Wednesday 12 February 2003

By Clare Jerrom, Alex Dobson and Nicola

New blow to rural dispersal scheme

The government’s plans for a national network of rural
asylum accommodation centres suffered further setbacks yesterday
when the home office announced it was abandoning three sites.

Plans for potential sites in South Glamorgan, Lincolnshire and
one near Edinburgh were dismissed and instead the home office is to
open a smaller centre on an old naval base site at HMS Daedalus at
Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire.

Around 400 male asylum seekers are to be housed at the new site
on the edge of an urban area.

Two rural sites are still planned on earmarked sites at
Bicester, Oxfordshire and RAF Newton, Nottinghamshire.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 12 February page 9

Afghan man beaten to death after night out

A young asylum seeker from Afghanistan has died after being
beaten up, police said yesterday.

The murder in Southampton could be racially motivated, according
to detectives and they are investigating possible links with
assaults on other asylum seekers. Four Afghans have been attacked
in the past two months.

It is believed the man was attacked by a gang as he took a short
cut across a series of parks on his way home after a night out in
the city centre.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 12 February page 9

New rules ‘do not breach rights’ of
destitute refugee

Asylum seekers stripped of benefits are not having their human
rights breached, the high court was told yesterday.

The rules that were introduced last month were tough, according
to Neil Garnham QC for the home office, but just because a person
was homeless or destitute does not necessarily mean the rules
breach their rights.

Mr Justice Collins was told that would-be refugees, many of them
“cold, hungry, scared and sick”, had already been forced to sleep
rough on the streets.

But Garnham said none of the six asylum seekers bringing the
test case had suffered harm because within days members of the
public, often from the same ethnic origin, had offered them help
before court orders were made securing them food and shelter
pending the outcome of the high court challenge.

Under the new rules only asylum seekers who apply for asylum at
the port of entry are guaranteed support.

The judge has indicated he will give his judgement next week,
and the court of appeal is prepared for any subsequent appeal.

In the meantime, Mr Justice Collins urged the government to
adopt a more liberal approach, and stop stripping late asylum
claimants of their benefits until he makes his ruling.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 12 February page 4

Britons seek limit on number of asylum

Nearly nine out of 10 people believe that the number of asylum
seekers in Britain is a serious problem, according to a poll
carried out for The Times.

Thirty nine per cent of the public regard the number of asylum
seekers as “the most serious problem in Britain at present”, while
49 per cent believe it is “a serious problem but other issues are
more important”.

Only 11 per cent believe the number of asylum seekers is not a

Source:- The Times Wednesday 12 February page 4

Muddle blocks hospital beds

Over 4,000 older people remain in hospital beds after doctors
have declared them fit to leave, according to parliament’s
spending watchdog yesterday.

At least 1,300 patients over 75 had been waiting over a month
for hospital discharge, causing huge expense to the NHS and danger
to individuals who became institutionalised by unnecessary
hospitalisation, said the National Audit Office.

The reasons for delayed discharge included poor procedures in
hospital, inadequate cooperation with social services and a lack of
capacity in appropriate post-hospital care, said controller and
auditor general, Sir John Bourn.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 12 February page 10

Court orders treatment to ensure killer is sane enough
to be executed

A death row prisoner can be forcibly treated for psychosis, a US
court of appeal has ruled, which would make him sane enough to be

A series of court rulings has left convicted murderer Charles
Singleton with an agonising choice either to take medication
voluntarily and be condemned to death, or refuse it and be
condemned to a life of psychosis. In the US it is illegal to
execute an “insane” prisoner.

The court of appeal in St Louis, Missouri, has ruled that
Singleton should be forced to take the treatment, which will make
him fit for execution.

Singleton has decided to take medication until an execution date
is set, and then he will stop taking it in the hope of influencing
further appeals.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 12 February page 1

Low Pay Unit out of cash

The Low Pay Unit, which campaigns on behalf of workers with low
incomes, is being wound up after 30 years of service due to a lack
of funds.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 12 February page 8

Guardiab Society

Home hazards

Falls kill eight older people a day

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 12 February page

Status quo challenged

Survey supports coalition’s push for charity law

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 12 February page

Picture perfect

Mencap names competition winners

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 12 February page

Waiting game

Christine Barton was told that her vulnerable sister’s
care home failed to meet regulations. Four years on she’s
still there.

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 12 February page

Warning signs

Widespread experience of mental health issues among young

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 12 February page

First among equals

Children’s charity appoints profoundly deaf manager

Source:- Guardian Society Wednesday 12 February page

Scottish newspapers

Social work chief is dismissed after £1.4m

The £55,000-a-year head of social work and joint services
at East Dunbartonshire council, Pam Fenton, has been sacked
following a £1.4 million overspend.

Her suspension on full pay last June followed a disciplinary
investigation, which found there had been a breakdown of managerial

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 12 February page 7

Carer who killed sick father jailed for 18

A devoted son who killed his cancer-stricken father in a moment
of frustration was jailed for 18 months yesterday.

Terence Moss, aged 82, died after being slapped and shaken in
the family home in East Lothian.

Philip Moss originally faced a charge of murder, but his guilty
plea of culpable homicide was later accepted.

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 12 February page 10

Fairweather sues executive

The former chief inspector of prisons is suing the Scottish
executive for unfair dismissal.

Clive Fairweather, a former SAS commander, was removed form his
£43,000-a-year post amid accusations of political interference
aimed at his superiors.

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 12 February page 1

Welsh newspapers

We failed children, ex-director tells abuse inquiry

A former director of education told the Clywch inquiry into
child abuse that he and members of his department failed the young
people who made complaints about alleged paedophile, John Owen,
through ‘a catalogue of negligence’.

Eddie Roberts, director of education for mid Glamorgan, said
that alleged victims were treated as second class, compared with
supporters of Owen, who was a drama teacher at a Ysgol Gyfun
Rhydfelen, near Pontypridd.

The inquiry was set up by the Children’s Commissioner for
Wales Peter Clarke to investigate allegations of abuse made against

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 12 February page 1

Elderly betrayed in care crisis

A feature looking at the current crisis in care for older people
in Wales which focuses on the plight of 92-year-old, Clementina
Elsworth, who must move from her residential home in Cardiff
because it is about to close down.

Wales has lost more than 1,000 residential and nursing home beds
in the last year as homes are forced to close in the face of
financial pressure and the requirements of the Care Standards

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 12 February page 5

One in 20 pregnant women suffer abuse

Shock figures show that up to one in 20 pregnant women will
suffer violence from fathers-to-be.

The disturbing figures emerged at a conference organised by the
NSPCC and University of Wales College of Medicine to examine the
link between domestic violence and child abuse.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 12 February page 7

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