Tuesday 1 October 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Shona Main and Alex

Black day for Blair as party revolts

Tony Blair was defeated yesterday in a vote at the Labour Party
Conference over the private financing of public services.

The prime minister will fight back today by telling his party
that Labour has not been bold enough in its reform programme and
that the pace of change must be speeded up rather than slowed. The
minister was slow hand clapped and booed off the platform as he
defended the controversial Private Finance Initiative. Unions voted
for an independent inquiry into PFI.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 1 October page 1

Records check missed charity workers’

A children’s charity has demanded an investigation into
the Criminal Records Bureau after two people with a previous
conviction were cleared by the agency.

Chief executive of Barnardo’s, Roger Singleton said his
confidence in the bureau had been damaged after checks on two
applicants failed to register their previous convictions of which
the charity had been aware.

One worker had a conviction for possessing cannabis and the
other had four convictions, including one for threatening
behaviour, Singleton told BBC Radio 4. He said it was important to
know what went wrong in these two cases.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 1 October page 2

Domestic violence to become an offence

Domestic violence is to become an offence in its own right under
proposals currently being drawn up by ministers.

Modelled on stalking legislation, the offence would be based on
a pattern of abusive behaviour rather than one-off episodes that
may appear minor in isolation.

Solicitor general Harriet Harman believes the courts need the
new offence to cover abuse that may not amount to common assault,
grievous bodily harm, arson or manslaughter under which abusers are
currently prosecuted.

The new measure is to be included in a domestic violence bill
which could become law by next summer.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 1 October page 2

Boy, 15, stabbed in race attack

A black teenager is recovering in hospital after he was stabbed
in the heart in a race attack a few miles away from where Stephen
Lawrence was murdered in south-east London.

Two young white men began making racist remarks to a group of
four youths who boarded a bus at Brockley Rise last Friday

Yesterday the stabbed 15-year-old was described as in a critical
condition, but police confirmed that he was no longer in intensive

Source:- The Times Tuesday 1 October page 3

Police consider ‘drug room’

Kent police are considering allowing drug users to take
prescribed heroin in a controlled environment, in a bid to drive
down crime, it emerged yesterday.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 1 October page 6

Too many women jailed, says Booth

Too many women are imprisoned, according to Cherie Booth last

The prime minister’s wife called for greater use of
alternatives such as electronic tagging and weekend jail.

The QC, speaking at the launch of a commission on women and the
criminal justice system argued that the growing female prison
population did not succeed in reducing re-offending and represented
a tragedy for both the women and their families.

Women become trapped in a “vicious circle” of jail,
separation from their communities and families and then further
offending, Booth said.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 1 October page 11

Morris attacks asylum centres

The government’s plans for accommodation centres for
asylum seekers will prove to be Labour’s “Greenham
Common”, Bill Morris predicted yesterday.

The general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union
has also strongly criticised David Blunkett’s attempts to
“out-do the right” and argued that for the government
to pursue such a policy is “morally and intellectually

Morris says the initial plans for four accommodation centres
planned to open from 2004 could turn into a 15-strong “series
of mini towns” all providing separate housing, education,
legal services and health care facilities. Residents will be
compelled to live there, he argues, or risk destitution for
themselves and their families.

He claims they are, in reality, detention centres founded on the
socially repugnant objective of separating refugees and their
children from society.

Barring children from mainstream schools is not only a clear
breach of United Nations guidance on the rights of the child, but
also sends out a dreadful message about the value society places on
these children, he added.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 1 October page 12

Over-60s now outnumber the under-16s

There are more people aged over 60 in Britain than children
under 16 for the first time, according to the census 2001.

The proportion of under 16s has decreased from around a quarter
in 1951 to a fifth while the population of those aged 60 or more
has increased from 16 to 21 per cent. The census
“snapshot” confirms fears of a “pensions
time-bomb” caused by an ageing population.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 1 October page 4

Scottish newspapers

Dangers of Scotland’s vanishing youth

Scotland’s spending plans have been threatened by a “demographic
time bomb”, according to new figures.

The 2001 census has confirmed that older people out number young
people. While in the rest of the UK’s population is rising,
Scotland’s total population has fallen by 150,000 since 1981.

John Curtice, of the University of Strathclyde, warned policy
makers to consider the impact these figures will have on social

“It raises questions about the degree to which, by 2020 or 2030,
we will be able to support the older population. They will require
more health services, they will require more pensions. If the
number of people in the workforce is low, then you lose the
capability to maintain that.”

Source: – The Scotsman Tuesday 1 October page 5

Campaign anger as MSPs ditch smack bill

Children 1st has renewed calls for a ban smacking under

The Scottish executive had abandoned the proposals following
lack of support from the parliament’s Justice 1 committee.

Margaret McKay, chief executive of the charity, warned
politicians that it wasn’t too late to “do the right thing for

Source: – The Scotsman Tuesday 1st October page 10

Quicker results urged as blocked beds total

Frank McAveety, the deputy health minister, welcomed a fall in
the number of delayed discharges but warned NHS boards and local
authorities that more must be done to meet the targets.

Figures for July showed that ‘bed blocking’ had reduced by 1.1
per cent since April when new monies were made available to tackle
the problem.

Source: – The Herald Tuesday 1 October page 11

Welsh newspapers

Society changes its mind over bequest

A u-turn by the Welsh Language Society in deciding not to accept
money from alleged paedophile John Owen’s estate has been welcomed
by his “victims”.

The organisation, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg had originally
said that it would accept a reported £100,000 from the former
drama teacher’s will.

But following a furious outcry from alleged victims and their
families the Society has decided to reverse its decision.

Solicitor Lynda Roberts, who is acting for the families of some
of those who are giving evidence to the Clywch inquiry, set up to
look into Owen’s activities said she was glad the society had come
to a quick decision.

She said that her clients were very disappointed with the
society’s initial decision to accept because to do so would have
been inappropriate and immoral.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 1st October page 9

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