Wednesday 1 March

By Maria Ahmed, Simeon Brody, Amy Taylor and Derren Hayes

BBC accused of institutionalised homophobia
The BBC is “almost endemically” homophobic in its portrayal of gays and lesbians across a range of programmes, a report by the gay rights group Stonewall found.
Presenters such as Anne Robinson, Jeremy Clarkson and Chris Moyles were all criticised.
Source:- The Independent Wednesday 1 March 2006 page 18
Cleared teacher’s prosecution fears
A teacher with an “impeccable” 30-year record has been told she could leave a court without a stain on her character after being cleared of assaulting a six-year-old special needs pupil. She said after the case that the authorities’ readiness to prosecute in such cases was deterring teachers from joining the profession.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 1 March 2006 page 6
Drive to clear asylum backlog in chaos
A drive to recruit 100 asylum judges to deal with a backlog of appeals by asylum-seekers has been abandoned by the government after a series of errors by officials.
The Lord Chancellor told the constitutional affairs select committee that he ordered officials to abandon the programme after inconsistencies emerged in the way applicants were treated.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 1 March 2006 page 13

Schools bill published with a complete absence of trust
Ruth Kelly gambled her political career on a new breed of independent trust schools yesterday – with an Education Bill that made no mention of them. The Education Secretary published the bill without any last-week concessions to win over scores of rebel backbench Labour MPs who are threatening to oppose the reforms.
Source:- The Times Wednesday March 1 2006 page 4

GMC to appeal against Meadow case ruling
The General Medical Council is expected to say today it will challenge a landmark high court ruling which gives doctors who give mistaken evidence in child abuse cases immunity in law from disciplinary action. The GMC will seek leave to appeal against the ruling which cleared Professor Sir Roy Meadow of serious professional conduct.
Source:- The Guardian Wednesday March 1 2006 page 8

Get off that scooter and prove you are disabled
A boy of 11 with cerebral palsy was stopped by police on his mobility scooter and ordered to prove he could not walk. Keiron Sheppard, of Ton Pentre, Rhondda, has received an apology from police.
Source:- The Daily Mirror Wednesday March 1 2006 page 15

A trace of regret
The urge to search for birth parents is powerful in many people adopted as children. But as Esther Cameron recalls, it is a quest fraught with the danger of disappointment and sadness
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday March 1 2006 page 1-2

Charity hit by Mail campaign bows out
The National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC) closed its Middlesborough Office yesterday. Its Manchester and Birmingham operations will have to shut by May unless charitable donors can be found to cover the charity’s £15,000 on month running costs. The Daily Mail sparked a tabloid-led furore in August 2002 over a £340,000 lottery grant awarded to the charity.
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday March 1 2006 page 2

March towards new hostel gathers pace
The second hostel in Britain aimed at homeless ex-services people is to open in Aldershot, Hampshire by English Churches Housing Group.
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday March 1 2006 page 2

Clash of the titans
Liverpool’s bad old days of political infighting seemed to be long gone when the city celebrated its Capital of Culture win – but the smiles of its leaders didn’t last.
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday March 1 2006 page 3

Talking therapy
The new chief executive of Mind on why the charity should become a mainstream provider of NHS services, why sport is high on his agenda, and why opposition to the mental health bill won’t go away
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday March 1 2006 page 5

The untouchables
The legal ruling involving the case of paediatrician Sir Roy Meadow suggests courtroom witnesses are protected from disciplinary proceedings. Will this place doctors and other professionals above the law?
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday March 1 2006 page 6

Safe sex drive
Taxis are stocked with condoms are the latest attempt to tackle high levels of sexually transmitted infections in Britain’s party towns
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday March 1 2006 page 7

Settled into success
Travellers’ initial distrust is banished as a scheme to improve their health and education begins to pay off
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday March 1 2006 page 7

This time it’s personal
If the rhetoric is to be believed, users of public services will soon be given choices at every turn. More than ever, empowerment of disadvantaged users must take priority.
Source:- Society Guardian Adult Care Wednesday March 1 2006 page 1

‘I feel as if I have my independence back’
In Southampton and Kent, people with long-term needs are being given the chance to choose their own care
Source:- Society Guardian Adult Care Wednesday March 1 2006 page 2

A visit from your flexible friend
To improve well-being, rigid social services policies must be replaced by ones giving home carers the flexibility to meet customers’ needs
Source:- Society Guardian Adult Care Wednesday March 1 2006 page 3

The personal touch pays dividends
By focussing on self-directed care, North Lanarkshire council is blazing a trail for care providers everywhere
Source:- Society Guardian Adult Care Wednesday March 1 2006 page 4

‘It’s great to feel the value again’
The government’s recent green paper on welfare reform states that ‘the best welfare policy of all is work’. The Pathways to Work scheme certainly had its success stories, but not all are convinced
Source:- Society Guardian Adult Care Wednesday March 1 2006 page 5

Minor works that bring major benefits
Too often, small alterations to people’s homes are slowed by red tape. Delays are not only frustrating, but dangerous, too. But good practice is prevailing in some parts of the country.
Source:- Society Guardian Adult Care Wednesday March 1 2006 page 6

Scottish news

Reforms: judges can still bail sex offenders

Convicted sex offenders facing fresh charges may still be granted bail, despite Scottish Executive attempts to toughen bail and remand laws in response to public pressure.
Cathy Jamieson, the justice minister, has decided not to force judges into automatic remand – instead they will have to explain in open court why they have decided not to put accused people on remand..
The tightening of bail law forms part of the wide-ranging Criminal Justice Reform Bill published yesterday by the executive.
Source:- The Herald Wednesday 1 March

Database check for community care patients
A database of people with learning disabilities will allow councils to track their progress once the last long-stay hospitals for them are replaced by community care next year.
Although concerns have been raised about the confidentiality of the system, councils say it will allow them to improve their targeting of resources.
The anonymous database is already being piloted in Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, the Western Isles and Dundee.
Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 1 March

Boost for run-down communities
The Scottish executive is to make greater use of the private sector in helping to regenerate some of Scotland’s most deprived communities
The newly launched policy blueprint, “People and place: regeneration policy in Scotland”, promises a more imaginative approach to developing run-down areas.
At the centre of the strategy are plans to bring jobs, better housing and business opportunities to deprived parts of the west of Scotland.
Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 1 March

Bed block battle plan
New targets to tackle bed blocking have been announced by the executive.
Deputy health minister Lewis Macdonald demanded that by April 2008, no patient will be kept in hospital unnecessarily more than six weeks after treatment. The latest figures show bed blocking in Scotland’s hospitals fell by 11 per cent to 778 in the six weeks to January, down 19 per cent in a year.
Source:- The Record Wednesday 1 March

Welsh news

Welsh votes on English schools may save Blair
The votes of Welsh and Scottish labour MPs could be crucial in enabling the government to get its education reforms passed it emerged last night.
The measures, which are included in a new education bill, are only applicable to England and have again raised the issue of whether Welsh and Scottish MPs should be able to vote on English only matters.
The proposal to create self regulating trust schools independent of local authorities is one of the most controversial measures in the bill and has attractedcriticism from a number of Labour MPs.
Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 1 January 2006


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