Charity heads support plans to close Remploy factories

By Josephine Hocking

Charity heads support plans to close Remploy factories
Leaders of six leading disability charities today come out in support of controversial plans for the closure of up to half the factories run by Remploy, the government agency responsible for the training and rehabilitation of disabled people.
In a letter to the Guardian, the charities say while the factories have been of benefit in the past, “disabled people are far more likely to have fulfilling lives, and to reach their potential, by working in the inclusive environment which the rest of us take for granted”.
Source:- Guardian website, Saturday 19 May 2007

Help needed for 100,000 runaways
The Children’s Society has called for more to be done to help the 100,000 youngsters who run away from home each year.
The charity wants a national network of emergency accommodation and measures to help children with problems at home.
The BBC reports that one in six runaway children end up sleeping rough, risking violence and sexual assault. More than two thirds are not even reported missing.
The charity, which has been working with runaways since the 1980s, says that services differ across the country. The charity has been working with the Department for Education and Skills and will publish a report this year.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 19 May 2007, page 12

A tenth of pensioners survive in the cold
One in 10 old age pensioners – about 900,000 people – lives in a home with no central heating, a report showed yesterday.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 19 May 2007, page 12

‘Alan was introverted and quiet. He’d got a lot of abuse from dad and I think he closed down’
Article about education secretary Alan Johnson’s impoverished and difficult childhood. After his father walked out and his  mother died, Alan was brought up by his sister. Social services were going to put them both in care but Alan’s then 15-year-old sister Linda persuaded the authorities to give them a council flat.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 19 May 2007, page 13

In chatrooms and message boards, Madeleine hysteria grips the world
Article about the search for Madeleine McCann.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 19 May 2007, page 9

The woman with three fridge-freezers and 26 children
What makes a good foster mother? 
Source:- The Guardian, family section, page 4

Non-smoking inmates to have their own cells
Prisoners will have a choice of ”smoking” and ”no smoking” cells when the ban on smoking in public places comes in on July 1.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 19 May 2007, page 11

Strong man winner claimed disability benefit
A man was crowned Cornwall’s strongest man while claiming disability benefit, a court heard yesterday.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 19 May 2007, page 8

Majority of GPs ‘stop treating terminally ill’
More than half of GPs have withheld treatment from terminally ill patients knowing it could hasten death, a survey published yesterday suggested.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Saturday 19 May 2007, page 8

Church of England plans to open 100 new academy schools
The Church of England is expected to open 100 academy schools as part of Tony Blair’s attempt to cement controversial education reforms before he leaves office. A deal struck with education ministers this week will see church officials take direct control of a multimillion-pound expansion programme over the next five years.
Source:- The Guardian, Saturday 19 May 2007, page 7

Thomas Tank paedophile grabs girl
A convicted paedophile got a job as a Thomas The Tank Engine driver — then molested a girl on a train.
Source:- The Sun, Saturday 19 May 2007, page 18

Disability benefit costs double as fraud soars
Spending on a benefit scheme widely abused by fraudsters has more than doubled in the past decade, statistics reveal.
According to the Department of Work and Pensions, the annual cost of payments made through the disability living allowance has soared from £4.5 billion in 1997 to almost £10 billion last year, making it the most costly state benefit apart from pensions and tax credits.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 20 May 2007, page 12

Children’s commissioner and a baffling name change that cost £93,000
The children’s commissioner has been criticised for spending £93,000 of taxpayers’ money on a rebranding exercise.
Source:- Mail on Sunday, 20 May 2007, page 54

Hodge call for rethink over immigrants
New immigrants should have their rights to social housing downgraded in favour of local families who feel aggrieved by the changing face of Britain, the industry minister Margaret Hodge argues.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 20 May 2007, page 2

Study to examine diet and Alzheimer’s link A study is being launched to investigate possible links between diet and Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at the Alzheimer’s Society will look at the effects of fruit juice, red wine and oily fish to see if a ‘Mediterranean diet’ could reduce the risk of developing the disease. The society says dementia will affect almost one million people by 2020.The chance of developing the disease doubles every five years after the age of 30 and by the time a person reaches 80 the odds are one in six. The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruit, vegetables and cereals, with some fish and alcohol and little dairy or meat.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 20 May 2007, page 12

Yahoo! hinders sex case inquiries
Internet companies including Yahoo! are hindering police investigations into child abuse by closing down the undercover identities used by officers to trap paedophiles.
British child protection police habitually pose as children online, using false profiles to ensnare abusers trying to groom girls and boys for sex.
But the companies say they will shut down all bogus identities on their sites even if they know they are being run to catch paedophiles.
Source:- Sunday Times, 20 May 2007, page 15

Self-harm soars among detainees
Report by Liberty, published tomorrow, claims overcrowding and staff abuse are driving asylum seekers to desperate behaviour.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 20 May 2007, page 24

Did my sick husband have to die in jail?
Mountaineer Alan Mullin needed hospital treatment for mental illness but didn’t get it. His widow Marion says he was a danger only to himself and she fears more patients like him may commit suicide behind bars if the new Mental Health Bill becomes law.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 20 May 2007, page 26

Brown set to sack Hewitt from health
The health secretary, Patricia Hewitt, is almost certain to be sacked by Gordon Brown when he forms his first cabinet in July.
Source:- Sunday Times, 20 May 2007, page 2

Cherie’s jail inquiry may unsettle Brown
Cherie Blair is threatening to embarrass Gordon Brown’s new government by heading a high-profile commission which will condemn the state of Britain’s jails.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 20 May 2007, page 2

Number 10 hiding blood scandal facts
An independent public inquiry into how thousands of haemophiliacs contracted HIV or hepatitis C from contaminated blood discovered last night that Downing Street is withholding crucial information about how hundreds of relevant documents were shredded.
Source:- The Observer, Sunday 20 May 2007, page 2

Homophobia is widespread in the workplace, survey reveals
More than five million people – almost one in six adult Britons – have seen gay or lesbian colleagues being physically or verbally bullied at work as a direct result of their sexuality, according to a Stonewall survey.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 20 May 2007, page 19

Asbo for 67-year-old
A pensioner with 750 convictions has been issued with a five year antisocial behaviour order after a series of alcohol-related offences. Alexander Duncan, 67, from Maidstone is the first man in Kent to be issued with a county-wide Asbo which prevents him drinking anywhere in the county.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 20 May 2007, page 2

Home Office plan for public staff to be informers Council staff and other frontline employees will be forced to report anyone they believe is likely to commit a violent crime to the police, according to leaked Home Office proposals. It is understood the plans are an attempt to prevent tragedies like the Soham murders and the Victoria Climbie case.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 21 May 2007, page 12

Breaks for parents of disabled children
Parents of disabled children will be offered regular short breaks from looking after their offspring as part of a £340 million package of support.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 21 May 2007, page 7

NSPCC survey on violence suffered by children
A quarter of children questioned by the NSPCC said they had witnessed domestic violence between family members.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 21 May 2007, page 7

Special needs home tagging
People with learning difficulties such as Down’s syndrome are to be tagged and monitored by satellite technology in a controversial pilot project.
The plan to tag electronically a group of people with special needs in the way that criminals are tracked when under curfew has been given a mixed reception.
The scheme is being run by England’s largest housing association. A group of five vulnerable people in the north east, in home belonging to Places for People, will pilot the project.
Source:- The Times, Monday 21 May 2007, page 27

Strike ballot over factory closures
Unions said yesterday they would ballot for strike action if the government went ahead with plans to close up to 30 factories which employ 5,000 disabled workers.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 21 May 2007, page 6

Parenting experts ‘ruining family life’
Parents are being demoralised by the growing number of child-rearing gurus interfering in family life, it was claimed yesterday.
Mounting concern at the policing of parenthood has drawn together academics from around the world who will debate the phenomenon at a conference starting today at Kent University.
They will challenge the increased intervention in family life by professionals and officials in recent years.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Monday 21 May 2007, page 7

Asbo family banned from 900 homes
A problem family has made Asbo history by becoming the first to be banned from an entire village.
The Thompsons are barred from all the 900 homes in Moresby Parks except their own.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Monday 21 May 2007, page 9

True cost of prison
The cost of sending a criminal to jail could be 49,220 pounds a year, a third more expensive than thought, according to a study by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London. Earlier estimates did not include the cost of supporting the offender’s family.
Source:- The Times, Monday 21 May 2007, page 2

Scottish digest

Call for free university for children of asylum seekers
Universities are calling for the Scottish Executive to waive tuition fees for the children of asylum seekers.
Currently, because children of asylum seekers are treated as overseas students if they apply to higher education, they face paying thousands of pounds in fees. Scottish students have their fees paid for them.
What makes the situation even more difficult is that asylum seekers cannot legally work to pay for their studies under UK government rules. Asylum seekers are similarly restricted in taking up university education in England and Wales.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 21 May

Concern over rented property for disabled
An influential watchdog has raised concerns over rented accommodation for disabled people after it emerged actors who use wheelchairs have been unable to find a single suitable place to stay in Edinburgh during the Fringe festival.
The Disability Rights Commission said the problem was part of a wider “national crisis” over rented flats and houses for people with mobility problems who are not protected by legislation.
Actor Paul Henshall said the irony is that the play he is due to appear in this summer is about how disabled people can be overlooked.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 21 May

Children are tagged to avoid sexual predators
A 15-year-old girl has been tagged to keep her out of a city’s red light district and save her from sexual exploitation.
The teenager, who has a history of offending, has been seen getting in and out of cars belonging to men in Glasgow city centre.
She is one of several children to be tagged for their own safety using laws primarily designed to stamp down on young offenders.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 21 May

Welsh news

Refugees to state case at inquiry
Refugees and asylum seeker will have the chance to give accounts of their situations when a national inquiry comes to South Wales. The Independent Asylum Commission will hear evidence from the groups at the Welsh Institute of Sport, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff next Tuesday.
Source:- South Wales Echo, Saturday 19 May 2007

Teacher cleared of molesting pupils is sacked
A headmaster who was cleared of sexually molesting one of his male pupils has been sacked. Christopher Barker, who was headmaster of Ysgol Tanyfron near Wrexham, North Wales, was suspended when the allegations were made but was cleared by a court in October of last year but he has been sacked after an internal inquiry by the school.
Source:- Western Mail, Monday 21 May 2007




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