Thursday 24 March 2005

By Maria Ahmed, Simeon Brody, Amy Taylor and Derren

Councils with tax rises of up to 100% to have budgets capped

Ministers tried to present Conservative councils as high spenders
yesterday by moving to cap budget of nine authorities which have
posted inflation-busting council tax rises for the new financial
year beginning next week.

The increases range from 9% in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, to 100%
in Cambridgeshire and have prompted the local government minister
Nick Raynsford, to claim that the councils had posted high
increases in the hope of being bailed out by a Conservative

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 24 March 2005 page 7

Charity to sue government

Mental health charity SANE is preparing to sue the Department of
Health for substantial compensation after being left for nearly a
year without vital funding. The charity has been plunged into
financial crisis after the department held on to agreed funding of
£1million for 11 months.

Source:- The Times Thursday 24 March 2005 page 2

Companies face fines for fatalities

Government departments and other public sector organisations could
be prosecuted for fatal accidents under plans published yesterday,
creating a new crime of corporate manslaughter. Exempt government
functions will include the Prison Service and NHS primary care
trusts for corporate manslaughter, on the basis of them failing to
allocate funds for areas of care.

Source:- The Times Thursday 24 March 2005 page 36

ASBO slapped on flyposters

The head of Britain’s biggest flyposting company had an
antisocial behaviour order imposed on him by a district judge in
London yesterday.

It was awarded to Camden council against Tim Horrox, the managing
director of Diabolical Liberties, for causing environmental damage
by plastering posters on walls in borough. It bans him from
flyposting in Camden for two years.

Source:- The Times Thursday 24 March 2005 page 36

Amicus acts to erase deficit

AMICUS, Britain’s second-biggest union, which is poised to
form the first super-union in a merger with the T&G and the
GMB, is cutting 20 per cent of its staff and selling assets after
plunging £1.8million into the red.

Source:- The Times Thursday 24 March 2005 page 36

Overworked teachers can sue heads

Education secretary Ruth Kelly has given teachers the go ahead to
sue schools if heads refuse to reduce their workload in the next
academic year.

Kelly has sided with teachers in a dispute with heads, who have
pulled out of an agreement to give staff 10 per cent of the school
day to mark and prepare lessons.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 24 March 2005 page

One-fifth of girls are sexually active by 14

More than one-fifth of schoolgirls have had three sexual partners
by the age of 14, according to a survey of 2,000 younger teenagers
by Bliss magazine.

The survey found 65 per cent of 14-year-olds had had unprotected
sex and almost half had had a one-night stand and taken a morning
after pill.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 24 March 2005 page

Man charged on wrong identity death

A 22-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a man locals
wrongly believed was a paedophile.

Neil Read, of Heywood, Manchester was remanded in custody for a
week by Rochdale magistrates after being accused of murdering Paul

Source:- The Independent Thursday 24 March 2005 page

Father who killed son to face a retrial

Andrew Wragg, 37, who admitted smothering his terminally-ill
10-year-old son will face a retrial for murder, after a jury failed
to reach a verdict in his first trial.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 24 March 2005 page

Prostitution “becoming a steady, unionised

Off-street prostitution has become an informally regulated
profession and hundreds of sex workers have become fully paid-up
members of trade unions, according to University of Leeds

One association of prostitutes has even joined the GMB, which has
helped to negotiate a code or practice between erotic dancers and
sex club owners.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 24 March 2005 page

Pensioners to be given budget for spending on social

Labour plans to give two million pensioners up to £10,000 a
year to spend directly on social services.

Older people will be given more control over home help, meals on
wheels and nursing care.

Source:- Financial Times Thursday 24 March 2005 page

Scrap “unworkable” school tests, says
curriculum chief

Tests taken at the age of seven, 11 and 14 should be scrapped in
their current form, the head of the Qualifications and Curriculum
Authority said yesterday.

Ken Boston told the QCA conference that marking the tests of every
child in the country of the same age was unworkable.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 24 March 2005 page

Scottish news

Less than half of race case charges led to convictions

Legal experts say new figures that show less than half of racially
aggravated offences reported by the police led to convictions last
year highlight major problems with new legislation aimed at
tackling the problem.

But sheriffs warned that creating a new offence of racially
motivated attacks would be problematic and could lead to lower
conviction rates. The Crown Office figures showed only 47% of the
total charges led to convictions, while court proceedings were
taken in 1,845 cases and convictions were obtained in 60% of

Source:-The Herald Thursday 24 March

The sex lives of Scotland’s children

More than a quarter of 14-year-old Scottish girls have had sex and
almost half of them regret it, according to a new survey.

The poll by a teenage girl’s magazine also found 60 per said
they were drunk the first time they had sex, a quarter said they
were “forced into it” and 6 per cent said they were assaulted. And
49 per cent said they had a sexual experience they regret, with 29
per cent saying they “didn’t even like” their sexual

Source:-The Scotsman Thursday 24 March

Welsh news

They want me to move from Wales but I love it here – all my
friends are here….

Disability charity Scope has been heavily criticised by campaigners
for proposing that a man who has lived in Wales for 26 years should
move to Milton Keynes.

The charity wants to sell a group of flats that it owns in Cardiff
and move the residents.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 24 March

Attic baby mum appeal

The police urged the mother of a baby found dead in an attic to
come forward.

They promised she would be treated “sensitively”.

The baby’s skeletal remains were found in a house on the
Gurnos Estate, in Merthyr Tydfill on Sunday.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 24 March


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