Blair faces defeat on private finance
Unions and activists will back calls for a moratorium on private
provision of public services at the Labour party conference at the
end of the month.
Three of Britain’s largest unions will support a
conference resolution opposing the Private Finance Initiative
(PFI), a key element in the government’s investment programme
for health, education and transport.
Unison will publish a review today assessing the success of 512
privately funded projects.
Source:- The Times Thursday 19 September page 2
A British lecturer has been charged with arranging to have sex
with a teenage American girl he met via the internet.
Jason Tsiricos, 36, from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, was
arrested in Michigan after he was alleged to have arranged to meet
the 15-year old girl for sex.
He will appear in court in Oakland County on September 26 for an
Source:- The Times Thursday 19 September page 4
Sixth policeman arrested in child porn site
Another policeman has been arrested following a worldwide
investigation into child pornography on the internet.
The arrest was a result of the same investigation that led to
charges being brought against two officers who worked on the Soham
murder case involving Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells.
The 33-year old officer is the sixth police officer to have been
arrested in Britain during Operation Ore, the British side of the
FBI’s Operation Candyman aimed at uncovering users of
pornographic websites in the United States.
Meanwhile, the failure of police to take action over a list of
suspected paedophiles that included the two Soham officers was put
down to “bad luck” by the chief constable of Cambridge
It emerged this week that DC Brian Stevens and PC Antony
Goodridge were among the names given to police before officers were
assigned to the inquiry.
Chief constable Tony Lloyd said the tragic events in Soham had
caused them to delay looking at the list.
Source:- The Times Thursday 19 September page 5
Half of poverty targets missed
Half of Labour’s poverty targets have not been met over
the past year, a government report revealed yesterday.
Social Security Secretary Andrew Smith said that figures for his
department’s latest report, Opportunity for All, showed that
“good progress” was being made.
However the report reveals that no improvements have been made
in 11 of the 52 indicators chosen by the government to measure
poverty since 1996/7.
Progress has been even less significant when measured according
to data for the past year. On this measure the report found that no
improvements were made in 26 of the 52.
Smith highlighted, however, that the government was a third of
the way to achieving its target to reduce by a quarter the number
of children in low-income households by 2004.
Last year half a million fewer children were living in poverty
than when Labour came to power, he said.
Source:- The Times Thursday 19 September page 8
Blunkett tells of failure to reach 30,000
The home secretary announced plans for a new wave of suburban
accommodation centres for asylum seekers yesterday as he admitted
defeat on the target to deport 30,000 asylum seekers a year.
David Blunkett said it had never been his intention that centres
should be in rural areas and that his priority had switched from
removing asylum seekers to dissuading them from coming to Britain
in the first place.
His message to young Kosovans and Afghans who had come to the UK
looking for work was that they should return home to rebuild their
countries now that Britain had freed them from tyranny.
Blunkett told the home affairs select committee that new refugee
accommodation centres would no longer be built in deprived areas,
and that the government was keeping an open mind on future
He added that he had been wrong to maintain the target set last
June of removing 2,500 failed applicants each month.
Source:- The Times Thursday 19 September page 12
Track paedophiles with US satellite device, say
Sex offenders should be tagged by satellite to ensure they
comply with court orders to stay away from a victim’s home or
other areas with children, the Conservative party said
Under the plan, any paedophile breaking a court order by
entering a place from which they were banned would trigger an alarm
at a local police station.
The proposal was one of six put forward by shadow home secretary
Oliver Letwin to address what he called gaps in the enforcement of
the law dealing with sex offenders.
Source:- The Times Thursday 19 September page 13
Suicide rates tend to rise under Tory rule
Suicide rates have tended to rise under conservative governments
over the last 100 years, according to a scientific paper.
The biggest exception was under Edward Heath’s 1970-1974
administration, the paper published today states.
The authors of the paper, published in the Journal of
Epidemiology and Community Health, calculate that 35,000 more
people died in the last century than would have been the case if
the Tories had not won an election.
They suggest the reason for the Heath exception was due to his
government coinciding with the introduction of natural gas in the
UK, which made it more difficult for those wanting to commit
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 19 September page 8
100,000 children are homeless, Shelter report
Around 100,000 children were homeless last year, causing
behavioural, educational and health problems, according to a
Shelter report today.
The number of children forced to live in temporary housing in
the 12 months to July this year was revealed by analysing
government figures on homeless families.
Researchers found that the lack of housing severely affected
every aspect of their lives, from schooling to health. They studied
50 children in 21 families.
The report, Where is Home?, paints a disturbing picture of life
in bed and breakfast accommodation, with two fifths of children
forced to move schools and over half of those bullied for having no
Their health also suffered due to insanitary conditions, a poor
diet from lack of cooking facilities, and overcrowding.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 19 September page 8
Time doubled for checks on teachers
The Criminal Records Bureau has doubled its target time to deal
with applications from three to six weeks, the home secretary said
David Blunkett told MPs that the administration of the security
checks for new teachers, care staff, and other public sector
recruits had been unacceptable and had led to
But Blunkett blamed the chaos on applicants not filling in their
forms correctly and on a decision by the Department for Education
and Skills to overturn a ruling that schools could rely on a more
limited check against its “list 99” of those banned
Blunkett told the Commons home affairs select committee that a
realistic target had to be set.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 19 September page
Foreign staff must sit citizenship test – CRE
All foreigners working in Britain must sit a citizenship test,
according to the new head of the Commission for Racial
Beverley Barnard, who has taken over as chairperson of the
commission following Gurbux Singh’s resignation, said foreign
workers needed to show an appreciation of Britishness.
“Anybody that comes to live here or a multinational that
wants to relocate in Britain needs to take on board and appreciate
some of the concepts that are British: an intolerance of racism, an
acceptance of diverse community, and respect and tolerance for
other cultures,” she said.
Source:- Independent Thursday 19 September page 1
Councils failing on youth crime
The failure of local authorities to crack down on youth crime
will be highlighted by the Scottish Executive today.
Cathy Jamieson, minister for education and young people, is
expected to highlight key areas where not enough is being done to
tackle juvenile offending.
Source:- The Scotsman September 19 page 4
Wallace concedes smacking defeat
Jim Wallace admitted defeat yesterday in his attempt to outlaw
the smacking of children under three, saying he regretted the ban
had to be dropped.
Source:- The Scotsman September 19 page 9
Tory tax taunt over child poverty
Tony Blair fell back on old Labour principles yesterday when he
vowed to re-distribute wealth from the rich to the poor.
Source:- The Daily Record September 19 page 4
Supply and demand hitting heartlands
Welsh speaking people who use social services may have to use
English with their social workers in some areas because of a
shortage of Welsh speaking practitioners. Some parts of Wales are
running out of Welsh speakers because so many organisations and
companies in Wales are employing them since devolution.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday September 19
CPS silence over abuse angers Clarke
Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Peter Clarke, has
demanded to know why no criminal charges will be brought in the
wake of the John Owen inquiry.
He criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for failing to
reveal why it would not prosecute witnesses accused of conspiracy
in the alleged child abuse case against the now deceased drama
Clarke is hearing evidence from alleged victims of the teacher
in an on-going inquiry into the handling of complaints against
Source:- Western Mail, Thursday September 19 page 2
Paedophiles: You’ve got no place to
Paedophiles in Wales have been warned that there is no hiding
place for them, following the jailing of a Salvation Army camp
leader for abusing young girls and the conviction of a swimming
The NSPCC say that paedophiles are now being detected because
better checking systems are in place.
Salvation Army leader Mark Molden was jailed for four years and
banned from working with children for life. Swimming coach John
Glyn Jones was jailed for 18 years for abusing boys.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday September 19 page 1