22 years for daughter’s torturers

22 years for daughter’s torturers
Appalling failures in the child protection system were exposed yesterday as a couple were jailed for “scalping and kicking like a football” their four-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy.
Judge Paul Worsley, QC, attacked social services failings, in particular the near-fatal decision to return the girl to her parents against the wishes of her foster carers.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Friday 9 February 2007, page 6

Commission to revive councils
The communities secretary Ruth Kelly has announced a new councillors commission to revive grassroots democracy and increase diversity on local councils.
The move follows a survey which showed that town halls are still dominated by white men over 60.
The study showed that more than 70 per cent of councillors are male, 48 per cent are over 60 and 96 per cent are white. Only 7 per cent of councillors are under 40, and only 14 per cent between 40 and 50.
Source:- The Times, Friday 9 February 2007, page 36

Symptoms of autism ‘can be reversed’
The symptoms of a severe form of autism can be reversed, according to a landmark study that will give new impetus to the search for treatments for this and related neuropsychiatric disorders.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Friday 9 February 2007, page 14

Teenage sex study criticises education in schools
A quarter of teenage children have had sex and nearly half do not regularly use contraception, according to a study in the Journal of Health Psychology. The findings show that school sex education is failing, say researchers.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Friday 9 February 2007, page 2

Dead within hours, dementia patient sent home alone at 4am
An NHS trust has offered an “unreserved apology” for failing to inform the family of an older woman with dementia that she was in hospital and then discharging her in the middle of the night, only for her to be found dead at home the next day.
Catherine Beardshaw, chief executive of North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust, apologised for the care given to Annie Edge, 83, and said staff had been informed of the importance of informing next of kin about the admissions of all patients, particularly older people.
Source:- Daily Mail, Friday 9 February 2007, page 34

Random searches on sex offenders
Police will be allowed to search the homes of sex offenders at random, rather than only when seeking evidence of a crime, the government announced yesterday.
Under the plans, the police will be able to apply for a sexual offences prevention order, under which offenders can be banned from doing anything that may put the public at risk, if they find items of concern in their homes, such as toys that could lure children.
Source:- Daily Mail, Friday 9 February 2007, page 34

Prison Service told to make £240m cuts
The Prison Service has been told to find savings of £80 million for each of three financial years from an annual budget of £2 billion.
Source:- The Times, Friday 9 February 2007, page 25

Scottish news

Health deputy urges councils to repay pensioners mistakenly charged for free personal care
Councils should pay back any older people wrongly charged for free personal care services, Lewis Macdonald, the deputy health minister, has said.
A number of local authorities in Scotland have charged clients for food preparation although ministers say it should be included under the Scottish executive’s flagship free personal care policy.
Last month, Edinburgh Council agreed to pay back £2.1 million, and Macdonald said other councils should follow their lead.
Source:- The Scotsman, Friday 9 February 2007

Teen boozing fuels jump in brain damage
Doctors have warned of a rise in alcohol-related brain damage in young people as new evidence shows Scotland is set to suffer the consequences of the explosion in teenage binge drinking.
Clinics across the country are dealing with numerous drinkers aged only in their twenties and thirties but suffering from brain damage – a scenario one charity described as “the tip of a substantial and growing iceberg”.
It is understood the Scottish executive is planning a hard- hitting campaign to alert young people about the dangers of alcohol-related brain damage.
Source:- The Scotsman, Friday 9 February 2007

Scottish breakthrough that gives hope of cure to 10,000 children
A brain disorder affecting at least 10,000 children in the UK could be cured as a result of research by Scottish scientists.
Rett syndrome, a severe autism spectrum disorder, is classified as untreatable. It leaves victims in a wheelchair, unable to speak and suffering from breathing difficulties.
But experts at Edinburgh University and Glasgow University have been able to make symptoms disappear in mice, by activating a specific gene. Professor Adrian Bird, director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology at the University of Edinburgh, led the research. He discovered the MECP2 gene in 1990.
Source:- The Herald, Friday 9 February 2007

Welsh news

Racism report accuses councils
Welsh councils were accused of being institutionally racist yesterday by a race relations chief yesterday.
Chris Myant, the Commission for Racial Equality’s director in Wales, made the comments as a CRE report was released arguing that each of the 22 councils in Wales breaks the law by failing to do enough to prevent discriminiation.
Myant, said that local authorities’ attitudes could be described as ‘institutionally racist’ because they had not done enough to tackle the problem.
Source: icWales, Friday 9 February 2007

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