Tuesday 3 December 2002

By Clare Jerrom, Shona Main and Alex

Britain to take 1,200 Sangatte refugees

Around 1,200 asylum seekers from the refugee camp in Sangatte
are to move to Britain, David Blunkett agreed yesterday in a deal
with France to close the camp by the end of the year.

Under the scheme, the 1,000 Iraqi Kurds and 200 Afghans with
families in Britain will be given four-year work visas and help
with finding jobs.

France will be responsible for the remaining 3,600 refugees who
have registered with the Red Cross camp near Calais since

The home secretary said he expected to see a dramatic
improvement in the asylum application process.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 3 December page 12

B&B ‘cycle of despair’ to end for
homeless families

New laws to protect children will result in bed and breakfast
accommodation no longer being provided for homeless families.

Cabinet office minister Barbara Roche will say today that the
new measures are necessary to end the ‘cycle of
despair’ that often accompanies B&B accommodation.

Under the new law, likely to be passed next year, local
authorities will be permitted to place homeless families in
B&Bs for only six weeks, and only then when it is deemed an

Ministers said the increase in local government funding meant
extra cash was available for councils to fund alternatives to bed
and breakfast accommodation.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 3 December page 12

Back to school

A 15-year-old boy, Michael Cocker, who played truant for a year
from Witton Park school, Blackburn, has attended almost every
lesson in the three months since magistrates threatened his mother
with a prison sentence if he carries on missing classes.

Linda Cocker was given a conditional discharge.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 3 December page 11

Strike threat by probation union

A one-day strike on 29 January has been balloted by members of
the probation union, Napo.

The union wants guidelines on workload, which it claims has
risen by 50 per cent in the last 10 years.

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 3 December page 6

Poverty in the country affects 18 pc of

Around one in five people in the English countryside live in
poverty, according to a leading rural agency.

Eighteen per cent of people living in country areas live in low
income households, the research for the Countryside Agency by the
New Policy Institute shows.

The comparative figure for urban areas is 24 per cent.

The unemployment rate for 18 to 24-year-olds in country areas is
more than double that for older workers.

Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 3 December page 2

Scottish newspapers

Health minister urged to fund free personal care for the

Disability campaigners have called the introduction of free
personal care “unfinished business”.

Capability Scotland has called on the minister for health to
fully implement the Sutherland report, and extend free care to
younger disabled Scots.

Michele Hegarty, of Capability Scotland, said: “The debate
around fixing long term care has focused on age rather than care

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 3 December page 6

Psychiatric patient sues for transfer from state

A convicted sex offender ‘trapped’ in Carstairs is
making a court bid for transfer to less secure accommodation.

William Blackwood’s counsel claims his client is one of 50
patients who require to be detained, but not under high security.
He alleges Blackwood could be treated in local hospital facilities,
but “collective failure” has led to him being unlawfully

Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 3 December page 10

Families back suicide campaign

The parents of young Scots, who committed suicide, welcomed new
measures to stop others taking their own lives.

They were responding to the executive’s launch of
Scotland’s first suicide strategy.

The executive aims to reduce the rate of suicides by 20 per cent
over the next 10 years, and have made £12 million available
for local services and a launched a national campaign.

Source:- The Daily Record Tuesday 3 December page

Welsh newspapers

Minimise B&B usage, assembly tells

Welsh councils are being urged to minimise the use of bed and
breakfast accommodation for homeless people.

Welsh local government minister Edwina Hart said the assembly
had recently issued draft guidance for consultation on the use of
B&Bs. The brief advises local authorities on how reductions can
be achieved.

There has been growing concern over lack of social housing in
the Welsh capital, and Cardiff council has been calling for a
relaxation in the right to buy legislation because of the loss of
council properties.

Source:- South Wales Echo Monday 2 December page 16

MPs to meet school’s council

Welsh MPs are to visit a Cardiff school tomorrow as part of an
inquiry looking at young people’s political

The Welsh affairs select committee is looking at issues that
surround citizenship and communities and young people’s
involvement, and they will be meeting with the school council at
Tongwynlais Primary School as part of their investigation.

Source:- South Wales Echo Monday 2 December page 16

Clwyd bids to stop women suffering genital

Welsh Labour MP Ann Clwyd is confident that she will receive
government backing in her bid to close a loophole that has seen
thousands of British ethnic minority women suffer genital
mutilation legally.

Although female circumcision has been illegal in England and
Wales since 1985, some parents have evaded the law by sending their
daughters abroad.

Now Clwyd has decide to use her high placement in the annual
ballot for private members’ bills to introduce a bill that
would make it a criminal offence to procure such an operation

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 3 December page 2

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