Monday 31 October 2005
By Simeon Brody, Maria Ahmed, Amy Taylor and Derren Hayes
War with PM over benefits
Tony Blair and David Blunkett are at war over the PM’s radical plans to shake up Britain’s welfare system.
Source:- The Sun Monday 31 October page 2
Scott, 17, is ‘dad’ to little sister
A lad of 17 has won the right to act as “dad” to his 11-year-old sister after their mum died of cancer.
Sixth-former Scott Wardle and kid sister Amy faced going into care until he asked to take on responsibility for both of them.
Source:- The Sun October 31 page 17
A mother who left her kids home alone while she went on holiday came back – to try and smuggle them out of Britain.
Gayatri Harrinanan, 42, flew from the Caribbean after learning that police wanted to question her. She gave herself up and was questioned before being released on police bail.
Source:- The Sun October 31 page 22
Top retailers are selling age-restricted goods like knives and alcohol to youngsters online, it was revealed yesterday.
Source:- The Sun Monday 31 October page 24
Councils fail to collect £589 m in local taxes
English local authorities failed to collect council taxes worth £589million last year, according to figures released by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Monday 31 October page 2
Offender, 15, ‘was driving car in which five died’
Police are investigating the role of a 15-year-old repeat offender in a car crash that killed five teenagers at the weekend.
Detectives are looking at claims that the boy, a member of a gang known as the After Dark Crew, was responsible for the theft of the Rover Metro and was at the wheel when it crash early on Saturday, killing himself and four other teenagers, the youngest 14.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Monday 31 October page 6
How 100, 000 children go missing every year
One child disappears every five minutes in Britain, according to new research.
The study, produced by the charity Parents and Abducted Children Together, states that 100, 000 children disappear every year. The figure is based on police reports.
Source:- Daily Mail Monday 31 October page 19
The lonely generation
Pensioners are becoming more and more isolated with many seeing their children less that twice a year, according to new research.
The study, commissioned by financial services firm Economic Lifestyle, found that 1.6 million pensioners see their families less than twice a month.
Source:- Daily Mail 31 October page 24
Keeping track of kids
Ministers have announced plans to track the lives of thousands of Scottish children.
The Growing Up In Scotland study will focus on the attitudes of 8000 families in areas such as parenting, childcare, health and education. Interviews with parents will take place annually until their child is five and follow-up sessions with children will track them into their teens.
Source:- Daily Record 31 October
Cash injection will secure free care for 52,000 pensioners
The threatened closure of old people’s homes across Scotland will be averted under a new deal to increase the funding of residential and nursing care, says the Scotsman.
Scotland’s 32 council leaders have agreed to offer care home owners a rise of more than 10 per cent in their fees, in return for carefully monitored improvements in standards and an end to controversial “top-up” charges.
Under the plan, the fees paid per resident for nursing homes will go up from £427.28 per week this year to £470.95 for 2006-7. The fees for residential homes will rise from £363.88 to £406.28.
Source:- The Scotsman 31 October
Babies-in-the-attic house broken into
Burglars have broken into the house involved in the babies-in-the-attic scandal.
The police said that several household items had been taken from the house on the Gurnos Estate in Merthyr Tydfil where the bodies of two stillborn babies were found.
Source:- Western Mail Monday 31 October
No more drinking on trains under Blair’s latest “Respect” proposals
A blanket ban on drinking alcohol on all forms of public transport is being proposed by the government as part of its crackdown on binge drinking and antisocial behaviour.
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 30 October page 1
“Sex league tables” on way for schools
Plans to compile teenage pregnancy rates by school catchment area have been proposed in the Teenage Pregnancy Unit’s national policy document.
The plan was condemned by head teachers and parents as it may put pressure on schools to hand out contraceptive pills in a bid to bring down numbers.
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 30 October page 1
Blair’s latest Respect agenda plans opposed in Whitehall
A series of plans to tackle anti-social behaviour, backed by Respect tsar Louise Casey, face opposition across Whitehall. The plans include community punishments, anti-social behaviour “sheriffs”, more police powers to close crack dens and housing benefit sanctions against tenants evicted for antisocial behaviour.
Source:- The Sunday Telegraph 30 October page 4
A bad Bill has been dropped – but the battle to reform the system goes on
The Mental Health Bill has been shelved but the mental health system is still in need of urgent reform.
Source:- The Independent 30 October page 20
Severe blow to bid for millions of homes
Plans to build millions of homes across the UK have been thrown into doubt after damning criticism by the Countryside Agency and English Nature in a joint report which say the plans pose serious risk of damage to important landscapes and habitats.
Source:- The Observer 30 October page 4
Inquiry sought into jailing of mentally ill girl
The Howard League for Penal Reform will write to the Home Secretary to seek an investigation into the jailing of a 16-year-old girl with mental health problems with the aim of securing Britain’s first public inquiry into how the prison system deals with young people who are mentally ill.
Source:- The Observer 30 October page 14
Search continues for Maxine
Police are continuing their hunt for a missing 13-year-old girl who is thought to have vanished in Wales.
Maxine Bindi, from Lancashire, is belived to have ran away with Alan Keegan, 37, a family friend.
Source:- Wales on Sunday 30 October
Shock figures of our ASBO kids
A third of children in Wales with ASBOs have learning difficulties, campaigners have claimed.
The British Institute for Brain Injured Children says that out of the 166 orders issued last year around 55 will involve children with learning difficulties. It says that such children may break their ASBOs due to not understanding them.
Source:- Wales on Sunday 30 October
Explosion of public sector jobs in Labour heartlands
Labour’s heartlands have enjoyed a boom in public sector jobs since Tony Blair came to power, figures revealed last night.
Source:- The Daily Mail 29 October page 11
Found, the gene that can cause dyslexia
Scientists at the Yale school of medicine in Connecticut in America claim to have discovered a gene which they say is responsible for up to 20 per cent of cases of dyslexia.
Source:- The Daily Mail 29 October page 17
Three acquitted over nursery death of baby boy
A nursery owner and two assistants were cleared of manslaughter yesterday over the death of a seven-month-old boy. Cameron Lindsay died after his head became wedged between the seat and hood of a baby rockers while at Sticky Fingers nursery in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.
Source:- The Daily Mail 29 October page 27
Mercy for man of 79 who killed sick wife
A man aged 79 who killed his wife in a bungled suicide pact has been spared a jail sentence.
Dennis Halford, a diabetic, injected insulin into his 76-year-old bedridden wife Natalie before smothering her. The pensioner, who is receiving psychiatric treatment, was freed on bail.
Source:- The Daily Mail 29 October page 43
How we failed shot jeweller, by minister
Home Office minister Fiona McTaggart yesterday admitted ‘failing’ jeweller Marian Bates more than two years after she was shot dead by an offender freed early under the tagging scheme.
Source:- The Daily Mail 29 October page 44
Parents ‘are stunting’ children’s creativity with culture classes
Parents who enrol their young children in a host of activities as soon as they can walk could be stunting their development, according researchers at London University.
Source:- The Daily Mail 29 October page 6
Ministers call for ‘a dramatic improvement’ in CSA service
Ministers said the Child Support Agency needed to “improve dramatically” following the publication of figures yesterday showing that a third of all callers failed to get through. Lord Hunt, a Work and Pensions Minister, said the figures, which were released in a parliamentary answer, were showing that CSA clients were not receiving an acceptable service.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Saturday 29 October page 13
Church is plunged into deeper disgrace by more sex claims
The crisis in the Catholic Church in Ireland over sex abuse deepened yesterday as another diocese revealed figures for the number of priests facing allegations.
Fifteen priests have been accused of sex abuse over a 50-year period in the largest Catholic diocese in Northern Ireland, according to figures released by the Diocese of Down and Connor.
Source:- The Times Saturday 29 October page 37
Young to be taught to manage their money
Children are to be taught how to budget for foreign holidays, write cheques and deal with bank managers as part of an attempt to improve the financial literacy of young customers.
Source:- The Financial Times Saturday 29 October page 2
Poor diagnosis for PFI
The private finance initiative “has had its day” as a way of building hospitals, at least in its current form, the NHS Confederation, which represents health authorities and trusts, said yesterday.
Source:- The Financial Times Saturday 29 October page 3
Children in care rise
The number of children in care has risen by four per cent to more than 12,000.
Social work leaders say the rise has also been fuelled by increased awareness of child protection issues since the high- profile case of Edinburgh baby Caleb Ness, who died while in the care of his recovering drug addict mother.
Figures published by the Executive yesterday revealed that there were 12,185 looked-after children on 31 March this year, up from 11,675 on the same date last year.
Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 29 October
Capital’s truancy concern
Cardiff continues to have the highest level of truancy in secondary schools in Wales, new figures have revealed.
The overall level of unauthorised absences for last year was found to be unchanged on the year before.
Source:- South Wales Echo Saturday 29 October