By David Callaghan, Reg McKay and Alex Dobson.
Minister may sue criminal records firm
A minister has threatened to sue the agency running the Criminal
Records Bureau for failing to meet its targets.
Lord Falconer, a home office minister, said it was unclear how
many checks were being met within the three-week target period, but
it was “very, very substantially below that”.
Capita, the agency running the bureau, has been unable to cope
with the demand since the bureau was launched in April. It has
carried out 40,000 checks and is currently dealing with a further
110,000. Capita is to receive £940 million for its role over
The bureau hit the headlines recently when a firm in Madras,
India, was taken on to help ease the backlog, although the home
office has stressed the company is not actually carrying out
Source:- The Times Tuesday 2 July page 2
Woman, 108, dies in hunger strike
A 108-year-old woman has died after a being on hunger strike for
a month in protest at being moved to a new home.
Alice Knight lived at Flordon House in Norwich for six years
before being moved to nearby Laurel Lodge. She actually died on 13
Carole Yallop, who owns Flordon House, said she had to close the
home because of the new regulations laid down in the Care Standards
The owner of Laurel Lodge, who declined to be named, said: “She
(Knight) had to get used to new surroundings and new care staff. At
108 that is a very traumatic thing, and she couldn’t cope with
Source:- The Times Tuesday 2 July page 8
Children to get £40 a week to study A
Chancellor Gordon Brown has revealed the government has plans to
pay youngsters who stay on at school after 16 an allowance of
£40 per week.
Brown said a £600 million plan to extend educational
maintenance allowances across the country will be unveiled in this
month’s comprehensive spending review.
The scheme, which is currently run in 56 pilot areas, involves
payment to families earning up to £30,000 per year on a
sliding scale of £5 up to £40 per week. Brown said the
number of children staying on to take A levels and other higher
education courses increased by five per cent in the pilot
Source: The Times Tuesday 2 July page 1
Free personal care may be extended to younger disabled
The Scottish executive has not ruled out free personal care
being made available to younger disabled people, according to
Malcolm Chisholm, minister for health and community care. Chisholm
was speaking on the day free personal care for older people was
implemented in Scotland and following a challenge from Capability
Scotland which had accused the executive of “setting an age
barrier” rather than focusing on need.
Chisholm claimed that free personal care in its current form was
introducing “democratic equity” similar to that offered by the NHS,
and said that extending the package to younger disabled people had
not been “ruled out”.
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 2 July page 6
Detectives consider progress in teachers
Detectives will meet today to review their progress in the case
of alleged paedophile, John Owen, who taught at a school in south
They are investigating new allegations against other teachers at
the school, made by witnesses during a public inquiry launched by
children’s commissioner for Wales Peter Clarke.
The Clywch inquiry heard evidence of sexual abuse from alleged
victims of Owen, and there were fresh allegations made against four
The inquiry was adjourned pending the outcome of a police
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 2 July page 3
Helping parents find work
One of the poorest areas of Wales has launched an ambitious
scheme to help parents find work by providing extra childcare.
Rhondda Cynon Taff council has accessed £2.7 million from
the European social fund that will help to fund the scheme over the
next three years.
Council leader Pauline Jarman said that the project was the
first of its kind in Wales to help parents into training and
employment, and that it would mean that a range of community
provision could be developed.
She added that the scheme would mean that parents who were out
of work or in low paid jobs could apply for help if looking after
children was preventing them from taking up training
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 2 July page 7