Council must pay £500,000 for wrongly taking girl into care
A couple had their family life torn apart when a social worker wrongly took their nine-year-old daughter into emergency care without good reason and kept her from her parents for 14 months, a high court judge said yesterday. Mr Justice McFarlane castigated the social workers for “multiple failings” and ordered the council to pay £500,000. While judge took the unusual step of making the judgement public, the family and council all are unnamed.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 17 March 2006, page 6

Krueger imitator guilty of four murders
A disturbed drug addict who killed four people and attempted to kill two others was convicted of murder yesterday. Daniel Gonzalez, 25, of Woking, Surrey, had claimed that he was guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility because he suffered paranoid schizophrenia. But an Old Bailey jury decided he was not mentally ill but had a personality disorder and was capable of planning murder.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Friday 17 March 2006, page 6

Woman’s murder ‘not preventable’
A man who strangled an elderly woman and left her naked body covered in bites and cigarette burns was on police bail and had been released from a mental hospital six months earlier, according to an official inquiry report. Richard Loudwell, 59, of Gillingham, Kent, had a range of mental health problems. The official report published yesterday found a “number of organisation and individual failing” by authorities.
Source:- The Times, Friday 17 March 2006, page 16

Don’t force children to marry, star tells parents
The actress and writer Meera Syal attacked forced marriages yesterday and told parents to stop sacrificing their children’s lives as part of a government campaign.
Source:- The Times, Friday 17 March 2006, page 19

Rebuke over equality funding
Campaigners have warned Tony Blair that he risks alienating women voters by starving the government’s key equality body of funds. Leading supporters of the Equal Opportunities Commission are furious that it has been allocated insufficient funds to carry out a new statutory duty to promote gender equality across the public sector.
Source:- The Times, Friday 17 March 2006, page 28

Hoodie havens
Shelters for teenagers to hang out in could be built across Britain. Ministers are urging 80 councils in England and Wales to put up the buildings in parks, playgrounds and town centres.
Source:- The Sun, Friday 17 March 2006, page 14

Treasury stalls on pay rises in NHS
A row has broken out in government over whether doctors and nurses should be given the above-inflation pay increases recommended by their independent pay review bodies. The dispute is also holding up publication of pay awards for senior civil servants and prison officers.
Source:- Financial Times, Friday 17 March 2006, page 1

Cash-hit hospital to lay off 1,000 workers
A debt-ridden hospital announced that it was laying off 1,000 workers, including 250 nurses, as it tackles a £15.5 million deficit. The University Hospital of North Staffordshire said 750 redundancies would be compulsory.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Friday 17 March 2006, page 1

Asylum claims in Britain at 13-year-low, says UN
Numbers of asylum seekers claiming refugee status in Britain have fallen to a 13-year-low, the United Nations will disclose tomorrow. But it will question whether tougher border controls are keeping out people genuinely fleeing persecution and call on the government to improve conditions for asylum seekers already in the country.
Source:- The Independent, Friday 17 March 2006, page 6

Ofsted to toughen up reports
The education standards watchdog has announced it intends to “wage war” on up to 8,000 state primary and secondary schools which have been judged “satisfactory” in inspections. They will face the same kind of follow-up visits to inspect any weak points identified in earlier visits as failing schools.
Source:- The Independent, Friday 17 March 2006, page 6

Labour opens debate on vision for public services
Tony Blair is to launch a new “clause IV” debate to modernise Labour’s policies on public services in an attempt to heal the party’s wounds over his controversial school reforms. A campaign called Building a Progressive Future will be launched after the May local elections to shape Labour policies for the next 10 years.
Source:- The Independent, Friday 17 March 2006, page 18

Tories pledge to become party of dispossessed
David Cameron marked 100 days as party leader with a visit the headquarters of the Big Issue and Oliver Letwin said in a speech that the Conservatives would focus their help on “those who are most in need”.
Source:- The Independent, Friday 17 March 2006, page 18

Welsh news

Why our Nanny McPhees will at last cost the same in Wales as in England
Parents in Wales who employ nannies and au pairs will save up to £2,000 a year like their England counterparts under new Welsh Assembly plans.
If the policy receives enough political backing parents will get tax credit and childcare vouchers currently only available for childcare outside the family home in Wales from April 2007.
Source:- Western Mail, Friday 17 March 2006







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