Care agency errors let couple keep five children in squalor
Failings in education, health, police and probation services led to five children being left to starve in squalor because of their parents’ neglect, an inquiry found yesterday.
The report into how David Askew and Sarah Whittaker, from Sheffield, were allowed to leave their children in such conditions said agencies failed to pick up on several concerning factors and did not communicate with each other.
Askew and Whittaker were jailed for seven years for child cruelty last November.
Source:- The Times, Thursday 22 December 2005, page 4

More convicts go back to crime after release
Nine in ten prisoners on drug treatment programmes reoffend, Home Office figures released yesterday show. They also reveal that 67 per cent of young males reoffend within two years, as do 53 per cent of those on community sentences.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Thursday 22 December 2005, page 29

Wealth warning on storecards urged
Store card providers should issue “wealth warnings” to customers explaining how expensive their debt could be, the Competition Commission said yesterday.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Thursday 22 December 2005, page 1

Town hall services “fully online”
Residents could learn about most local council services over the internet, the government claims. It said local authorities would be 97 per cent “e-enabled” – able to disseminate information online – by the turn of the year.
Source:- Financial Times, Thursday 22 December 2005, page 4

Scottish news

Fears over company’s housing for asylum seekers
A company under investigation by the government over allegations of financial irregularities and of providing homes unfit for habitation has bid for a multi-million pound deal to house asylum seekers.
The London-based Angel Group could be awarded a government contract in January to house some of Glasgow’s estimated 6000 asylum seekers.
Angel Group said the allegations were “malicious nonsense” and the invention of former employees “who, having lost their jobs, had an axe to grind”.
Source:- The Herald, Thursday 22 December 2005

Welsh news

£3million boost for health volunteers
Almost £3m is to be spent on improving the link between health and social care services in Wales over the next three years. The funding is going into the Building Bridges scheme and will be used to form a network of health and social care facilitators across Wales and to provide support for volunteering for health and social care services. It is the second phase of investment for the scheme and brings the total spend on the initiative to just below £6 million.
Source:- Western Mail, Thursday 22 December 2005

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