A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

Including headlines from Saturday and Sunday.

By Clare Jerrom and Reg McKay.

Boy, 15, stabbed to death over £10

A teenager was stabbed to death outside his school on Friday
following a row with a younger schoolboy over a £10 debt.

Abdul Mayne was a pupil at Little Ilford Secondary School in
Manor Park, east London, and was visiting the youth centre next to
the school during a break in his mock GCSE exams.

Detectives have arrested a 14-year-old, who suffered stab wounds
during the attack. The boy was treated in hospital under police
guard before being taken into police custody.

The stabbing is the latest in a string of similar attacks near
schools. Last year Damilola Taylor was stabbed in the leg as he
walked home in Peckham, south London.

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said that it was keeping an open
mind over the motive, but a racial attack has not been ruled

Source:- The Times Saturday 8 December page 9

Forget Sarah’s death, jury told

The jurors at the Sarah Payne murder trial were told on Friday
they did not have to like the accused to judge him.

Sally O’ Neill QC for the defence said in her closing
speech that the jury at Lewes crown court should “step aside” from
the unimaginable tragedy” of the eight-year-old’s death.

She added that Roy Whiting had given two days evidence, which
was not the action expected of a guilty man.

“He’s there for you to judge. I’m not asking you to
like him. But it cannot be easy to sit there for two days trying to
defend yourself when in all reality, all he could say to you was,
‘I didn’t do it,’ she said.

Whiting denied kidnap and murder.

Mr Justice Curtis will give his summing up on Monday.

Source:- The Times Saturday 8 December page 9

Baby-death trial

Childminder Linda Bayfield was cleared of murdering
eight-month-old baby Joshua Osborne on the direction of Common
Sergeant, Judge Peter Beaumont at the Old Bailey on Friday. He told
the jury it would still have to consider a charge of

Source:- The Times Saturday 8 December page 15

Whitehall to rank and reward councils

High performing councils are to be rewarded as Whitehall will
draw up league tables to show the best and worst performing
councils in England for the first time.

In a bid to spread best practice, councils will be placed in
four categories:- failing, coasting, striving and high

The proposals will be outlined in a white paper on local
government on Wednesday, and will enable high performing councils
greater freedom to borrow money and innovate.

Source:- The Independent Saturday 8 December
page 2

Police chief backs legal heroin for addicts

A senior police officer is expected to urge the government to
legalise heroin for addicts under medical supervision.

The call is likely to be made next month by president of the
Association of Chief Police Officers Sir David Phillips.

While the suggestion is not Acpo policy, if implemented, it
would amount to the legalisation of heroin, and represent the most
far reaching change to Britain’s drug policy yet.

Under the proposals, addicts may receive heroin at police
stations or surgeries.

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 8 December page 2

Eight illegal immigrants found dead in

The bodies of eight refugees have been discovered in a sea
container dropped at an Irish port on Thursday by a cargo ship
Dutch Navigator.

Four of the dead are thought to be from the same family and
three of the group, thought to be Turkish, were children.

It is thought they suffocated or were crushed by furniture after
believing the container was heading for Britain rather than

Police will interview the crew of the Navigator when it docks at

Five other refugees were found semi-conscious in the container
and were taken to intensive care at Wexford hospital.

Police believe the 13 illegal immigrants were in the container
for a week.

Source:- The Sunday Times Sunday 9 December page 30

‘Macho’ drinking is killing UK

Cirrhosis of the liver now kills more women than cervical
cancer, a government report has revealed.

Chief medical officer Liam Donaldson will use his first annual
report published on Monday, to show that Britain now has a serious
alcohol problem, and is leading to thousands of deaths.

Pressure to keep up with macho workplace culture, and
advertising targeting female drinkers have been blamed.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 9 December page 3

More anguish for Climbie parents as inquiry

The public inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie will not
end before Christmas, as first planned, as it has totally overrun
the schedule.

The inquiry, led by Lord Laming, is expected not to be completed
until at least a month after the new year.

The main reason is said to be the ‘totally
unacceptable’ obstruction the inquiry team faced from the
London borough that failed to protect the eight-year-old.

On Friday Angella Mairs denied evidence that on hearing of
Victoria’s death, she ripped up the page showing the case had
been closed, saying “Let’s get rid of this.”

But under questioning, she revealed that no one had read through
Victoria’s file.

Last week, Laming was forced to issue a summons to director of
social services Anne Bristow, to compel her to make an appearance
in front of the inquiry team.

The constant disagreement between witness statements prolongs
the agonising ordeal for the parents of Victoria who travelled from
the Ivory Coast to hear evidence.

Source:- The Observer Sunday 9 December page 10

These people failed to protect Victoria Climbie, but
they’re very good at protecting themselves

For two months, an inquiry has tried to find out how the young
girl came to be tortured to death. Alasdair Palmer has watched as
social workers blamed everything except their own conduct

Source:- The Sunday Telegraph Sunday 9 December page

Blunkett’s ‘British test’ for

Ethnic minorities will be called upon to adopt British “norms of
acceptability”, including learning to speak English, to tackle the
dangers of racial segregation in British cities.

The home secretary David Blunkett, says the time has come to
drop political correctness, and tackle head on some of the taboos
that leave communities segregated and poverty stricken.

In a white paper on immigration he outlines plans to go through
‘light touch’ naturalisation programmes, including
obtaining a “modest grasp of English…so they can feel and
become more English.”

He says some practices common among ethnic minorities should be
unacceptable in Britain.

Source:- The Independent Sunday 9 December
page 1

Dead migrants ‘duped into trip’

Eight illegal immigrants found dead in a sea container in
Ireland may have been duped into thinking they were travelling to
England, before undertaking the journey which was 20 times

People smugglers may have tricked the illegal immigrants into
embarking on a voyage that could only result in death, it was
speculated yesterday.

Police believe the 13 stowaways were expecting to travel 4
½ hours to Britain from Zeebrugge. Instead the trip lasted two
days with a 36-hour wait before the container was opened.

The refugees are thought to be Turkish.

The five surviving immigrants are still in a critical condition
with hypothermia and respiratory problems.

Source:- The Times Monday 10 December page 4

Blunkett in race row over culture tests

The home secretary was under attack for calling on immigrants to
adopt “British norms of acceptability”.

Home office ministers believe immigrants should be able to
demonstrate a “moderate grasp” of English, and a simple test on
British democracy and culture.

David Blunkett feels the British citizenship laws need to be
overhauled to tackle the danger of racial segregation.

But he was criticised last night by leaders of minority ethnic
communities, the Liberal Democrats and some in his own party.

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy said: “The problem about
the home secretary’s remarks is that they can be taken, given
the language he used, in a way that is not at all helpful given the
delicate race relations we all know we have got in this country at
the moment.”

The deputy mayor of Oldham Rhiad Ahmad said Blunkett’s
comments could offer ammunition to racists, and said it was
offensive to regard second or third generations as immigrants.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 10 December page 1

NHS pledge will cost extra ‘£45bn a

The King’s Fund will claim the government will need to
collect the equivalent of an extra 15p in income tax to reach Tony
Blair’s plans to bring NHS spending up to the EU average by

According to its calculations, the fund said the government will
need to spend an extra £45 billion a year to what it predicts
will be the EU weighted average in 2005/6 of 10.7 per cent of

A King’s Fund spokesperson said: “Based on trends over the
past 40 years, the EU average will be over 10 per cent by 2005. In
the UK, based on the government’s current funding plans,
spending will reach around 8 per cent.”

Source:- The Guardian Monday 10 December page 4

Teenagers on murder charge

Two teenagers have been accused of murdering a 15-year-old
outside a youth centre in Manor Park, north London on Friday.

The youths, aged 15 and 16, who cannot be named, will appear in
Stratford youth court today, charged with murdering Abdul Maye.

Source:- The Guardian Monday 10 December page 8

Scottish newspapers

Carstairs patients denied freedom

Up to 40 patients in the State Hospital Carstairs are only there
because there are no other facilities for them to move on to,
according to a report by the Scottish Health Advisory Service

SHAS claims that these patients no longer need the top secure
environment of Carstairs, and are calling for a network of medium
secure centres to be set up across Scotland.

Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 8 December page 8

Glasgow in bid for increased funds

Glasgow council has demanded the Scottish executive complete the
review of finance distribution or warn that they are set to lose
£83 million in business rates next year. The executive
established the review of finance, the Cities Review, under former
first minister, Henry McLeish.

Glasgow claims they receive 12 per cent of grant funding, but
have 50 per cent of the poverty in Scotland. The council claims
that the method of business rate distribution means that they have
lost £317 million over the past five years and states that if
the finance distribution is amended favourably, services to
children and young people will be the top priority.

Source The Scotsman Saturday 8 December page 6

Housing campaigners legal challenge

Campaigners opposed to the transfer of housing stock from
Glasgow council to Glasgow Housing Association are set to launch a
legal challenge, claiming the council’s consultation process
was illegal.

The Glasgow Campaign Against Housing Stock Transfer, has
consulted legal counsel who have advised that there are grounds for
a judicial review.

The campaigners claim that the council is legally obliged to
explain all implications of the proposed transfer before moving on
to stage two of the move, including a ballot of the 82,000 tenants.
Campaigners state that many questions remain outstanding including
the details of a five-year rent guarantee, implications for housing
benefit and financial assumptions on borrowing for the 30-year
investment plan.

Source:- The Scotsman Monday 10 December page 5









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