Child offenders may be spared jail
Young criminals sent to prison by the courts could end up in children’s homes instead. The Home Office revealed plans to change the law so that child offenders no longer have to serve their sentences in secure accommodation. They may even be allowed to attend local schools. The Liberal Democrats said the plan could lead more children into crime.
Source:- The Independent, Friday 24 November 2006, page 18
Blair plans new social contract
The government is considering drawing up a social contract setting out what citizens must do in return for public services.
Ideas being considered include patients undertaking to keep their weight down after a hip replacement and parents signing individually tailored contracts with schools for their children.
The government also published a policy review yesterday setting out its assessment of achievements and challenges ahead.
It said the government had failed to benefit the very poorest in society, with inequality growing since 1997 and school achievement still tied firmly to social background.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 24 November 2006 page 1-2, 8-9
NHS study questions use of new schizophrenia drugs
Doctors are widely prescribing expensive drugs for people with schizophrenia that are no better than older, far cheaper medicines, NHS-funded research has found. Researchers said second generation anti-psychotic drugs, introduced in the 1990s, were no better than first generation drugs despite being 10 times as expensive.
Source:- The Guardian, Friday 24 November 2006, page 12
Public services ordered to raise efficiency savings
Government departments will face increased efficiency savings targets of 3 per cent a year from 2008, up from the current 2.5 per cent.
Chief secretary to the Treasury Stephen Timms said the savings were essential given its pledge to limit spending growth in next year’s comprehensive spending review.
Source:- The Financial Times, Friday 24 November 2006, page 2
Town hall pressure
The government is facing a debate over the future of “over-centralised” local services, with the Sustainable Communities Bill put forward by David Cameron, the Tory leader, likely to reach the Commons in weeks. Ruth Kelly, the communities secretary, will face pressure to give town halls extra powers.
Source:- The Times, Friday 24 November 2006, page 2
Places for rehab go unfilled
Almost half the beds in leading residential drug rehabilitation units are lying empty as more addicts are channelled into cheaper methadone-based treatment. Up to 1,200 beds are unoccupied across England with famous names in drug rehabilitation including Clouds, Adapt, Phoenix Futures and Yeldall Manor all reporting difficulties in filling places.
They have accused local drug action teams, which control the purse strings, of choosing cheaper forms of treatment for hardened drug addicts such as methadone to meet government targets, even though it is far less effective.
Source:- The Times, Friday 24 November 2006, page 4
Mother sent to jail for attempting suicide in bridge leap with girl, 2
Angela Schumann was jailed for 18 months by Hull crown court yesterday after admitting attempted murder. Shedecided to make the jump after her marriage broke up and her child was taken from her care.
Source:- The Times, Friday 24 November 2006, page 29
Teenage pregnancy rate falls
The government’s attempts to cut the teenage pregnancy rate, which is one of the highest in Europe, appears to be working, a study says.
Source:- The Times, Friday 24 November 2006, page 33
Homeless women afraid to ask for help
Thousands of single homeless women are trying to cover up their plight, increasing their exposure to rape and violence, a survey by Crisis has found.
Source:- The Times, Friday 24 November 2006, page 38
Britain’s £5.9bn a year drug habit
The UK has over 320,000 hardcore problem drug users, above previous estimates of 270,000, according to Home Office figures. And a report today from the European Drugs Agency finds that the street price of illicit drugs across the continent has tumbled since the early 1990s and that Britain has the Europe’s highest rate of cocaine use.
Source: – The Guardian, Friday 24 November 2006, page 4
One in 5 patients treated in mixed wards
Up to 20 per cent of patients, including the most vulnerable, are being treated in mixed-sex wards, and numbers are rising, the Patients’ Association has said.
The situation was described as “an affront to human dignity” by Help the Aged and comes despite a promise from Labour to end mixed-sex wards made before it came to power.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Friday 24 November 2006, page 1
Backlash against Cameron’s caring image
Conservative leader David Cameron will today call for the party to tackle relative poverty, not just absolute poverty, describing it as an “economic waste and a moral disgrace”.
His comments follow a report from Tory MP Greg Clark which said the welfare state had to be more than just a safety net and had to ensure that the gap between rich and poor did not grow too wide.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Friday 24 November 2006, page 4
Former social worker jailed for life after child abuse
A former social worker was jailed for life yesterday for an eight-year catalogue of abuse of children in his care.
Source:- The Herald, Friday 24 November 2006
Welsh news‘Finacial pressure will hit anti-bullying’
Welsh schools need anti-bullying mentors but there is no money to pay for them, Plaid Cymru warned yesterday. £500, 000 has been announced by England’s education minister this week to help tackle bullying but there has been no announcement in Wales.
Source:- Western Mail, Friday 24 November 2006