A summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Fury at ‘MOT’ benefit test for

Disabled people face having their benefit limited for three
years, under plans to be announced by Alistair Darling today.

The proposals will introduce the principle of fixed term benefit
awards for the first time in this country. It will end the current
practice where anyone too sick to work after one medical test can
go on receiving benefit until they are 65.

All new claimants will be awarded the benefit for a three year
fixed period. If they reapply, they face stringent medical tests,
and if able to work, they will be placed on jobseekers’

The changes, which will affect nearly one million new claimants
every year, are bound to provoke criticism from left wing Labour
MPs, concerned that the government is forcing vulnerable people
back to work.

Joe Korner of the RNIB said: “This flies in the face of Tony
Blair’s promise during the election that they would provide
support for those who cannot work.”

Source:- The Times Wednesday 4 July 2001 page 1

Royal school place for ‘homeless’

A foster child is prepared to make herself homeless in a bid to
escape council bureaucracy and become eligible for a place at
Gordonstoun school.

Suzanne Turley from Wrexham north Wales, is intent on pursuing a
theatrical career. After months of research, she discovered the
best way to further her career would be at the sixth form school
that taught the Duke of Edinburgh, Princes Charles and Edward.

Turley has been offered a place, having passed the entrance
examination, however now faces financial problems.

Gordonstoun in Scotland is 500 miles from her home and boarding
fees are £15,000 a year.

Wrexham social services department has refused to help with the
balance and says she must attend her local college instead.

Despite several attempts to have the decision reversed, Turley
says her only option is to take herself out of council care and
become effectively homeless.

Gordonstoun has indicated it would support her, even in these
extreme methods.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 4 July 2001 page 6

Unions send postcard threat over reforms

Trade unions have warned Labour MPs that they risk losing their
seats unless they stand up for public services against the threat
of private sector input.

The election victory of independent MP Richard Taylor into Wyre
Forest, is being hailed as an example of what other Labour MPs
could face, after Taylor won a majority last month with a campaign
based solely on Kidderminster hospital.

The GMB union will circulate postcards of Taylor celebrating his
success to members of the public and union members this month.

At a meeting last night between the 200 strong trade union group
of back-benchers and John Monks, TUC general secretary, there were
fresh demands for clarification over the private sector’s
involvement in public services.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 4 July 2001 page 8

Charities in talks on merger

Two leading homelessness charities Shelter and Crisis are in
talks to merge and provide a single national organisation.

The aim is to move away from focusing on rough sleepers, to
tackling the “hidden homeless” – homeless people who live in
squalid hostels and bed and breakfast accommodation.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 4 July 2001 page 10

Over 30% of Britons arrested are drug

More than 30 per cent of people arrested have a heroin or crack
habit, according to Home Office research.

The extent to which drug addiction is fuelling the crime rate
was highlighted in the official research. Based on 9,214 interviews
with people identified as problem drug users, arrested in the last
quarter of 2000, it shows they were spending an average of
£300 a week on their habit.

The findings also reveal that while two thirds said their main
income source was social security benefits, 40 per cent also said
they gained significant income from shoplifting.

The research, based on the first three months of the “arrest
referral scheme”, confirms that drug abuse is one of the biggest
drivers of crime in Britain.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 4 July 2001 page 11

Race rows ‘fuelled by asylum

The government’s asylum seeker dispersal scheme is
responsible for racial tensions around the country, according to a
study from the Royal Institute for International Affairs.

Ministers have failed to create the promised “cluster areas”
where new arrivals could settle alongside a resident ethnic
minority population.

The scheme, run by Nass, means asylum seekers who don’t
sort out their own accommodation have no choice as to where they
are placed.

The aim of the dispersal scheme was to alleviate pressure on
London and Kent who were taking the burden of the majority of
asylum seekers.

But Christina Boswell, author of the report, says: “In practice
what has happened is that dispersal is very much determined by
availability of cheap accommodation.”

Source:- Daily Telegraph Wednesday 4 July 2001 page

Pitfalls to lifting drugs prohibition

Debate grows on legislation, as campaigners spell out the

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 4 July 2001 page 11

Game of patients

Everybody agrees that the NHS needs change. But after the shock
election result in Kidderminster, it’s clear that there is
still a huge gulf between government and the public

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 4 July 2001 page

Moving tale of poverty

Regeneration can lead to higher bills for tenants

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 4 July 2001 page

Silent suffering

Survey shows families failing to talk

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 4 July 2001 page

All in one pot

Brighton is enthusiastic about government plans to integrate
health and social services provision. But not everyone is

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 4 July 2001 page

Straight talking

Why does a management consultancy want to get involved in
helping to change attitudes towards ex-offenders?

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 4 July 2001 page

Streets behind

Far less has been done to help boys involved in prostitution
than girls. Mike George on attempts to redress the balance

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 4 July 2001 page

Called to account

Council compensates family after financial abuse claim

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 4 July 2001 page

Under the umbrella

Children’s care home standards to be better regulated

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 4 July 2001 page

Scottish newspapers

Notorious housing scheme to get a dash of

Ferguslie Park in Paisley, once one of the most notorious
housing schemes in Britain, is to host a major arts festival as
part of the Scottish executive’s efforts on social

Ferguslie Park still suffers from Scotland’s highest
unemployment rate at 22.5 per cent. It also has one of the worst
health profiles in the UK, and has had 500 houses demolished and
scores of families evicted due to dealing in drugs.

Local organisation Spin is to host the two-week event starting
on 13 July supported by £110,000 funding from Scottish
Enterprise and a £72,187 grant from the Scottish Arts

Source:- The Herald 4 July 2001 page 3

Prostitution among young males is on the

Young men and boys are increasingly being recruited into
prostitution, according to a report published by Barnardo’s

The report, No Son of Mine! Children Abused Through
, claims that those running away from home or care
are prime targets for sexual abusers who then groom them to become
pimps or recruit new boys.

The findings are based on evidence from 123 male prostitutes in
Glasgow, London, the north east of England and Bristol over the
past two years.

Source:- The Herald 4 July 2001 page 9




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