A daily summary of social care stories from the main newspapers

By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.

Blair stands ground on benefit cuts for

Tony Blair has remained adamant over his plans to cut child
benefit from parents of persistent young offenders and children who

As Labour MPs and ministers voiced concern about the proposal,
the prime minister made no apology for the plan and said he would
not be put off looking at it. He said responsibility accompanied
the rights to benefits and there would be “no-go” areas.

The proposal emerged from a cross-government meeting on street
crime last week when Blair asked what could be done about parents
who allow their children to truant.

Downing Street said teachers would have a bigger role to play in
identifying the parents of persistent trouble-makers.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 30 April page 6

Police officers to patrol problem schools

Police officers are to patrol up to 400 schools in some of
England’s toughest areas under proposals announced by Estelle
Morris yesterday.

The £10 million plan will see uniformed police officers
stationed in around 70 secondary schools and their feeder primary

The education secretary told a London conference that no school
would be forced to accept police on the premises, but that 30 to 40
local education authorities would participate in the scheme.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 30 April page 6

New benefit crackdown

Housing benefit will be docked from tenants found guilty of
anti-social behaviour under the prime minister’s plans.

The measure has won support from the department for work and
pensions and the department for transport, local government and the

The sanctions would be imposed on any tenant found guilty of
anti-social behaviour more than twice in three years.

The latest proposal emerged as Tony Blair stood by his plans to
dock child benefit from parents of young offenders or persistent

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 30 April page 1

Parents want aunt to adopt girl for place at

The aunt of an 11-year-old girl may adopt her niece in a bid to
improve her chances of getting a better education.

Meera Ghai’s mother Suman was told her daughter had failed
to secure a place at Kings Norton Girls school in Birmingham, even
though she lives less than a mile from the school.

Now the girl’s mother hopes to have Meera legally adopted
by her aunt Urmil because Urmil’s daughter Vandhana has been
at Kings Norton for three years. She hopes this will force the
school to change its mind as siblings have a better chance of
attending the same school.

Ghai said: “We think it is terribly unfair that Meera has not
been given a place, and if this is what it will take to get her one
then this is what we’ll do.”

Source:- The Times Tuesday 30 April page 11

Germans offer cash to return refugees

African countries may be offered more than £5,000 a head to
accept rejected black asylum seekers, regardless of their
nationality, under plans by a German state.

A spokesperson for Hamburg said that talks had begun with the
embassies of several countries, and he hoped a deal could be signed
later this year.

The proposal is bound to raise fears of an all out push by the
far right in Europe to capitalise on Jean Marie Le Pen’s
performance in the first round of the French presidential

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 30 April page 1

Police ‘were racist’ in Climbie

The Metropolitan police have been accused of being
institutionally racist in its handling of the investigation into
the death of Victoria Climbie, by a chief inspector.

Chairperson of the London Black Police Association, Leroy Logan,
told a public inquiry that senior officers blamed her death on a
black woman constable without examining the conduct of white
colleagues who were no less culpable.

In evidence to Lord Laming, the association said: “Our member in
the child protection team has been unfairly signed out for
intrusive attention both in and outside the police service.”

“She has had to face the double jeopardy of institutional racism
and institutional sexism like other black female officers. This may
account for the lack of black women progressing up the ranks.”

Chief inspector Logan said it was wrong to focus all the blame
on Karen Jones, a member of the child protection team in Haringey,
north London, that failed to intervene and save Victoria from
months of abuse at the hands of her great aunt Marie-Therese Kouao
and her boyfriend Carl Manning.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 30 April page 6

Mentally ill Conran son detained for sex

The son of Terence Conran was detained indefinitely in a mental
hospital yesterday after a “terrifying” sex attack on an American

Ned Conran, who was said to have suffered with untreated mental
illness for 15 years, “appeared crazy” as he groped the woman
during a prolonged assault.

The judge said: “This is almost as serious a case of indecent
assault as can be imagined…because of the accompanying
violence and the fact that the incident, terrifying as it must have
been, lasted in my opinion for at least 10 minutes.”

Judge Martineau said he should be detained indefinitely in a
secure mental hospital, and Conran was ordered to pay prosecution
costs of £3,500.

Source:- The Independent Tuesday 30 April page

Camelot ‘will struggle to meet charity

Camelot said yesterday it would inject “energy and excitement”
back into the National Lottery.

But a spokesperson conceded that sales would have to increase by
£1.5 billion if it were to give charities the £15 billion
it had pledged over seven years, when it won the licence to run the
lottery 16 months ago.

A spokesperson for the Institute of Charity Fundraising said she
predicted some charities would close if Camelot failed to deliver:
“This has a massive impact on the sustainability of many new
projects that have been set up in the last few years.”

Source:- The Independent Tuesday 30 April page

Welsh newspapers

Sex abuse inquiry stalls after fresh

The inquiry into the activities of alleged paedophile John Owen
was suspended yesterday after new evidence prompted police to open
a fresh inquiry into the case.

Children’s Commissioner for Wales Peter Clarke said that
he had no option, but to adjourn the Clywch inquiry now the new
allegations had been made.

John Owen taught at a Welsh medium comprehensive school in
Pontypridd, south Wales, before going on to become an award winning
scriptwriter for children’s television.

It was while teaching at the school that the alleged abuse was
said to have taken place.

Owen was due to stand trial on charges related to the sexual
abuse of four boys, who had been pupils at the school, but he
killed himself just one day before the trial was to begin.

The new evidence only came to light last week when one alleged
victim was being interviewed prior to giving evidence at the
inquiry yesterday.

The inquiry has been adjourned until Friday when the police will
report back.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 30 April page 1 and 5

Three-month search fails to find baby Oliver’s

Police and social services searching for the mother of a toddler
who was abandoned more than three months ago are no closer to
finding her.

The baby, who has been named Oliver by police, was left in a
pushchair in the garden of a family home in Newport in January.

The inquiry suffered an initial setback because it was first
thought that Oliver was nine months old, whereas it is now thought
he is probably older. Both police and social services are using all
the information and powers of investigation that they have to try
to reunite Oliver with his mother.

Police say that they remain positive that their efforts will
prove successful.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 30 April page 5

AM welcomes police inquiry into care homes

Police are investigating a number of care homes for older people
in south Wales.

The inquiry codenamed Operation Rosehip, will investigate homes
in Cardiff, Bridgend, and the Valley areas, south Wales police said
last night. They are working with the Care Standards Inspectorate
for Wales and the inquiry comes as a result of information gathered
during reviews by controlling organisations.

South Wales central assembly member, Jonathan Morgan, welcomed
the investigation, which is in its initial stages and which he
believes is linked to an ongoing inquiry by the Welsh assembly.

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 30 April page 7













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