Tuesday 5 August 2003

By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Overhaul for failing public sector homes plan

The deputy prime minister is set to announce an urgent overhaul of
a £250 million scheme designed to help public sector workers
buy their own homes, after it emerged that less than half the money
had been spent.
John Prescott, who is in charge of Downing Street while Tony Blair
is on holiday, has undertaken a shake-up of the initiative, which
offers a cash advance to nurses, teachers and other public sector
employees in housing hotspots.
Former cabinet minister Stephen Byers announced the scheme two
years ago and said the loans would give more than 11,000 workers a
foot on the housing ladder by March next year. But so far, less
than £100 million has been spent helping just 3,300
Source:- Financial Times Tuesday 5 August page 2
GPs disillusioned by reduced roles in primary care trusts,
says report

An alliance of medical organisations warned yesterday that doctors
are becoming disillusioned with primary care trusts, the bodies
charged with reshaping the NHS.
PCTs commission hospital care on behalf of NHS patients and oversee
primary care services. They now control 75 per cent of the NHS
budget, and have been given three-year spending allocations to help
them shift care from hospitals and reconstruct the way health
services are delivered to bring them nearer to patients.
However, the report has found that family doctors feel increasingly
disconnected from them.
Source:- Financial Times Tuesday 5 August page 5
Bosses will be fined for workers’

Every hospital, school and business in Britain faces criminal
prosecution unless it can prove it is putting in place measures to
tackle stress in the workplace.
The Health and Safety Executive has issued its first
“enforcement notice” against an NHS hospital for
failing to protect doctors and nurses from stress at work.
West Dorset Hospitals NHS Trust has until 15 December to assess
stress levels among its 1,100 staff and introduce a programme to
reduce it. If it fails to act it will face court action and
unlimited fines under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 5 August page 1
Family deported
A family of Kurdish asylum seekers, who have been fighting to stay
in Britain for four years, are to be deported to Germany today,
despite an appeal to the home secretary.
The father of the Ay family was sent to Germany last March, and his
wife Yurdugal and four children will be deported from Stansted
Source:- The Times Tuesday 5 August page 2
Migrants alert
Coastguards have warned that people traffickers are taking
advantage of the good weather to offload illegal migrants in craft
that are not seaworthy, after four men aged from 17 to 25 were
rescued eight miles off the Dover coast in two children’s
inflatable dinghies.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 5 August page 2
Paperwork ‘undermines Probation

The growing amount of paperwork connected to government targets is
overwhelming the probation service and threatens to “snuff
out” individual initiative, a senior representative has
Martin Wargent, the head of the probation board’s
association, said that the targets were crude and amateurish and
needed to be more relevant to dealing with criminals.
In an interview with ‘The Times’, Wargent reveals that
the increase in bureaucracy and paperwork could prove fatal to the
service if it undermined individual officers’ enthusiasm in
dealing with offenders.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 5 August page 10
Judge slates Group 4 in Yarl’s Wood

A judge has accused the private security firm in charge of running
a detention centre for asylum seekers where riots occurred last
year, of being “ill-equipped” to deal with the outbreak
of violence.
At the end of a three-month trial of five former detainees, who
were accused of violent disorder in February last year when half of
Yarl’s Wood in Bedfordshire was burned to the ground, judge
Roger Sanders levelled the criticism towards Group 4.
His criticism came less than a week after Nigel Rumfitt QC
prosecuting, described the firm as having been a “national
laughing stock ever since they first blundered into the field of
private custodial services”.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 5 August page 4
Schoolgirl sighted on aircraft
Police investigating the disappearance of a 13-year-old girl, who
has been missing from her home for a month, are following up
reports of several sightings.
Police fear Lilly Brooks may be being forced to work as a
There has been one confirmed sighting at the Arndale centre market
in Manchester, and another sighting was on a flight from Manchester
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 5 August page 6
Patients mark foundation hospitals down
The government’s method of selecting foundation hospitals was
condemned as a fraud yesterday after the Liberal Democrats revealed
glaring inconsistencies in the official data of the NHS.
The Liberal Democrat’s health spokesperson found that those
hospitals getting the top three-star ratings were among the worst
performers in a survey looking at the experience of 250,000
patients in England.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 5 August page 9
CSA orders staff to cover up computer chaos
Staff at the Child Support Agency have been ordered to cover up the
chaos caused by its computer system when parents contact
A list of “do’s and don’ts” leaked to the
Daily Telegraph say that if a case vanishes from the computer, the
parent should not be informed.
In a separate document CSA bosses say they are receiving too many
requests from staff for “consolation payouts” to
parents whose child maintenance payments have fallen severely
However, in a memo a senior executive says staff have “fallen
into the trap” of associating a letter of apology with a
“consolatory payment”.
Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 5 August page 2
Tell teenagers not to rush into sex, says GP
Young people should be encouraged to practise sexual abstinence as
a way of reducing the number of teenage pregnancies, a doctor says
Dr Trevor Stammers criticises Sir Liam Donaldson, chief medical
officer, for saying that there is no evidence that promoting
abstinence works.
Four out of six American programmes that discouraged young people
from having sex achieved changes in attitude and evidence of later
first intercourse, he writes in the Postgraduate Medical
Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 5 August page 2
Doctors attack Tory call for refugee health

The Conservatives’ call for new immigrants and asylum seekers
to undergo compulsory health tests was condemned as
“extremist and unworkable” yesterday.
The proposal coupled with a warning of soaring rates of infections
being imported to Britain, came under fire from the government and
the Britain Medical Association yesterday.
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 5 August page 8
Scottish newspapers
I was forced to live with sex beast Cronin
A woman who was forced to share a home with sex offender
John Cronin was not told by the local council of his
Sharon Travers, who shared a lounge, toilet and kitchen with Cronin
at a halfway house for vulnerable people, only discovered his
identity when a vigilante gang threw bricks through her
Travers, who is being treated for cancer, said none of the other
tenants at the house in Oldham, Greater Manchester, were told of
Cronin’s history and she was furious when she found out about
his identity.
Source:- Daily Record Tuesday 5 August
Teen in court over death
A teenager appeared in court yesterday following the death of a
17-year old.
The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, faces
charges of murder and possessing a lethal weapon in connection with
the death of Thomas Loughery in Pollokshaws, Glasgow, last
The youth made no plea at Glasgow sheriff court and was remanded in
Source:- Daily Record Tuesday 5 August
Exhibition focuses on Aids fight
An exhibition of posters, photographs and paintings exploring the
theme of people suffering from Aids is coming to Edinburgh this
Visitors to the exhibition, which is part of the International
Festival, will be met with posters and leaflets from the National
Aids Trust asking: “Are you HIV prejudiced?”.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 5 August
Ignoring rights of disabled a costly option
Legal focus on the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 5 August
Welsh newspapers
Children to get brighter future

Young people in Newport in south Wales are to benefit from a
£142,000 grant for community sport programmes.
The ‘Positive Futures’ project is aimed at young people
who have either experienced difficulties in school, or who are
turning to crime, or are in danger of doing so.
The lottery grant from the New Opportunities Fund will allow the
project to work with young people in some of the most deprived
communities in the city.
Source:- South Wales Argus Monday 4 August page 6
Lack of control left charity funds at risk
A lack of internal controls allowed an administrator to take 14,000
of charity money, according to report from the Charity
The commission launched an inquiry into the Made in Wales Stage
Company Ltd that performs plays across south Wales after concerns
about the misappropriation of £14,000. The report examined the
way that trustees had handled the affair, and offered the charity
advice on how to avoid similar abuse in the future.
Following a police investigation, a former employee of the charity
was given a suspended sentence and community order in 1999 for the
unauthorised borrowing of the money.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 5 August page 2

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