Tuesday 29 April 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Nicola Barry.
Care home crisis
Financial shortages are forcing thousands of older and
infirm residents out of care homes, said nurses at a Royal College
of Nursing conference yesterday.
Delegates heard how the RCN believes that hundreds of care homes
are closing at an “escalating rate”, and voted overwhelming in
favour of lobbying the government to raise fees.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 29 April page
Afghan refugees put on aircraft back to

The first group of refugees to be forcibly sent back to Afghanistan
since the fall of the Taleban left Britain yesterday.
Around 30 failed asylum seekers flew back on a chartered passenger
plane expected to land in Kabul early this morning.
Last night, refugee groups condemned the forcible repatriation
saying it is far too early to return people to Afghanistan.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 29 April page 7
Blair returns to domestic troubles in election

Tony Blair raised the prospect of introducing further legislation
to deal with the problem of asylum yesterday as he attempted to
move back to domestic policies.
Speaking at his monthly press conference at Downing Street, he said
that he was “on target” to reach his pledge, made in February, to
halve the number of applications for asylum to 4,450 a month by
Figures out next month would show “a very, very significant
improvement as a result of the legislative and other measures we
have taken”, he said. He added that despite this he still believes
it is necessary to “consider further action” to reduce the numbers
of applications further.
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 29 April page 8
Acclaimed charity defies the law to ‘protect

The founder of a project for troubled children defied a high court
ruling yesterday by opening up the organisation’s
Yesterday the nine-month deadline for Kids Company to move was up
but Camila Batmanghelidjh, her staff and the children remained at
their base under railway arches in Camberwell, south London.
The project, which has been running for seven years, has been
praised for cutting youth crime in the area, but complaints from
neighbours, supported by Labour councillors, about anti-social
behaviour by some of the children will eventually lead to their
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 29 April page 9
Would-be refugees make a mini-Sangatte in heart of

An unofficial open-air transit camp in the centre of Paris has been
labelled a “mini-Sangatte”, with hundreds of potential asylum
seekers hoping to enter Britain using it as a base.
The government and asylum campaigners are becoming concerned about
a large number of squats that have come about near or on the way to
Channel ports.
At present the police have no plans to raid the camps or move the
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday April 29 page 5
Ministers says sorry for tax credit delays
The government apologised to all the families who claimed the child
tax credit on time but have still not received their benefits, and
admitted that 800,000 families had still not got their money.
The apology was issued by the paymaster general, Dawn Primarolo, in
an emergency Commons statement.
Many families have not received their payments due on 6 April and
Primarolo said all families who had filled in claims by 31 January
would get their benefits by the end of this week or get an interim
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday April 29 page 8
Scottish newspapers
Kirk urged to check all volunteers
The Church of Scotland is considering whether to introduce
new guidelines to ensure all volunteers working with children have
their criminal records checked.
All workers would be bought under the same umbrella under the
reforms which would extend background checks.
A board of practice and procedure report outlining the proposals
will be out before the general assembly for approval next
Around 20,000 volunteers work with the church.
Source:- The Scotsman  Tuesday 29 April page 4
Kirk’s social work services faces collapse after
losing £6m a year

More than 2,000 jobs are endangered as the Church of
Scotland’s social work services are facing financial
A Kirk report published today revealed its board of social
responsibility, which is Scotland’s largest voluntary welfare
provider, may not be financially viable by 2004.
Board covener Rev Jim Cowie said reserves had been depleted to
£8 million while the board’s activities were running at
an annual loss of £6 million.
The report, which will go before the General Assembly next month,
says none of the 2,320 staff are secure in their jobs.
The board runs 30 older people’s care homes as well as a wide
range of services for over 4,000 daily including support facilities
for people with mental health problems, physical disabilities,
alcohol and drug addictions and homeless people.
Source:- The Herald  Tuesday 29 April
£4bn row on how to beat drug crisis as bill

Drug addicts cost the UK an estimated £4 billion each year, it
was revealed yesterday by specialist Dr Malcolm Bruce.
The total bill, including crime costs and health care, emerged  as
a row broke out over how best to help Scotland’s 56,000
heroin users.
While Bruce called for the introduction of an alternative heroin
substitute to methadone at a conference in Edinburgh, campaigners
meeting in Glasgow demanded a zero-tolerance approach.
Source:- Daily Record  Tuesday 29 April page 2
Abuse soldier in court
A soldier who admitted carrying out sex attacks on children during
a six year spate is facing prison.
Steven Grant attacked five girls and the first indecent assault was
carried out on his victim’s sixth birthday. The abuse was
carried out between 1980 and 1986.
Grant, who began the abuse when he was 12, admitted six charges of
serious abuse against girls aged between six and 13, at Perth
sheriff court and his details have been added to the sex
offenders’ register.
Source:- Daily Record  Tuesday 29 April page 4
Welsh newspapers
These have been the longest and emptiest weeks of my

A Welsh mother whose three-year-old daughter has been missing for
over three weeks after she disappeared with her father during a
routine contact visit, describes the trauma she has endured while
waiting for her safe return.
Estelle Clayton is now believed to be somewhere in southern Europe
or Morocco after disappearing with her father on 9 April. Her
mother, Aneta, found a handwritten note from the child’s
father Simon, saying that he wanted to spend quality time with his
Dyfed-Powys police say they have no fears that the child is at
risk, but say they are concerned that she was taken out of the
country on a pre-arranged trip that had been kept secret.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 29 April page 1
GPs want patients to pay for visits
Patients should be charged for a home visit and fined for
missed appointments, say Welsh GPs.
The proposals that are contained in a nationwide survey of GPs,
published today, advocate patients paying £36 for a home visit
and fines of £12 for each missed appointment, but the patient
watchdog, the Association of Welsh Community Health Councils said
the proposals could have serious implications.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 29 April page 1
Nurse to appeal after losing case
A nurse who claimed she lost her job after she blew the whistle on
a special needs school that operated a “do not
resuscitate” policy for children, has lost her case for
unfair dismissal.
Bunny Pinnington claimed that her dismissal was a breach of the
laws set up to protect whistleblowers, but the local education
authority for the city and county of Swansea and the governors of
the school, Ysgol Crug Glas, say that she lost her job because she
was absent through ill health.
Pinnington’s solicitor said she was planning to launch an
appeal on behalf of her client.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 29 April page 3

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