Thursday 5 December 2002

By Amy Taylor, Shona Main and Alex Dobson.

Smack City

In the week ministers announced free heroin on the NHS, a
shocking report from the frontline of Britain’s drugs war…and
the parents who say this government’s policy is making things

Source:- The Daily Mail Thursday 5 December page 13

‘Care worker’s sex with boy at pool’

A 26-year-old social worker was accused of having sex twice with
a 15-year-old boy in a family changing room at a swimming pool, in
court yesterday.

It was also alleged that Lisa Smith spent a night away with the
boy at a guest house in Blackpool during a four-month relationship
while she was engaged.

She is accused of having sex with two 15-year-old boys she met
at a care home in Leyland, Lancashire, where she worked. The first
boy claimed they had sex 25 to 30 times and the second boy said
they had sex around 8 times.

Source:- The Daily Mail Thursday 5 December page 41

South-east councils to lose funding in fight against

Councils in south east England are set to loose funds to more
deprived areas in the north in an overhaul of town hall finance to
be published by the government today.

Currently grants are distributed according to complex formula
based on standard spending assessment. Under the new plans councils
will receive a mixture of funding intended to reflect poverty
levels and give rewards and incentives to well-run authorities.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 5 December page

MPs call for anonymity of defendants in rape

Rape suspects and those accused of other sex offences should get
the same right to anonymity as their victims, a cross-party
committee of MPs recommended yesterday.

The case for anonymity gained momentum this year after a number
of trials in which sportsmen were acquitted over rape allegations
made by women whose identities remained secret.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 5 December page

Asian ghetto notion dispelled by survey

Claims that British Asian communities are forming ghettos,
particularly in troubled areas of the north of England, are
questioned today by one of the largest surveys held into ethnic
minority housing trends.

Researchers from Leeds and Bradford dismissed allegations that
Muslim communities are against mixing with other groups.

The survey used data from 435 Asian households and interviews
with lots of other respondents, including local estate agents,
showed a much more traditional pattern of gradual prosperity
encouraging moves into suburbs and away from ‘one culture’

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 5 December page 10

Refugees lose home protest

A family of asylum seekers who claimed their council
accommodation did not reach the standards of their homeland, lost a
high court damages claim yesterday against Southwark council, south

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 5 December page

Blunkett legal reforms ‘shift balance too

A committee of MPs have called for the scrapping of David
Blunkett’s proposals to allow juries to be told of a defendants’
previous convictions.

Just hours before the reforms went before the Commons for a
second reading, the home affairs select committee of MPs
unanimously condemned the proposed changes arguing that it would
lead to miscarriages of justice.

Source:- The Times Thursday 5 December page 12

Setting up tax credits for poor costs £1bn over
four years

The cost of Gordon Brown’s tax credit programme for the low paid
will hit the £1 billion mark over the next four years,
according to parliament’s spending watchdog, the public accounts

The committee also called for safeguards to be put in place as
the current system is open to abuse, with the Inland Revenue, which
oversees it, having no information about how much companies are
handing over to low-paid staff.

Source:- The Times Thursday 5 December page

Welsh newspapers

‘It’s time to tackle the scourge of

A south Wales charity has come up with the idea of setting up a
residential project to tackle the drugs problem in Newport.

Following the deaths of a number of young people from drugs,
Newport Action for Single Homeless (NASH) developed a scheme where
young people who have just started taking drugs could be given
accommodation and support.

The plans are in the early stages, but Nash’s director
Richard Frame said that it was a growing problem and that the
charity would like to try to help do something about it.

Source:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 4 December page

My son has lost his job

A factory, which provides work for disabled people in Torfaen in
south Wales, will close just five days before Christmas.

The council-owned Monwel Torfaen sheltered workshop which
employs people with moderate levels of disability or learning
difficulties to carry out light manufacturing is due to shut down
on 20 December.

The council say that people who were employed there will be able
to take advantage of a new support network that will help them keep
in touch with one another, and they will also be given assistance
to find alternative employment.

But the mother of one man, who is employed at the workshop,
described the closure as a crying shame, and said her 53-year-old
son had not been offered any alternative work or training.

Source:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 4 December page

Accused dad tells of joy at son’s

A father accused of murdering his “cot death” baby has told
Cardiff crown court how excited he was when the child was born.

He was speaking for the first time during his trial for the
murder and attempted murder of his two baby sons.

He told the jury that he had found one child dead in his cot,
but a year later when a second child experienced a similar pattern
of life-threatening episodes after stopping breathing, the father
was arrested.

Medical experts have told the court that it was possible that he
had tried to smother his sons, and a later investigation showed
that the first baby had suffered seven broken ribs that had been
overlooked on an X-ray. The case continues.

Source:- South Wales Echo Wednesday 4 December page

Violence is ‘normal’, say care home

Harmful and abusive violence among children in residential care
homes is seen by staff as a “normal” part of growing up, according
to new research.

Half of all children in care have experienced or witnessed
physical and verbal abuse at the hands of other children, says the

But say researchers from Cardiff University much of the bullying
and physical attacks are seen as “boys being boys” by residential
care workers.

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 5 December page 8

Employers are letting down the disabled, new report

Disabled people are being discriminated against when they try to
find a job in Wales, new research published today reveals.

Figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics show that
just 48 per cent of people with disabilities have a job compared to
81 per cent of people who are not disabled.

But research by RNIB Cymru says that people with sight problems
are even less likely to be in work with three out of four visually
impaired people not in paid employment.

The charity is campaigning to break down barriers for disabled

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 5 December page 8

Pioneering autism strategy launched

Wales is leading the way with the launch of a new strategy that
provides a pioneering autism website resource.

The world’s first national website dedicated to autism has
been developed by Autism Cymru. As well as providing information on
services the bilingual website will also provide detailed
explanations of autism, treatment and therapies.

The site, which is called AWARes, can be accessed on

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 5 December page 8

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