By Clare Jerrom, Nicola Barry and Alex
Truanting pupils lead the protest
Thousands of school children playing truant led the protests
opposing war yesterday.
Many of the children face suspension after taking part in
sometimes violent demonstrations. At least five teenagers were
arrested in Parliament Square where hundreds of children, some as
young as 11, staged sit down protests.
They were joined by around 50 pupils from Eton College, who said
their participation in the demonstrations had been sanctioned by
headmaster Tony Little.
Protests occurred throughout the country including action in
Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester.
Source:- The Times Thursday 20 March page 1
Voters see signs of better public services
General improvements in public services have been noted by
voters for the first time since Labour came to power, according to
an opinion poll for The Guardian.
The survey records a sharp drop in those who believe the health
service and even public transport are getting worse, alongside
steady progress in education.
The poll shows however that public concern is now focussed on
crime and asylum issues with more than half of voters saying things
are “getting worse” in those areas.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 20 March page 1
Human rights commission urged
The government’s attempt to foster a rights-based culture
is stalling, and there is a “compelling” case for a human rights
commissioner in England and Wales, the joint human rights committee
of MPs and peers claims today.
Following a two year inquiry, the report says public bodies such
as local councils and hospitals “do enough to avoid litigation and
“The decision to establish an independent body for the promotion
and protection of human rights must be taken now,” the committee
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 20 March page 12
Minimum wage rise to help more than a
The imminent rise in the national minimum wage will benefit more
than a million people, according to the Prime Minister
The rate will go up to £4.85 by October 2004, with the
youth rate rising to £4.10 on the recommendation of the Low
Source:- Independent Thursday 20 March page 13
Old folk win the right to fight care home’s
Elderly residents won the right to challenge the planned closure
of their care home, the High Court ruled yesterday.
Lawyers argued that 27 residents were so frail that to move them
would breach their human rights and possibly kill them.
Judge Sir Richard Tucker said the residents of Delamere House
care home in St Helens, Merseyside, have a case for a judicial
The ruling could now affect thousands of older people in care
Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 20 March page 23
Glasgow offers debt pay-off
Glasgow City Council is to review
salary grades of social workers in an attempt to attract –
and retain – frontline care staff.
It also intends to draw up a
five-year plan aimed at ending a deepening crisis in which 73
vacancies already exist in the children and families section, with
some 35 vacancies in community care.
The council also intends to pay off
student debts if they sign up for Glasgow.
Source: The Herald Thursday
20th March page 15
Deadline may be costly to miners
Officials at the Department of Trade and Industry are launching
a legal bid to impose a deadline on compensation for ex-miners
suffering from industrial disease.
But the move could mean that thousands of former miners will
miss out on compensation for lung disease.
The Government is to ask the High Court today to guillotine a
compensation scheme that will end the payments process by March 31,
Source Western Mail Thursday 20 March page 6
Abuse victims still waiting for
Survivors of physical and sexual abuse are still waiting for
compensation more than three years after the publication of the
Waterhouse report that revealed widespread abuse in north
Wales’ children’s homes.
Zurich Municipal, the insurers for the local authorities of
Flintshire and Gwynedd, against whom the claims were made have
confirmed that some cases are still outstanding.
Keith Gregory a spokesman for abuse victims support group
Standing Ground said that there were still many victims that had
been traumatised by what had happened to them who had not received
a penny in compensation.
Source Western Mail Thursday 20 March page 10