Thursday 3 July 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson

 Minister backs value of truancy crackdown

An education minister admitted yesterday that the government had
been too soft on truants in their first term in office and had only
introduced a zero-tolerance policy in the past six to 12

The minister responsible for truancy, Ivan Lewis, said that it
was unfair to blame ministers for not cutting the truancy rate as
the problem had been ignored by all governments over the past 25

The truancy rate has not changed since records began being
collected in 1994.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 3 July page 2

Police in Thames torso case to question man held in

A Nigerian man suspected of being a people trafficker is
being questioned over the suspected ritualistic murder of a boy
whose headless torso was found in the Thames.

Police have been searching for Sam Onogigovie, who is being held
in Dublin, since July and believe that he could be the boy’s

It is thought that the boy, who was aged between four and seven,
was kidnapped in Nigeria and brought to Britain for a ritualistic
killing by an African family.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 3 July page 4

Outcry over Hodge delays proposals to reduce child

The government will delay the forthcoming Green Paper on Children
at Risk because of the controversy surrounding the new children’s
minister, Margaret Hodge.

The paper, the government’s response to the Victoria Climbie
inquiry, was first due to be published in February but was put back
to this month due to the recent appointment of a children’s

Downing Street is now concerned that it would be overshadowed by
the criticism of Hodge’s handling of allegations of child
abuse in council-run children’s homes while she was leader of
Islington council in the early nineties.

Source:- The Independent Thursday 3 July page 6

Lottery fund to aid young people’s projects

A £200m fund for young people’s projects provided by
the lottery has been proposed by the culture secretary Tessa Jowell

The measure is a part of a new White Paper designed to revive
public interest in the lottery.

The plans would involve a young people’s fund being set up to
share money generated by ticket sales.

Jowell hopes the plans will bring ticket sales back up from the
current £88m a week to the £100m mark of five years

Source:- The Financial Times Thursday 3 July page 7

Tories signal u-turn with pledge to help drug users kick
the habit

The shadow home secretary has pledged to focus the
Conservative’s efforts on helping young drug users rather
than tracking down international traffickers.

In a departure from one of Margaret Thatcher’s key policies,
Oliver Letwin said young users required the most support because
the odds were so “heavily stacked against” authorities being able
to win the war against international traffickers.

Letwin said the crux of the problem was “not supply but

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 3 July page 1

 Law review could help battered wives who

Battered wives who retaliate and kill their husbands due
to fear of future attacks or while defending themselves, could be
convicted of manslaughter rather than murder under new

The change is currently being considered by the law commission
and would apply to people who overreact when defending themselves
from an attack or an anticipated attack.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 3 July page 10

Doctors want ban on drink adverts

The British Medical Association has called for a ban on
alcohol advertising to halt an epidemic of binge drinking amongst
young people which is damaging to their health.

The association is calling for television advertising to be
ended first.

Alcohol advertising is worth £270m a year.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 3 July page 11

Girl’s ‘throat was slit’

Police yesterday revealed that the murdered 14-year-old
school girl Jodi Jones suffered a vicious stabbing but was not
sexually assaulted.

Officers said that although Jones’s body was found partially
clothed she had suffered not suffered a sexual attack.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 3 July page 11

Councillor who needs translator rides the

Urdu speaker says his limited English does not stop him
knowing his constituents

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 3 July page 12

Poverty drive is failing to deliver

The government’s aim to end poverty will fail unless new
measures are adopted, a Cabinet Office paper has warned.

Two other papers from government think tanks warn that Britain’s
poorest are still being failed by government policies.

The Number 10 Strategy Unit and the Social Exclusion Unit have
warned that Britain has one of the highest rates of poorly paid
workers in Europe.

The Cabinet Office paper found that although, unemployment had
fallen, the percentage of jobless households had only decreased
from 18 per cent in 1997 to 16 per cent in 2002.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 3 July page 13

Duncan Smith sets out drugs campaign

Ian Duncan Smith will announce today that a Tory
government would increase the number of drug rehabilitation places
for hard-drug users from 2,000 to 20,000.

The policy would ensure there are enough places for all
hard-drug users under 18 to get help.

Source:- The Times Thursday 3 July page 2

Scottish news

Pro-cannabis campaigner in suspected overdose

Orkney cannabis campaigner Biz Ivol was seriously ill in hospital
last night following a suspected overdose of paracetamols after
charges against her for supplying cannabis were dropped.

Ivol, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was found unconscious
in her home in South Ronaldsay around 9am yesterday morning. She
was taken to a hospital in Kirkwall and her condition was described
as “stable”.

Ivol had warned she would take her own life following the court
case where she defended the use of cannabis for MS sufferers.

Source:- The Scotsman  Thursday 3 July page 1

Slopping-out ‘to continue

The “degrading” practice of slopping-out in
Scotland’s prisons could continue for another four years, it
was predicted yesterday.

The former chief inspector of prisons, Clive Fairweather, who
held the post from 1994 until 2002, told a judge that the single
largest obstacle to eradicating slopping-out was overcrowding in

Robert Napier is claiming damages of £5,000 for being
subjected to “inhuman” conditions while on remand in
Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow in 2001.

Source:- The Scotsman  Thursday 3 July page 9

Scots charities could lose out in new lottery funding

Westminster’s plans to change the way lottery money is
distributed could result in Scottish charities missing out on
millions of pounds of funding.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations fears plans to
centralise decision-making in London will see charities north of
the border sidelined.

The warning came as culture secretary Tessa Jowell was set to
publish a White Paper, which is expected to change the way lottery
money is distributed.

Source:- The Scotsman  Thursday 3 July page 10

Borders facing crisis in care for the

A review of care homes for older people in the Scottish
Borders has warned of bed shortages and outlined difficulties in
recruiting adequate numbers of skilled staff.

The report by a scrutiny panel set up by Scottish Borders
Council recommends an appraisal with a view to privatising six
residential homes run by the local authority.

Source:- The Scotsman  Thursday 3 July

‘Blunders’ put elderly in financial

Older people in Scotland are suffering from a growing
number of “blunders” involving devolved and Westminster
legislation, it is claimed.

Older people’s charity Help the Aged said it had become
increasingly concerned about older vulnerable people falling
between the cracks of mismatched laws.

An example the charity cited was a loophole which means older
tenants in Scotland could face having their benefits cut if their
council home moved to a new landlord in a stock transfer.

Source:- The Herald  Thursday 3 July

Welsh news

Row over ‘unspent’ community funds

The largest council in Wales has failed to spend more than
£300,000 allocated for community projects by the Welsh

Cardiff Council’s failure to use the money, which is part
of the Communities First programme, has been branded a disgrace by
Plaid Cymru assembly member Owen John Thomas.

A council spokesperson said that no Communities First money
received by the council before the start of the this financial year
remained unspent, and that ‘allocated’ or
‘awarded’ money did not mean ‘received’

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 3 July page 7














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