Thursday 8 April 2004

By Natasha Salari, Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Homes for nurses to be built on 100 NHS sites
Thousands of new homes for key workers will be built on
100 surplus NHS sites throughout England, the deputy prime minister
has announced.
John Prescott said that the land, worth about £400 million,
would support 15,000 new houses and at least 5,000 of them would be
affordable homes for public sector staff.
Source:- The Times Thursday 8 April page 2
100,000 civil servants join strike over pay
Benefits agencies, Jobcentres and parts of the prison service will
come to a standstill next week when more than 100,000 civil
servants go on strike.
PCS, which represents 300,000 civil servants, is pressing ministers
for a national pay deal and it wants a minimum salary of
£13,500 in the civil service.
Next week there will be a two-day walkout over pay among civil
servants employed by the Department for Work and Pensions and by
administrative workers in the Prison Service. Disruption in prisons
will hit the admission of new prisoners and the transfer of
Source:- The Times Thursday 8 April page 2
They wouldn’t listen
A mother has spoken of her despair after learning that her teenage
daughter has fallen pregnant by an older man she ran away
Katie Down was just 15 when she left home to sleep rough with her
31-year-old boyfriend, Derek Rice.
Despite her mother’s fears that she was dabbling with drugs
and having under-age sex, the police and social services told her
they were powerless to intervene.
Social services in Devon said they were powerless to act despite a
report from a senior social worker in February last year which
concluded that her lifestyle could put her at risk of
“serious injury or death”.
Source:- The Daily Mail Thursday 8 April page 7
Immigration minister’s role is cut in shake-up
The new immigration minister, Des Browne, is to be
relieved of the responsibility for counter terrorism, in a change
to Home Office roles.
The responsibility is to be moved from Browne, who took on the post
last week after Beverley Hughes resigned, to Hazel Blears, crime
reduction, policy and community safety minister.
The switch is thought to signal recognition that the immigration
minister’s workload is too heavy.
Source:- The Independent Thursday 8 April, page 6
3.6m children living in poverty
The government will need to create new policies to meet their goal
of halving child poverty by 2010, MPs said last night.
They said that 3.6 million children were still living in poverty
and that nearly half were living outside the deprived areas where
the government is concentrating its support.
However, the Labour controlled work and pensions select committee
said that the government was on target to reduce child poverty by a
quarter between 1999 and 2004.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 8 April page 9
Tax shift threatens careers advice network
The Connexions service is under threat due to tax changes imposed
on private providers.
From 2001 Connexions has received rebates to compensate it for the
extra value added tax costs of using private sector careers
advisers, but the compensation has been reduced from the start of
the new financial year.
Charles Hendry, Tory spokesperson for young people, said that two
contracts with private companies have already been terminated and
that more hung in the balance. He said that some areas could end up
without a service.
Source:- Financial Times Thursday 8 April, page 2
Pregnant rape victim has refugee’s claim

A Congolese woman who claimed she became pregnant after a rape was
among the asylum seekers denied financial support under new
government rules, according to the Refugee Council.
A study by the charity found that rules denying welfare payments to
asylum seekers who fail to lodge claims as soon as they arrive in
the UK were having a “devastating impact”.
Its survey of 132 organisations the council found that the rules
had forced large numbers of “very vulnerable” asylum
seekers to sleep rough or in the overcrowded homes of refugees
already settled in the UK.
Source:- The Herald Thursday 8 April
Scottish newspapers
Doctors urged to prevent child abuse by cutting

Doctors were urged to share patient’s personal details in a
bid to prevent child abuse tragedies, by Scotland’s chief
medical officer yesterday.
In his annual report, Dr Mac Armstrong encouraged doctors to be
more open when a patient is at risk.
He said there was a widespread perception that the law and
professional codes prevented doctors divulging information.
However, clear messages were emerging that health professionals
should share information when acting in the best interests of
vulnerable people, he added.
Source:- The Herald Thursday 8 April
Alarm at harm from psychiatric drugs
An independent monitor should regulate psychiatric medication,
mental health campaigners urged yesterday after a survey revealed
an alarming range of side effects among prescription drug
The Scottish Association for Mental Health found that around 60 per
cent of people using psychiatric drugs reported side effects
ranging from anxiety to suicidal feelings.
The SAMH urged the government to consider establishing an
independent body to perform objective clinical trials on drugs,
which it claimed would balance the pharmaceutical industry’s
control over psychiatric medication.
Source:- The Herald Thursday 8 April
Both sides positive after nursery nurse pay

Nursery nurses and local authority chiefs said a meeting between
both sides aimed at settling the ongoing pay dispute was positive
although a resolution was not agreed.
Officials from Unison said they were pleased COSLA, the umbrella
organisation for local authorities, had agreed to talks and said
they hoped a second meeting could be organised in the near
A spokesperson for COSLA also said it hoped talks would result in
an end to industrial action.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 8 April
Cash-probe charity set for lottery boost
A homeless charity at the centre of an investigation by charity
watchdogs for allegations of financial mismanagement, is set to
receive a £200,000 boost from the National Lottery.
The lottery’s funding arm, The Community Fund, is to give
Edinburgh-based Four Square the cash for a project helping homeless
people into education and training.
The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator is investigating
allegations that senior managers at Four Square mismanaged
£2.3 million of public cash.
Source:- Evening News Wednesday 7 April
Student with multiple sclerosis wins award
A disabled student suffering from multiple sclerosis has won an
award recognising his efforts to re-train.
Rab Tailford has been presented with a New Deal Disabled award
after deciding to re-train at Stevenson College.
The former joiner eventually secured a work placement with
Edinburgh Council at the end of last year.
Source:- Evening News Wednesday 7 April
Stepfather battered boy after bad report
A 13-year-old boy was left covered in bruises when he was beaten by
his stepfather after he received a bad report from school,
Edinburgh sheriff court heard yesterday.
The former soldier repeatedly punched the teenager after he lost
his temper when it emerged the child had been placed on a
monitoring system at his Midlothian school because of his bad
The man pleaded guilty to assaulting his stepson to his injury and
Sheriff Derrick McIntyre deferred sentence for a background
Source:- Evening News Wednesday 7 April
Welsh newspapers
MPs to hear plea from children’s champion

The children’s commissioner for Wales, Peter Clarke, is to
make a last-ditch attempt to persuade MPs that plans to give an
English children’s commissioner powers over non devolved
matters in Wales would lead to confusion.
Under legislation currently passing through Parliament, the newly
proposed English commissioner would be responsible for taking up
cases on behalf of Welsh children in areas where Clarke’s
powers do not currently extend, such as juvenile justice and the
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 8 April page 2
Pistol-packin’ mama hunted son
A mother has been jailed for two years after going after her
teenage son with a replica gun, when he failed to come home for
Sunday lunch.
Paula Williams became furious after she had spent the morning
cooking and went to a local pub looking for her 18-year-old son,
Once there, she pulled out the replica pistol and shouted:
“I’m going to kill him.” She later found her son
and marched him home.
Armed police arrived at her house and seized the replica Desert
Eagle 44 Magnum Pistol. A judge at Cardiff crown court told her
that the possession of replica firearms would not be
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 8 April page 3

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