Thursday 24 October 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Nicola Barry and Alex

Morris quits: I’ve lost confidence

Estelle Morris resigned from her post as education secretary
last night.

Tony Blair is believed to have pleaded with her to stay in her
role, but she confirmed her reasons last night in an hour long
meeting with the prime minister at Downing Street.

Her resignation letter said: “I’ve learnt what I’m
good at, and also what I’m less good at. I’m good at
dealing with the issues, and in communicating with the teaching
profession. I am less good at strategic management, and I’m
not good at dealing with the modern media.”

Speculation as to who would take Morris’ place centred
around Labour chairperson Charles Clarke as well as trade and
industry secretary Patricia Hewitt. Another possible successor is
her deputy David Miliband.

Source:- The Times Thursday 24 October page 1

US deal agreed to care for the elderly

Health secretary Alan Milburn signed a deal with a private
America health company yesterday that aims to transform the way
older patients are treated.

Milburn believes his agreement with United Healthcare Group will
sharply reduce the hospital admission rate of older people.

Under the company’s Evercare programme in America,
hospital admission has halved as older people are given care in the

The health secretary is to set up 10 schemes around England.

Source:- The Times Thursday 24 October page 2

Children of 8 to be steered away from crime

Children as young as eight are to be offered help as part of a
preventive strategy to reduce crime.

Parents are also to be given classes and courses to help deal
with their children’s bad behaviour under the announcements
made yesterday.

Prisons minister Hilary Benn announced yesterday that parents of
first time offenders referred to a youth offending team will be
given a parenting order.

Meanwhile, the Youth Justice Board is to start schemes in 10
areas to help children at risk of turning to crime.

The new panels will be targeted in Avon and Somerset, Greater
Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, London, West Midlands,
Nottinghamshire, Thames Valley, South Yorkshire and West

Source:- The Times Thursday 24 October page 12

Blunkett’s safe list ‘threatens

The home secretary’s list of safe countries from which
asylum applications would normally be dismissed threatens the human
rights of applicants, a report said yesterday.

David Blunkett’s “white list” of 10 states seeking to join
the EU in 2004 was of questionable validity, and was “unacceptable
on human rights grounds”, the report published yesterday by the
Joint Committee of Human Rights said.

It will provide ammunition for peers as they debate amendments
to the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill today.

Meanwhile, a British Medical Association report has recommended
that all asylum seekers are checked for tuberculosis as soon as
they enter the UK.

Currently, only a small minority of immigrants, those who show
signs of the disease are checked at ports of entry, and there are
no procedures to screen for other infectious diseases.

Source:- The Times Thursday 24 October page 13

Care worker gets eight years

A 55-year-old care worker, Peter Brook, was jailed at Birmingham
crown court yesterday for sex offences against boys at the Tennal
assessment centre, Birmingham, Kingswood school, Bristol, and Troy
House school Monmouth.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 24 October page 14

Arson boy to get his own prison

A council is to build a ‘prison’ to hold one 11-year-old

Anglesey council said it had run out of options to deal with the
boy who has a history of arson and “inappropriate sexual

The council placed the boy, who is a risk to himself and others,
at a secure unit in Leeds at the cost of £3,500 a week. The
only other available place is in Somerset, which would cost
£10,500 a week.

Councillors were told it would be cheaper to convert a remote
council-owned property on the island into a “satellite unit” for
the boy. The conversion work would cost £12,000, and it would
then cost £130,000 a year to run.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Thursday 24 October page 7

Government defeat on children in court

The government suffered defeat in the Lords last night when
peers backed a move to allow children to have their own legal
representation in court cases involving their welfare.

The defeat, during the report stage of the Adoption and Children
Bill, is the second setback for the government during debate on the

A majority of seven backed a Liberal Democrat move claiming that
children often felt their needs and wishes were not given priority
in legal proceedings involving step-parents, fostering and

The government said the proposed change was unnecessary.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Thursday 24 October page

Scottish newspapers

Justice is failing as delays let thousands off the

The number of suspected criminals dodging justice as a result of
delays in the system has doubled in four years.

The shocking increase has been used by critics as further
damning evidence of the overstretched state of Scotland’s
legal system.

Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 24 October page 36

U-turn on soft bail laws

Ministers are set to tighten the controversial law which allows
killers to be granted bail

Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 24 October page 10

We still trust you, but only just, Jack

More Scots trust first minister Jack McConnell than don’t
– but by a narrow majority, says the first poll since the
recent cash scandal.

Source: Daily Record Thursday 24 October page 6

New deal for young offenders

A scheme to fast-track juveniles through the children’s
hearing system will be piloted next year in three regions, the
Scottish executive announced yesterday.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 24 October page 10

Welsh newspapers

Council offers homeless housing 55 miles

Homeless people in Cardiff have been offered accommodation up to
55 miles away because of a housing shortage in the city.

One man turned down a request to travel to the seaside resort of
Weston-Super-Mare, but a dozen families have accepted bed and
breakfast accommodation outside the capital.

Cardiff council says that it is impossible to find sufficient
temporary accommodation in the city at a time when the number of
single homeless people has risen by 50 per cent.

Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 23 October page 1
and 2

Old ‘were at risk’ at

Confusion and failure to deal with staff complaints put
residents at risk at a home for older people.

Welsh Assembly minister for health and social services Jane Hutt
revealed the findings of a 120-page report by the Social Services
Inspectorate for Wales (SSIW) into arrangements for safeguarding
residents at 10 homes across south Wales.

The report found that the main means to safeguard the well-being
of residents at one Cardiff home, Hazelcroft, were not used,
ineffective or confused.

The inspection team make 26 recommendations to improve and
clarify accountability for ensuring the care of residents at the
homes run by Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan and Hafod housing

Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 23 October page

Baby’s future still in doubt

The future of a baby boy abandoned in January this year is still
in doubt.

The child, named Oliver by the policemen who found him, was left
in a garden in Newport, in south Wales 10 months ago, he was
believed to be about 12 weeks old at the time.

Following a long investigation by police and social services,
his mother eventually came forward to claim him in May this year,
but his long term future is still to be decided by the courts.

Sourc:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 23 October page

A day no parent ever wants to contemplate

The parents of a 13-year-old schoolgirl have had to face the
ordeal of trying to find out why their daughter committed suicide
in their family home outside Cardiff.

Laura Kilibarda hung herself in her bedroom, and extracts from
her diary read at the inquest into her death yesterday, revealed a
depressed youngster who had written, “I’m thinking of killing

She had injured herself with a razor in the weeks leading up to
her death, and invented a story that she was pregnant, as became
increasingly withdrawn.

Her parents, Penny and George Kilibarda, believed that she was
being bullied at school.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 24 October page 1and

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