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WEDNESDAY 30 NOVEMBER

Adoptive parents appeal over boy’s salt-poison death
A couple jailed for killing their three-year-old adopted son by force-feeding him salt claim to have uncovered evidence that he died from natural causes. Ian and Angela Gay, both 37, from Bromsgrove, Worcs, were convicted on manslaughter and jailed for five years in January but have continually protested their innocence.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 6

Social services improve
As the social services star ratings are published, there are signs that things are slowly starting to improve
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 30 November 2005, page 3

Mother jailed
A mother faces Christmas and new year in prison after being jailed for eight weeks for allowing her 13-year-old son to play truant. Christine Baker, 40, broke down in tears as she was sentenced at Wolverhampton magistrates court, after pleading guilty to failing to ensure her son attended school regularly.
Source:- The Times, Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 4

Twins left 18th birthday “to kill grandmother for savings”
Twin brothers left their 18th birthday party and robbed their frail grandmother of her life savings before killing her, the Old Bailey was told yesterday. Jonathan and Robert Maskell broke into Anjelica Hallwood’s home and are said to have ransacked the 74-year-old’s house while their friend, Dwayne Johnston, punched and strangled her. Mr Johnston and the Maskells, all from Edmonton, north London, deny murder. The trial continues.
Source:- The Times, Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 7

Tsunami aid for Britons
British holidaymakers traumatised by the Indian Ocean tsunami are to receive grants of up to £10,000 from the British Red Cross if they have been unable to return to work.
Source:- The Times, Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 22

Police begin to clear 30-year-old squat
Police and council officials yesterday began clearing about 200 residents from a squat in St Agnes Place, south London, a street earmarked for development.
Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 11
 
Walking the happy talk
Therapy for all who need it on the NHS. A network of counselling centres for the depressed and anxious. Could the government be about to take mental health seriously?
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 1

Best intentions
The truthfulness and courage George Best showed in his final days contrasts sharply with the government’s “scandalous lack of honesty and openness” about the damage alcohol can do to health.
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 3

Charity mergers
After months of crisis and uncertainty, ChildLine’s future is secure. But are more charity mergers on the way?
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 7

Boozing battle
The Addiction Support and Care Agency is in the frontline tackling alcohol abuse among young people
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 7

Harman “saw no problem” in passing on court papers
A family lawyer accused of passing sensitive court papers to her sister Harriet Harman, the then Solicitor General, accepted that what she had done was “unlawful but not awful”, a tribunal heard yesterday. Sarah Harman disclosed a court judgment and case summary, which did not name any of the parties, involving a mother who was challenging an expert’s opinion that her daughter was the victim of Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy. She denies acting improperly or unprofessionally.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 2

Mother protests as four-year-old is suspended over “bullying”
South Street primary school in Bedminster, Bristol has suspended a boy of four from its reception class because of violent behaviour. Shaun Maule-Javoric was said to have injured several children and was excluded for four days.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 6

Prescott in warning to unions over 85-year rule
Local government workers are unlikely to win the same kind of protection for early retirement arrangements as that conceded by ministers to other public workers, unions have been warned.
John Prescott told union leaders yesterday he was considering scrapping the 85-year rule that allowed 1.4m council staff to retire on full pensions at 60 – provided their age and years of services added up to 85.
Source:- Financial Times Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 2

Penal system reform plan attacked by judiciary
Government plans to extend the role of the private sector in the criminal justice system was attacked yesterday by the judiciary, trade unions, Labour MPs and penal reform campaigners.
Under plans unveiled last month private companies would be able to bid for contracts to manage offenders throughout their sentences, whether they were in custody or under supervision in the community.
Source:- Financial Times Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 5

Call for new body to mediate in areas of racial tension
A new commission to promote conflict resolution in race and ethnic relations must be created by the government if it is to meet the integration challenge facing the UK, Trevor Phillips said last night.
He said his own organisation, the Commission for Racial Equality, did not have the “resources, powers and mandate”, to deal with the challenge.
Source:- Financial Times Wednesday 30 November 2005 page 5

Scottish news
 
MacDonald abandons tolerance zone drive

Independent MSP Margo MacDonald has abandoned her high-profile campaign to allow councils to run tolerance zones for prostitutes because she says new legislation gives local authorities the powers to provide support services wherever prostitutes gather.
MacDonald said she had decided to withdraw her bill from the parliamentary process after the Scottish executive published hard-hitting proposals on kerb-crawling which also allows local authorities to manage prostitution in their areas.
She said the plans, including making clear the duty of care councils had towards prostitutes and the community, were “a step beyond the old notion of tolerance zones”.
Source:-The Scotsman, Wednesday 30 November

Boss jailed for abuse

A paedophile sports centre boss who sexually abused four young boys has been jailed for five years. Stephen Duncan, 45, even helped draw up child protection rules at the Clickimin leisure complex in Lerwick, Shetland, where he was the £40,000-a-year deputy manager. But, while working as a lifeguard and coach for the local swimming team, Duncan, of Gott, Shetland, was making sex videos of his victims.
Source:-The Record, Wednesday 30 November

£50 to turn up to work
Social work staff at West Dunbartonshire Council are being offered £50 just to turn up at work. Those with a 100 per cent attendance record from tomorrow to November 30 next year will qualify.
The scheme has been introduced by acting director of social work services Bill Clark to try and address the higher than average levels of absenteeism in the department.
Source:-The Record, Wednesday 30 November

Welsh news
 
Dinner lady escapes jail
A school diner lady who pocketed £50,000 of benefits she was not entitled to escaped jail yesterday. Bonita Partridge, 52, did not tell the authorities about her job and had been claiming money incorrectly for ten years. 
She pleaded guilty to four counts of false accounting at Cardiff Crown Court and was sentenced to 180 hours unpaid work.
Source:- Western Mail, 30 November, Wednesday

One child in four blighted by poverty

Poverty rates in Wales have fallen faster than those in England or Scotland but one child in four still lives in home below the poverty threshold, according to new research.
The poverty and social exclusion report, compiled for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, found that rates of poverty in Wales are no higher than the rest of the UK. It shows that 640,000 people in Wales are living in poverty including 120,000 pensioners and 350, 000 working adults.
Source:- Western Mail, 30 November, Wednesday

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