Tuesday 26 August 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Ministers break pledge to MPs on asylum centre

The government has broken a pledge made in parliament last year by
the immigration minister Beverly Hughes that it would not build a
centre for asylum seekers if the proposals were rejected by a
planning inspector.
John Prescott overruled a planning inspector last week backing
plans to build a 750-place asylum accommodation centre in Bicester
in Oxfordshire.
Hughes welcomed the plans despite making a pledge in a Common’s
debate in November that the government would abide with the outcome
of a planning inquiry.
Source:- The Times Tuesday August 26 page 9
Holiday scheme ‘back door to immigration’
Reforms to a scheme enabling young people from the Commonwealth to
work in Britain to fund their travels will become a “back door” to
Britain, the anti-immigration thinktank Migrationwatch has
The reforms to the working holidaymaker scheme aim to make it more
accessible to young people from Africa and Asia.
The scheme’s changes come due to calls from immigrant advocacy
groups that it was previously racist because it required a level of
self-funding that meant only young people from high income
countries were able to use it.
Now people only need to be able to support themselves for two
months and afford a return air fare.
The scheme also previously only allowed young people to work in
unskilled jobs for up to 50 per cent of their time. The new system
allows them to follow a professional career and switch to a full
work permit after a year. Permanent residence and British
citizenship can then follow.
Source:- The Times Tuesday August 26 page 9
The ultimate insult
A black woman who faced having her lower left leg amputated was
told that only white false feet were available on the NHS.
Ingrid Nicholls said she was told that if she wanted a black
prosthetic limb she would have to pay £3,000.
Nicholls was told that only white limbs were available when she
visited the Nuffield Orthopaedic centre in Oxford.
Health officials did a u-turn yesterday and offered her a black
Source:- The Daily Mail Tuesday August 26 page 19
Paedophile unit staff ‘must stay’
Proposals to limit the number of years that officers work in
Scotland Yard’s anti-paedophile unit should not be followed because
it would reduce the level of experienced officers, one of its
former chiefs said yesterday.
The Metropolitan police plans to put a limit on the length of time
officers serve with the unit due to concern about the potential
psychological impact of their work.
However, Mike Hames, who ran the unit for five years until 1994,
said that there was no evidence that officers suffered
psychological damage from their work.
He said transferring officers whose time was up would significantly
undermine the unit’s ability to track down sex abusers.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday August 26 page 4
Scottish newspapers
30% earn poverty level wages

A third of full-time Scottish workers are earning poverty level
wages, according to research published yesterday.
The statistics show that the number of young people and women who
fall into the full-time low pay category are twice the amount of
men. The gap between those in poverty compared with the highest
average weekly earners is widening all the time, the report by the
Scottish Low Pay Unit also finds.
Trade unions demanded an increase in minimum wages to eradicate the
number of people being paid “peanuts”.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 26 August page 7
Battle looms over policy on prostitutes
The woman responsible for guiding the Scottish executive’s
strategy on prostitution yesterday put herself on collision course
with the country’s largest local authority by rejecting its
“zero tolerance” approach to the issue.
Sandra Hood said it was unrealistic to eradicate prostitution and
the focus instead should be on managing it, in her first major
interview in her new role as head of the executive’s expert
group which meets for the first time today.
Her views were immediately criticised by members of Glasgow Council
which regards prostitution as violence against women. Glasgow,
along with the executive-funded Routes Out social inclusion
partnership, rejects the toleration zones favoured by
Source:- The Herald Tuesday 26 August
Birth of baby renews calls for asylum seeker to stay in
There have been fresh calls for an Algerian asylum seeker
to be allowed to remain in Glasgow after his Scottish wife gave
birth to a daughter.
Karen Serir was three months pregnant when her husband Ali was
arrested during a dawn anti-terrorist raid by armed police. He was
detained for four months despite never being charged and released
only after protests led by his solicitor Aamer Anwar and Tommy
Sheridan, leader of the Scottish Socialist Party.
Serir was due to be deported in May when the order was lifted
because of a new asylum application and he now awaits the result of
his application to remain in Scotland with his wife and new
daughter Aicha.
Source:- The Herald  Tuesday 26 August
Welsh newspapers
Interpol to join abduction hunt

French police are to join the hunt for a paedophile and his wife
who abducted their baby and fled to France.
The eight-month-old baby disappeared when his mother failed to
return him to social services after an unsupervised contact visit.
The child’s father Gerald Baker is only allowed access to his
son under supervision. Police are concerned for the child’s
safety, and have asked Interpol to help them find the south Wales
Source:- South Wales Argus Monday 25 August page 6
Children’s diets are suffering during the summer

A new survey has found that children’s diets are worse during
school holidays because so many of them snack on junk food.
The research carried out by the food company Birds Eye questioned
parents with children aged four to 11 in the UK. Three-quarters of
the parents surveyed said their children ate more snacks during the
school holidays, and two thirds said that it was difficult to serve
healthy meals because of the change in routine.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 26 August page 7

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