By Clare Jerrom, Nicola Barry and Alex
Freedom from red tape for councils
The Chancellor will today announce that England’s
top-performing 20 local authorities will be given freedom to run
their services with minimum interference from Whitehall.
Gordon Brown, alongside deputy prime minister John Prescott,
will outline plans to cut Whitehall red tape, and allow the best
performing councils a free reign to expand or cut services.
Those local authorities will have a smaller amount of their
budgets “ring-fenced” for specific services, and no longer have to
submit plans to Whitehall to get approval for service changes.
The top performers will not face endless inspections by
different organisations. The changes are expected to be included in
a local authority bill in the next session.
Source:- The Times Friday 11 October page 2
Morris demands boys’ expulsion
The education secretary yesterday demanded the expulsion of two
15-year-old boys from a Surrey school after discovering that they
had made death threats to their PE teacher.
The teenagers had been readmitted to Glyn School in Epsom, after
an appeals committee allowed it on a technicality.
More than 40 death threats had been made to PE master, Steve
The pair were expelled by headmaster Stuart Turner after the
police intervened and the move was backed by governors. But the
appeals panel overturned the decision on a technicality, and ruled
the boys should be returned to the comprehensive school.
Morris was described to be “absolutely livid” on hearing the
news. She contacted Surrey council yesterday, and told officials to
find alternative provision for the two boys.
Source:- The Times Friday 11 October page 10
Danielle’s mother tells of uncle’s phone
The man accused of abducting and murdering Danielle Jones
telephoned the girl’s mother just hours after the teenager
disappeared, reassuring her that her daughter would be back before
dark, a court was told yesterday.
Linda Jones said when Stuart Campbell telephoned her, he knew
Danielle had not been to school, even though she hadn’t told
As Jones waited at home in Tilbury, Essex for her daughter to
return in June last year, Campbell rang her several times, saying
he had received text messages from Danielle saying she was in
On the third day of the trial, Jones said it was not normal for
her daughter to be in trouble.
Chelmsford crown court was also told that Campbell had developed
a “irresistible sexual attraction” for his niece, liked to look at
Internet porn websites featuring teenage girls, and on the evening
before Danielle’s disappearance downloaded several pictures
from a porn site that looked so much like his niece that even her
mother thought it was her.
Campbell denies kidnapping and murdering his niece.
The trial continues.
Source:- The Times Friday 11 October page 14
Blunkett wins challenge on Roma rights
A high court challenge by human rights campaigners to declare
that British immigration checks introduced at Prague airport were
discriminatory against Czech Roma people trying to claim asylum in
the UK, was thrown out by a high court judge yesterday.
Mr Justice Barton ruled that pre-clearance checks at Prague
airport, which stopped mainly Czech Roma people boarding flights to
the UK to claim asylum, were legal under international law, and
were “no more or less objectionable” than a visa control
The legal challenge in London was brought by human rights group,
Liberty, on behalf of six Czech Roma people and the European Roma
Rights Centre, who argued that the checks were against the
international refugee convention and human rights law.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 11 October page 3
Asylum bill defeated by opposition peers
The controversial immigration and asylum bill met further
problems yesterday when opposition peers defeated the government,
and voted to debar it from deporting convicted criminal asylum
seekers unless they had been handed down jail sentences of 10 years
The government has been seeking to take powers to deport any
asylum seeker handed a sentence of more than two years, embracing a
much broader category of offences.
The government was defeated 77 to 71, and followed earlier
setbacks when peers demanded new accommodation centres be sited
near cities, and then opposed the segregated education for children
of asylum seekers outside mainstream education.
Further defeats are expected next week.
Source:- The Guardian Friday 11 October page 14
U-turn as care agency gives green light for nursery webcam
A private nursery in Dundee is to become the first in Scotland
to use a webcam to allow parents to keep an internet eye on their
children and the staff who care for them.
Source:-The Scotsman October 11 page 3
Racist attacks soar after September 11
Race-hate crimes across Scotland soared in the wake of the
September 11 terror attacks in the US.
Police revealed last night that in some areas the number of
incidents almost doubled.
Campaigners said the figures proved minority ethnic and
religious groups had become more vulnerable.
Source:- Daily Mail October 11 page 15
Peterhead improvement work to start in the
Jim Wallace, the justice minister, told MSPs yesterday that work
on improving conditions at Peterhead Prison was expected to start
in the spring, but he has been criticised for taking too long to
reply to a parliamentary report.
Source:- The Herald October 11 page 6
Young fogies find life too stressful
Britain now has a generation of young ‘fogies’ who suffer from
stress, live in fear of failure and worry about education and money
Source:- The Herald October 11 page 14
Family Housed In M-Way Services
A family has been housed in a motorway service station due to a
lack of temporary accommodation in Cardiff.
The family of six are living in one room at the Welcome Lodge at
Sarn Services near Bridgend after being evicted by Cardiff
Parents, Catherine and Stuart Murphy have been put up in the
accommodation with their four children by Cardiff social services
after finding themselves homeless for the third time.
They have been evicted twice for rent arrears, and then went to
live with Mr Murphy’s parents, but became homeless again when
the house was sold.
The couple’s children, whose ages range from 11 to two,
have not attended school since July.
A council spokesman said that there was a real shortage of
temporary accommodation in Cardiff, and that they hoped to move the
family into permanent accommodation soon.
Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday 10 October page 1
Truant’s mother warned she could face a prison
A mother has been warned that she could face a prison sentence
because her daughter does not attend school.
The 11-year-old had only been to school for 16 days out of a
possible 134 between 8 April and 19 July this year, Flintshire
magistrates were told. The mother, who comes from the Deeside area
of north Wales, admitted failure to make sure that her daughter
attended school regularly, and of being in breach of a similar
conviction involving the same child last year.
Educational social worker, Delyth Taylor said all attempts by
the authority to help so far had been rejected. The court decided
to adjourn sentences until next month for reports to be
Source:- Western Mail Friday 11 October page 1
When there’s a suicide in my prison I feel a
personal sense of failure
A two-page feature, which takes the form of a question and
answer interview, with the Governor of Parc Prison in Bridgend.
The prison, that is Wales’ first private jail has had a
troubled history since it opened in November 1997. Nine prisoners
have taken their own lives, and there are rumours of a bullying
culture at the modern, US designed state of the art facility.
Roy Woolford, governor of the Securicor-run prison, admits that
he feels a personal sense of failure when an inmate takes his own
Source:- Welsh Mirror Friday 11 October pages 26-27