Blair launches Respect zones to help towns fight antisocial behaviour

Blair launches Respect zones to help towns fight antisocial behaviour
The government yesterday announced the 40 areas that will be given extra help to deal with antisocial behaviour.
The so-called Respect zones, announced to coincide with the first anniversary of the Respect action plan, were chosen on the basis of deprivation, existing levels of antisocial behaviour and agencies’ track record in tackling the issue.
Source:- The Guardian, Tuesday 23 January 2007, page 6

Catholics refuse to accept gay adoption law
The Catholic Church came into conflict with the government yesterday, saying it could not accept a law forcing it to back adoption by gay couples.
Archbishop of Westminster Cormac Murphy-O’Connor had written to every member of the Cabinet saying he had a “serious difficulty” with anti-discrimination regulations in the provision of goods and services to gay people, which would not exempt Catholic adoption agencies.
Source:- The Times, Tuesday 23 January 2007, page 9

Child cannabis users to be taken home, not arrested
Children caught smoking cannabis will no longer be automatically arrested, police chiefs revealed yesterday.
The Association of Chief Police Officers said new guidelines urged officers to consider escorting under-18s caught smoking the drug home and said all those under 10 should be referred to child protection authorities.
Source:- The Guardian, Tuesday 23 January 2007, page 6

Vaccine on a skin patch may stave off Alzheimer’s
A skin patch that delivers a vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease could be available for high-risk patients within six years, American scientists said yesterday, following successful trials on animals.
Source:- The Guardian, Tuesday 23 January 2007, page 8

Blair lets trafficked women stay for 30 days
Britain yesterday signed up to a European convention that would allow victims of trafficking to stay in the country for at least 30 days.
The Council of Europe’s Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings is already backed by more than 30 countries.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 23 January 2007, page 2

1,500 care homes fail to give OAPs proper food
More than 1,500 care homes are failing to feed their residents properly – putting thousands of elderly people at risk of malnutrition, according to figures obtained from the Commission for Social Care Inspection.
Source:- Daily Mail, Tuesday 23 January 2007, page 20 

Pensions: 80 per cent face poverty in old age
A shocking 80 per cent of workers face a retirement in poverty, former government pensions adviser Dr Ros Altmann will warn this week.
Source:- Daily Mail, Tuesday 23 January 2007, page 2

Whitehall accused of hypocrisy over set retirement age
The government will be accused of hypocrisy today by Age Concern for keeping a mandatory retirement age of 65 for many government departments, despite the implementation of age equality regulations last year.
Though the regulations permitted companies a default retirement age of 65, the government stressed this was not meant to be a national, compulsory retirement age; however, departments including the Treasury, Department of Health and Home Office have retained 65 as a retirement age.
Source:- The Financial Times, Tuesday 23 January 2007, page 4

Tories would hand power to GPs
A future Conservative government would scrap many national health targets and hand more powers to GPs, leader David Cameron said yesterday.
He appeared to promise a return to GP fundholding, the Tory policy scrapped by Labour in 1997. Unlike the current practice-based commissioning, introduced by Labour, GPs would get real budgets and handle contracting themselves, as opposed to having it done by primary care trusts.
Source:- The Financial Times, Tuesday 23 January 2007, page 2

£500m welfare wasted
Mistakes in the benefits system are leading to more than £500m a year being wasted according to new figures. The sum is made up from wrongly paid income support, pension credit and Jobseekers’ Allowance. Prisoners received the most money incorrectly, making up £7m a year of the total sum.
Source:- The Sun, Tuesday 23 January 2007, page 2

Scottish news

Ministers face backlash over special needs school ruling
Ministers have faced calls to change the law to give parents of children with special needs more choice over where they go to school.
The 2004 Additional Support for Learning Act gave more families the right to request a place at an independent special school for their child if they felt it was better than the state alternative.
However, in a judgement on the legislation at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Lord Glennie made a ruling which campaigners fear will make it much more likely parents will be refused such a place on the grounds of cost.
Source:- The Herald, Tuesday 23 January 2007 
600 lose their jobs as childcare provider goes into liquidation
One Plus, the after-school care and nursery provider, has gone into liquidation with the loss of 600 jobs and the collapse of a support network for hundreds of lone parents.
Directors took a majority vote to put the charity into voluntary liquidation at an emergency meeting yesterday.
The Scottish executive, which refused a rescue package of £2m to One Plus, is demanding answers as to what went wrong.
Source:- The Herald, Tuesday 23 January 2007

‘Moral panic’ threat to children of drug addicts
Hundreds of children whose parents are drug addicts face the risk of being taken into care because of a “moral panic” over the issue, Scotland’s drug and alcohol tsar has warned.
Tom Wood, chairman of the Scottish Association of Drug and Alcohol Action Teams, warned that knee-jerk responses to the issue of protecting drug addicts’ children could do far more harm than good.
Mr Wood spoke out after government ministers criticised social workers for failing to intervene in such cases.
Source:- The Scotsman, Tuesday 23 January 2007

This place is home to drug addicts, ex-cons and children
The Queen’s Park hotel guests include alcoholics, heroin addicts, ex-prisoners… and homeless children.
In 2004, the then communities minister Margaret Curran pushed forward rules to stop the scandal of children being placed in homeless B&Bs.
But three years after the executive admitted that bed and breakfast accommodation was unsuitable for homeless children, they are still being housed there.
Source- The Record, Tuesday 23 January 2007

Council to vote on Carstairs overhaul
Plans to overhaul services at Scotland’s state hospital will come a step closer, in a move that will transfer female patients to service providers across Scotland and cut the overall number of beds.
Facilities at Carstairs will be demolished and replaced over the next four years, a process which will bring the total number of high-security patients there down from 240 to 140, all of whom will be male.
The shift in accommodation follows legislation which gives patients, including those who are detained for murder, the right to be moved to a lower-security facility when their condition improves.
Source:- Tuesday 23 January 2007

Welsh news

Nurse struck off after stealing patient’s cash
A mental health nurse who stole £200 from a patient was banned from practicing yesterday. David Matthew Healy, from Clwyd, north Wales, was working at Fairhome care home for mentally ill adults in Wrexham when he stole the money. A Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing in Cardiff heard that he had taken a patient’s bank card and withdrew £200.
Source:- icWales, Tuesday 23 January 2007

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