Ministers likely to lose responsibility for clearing sex offenders to work in schools
Ministers are almost certain to be stripped of responsibility for clearing sex offenders to work in schools. A review of the vetting system for teachers cautioned or convicted of child sex offences has been launched.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 16 January 2006, page 1

Poor diet link to rising cases of depression
Increasing rates of anxiety and depression could be due to a poor diet that lacks essential chemicals to keep the brain healthy, according to the Mental Health Foundation.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 15 January 2006, page 2

Pressure grows to shut Child Support Agency
A damning report by the boss of the CSA will this week pile pressure on Tony Blair to scrap the crisis-rid organisation. The document will reveal a backlog of 334,000 families waiting for a decision.
Source:- Daily Mail, Monday 16 January 2006, page 20

Claimants who fail to take up work or training could have benefits cut
Millions of long-term sick and disabled people risk losing part of their benefits if they do not take up work or training, the government will propose under the forthcoming welfare reforms.
Source:- Financial Times, Monday 16 January 2006, page 2

Left-wingers have a romantic view of poverty, says minister
The government will today accuse Labour critics of its plans to reform welfare of wanting to condemn poor people to a life in poverty.
Source:- The Independent, Monday 16 January 2006, page 4

Thieves no longer have to appear in court
Tony Blair is planning a revolution in the legal system that would mean up to a million petty criminals a year being dealt with by prosecutors and the police without ever going to court.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 16 January 2006, page 1

£225,000 lavished on slipper safety advice
A £225,000 scheme advising the elderly on how to wear slippers in among an array of examples of “wasteful and useless” government spending costing millions of pounds a year, researchers say in The bumper book of government waste, published next month.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 16 January 2006, page 1

Billion-pound hospitals plan faces collapse
Ministers have discussed pulling the plug on a series of multimillion pound schemes to rebuild Britain’s crumbling hospitals over alarm at costs.
Source:- The Times, Monday 16 January 2006, page 1

Revealed: cash for honours scandal
Private donors to city academies can obtain honours and peerages by sponsoring the schools, a senior adviser to the programme has revealed.
Source:- The Sunday Times, Sunday 15 January 2006, page 1

Police chief steps into cannabis row
Brian Paddick, the police officer who was said to have inspired the government’s reclassification of cannabis has revealed for the first time that he has always opposed downgrading the drug.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 15 January 2006, page 6

Crisis in mental hospitals revealed
A shocking portrait of Britain’s mental health service is to be unveiled this week in a new book. Life after darkness, by Cathy Wield, exposes the horrors of the archaic hospitals where she spend much of her time.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 15 January 2006, page 13

Men who pay for sex are as bad as child abusers, says minister
Home Office minister Fiona MacTaggart unveiled proposals to protect prostitutes by targeting their clients. Schoolgirls will be taught about the dangers of selling sex, amid evidence that more than half of streetwalkers start out as teenagers.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 15 January 2006, page 16

Nationwide alert over deadly crystal meth hitting UK streets
Ministers are planning to tighten the laws on the highly addictive drug crystal meth amid fears that its use is on the increase in Britain. Charles Clarke will promise a review of its class B status this week.
Source:- The Independent on Sunday, Sunday 15 January 2006, page 23

Thousands in care home sedated with chemical cosh
More than 26,000 pensioners may be inappropriately given antipsychotic drugs to pacify them and allow homes to cope with staff shortages, it is alleged. More than 5,000 care homes fail to meet the national minimum standard for medicine management, according to a report by Liberal Democrat spokesman for older people Paul Burstow.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 15 January 2006, page 6

Having children is bad for your mental health
Parents suffer greater depression than people without children, according to a survey in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, Sunday 15 January 2006, page 110

Vendetta by social workers means white couple  can never foster again
A white foster couple who had a black child taken from their care because they were the wrong racial mix have been prevented from fostering again – because of what they claim is a “vendetta” by their local council.
Source:- Mail on Sunday, Sunday 15 January 2006, page 23

Asbo for Spiderman of the tower blocks
A barman known as Spiderman was yesterday served with an antisocial behaviour order banning him from climbing tower blocks. Mark Allen, 21, clambered to heights of 150ft with no ropes. He attracted scores of complaints about his behaviour from neighbours in housing association flats in Halifax.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday January 14 2006, page 7

Drugs committee may resign if cannabis is reclassified by governmentd
New scientific evidence suggests a causal link between cannabis use and long-term psychotic symptoms, according to the government’s top drug advisory committee. But in a draft report to the home secretary, Charles Clarke, the committee says that the risks are not high enough to support reclassification as class B. The committee may resign if the government does reclassify.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday January 14 2006, page 4

Yobs laughing off their Asbos
Tony Clair’s Respect agenda was dealt a hammer blow last night as it emerged that Asbos are being routinely broken. In some parts of the country, every Asbo issued has been breached the equivalent of four times. The figures are revealed through Freedom of Information requests to police forces.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday January 14 2006, page 8

Foster mother murdered
A man murdered his foster mother and sister in a plot to obtain life assurance. Michael Millcroft and his wife Anita Mansfield were yesterday found guilty of a double murder at Luton crown court.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday January 14 2006, page 53

One in five workers employed by state
The number of public sector workers has grown three times as fast as those employed in the private sector over the last five years, figures published by the Office for National Statistics shows. The typical public sector salary is £24,344. An average of 9.1 sick days per year is taken by public sector workers.
Source:- Daily Mail, Saturday January 14 2006, page 49

Scottish digest

Tourism crisis as jobless refuse service sector work
Unemployed Scots are refusing to work in the service sector because they dismiss such jobs as “subservient”, according to new research.
More than 6000 hospitality and tourism-related jobs in Glasgow alone remain unfilled with the gap increasingly being filled by eastern Europeans. Despite the vacancies, there are thought to be more than 100,000 jobless people in the city.
A study compiled by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce showed that more than one-quarter of firms in the tourism and leisure sector reported worsening recruitment problems.
Source:-The Herald, Monday 16 January 2006

Abuse victims outraged at sentences
Four women who were abused by their foster parents have expressed outrage after their abusers escaped jail and were sentenced to 180 and 150 hours of community service.
The victims, now aged in their thirties, said they were appalled by the decision, and warned that it sent out the wrong message to sex offenders.
At the High Court in Edinburgh last week, Lord Menzies said he would not impose prison sentences on Henry Lorimer, 75, a former geography teacher at Auchinleck Academy in Ayrshire, and his wife, Irene, 64, because of their age, ill-health and lack of other offending.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 16 January 2006

Class disruption rises as autistic kids brought in
The increasing number of autistic children in mainstream education is leading to rising classroom indiscipline, a new report has found.
Academics at Glasgow University were commissioned by the Scottish Executive to assess the implementation of its mainstreaming policy. While they found that the policy was not having a negative effect on pupil attainment, it uncovered evidence that linked the increasing number of children with autistic spectrum disorder in mainstream education with rising levels of indiscipline.
Source:- The Scotsman, Saturday 14 January 2006

Welsh news

Ill woman given Asbo or repeatedly trying to drown herself
A woman has received an antisocial behaviour rrder disallowing her from going to the seafront in Aberystwyth.
Amy Dallamura was given the order due to trying to drown herself 36 times in the sea. She said that pain from hip problems had driven her to her actions.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 16 January 2006

Charities demand sex list pledge
Children’s charities in Wales have called for assurances that no teachers in Wales are on the sex offenders’ register. Barnardo’s Cymru director Raymond Ciborowski said that the charity supported the Bichard inquiry recommendations for there to be a single list of those unsuitable to work with children.
Source:- Western Mail, Saturday 14 January 2006

Davidson targets sex offenders
Welsh education minister Jane Davidson has again demanded to know if any sex offenders are working in Welsh schools.
She said she would do what she could in Wales to ensure that this did not occur.
Source:- Western Mail, Saturday 14 January 2006





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