Round up of the week

Round up of the week

New Asset  
Tory leader Michael

Monday 11 April

Michael Howard launched the Conservative party’s election
manifesto pledging discipline in schools, controlled immigration
and more police on the streets

A study by the charity the Institute of Race Relations claimed
that the government is violating the Geneva Convention by deporting
asylum seekers whose claims have failed to warring and dangerous
countries. It highlights how in recent years the government has
carried out forced deportations to Southern Somalia, the Democratic
Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe, despite them being unsafe.

Tuesday 12 April

A newly-uncovered report from the Department for Work and
Pensions found that staff at the Child Support Agency deliberately
entered false information onto the IT system and stockpiled claims
resulting in them not being dealt with for years. Staff passed work
to people who were on long-term sick leave and others did not
answer their phones.

Wednesday 13 April

Labour leader Tony

The Labour Party has pledged to overhaul the youth justice
system and improve conditions in Young Offender Institutions in its
election manifesto.  The party also outlined a further crackdown on
the asylum system but insisted that education is still
Labour’s main priority. Blair also pledged that every older
person receiving support would be offered “transparent,
individual budgets which bring funding for a range of services,
including social care, care homes, and housing support…in one

An exclusive pre-election poll for Community Care found
that more than half of social care professionals believe the
government has performed poorly on children’s policies for
young offenders, children in poverty and young asylum seekers. A
staggering 65 per cent of professionals rated the
government’s policy on prevention of youth offending as poor,
while 56 per cent gave a similarly low rating to the treatment of
young offenders. Almost half also ranked the government’s
flagship antisocial behaviour policy as poor.

John Ransford told the ADSS Spring Seminar in Harrogate that local
government could be further weakened after the election because of
the hostility of the two government departments dealing with social
care to councils. The Local Government Association director of
education and social policy said that the Office of the Deputy
Prime Minister’s 10-year vision for local government, which
promised to enhance councils’ role, was not shared across

Thursday 14 April

An exclusive poll for Community Care found that an
estimated 20,000 local authority social services staff were signed
off work for a period of two months or more last year. The figure,
extrapolated from responses from 100 of the 149 top-tier councils
in England for 2004, has raised questions about working conditions
within councils and the success of the government’s efforts
to boost social care recruitment.

Lib Dem leader Charles

The Liberal Democrats reiterated their pledge to introduce free
personal care if they were elected into government. The other
priorities for the Liberal Democrats for the next parliament would
be ending unfairness in the NHS, ending student tuition fees,
better pensions for older people, an end to unfair council tax and
more police on the streets.

Friday 15 April

The Commission for Social Care Inspection chief executive David
Behan told the ADSS Spring Seminar that it would be seeking
immediate post-election talks with the new government over
Labour’s plans to dismantle the organisation.


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