Wednesday 7 January 2004

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson

Mother held at hospital for ‘selling baby on

A mother has been arrested following allegations that she “sold”
her newborn baby girl to three different couples on the internet
through surrogacy arrangements.

The woman was arrested at a Southampton hospital on the day she
gave birth almost four weeks ago. Her daughter has now been taken
into care.

Source:-  The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 7 January page

Ecstasy kills boy who made anti-drug film

A teenage boy who wrote an anti-drug film has died after
taking ecstasy, an inquest was told yesterday.

Ben Hennessy took four and a half tablets just a week after the
film had its first screening.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 7 January page

Regeneration unit chief quits post

The most senior regeneration officer in the mayor of
London’s Greater London Authority has quit over concerns
about the running of the authority’s body for regeneration.

Michael Ward, chief executive of the London Development Agency, has
quit following two internal management audits and after a senior
officer was parachuted in to deal with managerial problems.

Source:- The Financial Times Wednesday 7 January page

Population register a step closer to reality

A population register containing core details on everyone
living in the country came a step closer to reality yesterday as
the government backed the findings of a new report on storing

A General Register Office study found that better public services
could be provided at a lower cost if people’s information was
collected and stored in one place instead of across many different
public sector databases.

Source:- The Financial Times Wednesday 7 January page

Inequality in dementia treatment

Dementia sufferers are receiving unequal drug treatment
despite official guidance designed to bring an end to postcode
prescribing, it emerged this week.

The survey of NHS spending on the three main drugs found
significant differences around the country.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 7 January page 10

Built-in conflict

More than 30,000 affordable homes a year must be built to
keep pace with demand, economist Kate Barker warns government
ministers in a Treasury-commissioned review of housing supply.
Could this signal a revolution in social home building? Where
should it go and what should it look like?

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 7 January page 2

This year’s most shocking list

Eighty-eight people killed themselves in prison last year,
according to figures collated by the penal reform charity
A total of 41 per cent of those who committed suicide in custody
were awaiting trial and yet to be convicted of any crime.

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 7 January page

Soup kitchens slammed

A man with bipolar disorder spent seven days this
Christmas outside Crisis’s main shelter in south London
offering homeless people handouts from a £5,000 wad of cash in
return for information.

Francois Greeff was given the money by an anonymous donor to help
him gauge the levels of physical and mental disability among
visitors to the shelter.

He questioned 62 people with a range of disabilities and plans to
publish a report later this year.

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 7 January page 4

She shall not be moved

Judy Weleminsky is refusing to resign from the board of

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 7 January page 6

Action stations

A report on how fire-fighters in the East End of London
are engaging with teenage tearaways to help break down community

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 7 January page 7

Gang warfare

An increase in collective action shows that communities
are standing up to those who terrorise their neighbourhoods.

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 7 January page 8

Out of patience

The government this week introduced fines for social
services departments that fail to take measures to end
bed-blocking. But will the system work?

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 7 January page

Open for business

How the head of public service in Scotland aims to scotch
the ‘Sir Humphrey’ image.

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 7 January, page 14

Scottish news

Academics join police in criticism of youth legislation

The Scottish executive’s plans to crackdown on young
people acting antisocially were yesterday criticised by academics
and police chiefs.

The Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland was joined by the
Scottish Police Federation and experts from Edinburgh University in
saying that the new powers in the Antisocial Behaviour Bill to
disperse groups of youths were not needed.

Chief Constable David Strang, chairperson of the ACPOS general
policy committee, told Holyrood’s justice 2 committee, which
is staging an inquiry into the planned legislation, that the
measures could cause conflict and alienation between police and
young people.

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 7 January

Anger at abuser’s reduced sentence

Child sex abuse victims last night called for a Scottish
executive inquiry after a convicted paedophile’s sentence was
reduced because the charge of shameless indecency has been

John Porteous was convicted last year on two counts of shameless
indecency and two of lewd and libidinous behaviour against boys in
his care when he was a “house father” at the Quarriers
village in Renfrewshire.

His eight-year sentence was yesterday reduced to five years after
the Crown conceded the two charges of shameless indecency should
not stand.

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 7 January

Legal fears over graffiti check on children’s

Human rights campaigners have raised fears over a police policy of
photographing children’s school-books to examine possible
links to graffiti.

Officers in Tayside are comparing doodles on children’s
jotters with graffiti in the streets using mobile camera phones.
They claim to have recorded a 15 per cent rise in vandal detection
rates since the scheme was introduced early last year.

But John Scott, of the Scottish Centre for Human Rights, warned of
a possible infringement of human rights. He said if there was any
suggestion of police having unfettered access to children’s
school-books it would be “completely

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 7 January

Welsh news

Counting the cost of coal and steel

One in four people in parts of the valleys of south Wales
are officially too sick to work, it emerged this week.

Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University link the fact that 25
per cent of the potential workforce is on long-term incapacity
benefit with the decline in heavy industries.

The research looked at the problem of hidden unemployment across
the UK and found that the decline in industries like coal and steel
and a shortage of new jobs often led to people being declared unfit
to work.

Source:- South Wales Argus Tuesday 6 January page 9

Labour split as council tax cash is diverted to

First minister of the Welsh assembly Rhodri Morgan has
dismissed claims that money intended to reduce council tax in Wales
is to be diverted to the NHS.

In his pre-budget report in December, Chancellor Gordon Brown
announced £22m to “meet the needs and concerns of
council taxpayers”.

But the assembly has announced that the majority of the money will
go to local authorities to fund social care for older people.
Morgan defended the decision and said that the money was going to
local government in Wales, and that using the cash in this way was
in keeping with what the Chancellor had intended.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 7 January page 6








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