Tuesday 18 March 2003

By Amy Taylor, Nicola Barry
and Alex Dobson

Suffering of the couple who were treated ‘like child

A couple have told of how they were suspected of abusing their
10-month-old son, when the one behind the attacks was his

The parents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were
regarded with suspicion when they took their son to hospital with
bite marks on one arm and two broken legs.

Their child was subsequently put on the ‘at risk’ register and
they were not allowed to take him home for over two weeks.

They said that it took over a year to get the childminder,
Geraldine Rama, suspended from the council’s childminding register
and charged with assault.

Source:- Daily Mail Tuesday 18 March page 19


Minimum wage will rise to £4.80

The Government will announce tomorrow that the national minimum
wage will increase from £4.20 to £4.80 an hour by

The creation of a minimum wage, which occurred four years ago
set at £3.60 an hour, was a key Labour manifesto commitment in

Source:- The Independent Tuesday 18 March page 8



The front line nearer

The battle to save children from
abuse or from their own emotional problems is being lost because of
a shortage of social workers.

In Glasgow, social work services are
25% understaffed and in children and families work the figure
stands at 36%.

Source: The Herald
18th March page 14


Campaigners fear mental health bill may be flawed by

Legislation to bring about the most radical overhaul of mental
health laws in 40 years could be fundamentally flawed due to a
last-minute rush to pass it through parliament.

Mental health campaigners and MSPs have raised strong concerns
about the bill after the Executive added more than 700 amendments
just days before the final vote in the Scottish Parliament.

Source: The Scotsman Tuesday 18th March page 7


Kirk’s care homes facing axe

The Church of Scotland admitted yesterday that some of its 30
residential care homes for the elderly would be forced to close
because of a multi-million pound funding crisis.

More than 800 pensioners across the country face an uncertain
future as the Kirk struggles to balance the books.

Source: The Scotsman Tuesday 18th March page


Welsh newspapers

‘We’re under yobs’

A community on a south Wales housing estate is being kept under
a curfew because of the anti social behaviour of youths an angry
resident told police.

The woman who does not want to be named told a special
consultation meeting that the youth problem on the Bettws estate in
Newport was the worst it had ever been and the community was
effectively being placed under a curfew because people were
frightened to go out.

Gwent police have organised the public consultation to discuss
residents’ fears and help them prioritise activity to deal
with problems affecting the community.

Source: South Wales Argus Monday 17 March page 6


Vicar would play hardcore videos while sexually abusing
priest, court is told

An alleged victim of sexual abuse has told how a senior
clergyman would watch hardcore porn videos while carrying out sex

The alleged victim who is now a priest said that Church in Wales
vicar Canon Lawrence Davies, 62, would play hardcore pornography
from countries such as Sweden and the US.

Davies is accused of carrying out sex assaults over a 25-year
period that are said to have taken place in the church hall, the
vestry, the vicarage and during a summer trip.

He denies eight counts of indecent assault and five counts of
serious sexual assault on three males – two of whom are now

Source Western Mail Tuesday 18 march page 3


Sword of Damocles hanging over Wales’s most frail
and elderly

Older people who are evicted when care homes close are giving up
the will to live because they are frightened of the future, a
campaigner claimed yesterday.

He is calling for a change in the law to ensure that older
people, who spend their last years in residential or nursing homes,
can do so safe in the knowledge that they will have a permanent
roof over their heads

Ken Mack who says his late mother-in-law was a victim of a home
closure wrote to the Secretary of State for Health, Alan Milburn
seven months ago outlining his concerns but says he has still not
received a reply.

He has now enlisted support for his campaign from veteran trade
unionists Jack Jones, Lord Alf Morris and Rodney Bickerstaffe.

Source Western Mail Tuesday 18 March page 11

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