Friday 3 October 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson

Minimum wage is tangled problem for hairdressers

Business concerns are growing as the national minimum wage
for adults aged over 21 increases this week from £4.20 to

An increasing number of smaller employers in poorer parts of the
country have begun to voice opposition to any future

Stephen Alambritis, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said
that his members want to see more consideration of regional
economic variations.

The rise is the fourth upward increase since the Labour government
first proposed the measure in 1997.

At the party’s conference this week, Chancellor Gordon Brown
predicted that it would soon rise to over £5.

Source:- Financial Times Friday 3 October page 3

Blunkett switches focus to asylum seekers

Britain will start to take in asylum seekers under a new
United Nations scheme designed to “undercut” people traffickers
next month, the home secretary announced at the Labour party
conference yesterday.

The scheme involves the UN processing and certifying of asylum
seekers. The first 500 UN-certified refugees will start to be
processed by British authorities next month and will arrive in this
country a few months after that.

Source:- Financial Times Friday 3 October page 4

Britain’s divisions on the increase

Britain is becoming increasingly split between extremes of
rich and poor according to new research.

A report, published today by the market analyst Datamonitor, shows
that a two-tier society is being created in a number of

While the number of people with more than £30,000 in readily
disposable assets has increased from 4.8 million in 1997 to 5.7
million today, the number in low income groups is also

Source:- The Times Friday 3 October page 6

Cartels warning to private care homes

Owners of private care homes who are refusing to admit
local authority-funded residents in an attempt to protest at the
level of fees could be breaking the law, the social care minister
said yesterday.

Speaking at a London conference, Stephen Ladyman criticised the
owners for trying to make councils pay them higher fees for
residential places and accused them of setting up cartels.

Ladyman said: “We are aware that some providers are trying to
establish local cartels, which by threatening to refuse to take any
more local authority-funded residents, attempt to force local
authorities to increase the level of fees they pay to care

He warned that forming such cartels “may well be breaking the law”,
and he “expected the law to be enforced”.

Source:- The Times Friday 3 October page 6

Nick Hornby condemns miserly autism childcare

Author Nick Hornby has slammed the government for failing
to provide adequate services for autistic children.

Speaking at the Labour party conference, Hornby, whose 10-year-old
son Danny has the condition, said that Labour was not spending
enough on health and education services for autistic

He said that local education authorities were forced by
circumstances beyond their control to become “gatekeepers”,
who have to think about how little they can get away with
providing, rather than what the child needs.

Source:- The Times Friday 3 October page 12

Labour’s big idea: childcare centres at all primary

A nationwide childcare network focused on children’s
centres at almost every primary school is expected to form a
central plank of Labour’s manifesto at the next election.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have asked policy advisers to draw up
proposals to provide the network believing that it will reduce

The proposal is seen as the most likely main idea for Labour’s
manifesto in its drive for a third term in office.

Source:- The Independent Friday 3 October page 1

National database will hold details of 50,000

More than 50,000 violent and sex offenders as well as some
unconvicted suspects are to have their details put on a national
database to track dangerous criminals.

The database will contain information such as photographs, the type
of vehicle they drive, unusual mannerisms and criminal

It will include around 21,413 registered sex offenders in England
and Wales and this includes 2,843 paedophiles and violent offenders
who are seen to pose the greatest risk to the public.

Source:- The Independent Friday 3 October page 9

Scottish news

Scotland’s youngest murderer

A teenager became Scotland’s youngest murderer yesterday when
he was detained for life for killing a disabled older woman.

Richard Clark was 14-years-old when he assaulted and smothered
cerebral palsy sufferer, Catriona McLean, in her home. The teenager
had denied the killing but police matched footprints at the scene
to his trainers.

Clark will have to serve at least eight years before he is eligible
for parole.

Source:- Daily Record Friday 3 October page 9

Boost for lone mums

Single parents in Edinburgh are to receive extra
government cash to help them find work in two pilot projects
launched yesterday.

The Work Search Premium gives lone parents, who have been on
benefits for more than a year, £20 extra a week for up to six
months, if they agree to look for work.

Under the In-Work Credit, those who work more than 16 hours a week
will be given an extra £40 a week for the first year in

Source:- Daily Record Friday 3 October page 25

You’re alienating the young

The Scottish executive was yesterday accused of alienating
young people with its plans to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Opposition ministers said rhetoric used by ministers in recent
weeks was in danger of alienating teenagers.

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 3 October page 6

MSPs remarks censured

The leader of the pensioner’s party came under
increasing pressure last night to withdraw comments made in the
Scottish Parliament about mental health patients.

John Swinburne had attacked plans to build a medium secure unit for
people with mental health problems in Lanarkshire, and said he
would not want the unit built near his home.

He said he had concerns about the backgrounds of people who would
use the unit, and would be worried that they would be released into
the community.

More than 50 MSPs have signed a motion condemning the comments made
during a Holyrood debate on equality.

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 3 October page 6

Call for caution on new abuse courts

The organiser of the UK’s first dedicated domestic
violence court has warned the Scottish legal establishment to be
cautious when setting up a similar project north of the

Roddy Minogue, team manager for the national probation service in
Leeds, who set up the court in 1999, recommended Scottish ministers
take note of the mistakes they made and learn from them.

Scotland’s first domestic abuse court will open next

Source:- The Herald Friday 3 October

Three Kirk homes saved by council deal

Three Church of Scotland run care homes for older people
in Argyll and Bute have been saved from closure.

The Kirk has succeeded in saving 10 residential homes that had been
in danger of closing as a result of a funding package agreed
yesterday by the local authority.

Source:- The Herald Friday 3 October

Tower block’s racial tensions simmer as gangs square

Special report on the racial tensions between a local gang and
asylum seekers housed in a tower block in Pollockshaws,

Source:- The Herald Friday 3 October

Welsh news

Esther joins Childline’s 10th birthday

Esther Rantzen was in Swansea yesterday to mark Childline
Cymru Wales’s 10th birthday celebrations.

The helpline was launched in Wales in 1993 and has counselling
centres in Swansea and Rhyl that have supported more than 150,000

Esther Rantzen said that bullying was still a major theme that
emerged from children who called the charity’s helpline in

Source:- Western Mail Friday 3 October page 2

Wales to lobby EU over feared demise of Objective One

The most deprived areas of Wales will lobby European
politicians over fears that emergency funding could soon come to an

Objective One funding is worth more than £200 million a year
to some of the poorest regions in the principality and west Wales
and the valleys are to join forces with other regions to try to
secure continuing cash.

There are fears than when the next round of funding is drawn up
money could go to other EU member states that have high levels of
poverty and deprivation and that Wales could lose out.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 3 October page 7









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