Policy on holding young refugees ‘unlawful’

Policy on holding young refugees ‘unlawful’
The home secretary conceded yesterday that the government operated an “unlawful” policy in relation to the detention of scores of young asylum-seekers.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 27 January 2007, page 7

Babies taken into care ‘to meet targets for adoption’
Babies are being taken from their parents and placed in care before all other options are exhausted so that local authorities can meet targets on adoption, a group of MPs claim. John Hemming, the MP for Birmingham Yardley, who has tabled a Commons motion on the issue, called it a national scandal.
The early day motion says that MPs are concerned about the increasing numbers of babies being taken into care, “not for the safety of the infant, but because they are easy to get adopted”. It calls for “effective scrutiny of care proceedings to stop this”.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 27 January 2007, page 2

Compromise on gay adoption is still possible, say bishops
A compromise to allow Roman Catholic adoption agencies to refuse to place children with gay couples can still be worked out, senior bishops believe. Under one option being discussed, the Catholic agencies could become independent of the church and join their non-religious counterparts while retaining a religious identity.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 27 January 2007, page 2

Poll findings on gay adoption
55 per cent of voters believe that Roman Catholic adoption agencies should be exempt from laws on placements with gays In a poll for the BBC, 52 per cent thought that on some issues religious beliefs were more important than trying to stop discrimination. 58 per cent said children adopted by gay couples were as likely to have a good upbringing.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 27 January 2007, page 2

Youth justice chief who challenged ministers
Prof Rod Morgan, who yesterday resigned as head of the Youth Justice Board, has never shied away from criticising government policy. As the Home Office resisted mounting criticism over the prisons crisis, he fired a parting shot, warning that youth courts and children’s prisons were being “swamped” with minor offenders.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 27 January 2007, page 4

£10 shopping tokens ‘would help addicts stay clean’
Drug addicts getting treatment should be given shopping vouchers to help them to tackle their problem, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has said.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 27 January 2007, page 11

Sex offenders freed
Tony Blair was forced to prop up his beleaguered home secretary and insist that the courts should still send dangerous prisoners to jail. The prime minister intervened when Mr Reid’s plea for fewer people to be imprisoned brought public anger after two paedophiles were not given custodial sentences.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 27 January 2007, page 1

Four held after injured baby is taken to hospital
Four people have been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a baby, Greater Manchester police said yesterday. Two men aged 38 and 28 and two women aged 28 and 27 were arrested in Salford on Thursday night after a 17-month-old boy was taken to hospital with serious head and other injuries. He was unconscious.
A police spokeswoman said hospital staff contacted police and social services. She said: “The baby is at Pendlebury children’s hospital where his condition is critical.” Police refused to give details of any relationship between the child and the four.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 27 January 2007, page 15

Brown ‘to raid social funds for Olympics’
Gordon Brown was accused last night of planning to meet the soaring costs of the London 2012 Olympics by raiding dormant bank accounts earmarked to fight social exclusion.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 27 January 2007, page 6

Mother’s rows in pregnancy ‘affects IQ of baby’
Children born to mothers who had relationship problems during their pregnancies have lower than average intelligence and are more prone to anxiety, scientists say.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 27 January 2007, page 5

Suppliers of cannabis chocolates escape jail
Three people who supplied thousands of cannabis-filled chocolate bars to multiple sclerosis sufferers have walked free from court.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 27 January 2007, page 2

‘Fat police’ social workers put children on abuse list
Social workers are placing obese children on the child protection register alongside victims thought to be at risk of sexual or physical abuse.
In extreme cases children have been placed in foster care because their parents have contributed to the health problems of their offspring by failing to respond to medical advice.
Source:- Sunday Times, 28 January 2007, page 8

Plan to scrap miners’ disability payments
Disability payments to miners, shipbuilders and factory staff injured at work, originally recommended in the Beveridge Report, face being scrapped as part of the government’s welfare shake-up.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 28 January 2007, page 14

Adoption too expensive for local councils
More than 1,500 “forgotten” children are languishing in care waiting to be adopted – even though there are thousands of couples desperate to adopt. Hundreds are being denied the chance of adoption because local councils say they cannot afford the fees – about £26,000 per child – charged by voluntary agencies who find and approve suitable parents.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 28 January 2007, page 1

Gay adoption: Kelly puts faith in Catholic opt-out
Ruth Kelly is mounting a desperate last-ditch effort to allow Catholic adoption agencies to turn away gay couples for years to come. Ms Kelly is trying to save face by pushing for a three-year “transition period” during which Catholic adoption and fostering agencies could still refuse applications from prospective adoptive parents who are gay.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 28 January 2007, page 18

Elderly ‘content to travel further for care’
The elderly will benefit under NHS reorganisation despite having to travel longer distances for treatment, the government’s “older people’s tsar” claims. Professor Ian Philp believes older people will become the “biggest beneficiaries” of the push to remove services from local hospitals and concentrate them instead in a smaller number of specialist centres.
In a report to be published tomorrow, Professor Philp, appointed as national director for older people’s services in 2000, will argue that the elderly are content to travel further for treatment at specialist centres because they are “much happier when they know they are being treated by experienced clinicians”.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 28 January 2007, page 10

New figures show jail crisis
Britain’s prison population will hit a record high this year, according to internal Home Office estimates that predict there will be 83,500 inmates by the start of the summer.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 28 January 2007, page 2

Crackdown on therapists who abuse vulnerable
The role of alternative therapists is to be regulated by the government in a new crackdown on medical professionals who abuse their patients, including inappropriate sexual relationships.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 28 January 2007, page 1

Woman held as two children are found dead
A 30-year old woman has been arrested in Hackney, east London, on suspicion of murdering two children, a three-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 28 January 2007, page 14

Tough laws to end rape trial lottery
A far-reaching package of legal reforms to increase rape convictions and prevent men ‘getting away with it’ has been finalised by the government.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 28 January 2007, page 18

Rapists escape justice ‘because of police attitudes to women’
A report out this week will highlight huge differences in how police forces in England and Wales treat victims. The report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate is expected to warn there is still a culture among police where the assessment of victims is too “subjective” and “vulnerable to stereotyping”.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 28 January 2007, page 2

Reid to give sex offenders lie tests
John Reid is to introduce compulsory lie detector tests for the first time in Britain to assess whether paedophiles are at risk of reoffending.
Source:- Sunday Times, 28 January 2007, page 1

Police lose hundreds of sex offenders
Police have lost track of 322 sex offenders who have used a loophole allowing them to register vague addresses. One paedophile was allowed to give his address as “woods.”
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 28 January 2007, page 14

A foster mother pays tribute to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s compassion
Dr Williams may have been influenced by his close involvement with a remarkable couple who rescued a boy brutalised by a notorious social services paedophile ring.
Source:- Mail on Sunday, 28 January 2007, page 26

Drug firm ‘expressed doubt over Seroxat’
Drug company bosses privately expressed concerns about the safety and effectiveness of a controversial anti-depressant, according to a Panorama investigation to be broadcast tonight on BBC1.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 29 January 2007, page 12

Special needs fees are £57,000 a child
The costs of educating children with special needs privately risk spiralling out of control, with little indication of whether the money spent represents good value, research from the Audit Commission suggests.
Each year councils in England and Wales pay for about 11,000 children with special educational needs to be educated in private or charit- able residential schools because there is no suitable local state provision. But fees have risen by 79 per cent in six years, a survey of the local authorities has found.
Source:- The Times, Monday 29 January 2007, page 11

Domestic violence groups criticise Coronation Street
Corrie’s ‘Who Killed Charlie Stubbs?’ storyline has been branded “irresponsible and dangerous” by domestic abuse groups.
Tracy Barlow is due to falsely claim Charlie beat her as part of her defence against murder in court.
But Annie Campbell of the Women’s Aid charity said: “The storyline undermines every woman who seeks help and support from those within her community.”
She added: “Domestic violence shatters the lives of victims and their children and no woman chooses to be abused.”
And the domestic abuse prevention unit of Salford Council, based near the Coronation Street studios, has fired off an letter of complaint to the soap’s bosses.
Section head Irene Ward said: “It fuels misinformation and prejudice, suggesting that domestic abuse victims fabricate and embellish incidents to somehow get back at their partners.”
Source:- The Sun, Monday 29 January 2007, page 23

Brown to put lid on public sector pay rises
Gordon Brown last night warned striking state workers he will crush their pay demands. The Chancellor vowed to cap public sector pay hikes and peg them to inflation — just two days before a strike threatens to cripple tax offices.
About 300,000 PCS union members plan to hit Jobcentres, benefit offices, jails, courts, museums and customs work.
Source:- The Sun, Monday 29 January 2007, page 2

Chief inspector of prisons to publish another critical report
Mr Reid is braced for further criticism this week when Anne Owers, the chief inspector of prisons, uses her annual report to highlight the rise in the number of prisoners serving indeterminate sentences to about 2,000. And in another potentially awkward intervention, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will deliver a speech to the Prison Reform Trust on Thursday.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 29 January 2007, page 1

Police launch murder inquiry after toddler dies of head injuries
A murder investigation has been launched after a 17-month-old boy died after being found unconscious with serious head injuries in a tower block in Greater Manchester.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 29 January 2007, page 6

Tories divided on Catholic exemption over gay adoption
Cabinet divisions over plans to force Catholic adoption agencies to consider gay couples spread to the Tories yesterday, as a senior shadow cabinet member said he was likely to vote against the move.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 29 January 2007, page 11

Woman accused of killing son and daughter
A mother was charged last night with the murder of her two young children after their bodies were found at a flat in east London. The 29-year-old was arrested at the address in Hackney on Saturday morning. The bodies of a 10-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl were found by the Metropolitan police’s child abuse investigation team.
Police believe they know who the children are but say they are waiting for formal identification before releasing their names. The woman is due to appear at Thames magistrates court today. A postmortem examination on the children has yet to take place.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 29 January 2007, page 11

High expulsion rates ‘massage’ academies’ results
Ministers have accepted that academy schools will have higher than average levels of exclusion in the first months of their existence, a government adviser has said.
Schools commissioner Bruce Liddington told the annual Confed conference that he was “not comfortable” with the high levels of current exclusions by academies, but added “ministers accept that’s going to happen”.
Source:- The Independent, Monday 29 January 2007, page 8

Missing sex offenders alert ‘three years ago’
Ministers were warned three years ago about the dangers of sex offenders going missing from police records, rank-and-file group the Police Federation has revealed.
The claim follows reports that more than 300 convicted sex offenders have gone missing.
Source:- The Financial Times, Monday 29 January 2007, page 3

Scottish news

Children put on at-risk list while still in womb
Unborn babies are being put on Scotland’s child protection register in a crackdown on mothers who abuse drink and drugs.
Six youngsters were booked into care while they were still in the womb last year.
Health experts warned the controversial policy would discourage expectant women with drink or drug problems from contacting the NHS in case their babies were taken away.
Source:- The Scotsman, Saturday 27 January 2007 
Second council to repay OAP meals money
A second Scottish local authority is poised to repay pensioners tens of thousands of pounds after charging them for personal care services that should have been free.
Perth and Kinross Council revealed it was due to review its charging policy “in the context of Edinburgh Council’s decision” to reimburse £2 million to senior citizens charged for preparation of food in their homes.
However, despite Edinburgh Council’s landmark ruling, other local authorities across Scotland dug their heels in over the issue.
Source:- The Scotsman on Sunday, 28 January 2007
Protesters demand help after childcare firm folds
Staff and users of the Glasgow-based childcare provider One Plus took to the streets to demand government intervention following the company’s collapse last week.
Around 100 protesters, many with children in tow, marched on Glasgow’s George Square to raise awareness of more than 500 job losses and cuts to vital services.
Staff at One Plus – which provided after-school care and counselling for 10,000 children and parents in the west of Scotland – were told of the closure, with immediate effect, on Monday, following a failed bid for a £2 million rescue package from the Scottish executive. The company expects the liquidation process, under financial company KPMG, to cost the Scottish economy upwards of £10m.
Source:- Sunday Herald, 28 January 2007

Gay adoption: the deal Holyrood cannot honour
It seemed a straightfoward matter of enshrining equal rights in law … instead it provoked meltdown in the British cabinet and set church leaders against politicians and provoked the threatened closure of Catholic adoption agencies.
Catholic leaders thought they had already secured an opt-out from the then education minister Peter Peacock and his deputy Robert Brown as long ago as last September. But if they thought they had avoided the controversy which was tearing apart the Cabinet they were wrong. Last week it became clear that the new legislation would override any reassurances given by the devolved administration at Holyrood.
Leading Catholics now believe that amounts to a betrayal of the assurances Scottish Catholic leaders were given about their adoption agencies by Scottish ministers.
Source:- The Sunday Herald, 28 January 2007

Councils confused on elderly care cost
Council chiefs have admitted there was no end in sight to the confusion over charges for free personal care.
Local authorities may need to refund around £20m after overcharging the elderly for the cost of preparing food in their homes.
However Cosla, the council umbrella organisation, said that without a definitive ruling from a court or a funding deal with ministers there would continue to be a patchwork of charging policies round the country.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 29 January 2007

Fate of autistic children
Scotland’s education system is failing hundreds of the country’s most vulnerable youngsters, bringing misery to families, according to an investigation by The Scotsman.
With autism cases soaring, increasing numbers of children are being let down by mainstream schools, which fail to cope with their specific needs and leave parents angry and frustrated by failing to keep them informed.
The investigation uncovered disturbing evidence of how schools often refuse to accept that a child’s behaviour could be linked to autism, despite the large rise in diagnosed cases.
Source:- The Scotsman, Monday 29 January 2007

Welsh news

Number of sex offenders in Wales unknown
Two Welsh police forces were the only forces out of the 50 covering the UK who have failed to say how many sex offenders they have lost track of. Gwent and Dyfed-Powys were unable to provide the figures meaning that no overall figures about “missing” sex offenders in the UK are available.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 29 January 2007

Residents revolt over paedophile
Neighbours have staged a protest due to a paedophile being housed on their estate.
Derek Williams, of the Penygwndwn estate in Blaenau Ffetiniog, was spared jail after admitting downloading 180 sexual images of children onto his computer following advice from the Home Office to judges to use prisons sparingly due to prison overcrowding.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 29 January 2007



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