monday.
It found that dozens of patients were waiting more than 24 hours
in casualty with the top 20 waits ranging from 28 hours to over
Source:- The Times Tuesday 28 May page 8
Scans give decades of dementia warning
Early stages of Alzheimer’s disease can be detected
decades before a patient shows any clinical symptoms using simple
brain scans, research in America suggests.
Magnetic resonance imaging scans can show changes in the brain
caused by the developing neurological condition long before the
onset of memory loss, and other indicators of the disease,
scientists have found.
The research is published in the journal ‘Neurology’, and could
provide doctors with a new means of diagnosing Alzheimer’s at
a much earlier stage than is possible now.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 28 May page 8
‘Prison taught me a valuable
The stark reality of prison has made the first mother jailed for
failing to stop her children playing truant determined to ensure
they attend school regularly.
Patricia Amos, who was released from Holloway prison last week
after her sentence was reduced from 60 days to 28 days, said her
“horrible, absolutely horrible”, experience has made her come to
terms with her mistake.
At Banbury magistrates’ court, Oxon, she was sentenced to
60 days imprisonment for failing to ensure Emma 15, and Jackie, 13,
attended Banbury comprehensive school.
After two weeks in prison, Amos said she felt ashamed she had
let her family down.
She added that she would support her daughters “every inch of
.Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 28 May page 4
Prostitutes say tolerance zone too small
Prostitutes are against Scotland’s only tolerance zone in
Aberdeen, saying the designated area is too small to allow them to
ply their trade.
For three years Grampian police have adopted a tolerant approach
to prostitution in the city’s harbour area, and last autumn
they produced a formal policy for their officers. However, a number
of prostitutes canvassed said the area was too small, and had not
brought them any benefits.
The move came as part of an Aberdeen council consultation paper
in response to a bill by Margot MacDonald MSP proposing to give all
local authorities the power to establish tolerance zones. Grampian
police said they were constantly reviewing the situation though a
larger zone tended to attract more complaints from the public.
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 28 May page 3
Council faces massive bill for crumbling
A south Wales council faces a housing crisis that has left it
needing to spend £145 million on its crumbling properties.
Ten per cent of Blaenau Gwent council’s properties are below
standard and in need of massive investment over the next 20 years,
and council officers have identified some 500 properties that face
The authority owns more than 8,000 houses, and needs to act on
some 800 homes across the borough by the deadline of 2011 the date
by which the Welsh assembly says all houses must be brought “to an
Source:- South Wales Argus Monday 27 May page 1 and
Shortage of special doctors keeps wonder drug on
Arthritis sufferers could be denied a new drug because of a
shortage of specialist doctors.
Thousands of people in Wales who suffer from rheumatoid
arthritis could be given a new lease of life with a drug called
anti-TNF, but the treatment in most cases requires specialist
support, and there are only 11 specialist consultant
rheumatologists in the whole country.
A new charity, the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society will be
launched today in Cardiff, and will call for extra funding for
people who suffer from the condition.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 28 May page 5