Thursday 31 March 2005

By Simeon Brody, Derren Hayes and Clare Jerrom

Child poverty target likely to be missed

It is likely the government will miss one of its key child
poverty targets, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said

The latest figures show 100,000 children were taken out of
poverty in 2003-2004, taking the total since 1998 to 700,000
– 300,000 short of the government’s target of 1

Source:- Financial Times Thursday 31 March 2005 page 3

NHS “still thinking” on patient

Decisions on patients’ rights to withhold information from
the new NHS electronic patient record have still to be taken,
the department of health said yesterday.

It is proposed NHS patients will have their basic demographic
data recorded and will be able to place highly personal information
in a sealed envelope to be opened only in an emergency.

Source:- Financial Times Thursday 31 March 2005 page

Kelly underlines ideal of equal chance for all

A re-elected Labour government would not allow poverty to be an
excuse for under-performance, education secretary Ruth Kelly said

She promised to “reinterpret the ideal” of social
justice by creating a system that catered to the individual needs
and talents of each pupil.

Source:- Financial Times Thursday 31 March 2005 page

Jamie’s school dinner triumph (but Kelly says she
deserves the credit)

TV celebrity chef Jamie Oliver took just four weeks to start to
undo more than 20 years of damage to the school meals service.

The government has promised a package of £220 million in
new funding grants, including a minimum spend on ingredients of 50p
a day per pupil in primary schools and 60p in secondaries.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 31 March 2005 page

Labour seeks to reassure voters over

Tony Blair will try to reassure traditional Labour voters that
his plans to extend choice in public services will not favour the
better off over the poor.

A draft Labour manifesto includes proposals the Prime Minister
hopes will lead to the “complete transformation” of
public services before he stands down.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 31 March 2005 page

Unruly pupils get knife amnesty

A countrywide knife amnesty has been announced by schools
minister Stephen Twigg to tackle the “hugely
disturbing” culture which has grown up around weapons.

The amnesty is due straight after the election.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 31 March 2005 page 6

1m older people feel lonely, says survey

More than a million older people feel lonely and lack regular
contact with younger relatives, according to a survey by Help the

The poll found that 11 per cent of older people saw their
grandchildren less than twice a year and 9 per cent of those living
alone went more than six months without seeing any relatives.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 31 March 2005 page 7

Hospitals to face spot checks

Hospitals in England will face random spot checks under a new
system of lighter touch regulation announced by the Healthcare

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 31 March 2005 page 8

CD for travellers

Travellers are receiving free CDs advising them to report racial
harassment. The £10,000 Home Office scheme has started in the
Fenland district of Cambridgeshire.

Source:- The Times Thursday 31 March 2005 page 2

More babies are dying soon after birth

The number of babies who die during or soon after birth is
rising, according the Office of National Statisitics.

Very low birth weight, breathing difficulties and congenital
abnormalities – all conditions relating to premature birth
– were the main causes.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 31 March 2005
page 1

Gangster, 19, “killed himself by accident”
with key fob gun

A teenage gangster became the first victim of a craze for
miniature “designer” guns disguised as key fobs when he
is believed to have shot himself in the head when trying to test
the weapon’s faulty firing mechanism.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 31 March 2005
page 6

Youngsters get “sexist” career

Girls and boys are being steered into jobs regarded as
traditional for their gender, according to a report by the Equal
Opportunities Commission.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 31 March 2005
page 7

Mother, 66, is charged with murdering her Down’s
syndrome son

A mother appeared in court yesterday accused of the murder of
her 36-year-old son who had Down’s syndrome.

Wendolyn Markcrow, 66, from Long Crendon, near Aylesbury,
Buckinghamshire, who was her son’s main carer for more than
30 years, was granted bail by Aylesbury magistrates.

Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 31 March 2005 page 4

I pulled out seven of my teeth because I couldn’t get
an NHS dentist, pensioner tells Blair

A pensioner told Tony Blair during a live TV broadcast yesterday
how she had to pull out seven of her teeth because she could not
find an NHS dentist.

Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 31 March 2005 page 4

Scottish news

New czar role: cure health of Scottish children

Morgan Jamieson, the clinical and medical director of the Royal
Hospital for Sick Children, at Yorkhill, Glasgow, has been named
Scotland’s first child health czar.

He said two of the biggest problems facing Scottish children were
poverty and obesity. Jamieson also said he wanted more specific
provision for teenagers in the NHS, such as teenager-only hospital
wards, as young people currently fall awkwardly between paediatric
and adult services.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 31 March

Housing staff go on strike

Hundreds of workers at Scotland’s largest housing association went
on strike yesterday in a dispute over payment arrangements for
tenants. Unison said all 60 local housing offices were shut, with
more than 500 people walking out, and warned more industrial action
could follow.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 31 March

Valium abuse poses death threat for drug addicts

Valium is one of the most popular drugs among abusers in Scotland,
ranking just behind cannabis and heroin, according to a new

The Scottish Drugs Forum, which conducted the study, is warning
that valium-type tablets slow down the body’s reactions and could
therefore increase a user’s risk of overdosing on other, higher
classification, drugs.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 31 March

Executive figures show a quarter of children still live in

A quarter of Scotland’s children are living in poverty down from a
third in 1997, according to government figures released

However, there were immediately renewed calls for greater political
effort to meet Holyrood and Westminster targets of eradicating
child poverty by 2020. The figures found there were 370,000
Scottish children in 1997 living in poverty compared to 260,000
last year.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 31 March

School gets drugs sniffer dog

Speyside Kingussie High School in the Highlands has introduced
random spot checks for drugs by police and sniffer dogs.

If pupils or staff are discovered with illegal substances a fuller
search can be carried out by police. If successful, the scheme
could be rolled out across the Highlands, which has seen an
explosion in drug seizures recently.

Source:- Daily Record Thursday 31 March

Welsh news

Racism alive and kicking in ethnically diverse Wales

Racism is still alive in Wales, according to Alan Llwyd, the author
ofBlack Wales.

He says that despite seeing themselves as a welcoming nation, the
Welsh have their fair share of race-related tensions and the
problem endures today.

Source:- Western Mail  Thursday 31 March 2005

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