Friday 4 July 2003



By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson

£300m bonus for councils that attract new

Local authorities will receive £300m a year under new
government measures designed to encourage inner city

The plans will allow councils to keep money generated from extra
business rates, currently given to the government, in return for
attracting companies to poor areas.

The chancellor will make the announcement today at the Local
Government Association annual conference in Harrogate.

Source:- Financial Times Friday 4 July page 2

Funding ‘not reducing prosperity gap’

MPs will call for the government to direct funds towards
poorer regions in order to reduce the regional prosperity gap.

A report from the committee that scrutinises the deputy prime
minister’s office attacks the government’s view that raising wealth
across the whole country will reduce the prosperity gap between
different areas.

“To reduce differences emphasis must be given to the less
prosperous regions. Treating unequal regions equally is not a
recipe for reducing disparities,” the report says.

Source:- Financial Times Friday 4 July page 4

Schools failing in duties to ethnic minority

Schools are to be more closely monitored in their
treatment of ethnic minority pupils after a survey of public bodies
has found that the education section widely fails to comply with
the Race Relations Act.

The Race Relations (Amendment Act) 2000 puts a statutory duty on
public authorities and educational institutions to promote racial

More detailed arrangements for doing this were meant to be set up
by the end of May last year but the survey published yesterday by
the Commission for Racial Equality finds that one third of
respondents had not met this deadline.

Source:- Financial Times Friday 4 July page 5

Boy of 11 ‘was driven to suicide by bullies’

The mother of an 11-year-old boy who took his own life
claimed he was driven to suicide by bullies at his school.

Thomas Thompson is believed to be the youngest person ever to have
killed themselves because of alleged bullying.

Thompson’s mother said he was driven to taking an overdose of
painkillers because other pupils at Riverside Primary School in the
Wirral, Merseyside, targeted him for being clever and well

Source:- Daily Mail Friday 4 July page 34

Equality bypasses Whitehall mandarins

Four government departments have no-one from an ethnic
minority in their senior ranks, according to the Commission for
Racial Equality.

Trevor Phillips, the CRE chairperson, said that Cabinet Office
figures show that although many government departments are
successfully building up a more representative workforce, the top
levels of the civil service are still dominated by white middle
class men.

The departments named are Culture, Media and Sport; Constitutional
Affairs; the Privy Council; and the Scotland Office. The CRE also
added the National Assembly for Wales to the list.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 4 July page 5

Order bans boy, 11, from entering toy shop

An 11-year-old boy has been banned from a branch of Toys
“R” Us for five years for causing problems for  staff by riding up
and down the aisles on a scooter.

Darren Parkinson, has been banned from parts of Manchester under a
five-year anti-social behaviour order.

Not only were staff forced to chase him around the store as a
result of him riding the scooter, but he also used racist
language in the toy shop.

Other bad behaviour included throwing stones at police, breaking
into a car and threatening a neighbourhood warden with a broken

Source:- The Guardian Friday 4 July page 7

Hodge under fire on child protection

Downing Street insisted that the delay of a long-awaited
Green Paper on child protection was due to the prime minister
wanting to announce it “side by side” with the beleaguered
children’s minister Margaret Hodge.

The Conservatives have accused the prime minister of putting back
the publication of paper to after the summer recess in order to
shield his “crony” Hodge.

Hodge is under pressure to resign due to criticisms that she failed
to do enough to prevent children in council-run children’s homes
from being sexually abused during her time as leader of Islington
Council in the 1980s.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 4 July page 13

Killer husbands will have to face murder

People who kill their spouses will face a murder trial
rather than a making an agreed plea of manslaughter under new
guidance from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The guidance will mean that the plea of guilty to manslaughter on
the basis of provocation will hardly ever be accepted.

The length of jail sentence they receive is also to be reviewed
following a request by the solicitor general Harriet Harman.

The measures aim to toughen current domestic violence laws.

Source:- The Times Friday 4 July page 9

Scottish news

Clergy call for release of refugee family

A family of asylum seekers who have been held at Dungavel
detention centre for nearly a year should be removed immediately,
according to senior clergy and community leaders.

Three bishops have joined a former moderator of the Church of
Scotland and others in condemning the treatment of the Ay family as
“a grave injustice”.

The move should put further pressure on the Home Office to release
the family. Officials claim the protracted legal process of appeals
has lengthened the family’s detention period.

Source:- The Scotsman  Friday 4 July page 1

Abuse case could open the door to £30m of

A women who suffered sexual abuse as a child has gone to
court to challenge the rule which denies her compensation for her

Miss X’s application for compensation has been denied because
of a rule that states that pay-outs can not  be made for offences
dating back before 1979 which were committed “in the

If she convinces a judge that excluding her from the criminal
injuries compensation scheme is a breach of her human rights, it
could open the floodgates to similar claims which could amount to
over £30m.

Source:- The Scotsman  Friday 4 July page 3


Cannabis campaigner vows to go on with suicide

The Orkney cannabis campaigner who survived a suicide bid
this week has vowed to carry out her threat to end her life.

Biz Ivol, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, took an overdose of
painkillers in her home at South Ronaldsay on Wednesday. The
previous evening she had learned that a court case against her for
possessing and supplying cannabis to fellow MS sufferers had been

Speaking from her hospital bed yesterday, Ivol said that learning
she had failed in her suicide bid was like waking from a nightmare
and pledged to “do it properly next time”.

Source:- The Scotsman  Friday 4 July page 7

Call for Scots to abstain on English votes

Scottish Labour MSPs found themselves in fresh controversy
last night over their role in forcing though policies in England
which have no impact in Scotland.

The Labour chairperson of the Commons health committee appealed to
his Scottish colleagues not to vote on foundation hospitals next
week because it only affects England.

David Hinchliffe, who opposes Tony Blair’s plans to introduce
the semi-autonomous hospitals, said it would be unfair for Scottish
MPs to impose such a policy on England when it would have no effect
on their constituencies.

Source:- The Scotsman  Friday 4 July page 8

Union demands action violence against workers

A union leader yesterday demanded ministers hold a summit
over the problems of abuse and violence against public sector

Scottish organiser of Unison, Jim Devine, said that while the union
had received a sympathetic hearing from Andy Kerr, the finance
minister, the problem was so pervasive that it required wider

Ministers were listening, he said, but too many NHS and local
government managers were not.

Source:- The Herald  Friday 4 July


Welsh newspapers

Refuge for the victims of violence

Almost 140 women and children fleeing abusive relationships have
found sanctuary and support in the refuges run by Women’s Aid
in Newport.

But the cities’ two refuges are constantly full and 149
families had to find accommodation elsewhere, the
organisation’s annual meeting was told.

The meeting was also given details of a successful pilot project,
the Freedom Programme, which is aimed at helping women who have
been abused in the past to set boundaries to protect themselves and
gives professionals more information about domestic abuse.

Source:- South Wales Argus Thursday 3 July page 16

Carer emptied victim’s account

A carer at a home in north Wales who emptied the bank
account of one older person and targeted a second was jailed for
one year yesterday after a judge said he wanted to send a clear
message to carers that stealing from vulnerable people was

Janet Simpson, who had worked at the Manor Park residential home
for 11 years, stole the cash card of one of the residents and
emptied his account of £11,000. She then began cashing the
cheques of a second resident without authority.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 4 July page 3

Council to offer free home care to hundreds

A Welsh local authority is to introduce what it claims is
a fairer system of charging for home care services.

From August, Caerphilly Council has agreed that adults whose income
is below the level of state benefit or no more than 25 per cent
higher, will receive free home care.

Extra money has already been allocated to social services to meet
the costs.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 4 July page 11












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