Thursday 25 September 2003

By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson

GP-style surgeries urged for legal aid

Legal aid firms could be abolished and replaced with GP-style
surgeries under plans to be put to solicitors today.

Solicitors could work on salaries like GPs for a guaranteed
minimum wage, Peter Williams, president of the Law Society for
England and Wales will tell the 600 solicitors attending the annual
conference in London.

He will say that that while the government has got the message
that nurses, doctors and teachers need to be maintained,
disadvantaged communities need legal aid lawyers too.

Source:- The Times Thursday 25 September page 2

Don’t smack children or let them buy their own

Children would be prevented from buying their own pets but
protected against smacking under separate plans agreed by the
Liberal Democrats yesterday.

Lib Dems became the first big party to adopt a ban on corporal
punishment as official policy, after earlier including restrictions
on the purchase of pets among a package of animal welfare policies
at the party’s annual conference.

Anti-smacking laws would carry compulsory parenting lessons for
those accused of hitting their children and harsher penalties for
persistent offenders.

Source:- The Times Thursday 25 September page 4

Young held back by fearful parents

Parents are stunting their children’s development by
protecting them from natural risk, according to the leader of
Britain’s prep schools yesterday.

Pupils are being smothered, Simon Carder, chairperson of the
Incorporated Association of Prep Schools, told the annual
conference in York. Carder said he longed for the return of the
“stiff-upper lip”.

Source:- The Times Thursday 25 September page 5

Chat room closure attacked as PR stunt

Microsoft’s move to protect children from sex offenders by
closing chat-rooms could put them at greater risk, rival internet
service providers claimed yesterday.

Children’s charities welcomed Microsoft’s decision
to shut down chat-rooms on its MSN website next month. The NSPCC
said it would help to close a route whereby sex abusers could
access children.

But internet service provider, Freeserve, accused MSN of using
the move as a PR stunt that was “nothing short of
reckless”. MSN should instead ensure their chat-rooms were
safe and policed, the provider claimed.

Source:- The Times Thursday 25 September page 9

Ministers toughen up files plan for

Ministers are preparing legislation for the next session of
parliament to make local authorities create files for every child
in England.

The files would include information about parents’
relationships with other partners, criminal records, or substance
misuse in the extended family.

Social workers, NHS staff, teachers and other professionals
could access the files to help them piece together symptoms of
neglect or abuse that might require intervention by

Education secretary Charles Clarke said yesterday that the
interests of children “absolutely” took precedence over
the civil liberties of adults.

Source:- The Guardian Thursday 25 September page 6

Scottish news

Labour split on immigrants, says Swinney

The Scottish National Party and the Scottish executive were at
loggerheads yesterday over proposals to allow immigrants to live
and work in Scotland.

In a speech to business leaders in Edinburgh, first minister
Jack McConnell said he would like Scots who had moved away to
return home as well as to attract talent from elsewhere in the
world, including the UK.

But SNP leader John Swinney said McConnell’s good
intentions were weakened by the “odious language and
policies” pursued by Westminster.

The row is against the background of a falling population in

Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 25 September page 7

Murdered baby’s mother to be freed

A mother who was jailed after she stood by and did nothing as
her daughter was being murdered may be released from prison early
pending an appeal.

Andrea Bone has served almost a year of a three-year sentence
after being found guilty of the culpable homicide of her
13-month-old daughter, Carla-Nicole.

Yesterday, she asked to be released until her appeal and judges
said that they were prepared to grant the application, but wanted
to check the address she would be living at first.

Defence counsel, Joseph Barr, said yesterday that Bone had been
granted leave recently to pursue an appeal. She had found prison
extremely distressing and was suffering abuse because of the nature
of her conviction.

Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 25 September page 10

Charities watchdog announced

The Scottish executive moved to boost public confidence in
Scotland’s charities yesterday.

Communities minister Margaret Curran pledged to enhance powers
for a new regulator, with detailed legislative plans top be
published next year.

Curran said the Office of Scottish Charities Regulator, to be
established by the end of the year, would later be made an
independent statutory body to grant charitable status and actively
monitor these groups.

Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 25 September page 13

Victims to get a say in how bullies are

Victims of school bullies could be given a say in how their
tormentors are punished, under plans announced yesterday.

Unruly pupils could be made to repair damage they cause to
schools under the new restorative justice approach, announced by
education minister Peter Peacock.

Source:- Daily Record Thursday 25 September page 11

Epilepsy five times more likely for poor

People from deprived backgrounds are up to five times more
likely to develop epilepsy, according to new research.

The study was carried out in the south-west of Glasgow and
discovered a higher percentage of patients there had epilepsy than
in other parts of the UK.

In the worse affected areas as many as five people in every 200
were found to have epilepsy and 70 per cent of all patients with
epilepsy in the local health care co-operative lived in areas with
the highest social work deprivation scores.

Source:- The Herald Thursday 25 September

Welsh news

Health in Wales to get boost

First minister Rhodri Morgan has outlined a blueprint for
improving the lives of people in Wales over the next four

The plans in ‘Wales: A Better Country Strategy’,
launched this week, include the recruitment of thousands more
doctors and nurses and the abolition of prescription charges.

In the future, all patients in Wales should be able to see their
GP or primary care nurse within 24 hours.

Opposition assembly members have attacked the strategy claiming
that some of the most serious problems facing the Principality,
such as hospital waiting lists, have not been tackled in the

Source:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 24 September page

School meals can seriously damage your

School meals that cost only 35p could be costing children their
health, according to a new report.

Cardiff University researchers say that the school meals service
needs to be better resourced and should be seen as an investment in
health and well being for children.

They warn that a “cheap food culture” and
regulations that force local authorities to operate competitive
school meals services are eroding the nutritional value of school

Source:- Western Mail Thursday 25 September page 1









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