Thursday 15 January 2004

By Natasha Salari, Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Blunkett halts Carr’s early release
The Home Secretary has ordered a change in the rules to ensure that
Maxine Carr would not be able to be released early from prison as a
part of an electronic tagging scheme.
Carr, jailed in the Soham murder trial last month for conspiring to
pervert the course of justice, has applied for the home detention
curfew scheme, which would allow her to freed early.
Blunkett has halted this by changing the rules of the scheme to
stop prison governors from being able to make decisions apart from
in “exceptional cases”.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 15 January page 2
Trust must pay £440,000 for illegal migrant crippled
in crash
A health trust has been ordered to pay the £440,000
cost of treatment for a failed asylum seeker who was crippled after
the stolen car he was travelling in crashed.
The man, who entered Britain illegally from Iraq, is now receiving
specialist follow-up care at the cost of £4,000 a week, which
the trust must also cover.
The government has rejected claims by East Lincolnshire Primary
Care Trust that it has been placed in an unfair financial
predicament just because the man was taken to a hospital in its
area after the accident.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 15 January page 1.
Child care should be free for the poor, says

The former cabinet minister Stephen Byers has proposed that poorer
families with children under the age of four should receive free
child care.
The idea was part of a new approach by Labour to the redistribution
of wealth, said Byers. He added that a manifesto promise of
universal child care would show that Labour was in touch with the
needs of poorer parents.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 15 January page 2.
Scottish newspapers
City bans happy hours to curb binge drinking

Glasgow’s licensing board has introduced a ban on the
promotion of happy hours in a bid to control binge drinking and
cut-price promotions.
The board decided in November to end happy hours, but waited until
its first quarterly meeting of 2004 to implement the policy, which
it hopes will solve the problem of antisocial behaviour and
ill-health associated with binge drinking.
Around 2,000 pubs and clubs in the city are expected to sign up or
risk losing their licences. In return, the board will relax
drinking rules.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 15 January
Call to review mental health orders in Borders
An increase in the number of patients in the Borders being
sectioned and detained under the Mental Health Act has prompted a
team of experts to call for a review.
A panel led by Dr Sandra Grant, project director of National Mental
Health Services Assessment, has warned that there will be a need
for 75 mental health tribunal hearings a year in the Borders under
the new Care and Treatment (Scotland) Act, based on current figures
for detentions.
According to the team, the use of long-term detention orders by
medical officers in Borders was the second highest in the country,
and for short-term orders, the third highest.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 15 January
Prisons too full, says chief of parole
The prison population should be reduced by thousands, so that more
money can be spent on improving communities and crime prevention,
according to the chairperson of Scotland’s parole
Dr Jim McManus said Scotland could be a safer place, if ministers
invested funding in employment and education rather than
The senior law lecturer at Dundee University told the Scottish
Association for the Study of Deliquency that the prison population
could easily be cut from 6,500 to 2,500, without
“significantly increasing the risk to the
Source:- The Herald Thursday 15 January
Dole drop for Scots
The number of Scots on unemployment benefit fell to the lowest
level since September 1975 last month.
The claimant count for December dropped 600 to 98,200 in the
29-year low.
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 15 January page 2
Welsh newspapers
‘One in five social workers’ jobs vacant? I’m not

One in five social work posts in Cardiff’s children’s
services are vacant – 16 months after the problem was
highlighted in a highly critical joint review.
Councillor Jacqui Gasson, Liberal Democrat social services
spokesperson, said that the situation was diabolical, but that it
could not be resolved overnight.
A spokesperson for the council said that like most authorities
throughout the UK, Cardiff continued to suffer high levels of
Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 14 January page 2
Councils are letting children down, claims

Vulnerable children are being let down by local authorities,
according to Welsh Conservative assembly member, Jonathan
He made the claim during an assembly debate on the Children’s
green paper that includes provisions relevant to Wales. Morgan said
that a culture of neglect of vulnerable children had been revealed
by reports on services in some authorities in Wales.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 15 January page 5
Smacking ban backed
The Welsh assembly has voted to back a ban on smacking children.
Although the assembly has no powers to introduce such a ban there
is hope that the vote will help influence policy makers in
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 15 January page 5
Speaking up for older people
A half –page feature looking at the possibility of a private
members bill that would create the post of an older people’s
commissioner for England and Wales.
Ian Lucas, MP for Wrexham, explains why he has chosen to promote
the idea and how by doing so, he hopes to highlight issues that
affect older people.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 15 January page 14

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