By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex
Home Office grants amnesty to 50,000 asylum
Up to 50,000 asylum seekers have been granted permission to stay in
Britain yesterday in a one off amnesty before the government
introduces laws designed to force failed applicants to return to
An asylum bill, being introduced by David Blunkett, the home
secretary, in the autumn, will include a measure to enable failed
asylum seekers who refuse to leave Britain voluntarily on a free
flight home, to have their benefits payments stopped.
Asylum seekers with families could have their children taken into
Source:- The Independent Saturday 25 October page 10
Council criticised over death
Social workers at Hackney social services were criticised by a
judge yesterday after hearing that a baby died six days after being
taken off an “at risk” register.
Tyrell Rowe, who was 19-months old, died from brain damage after
being repeatedly punched in the face, the Old Bailey was
An examination of the baby’s body after his death revealed other
broken bones that had been caused in the previous two months.
The judges criticisms came after being told that baby had been
supervised by Hackney social services, East London, since birth and
had not been examined in that period.
Source:- The Guardian Saturday 25 October page 12
Big Issue claims victory after ban
The Big Issue in the North is claiming a victory after its
vendors went back on the streets of Liverpool to sell the magazine
after a week-long ban imposed by Liverpool Council and Merseyside
The Big Issue in the North said the officials behind an “illegal”
ban on sales of the magazine on the streets of the city backed by
the threat of an injunction, had now been forced to step
Merseyside police arrested most of the magazine’s vendors in the
city last week on suspicion of drug dealing while using the
magazine to shield their criminal activity.
Liverpool Council denied that there ever was a ban.
Source:- The Guardian Saturday 25 October page 14
NHS condemned over tragedy of mentally ill
A psychiatrist with mental health problems who killed herself and
her baby daughter after hiding her illness from colleagues for
years due to fears of being stigmatised, was systematically failed
by the NHS, an inquiry found yesterday.
Daksha Emson, aged 34, worked at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in
London in the mid-1990s, but did not tell anyone she worked with
that she suffered from manic depression.
The report, commissioned by the North East London Strategic Health
Authority, found that Dr Emson had been failed by the NHS and that
her death was partly caused by deep prejudices towards mental
health problems within the organisation.
Source:- The Times Saturday 25 October page 9
Blunkett plans new hardline asylum laws for Queen’s
Asylum seekers who do not provide written proof of their
identities, are to be jailed in a raft of new laws designed to curb
the influx of asylum seekers.
An asylum bill in the forthcoming Queen’s speech containing the
measures comes after Home Office research found that nearly one in
10 asylum seekers claiming to be from war-torn countries is
Many asylum seekers destroy their documents while travelling to
Source:- The Sunday Times 26 October page 2
Care children strip searched admits minister
Children at secure council care homes are commonly being
forcibly strip searched, a practice condemned by charities.
Most of the 420 children aged between 12 and 15 held in secure
homes in Britain have been convicted of crimes and given custodial
sentences, but are too young to go to young offenders institutions
or prison. Other children are held at the homes while they are
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 26 October page 2
Hospitals in battle to halt invasion of drug
Mental health managers have started to call in the police due to
the increases of drug-dealing on wards.
It is thought that around half the mental health trusts in the
country are effected by local drug dealers who operate in and
around the hospital.
The use of drugs, particularly cannabis, has dramatically increased
over the past decade. Many schizophrenics use cannabis as a
Source:- The Observer Sunday 26 October page 15
Suicide of head on sex charge brings plea from widow
The wife of a headmaster who killed himself after being
charged with sexually assaulting a pupil, has called for those
charged with sex offences to be granted anonymity.
The body of Alastair Wilbee, aged 47, was found hanging from a tree
near his home in Shanklin on the Isle of Wight by police on
He disappeared in August before allegations that he molested a
student were due to be printed in a local newspaper.
Source:- The Times Monday 27 October page 7
Cambridge aims to clear beggars off streets by running
The public will be encouraged to put money in collection boxes for
homeless people rather than giving money to beggars, under a scheme
being launched in Cambridge this week.
The “alternative giving” scheme involves the installation of 10
blue donation boxes in prominent places, such as Marks &
Spencer, and not only urges residents to give generously to
homeless charities but also to discourage them from giving directly
Source:- The Independent Monday 27 October page 8
Truants are offered flexitime lessons
A new government backed plan will allow truants to attend
school on a flexitime basis in an effort to stop them missing out
The scheme will enable truants to make up for lessons that they
miss by attending classes before and after normal hours or during
lunchtime. The hours they put in outside of normal lesson time will
be added up and counted towards their total attendance.
The scheme was created by Southend Council, where a six-week pilot
study is taking place.
Source:- Daily Mail Monday 27 October page 5
‘Months of chaos over amnesty by Blunkett’
The Conservatives claimed that the home secretary’s plan
to allow 50,000 asylum seekers to stay in Britain is surrounded by
‘utter confusion’ last night.
The party said ministers have ‘no idea’ about who will be allowed
to stay and who must leave under the plan.
The Home Office has admitted that it could take six months to
decide which families are eligible.
Source:- Daily Mail Monday 27 October page 16
Church receives 150 sex abuse complaints
The Roman Catholic Church received nearly 150 complaints about
priests and church workers after introducing guidelines 18 months
ago, a new report shows.
In recent years about four priests a year have been convicted of
abuse. The report is the first of its kind from the Catholic Office
for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.
The office was set up after a committee headed up by Lord Nolan
recommended a child protection officer be appointed in each
There were 148 complaints of incidents ranging from criminal
assaults to inappropriate behaviour.
Source:- The Guardian Monday 27 October 2003
Network for parents will PiPe up over child issues
Issues affecting families in Edinburgh will be given a voice
through a new campaigning parents action group.
Parents in Partnership will be an umbrella group aimed at
supporting people with children and campaigning on issues affecting
them, such as bullying.
Organisers hope that by joining forces, they will improve the
services offered to parents in the capital.
Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 25 October
Bed blocking hits surgery at new ERI
Dozens of operations at the flagship new ERI (Edinburgh Royal
Infirmary) have been cancelled by hospital chiefs because of a
shortage of beds.
Around 40 operations including hip and knee surgery have been
cancelled in the past month. The move has been blamed on
“bed-blocking” problems, sparking fears of a winter
beds crisis over coming months.
Around 14 orthopaedic operations are believed to have been
cancelled because there were no beds available at Astley Ainslie
Hospital, where orthopaedic patients recuperate after undergoing
hip and knee replacements.
Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 25 October
McConnell calls for more immigrants
First minister Jack McConnell says he wants more people from
overseas to settle in Scotland in a bid to halt the country’s
McConnell will make an appeal during a top-level meeting of
Commonwealth education ministers in Edinburgh next week to promote
Scotland as a destination for overseas students and
Source:-Scotland on Sunday 26 October
Human rights body dismissed as ‘too
Human rights groups, lawyers and police forces have branded the
Scottish executive’s plans for a human rights commission as
In a series of submissions to ministers, the organisations have
urged the Scottish commission to be able to back human rights court
cases and to be able to oversee human rights issues in areas
covered by the Scottish parliament and issues currently reserved
In addition, the commission’s current budget of £1
million per year should be boosted to £4 million each
Source:- Scotland on Sunday 26 October
Charities watchdog ‘need powers to probe
The new charities watchdog should be given powers to probe
professional fundraising firms which make millions of pounds by
soliciting donations for good causes, the head of Scotland’s
voluntary bodies has urged.
Martin Sime, the chief executive of the Scottish Council of
Voluntary Organisations, said such a move would help to heal the
wounds inflicted on the charity sector by recent scandals involving
He plans to raise the issue at the Institute of Fundraising’s
annual Scottish conference in Dunblane this week.
Source:- Scotland on Sunday 26 October
Youths tell Jack: stop stereotyping us as criminals and
Young people have accused ministers of vilifying them and promoting
the criminalisation and stereotyping of youth in response to the
Scottish executive’s plans to tackle antisocial
Responding to the proposals in the antisocial behaviour bill, young
Scots were opposed to almost every element of the
The report by Glasgow University researchers found that measures
such as electronic tagging, breaking up groups of young people and
parenting orders were seen not just as heavy handed, but
impractical and unworkable.
Source:- Sunday Herald Sunday 26 October
Anonymity call after death of teacher accused of
The leader of a teaching union has called for anonymity to be
granted to people accused of sex crimes, until legal proceedings
have been completed.
David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of
Headteachers, called for a change in the law following the death of
headteacher, Alastair Wilbee.
Wilbee is believed to have committed suicide after being accused of
indecently assaulting a boy, while on a school trip. He went
missing just one day before the allegations were due to appear in a
local newspaper on the Isle of Wight.
Source:- Western Mail Monday 27 October page 5
OAP targets Assembly health policy
A woman threatening legal action over her long wait for a hip
replacement operation could torpedo the health strategy of the
Solicitors acting for Eleanor Court of Cardiff who was first
referred for hip treatment in 2001 have issued the local health
board with a 14-day ultimatum.
Her legal team want the health board’s chief executive, Sian
Richards, to confirm that they will pay for Court’s, travel,
accommodation and treatment in northern France, where she could
have the operation performed at short notice.
If Court was successful in her attempt to have her treatment paid
for abroad, the decision could have serious implications for the
assembly health policy as Wales has long waiting lists for such
Source:- Western Mail Monday 27 October page 6