Tuesday 11 October 2005

David Blunkett said yesterday that the state benefits system is ‘crackers’.
The work and pensions secretary insisted that a job was a far better cure for depression than ‘sitting at home watching television’ as he launched a major drive to get hundreds of claimants off incapacity benefits and into work.
Source:- Daily Mail  Tuesday 11 October page 10

Betrayal of the primary pupils
Almost half of children are struggling with reading, writing and arithmetic when they leave primary school, according to statistics from the Department for Education and Skills.
A quarter of a million youngsters start secondary school each year struggling to cope with the curriculum.
Source:- Daily Mail  Tuesday 11 October page 1

A dummy at bedtime ‘can cut the risk of cot death’
Experts in the US claim giving a baby a dummy at night time can reduce the risk of cot death.
The study suggests that sucking the dummy stops infants falling into too deep a sleep, allowing them to wake themselves if they overheat or have difficulties breathing.
Source:- Daily Mail  Tuesday 11 October page 22

Asian youths ‘boasted that they’d killed a white man’
Three Asians bragged that they had killed a white man after kicking a graduate to death, the Old bailey heard yesterday.
Sajid Zulfiqar, Zahid Bashir and Imrad Masqood are accused of pouncing on Christopher Yates and kicking him to death.
The trail continues.
Source:- Daily Mail  Tuesday 11 October page 29

Poverty gulf
Almost 39 per cent of students at the 14 Academy schools that reported GSCE results this summer are eligible for free meals because of poverty, figures have shown.
Source:- The Times  Tuesday 11 October page 4

Peer to amend Euthanasia bill
A peer told the Lords that he was minded top alter his private members Bill to restrict its measures to so called assisted dying.
Lord Joffe would seek to change the law to allow doctors to prescribe fatal drugs to the terminally ill but leave the patient to administer the medication, known as physician-assisted suicide.
Source:- The Times  Tuesday 11 October page 32patient died of starvation in care

Patient died of starvation in care
A patient at a nursing home died of starvation, an inquest ruled yesterday.
Brian Surridge, who suffered from acute arthritis and psoriasis, was found in Shirehampton Nursing Home in Bristol in June 2003.
A pathologist reported the case of death as “starvation, fluid depletion and neglect”.
Source:- The Times  Tuesday 11 October page 35

Council chief’s long suspension
The chief executive of Worthing Council has been on sick leave since December 2003 on full pay after the local authority began investigations into allegations of misconduct.
Her absence has so far cost more than £300,000 plus £140,000 in legal costs.
Source:- The Times  Tuesday 11 October page 36

Number of young families too poor to buy own homes on the increase
Over one million young families are too poor to get on the property ladder in their areas, according to a Joseph Rowntree Foundation report out today.
The report follows a study by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister showing the proportion of couples in their 30s able to buy their own home would fall from 50 per cent to 33 per cent by 2026.
Source:- Financial Times Tuesday 11 October 2005 page 2

Public bodies face pressure to share their back-office services
Councils and the NHS are to come under pressure to share back-office services, such as payroll, by the government, to help meet its efficiency targets.
The call came from John Oughton, head of the Office of Government Commerce, which is charged with helping deliver the £21 billion of savings earmarked for 2005-8.
Source:- Financial Times Tuesday 11 October 2005 page 4

Payment by results poses ‘real dangers’ for NHS in short term
The new market in healthcare being introduced by the government poses significant short-term risks, according to the Audit Commission.
The regulator said that payment by results, under which money providers are paid on the basis of how many people they treat, had exposed financial problems in certain NHS bodies, and lacked a regime for dealing with organisations than failed.
Source:- Financial Times Tuesday 11 October 2005 page 4

Pubs give cautious welcome to smoking room compromise
Pub bosses have given a guarded welcome to reports that ministers are considering allowing them to have sealed-off rooms for smokers, when the ban on smoking in public places comes into force.
This follows the government’s decision to include pubs that do not serve food within the ban, which will be included in a Health Improvement Bill, due out later this year.
Source:- Financial Times Tuesday 11 October 2005 page 5

Foster care boy, 12, found hanged
A 12-year-old boy was found hanged at his foster home in Basingstoke last October, an inquest heard yesterday.
A dressing gown belt had been looped around Moses Paramour’s neck and hung from a door hook, North East Hampshire coroner’s court heard.
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 11 October page 16

MP accused over gypsy jibe film
David Davis, the Tory MP and the Welsh Assembly Member for Monmouth, who asked for £48,000 from the Lottery Fund to make a film about the “settled community” after it gave a similar grant for a schools film on gypsy culture, is to be reported to the Assembly’s standards committee.
He is accused of giving support to people “who behave appallingly towards gypsies.”
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 11 October 2005 page 2

Benefit cheats face phone lie detectors
David Blunkett, the work and pensions secretary, is considering using lie detectors to alert civil servants to people who apply fraudulently for benefits on the telephone.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 11 October 2005 page 1

‘Parents to blame’ for poor school discipline
Teachers blame parents for worsening discipline in schools and believe that they should be made to stay at home to supervise excluded pupils, a survey says today.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 11 October 2005 page 11

Mother: shut evil sites on suicide
The mother of a teenager who took her own life after logging on to suicide websites backed the Mirror’s campaign yesterday for an internet clampdown.
Liz Taylor’s daughter, Carina Stephenson, 17, hanged herself. She had read tips on the sites on how to commit suicide.
Source:- The Daily Mirror Tuesday 11 October 2005 page 12

Scottish news

Council workers urged to reject settlement
A £40 million equal pay deal involving more than 11,000 Glasgow Council workers could force it to make a series of budget cuts.
Thousands of predominantly female workers will receive up to £9,000 in compensation after the council agreed to the settlement over equal pay claims.
The council will lobby the government for help to pay the final amount but there is concern this could be rejected forcing a 2 per cent spending cut.
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 11 October

Human rights tsar to cost Scots taxpayers another £1 million a year
The Scottish Executive has announced it will appoint a human rights tsar, a post that will cost taxpayers an extra £1 million a year.
The new Scottish commissioner for human rights will conduct public inquiries into the policies or practices of Scottish public authorities in relation to human rights and “promote awareness, understanding of and respect for human rights in Scotland”, the executive said.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 11 October

Welsh news

Caretaker jailed for sex assault
A paedophile who worked as a caretaker at a primary school for two decades despite a number of convictions was jailed for sexually abusing a child yesterday.
Caerphilly Council said that Raymond Newell was appointed before its current procedures for vetting new staff were brought in.
The case has prompted the assistant children’s commissioner for Wales, Maria Battle, to call for an independent review of vetting procedures in Wales.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 11 October

Bid to safeguard community hospital
A health official has said that a number of safeguards were being put in place to try to ensure the future of Llanidloes community hospital.
Fears had previously been raised over possible reductions in the number of beds at the hospital but John Howard, chief medical officer for Montgomery community health council, said that officials were planning a lot of redevelopments at the hospital that should ensure it stayed open.
Source:- Powys County Times Tuesday 11 October


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