Friday 18 October 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Nicola Barry and Alex

Pair questioned

The man accused with the murder of Holly Wells and Jessica
Chapman was removed from his prison cell and taken for further
questioning by police.

Ian Huntley’s girlfriend, Maxine Carr who is charged with
perverting the course of justice was also removed from her cell and

The pair were taken to the same police station, but questioned

Source:- The Times Friday 18 October page 4

Blair’s gay adoption Bill faces fatal

The Conservative leader is planning to kill off Tony Blair’s
plans to allow unmarried couples to adopt children.

Iain Duncan Smith’s decision to order his MPs and peers to vote
down changes for a second time will infuriate senior modernisers in
the shadow cabinet who were hoping he would adopt a more
progressive stance when the Adoption and Children Bill returns

to the Commons shortly.

Following the defeat in the Lords earlier this week, the
government is sending the bill back to the Commons to allow MPs to
vote them back in.

The proposed changes are backed by Tony Blair and would change
the law to allow cohabiting couples including same sex couples to
adopt children.

Source:- The Times Friday 18 October page 12

Benefit shake-up to stop fraud incentive

A shake-up of the housing benefit system will enable thousands
of benefit claimants renting homes from landlords to be paid a flat
local housing allowance.

Work and pensions secretary Andrew Smith described the move
yesterday as a “fundamental break with the past” that would speed
up the processing of benefits claiming in England, Scotland and
Wales and make it easier for claimants to find work.

The new rate will initially be introduced in 10 pathfinder areas
from next year at a cost of £20 million and would normally be
paid to tenants directly, based on the area and family size.

Source:- The Times Friday 18 October page 12

Soham officer charged with sexual assault on

A police officer assigned to support the family of Jessica
Chapman following the girls’ abduction and murder with her friend,
Holly Wells, has been accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old
girl, it emerged yesterday.

Detective Constable Brian Stevens will face two counts of
indecently assaulting the girl when he appears in court at Bury St
Edmunds next month.

Stevens and constable Anthony Goodridge were arrested last month
as part of the worldwide operation into child pornography.

The two reported to a police station in Cambridgeshire on
Wednesday and were charged with 17 other offences.

DC Stevens was charged with three counts of making indecent
images of children in addition to three similar counts to the
indecent assaults he was charged with last month.

Goodridge was charged with 12 counts of making indecent images
adding to four child pornography charges he faced.

The charges followed further inquiries and a forensic
examination of the pair’s computers.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 18 October page 11

Top councils in line for greater freedoms

The deputy prime minister will be urged to give a group of top
performing councils greater freedoms today as part of Tony Blair’s
drive to end “one size fits all” public services.

The Local Government Association yesterday endorsed the
proposals and today they will be put forward at the quarterly
meeting between central and local government, chaired by John

The freedoms would be additional to those already planned by the
government for all councils.

The Audit Commission is expected to name the group of between 10
and 20 top performing councils in December.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 18 October page 13

Refugees go for £1,200

Five Afghan asylum seekers are to accept £1,200 each from
the British and French government and return home from the Sangatte
refugee camp near Calais.

The group are the first to accept the offer to encourage them to
leave Europe.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Friday 18 October page 2

Scottish newspapers

Abuser freed as fourth trial fails

A convicted paedophile once branded a “public danger” walked
free from court yesterday, after standing trial an unprecedented
four times on a charge of assaulting a teenage boy.

Source:- The Scotsman October 18 page

Scots women fall further behind on pay

More women might be breaking through the so-called professional
glass ceiling, but, when it comes to gender, the pay gap is

Source:- The Scotsman October 18 page 3

Stress at work doubles heart attack risk

Employees who are stressed in their jobs are twice as likely to
die from heart disease as those in less demanding occupations.

Source:- The Scotsman October 18 page 3

Welsh newspapers

Delays leaving blind people without help

Blind people in Wales are not receiving the help they need to
cope with their loss of sight.

A survey of blind and partially sighted people by the Royal
National Institute for the Blind Cymru found that many were having
to wait for up to a year for initial help with daily activities
like cooking and washing.

Joyce Chatterton, director of RNIB Cymru, said the picture was
unnecessarily bleak and that local services needed an urgent
injection of cash.

Source:- South Wales Echo Thursday 17 October page

Social services in Wales trail England

National and local government need to work together to improve
social services in Wales delegates at the National Social Services
Conference in Cardiff were told yesterday.

Welsh assembly minister for health and social services, Jane
Hutt, was speaking in the wake of a damning report from the Audit
Commission and Social Services Inspectorate for Wales (SSIW), that
revealed some Welsh social services departments are failing
vulnerable people, and she said that some difficult challenges lay

Hutt said that the first line of responsibility for bringing
services up to speed lay with local authorities, but that the
assembly also had a role to play in supporting and guiding
appropriate routes for change.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 18 October page 11

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