Wednesday 8 October 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Letwin proposes offshore centre for refugees

Thousands of asylum seekers who would be transferred to an offshore
centre under Conservative proposals announced by the shadow home
secretary yesterday.
Speaking at the Conservative conference, Oliver Letwin outlined
plans to set up a quota system to limit the number of asylum
seekers. The scheme would involve 20,000 refugees, pre-selected by
the United Nations, to be allowed to live in Britain.
Those who do not come under the quota would be sent to an offshore
centre “a long way away” while their claims are processed.
Source:- Financial Times Wednesday 8 October page 4
Labour guilty of race bias over poll

An independent inquiry into the Labour party’s selection procedure
was called for last night after an employment tribunal found it
guilty of racial discrimination against an Asian election
Raghib Ahsan took the party to a tribunal alleging racial
discrimination after he was rejected as a candidate for Birmingham
council three years running. The 57-year-old was a councillor for
the city’s Sparkhill ward during the 1990s, but the party declined
to allow him to stand for election in 1997, 1998 and 2000.
Yesterday the tribunal panel agreed that that Ahsan had been
victimised, and called the selection process “extremely
Trevor Phillips, chairperson of the Commission for Racial Equality,
said he would now be seeking agreement from the Labour Party to set
up an independent review or candidate selection procedures.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 8 October page 6
Society Guardian
Far from certain

After the praise heaped on the Sure Start programme for toddlers at
Labour’s conference, Alison Benjamin and Kendra Inman investigate
whether the rhetoric matches the reality.
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 8 October page 2
Hard cases, hard Casey
In the wake of a Home Office action plan being launched next week,
Louise Casey, director of the antisocial behaviour unit plans to
visit England’s most run down estates in order to call for
intensive casework and tough sanctions against “nightmare”
She will instruct councils, youth offending teams and the police to
be firm and consistent.
The scheme will target 25,000 households that are involved in
antisocial behaviour. Casey wants more visits to such families by
housing officers, social workers and police to ensure offenders
know that their actions will have “consequences”.
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 8 October page 4
Hidden camera exposes malpractice in care

The younger brother of Donal MacIntyre has gone undercover in
residential care homes and was shocked by what he uncovered.
Tadhg MacIntyre, a sports psychologist, secured jobs in homes for
older people and for people with learning disabilities, in the
north east of England and on the south coast.
“The worst thing was when the staff sat round the table and
described how they wanted to punch clients,” he said. “This
happened on the first day, when I was in the home for research
purposes. After that we decided to film.”
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 8 October page 4
Cry freedom
Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart tells Peter Hetherington why he aims to
make Labour think again about ‘ratting’ on its promise to give
local government greater powers
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 8 October page 6
Mixed blessing
To protect children the government proposes combining education and
social services  in councils – but which of the two departments
will come out on top?
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 8 October page 10
Into the abyss
A huge overspend at an NHS trust has been blamed on management
failures. Tash Shifrin finds it could happen elsewhere
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 8 October page 14
Less is more
The best small charities are innovative and inspirational.
Charity awards 2003
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 8 October page 15
What else can I do?
With three years’ experience as a housing officer, Peter feels that
at 25, he should be looking for his next step on the career
Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 8 October page 127
Scottish newspapers
Woman abused two kids

A woman was yesterday found guilty of horrific sex abuse dating
back nearly 40 years.
Helen Ford abused a girl and a boy as well as giving them to
paedophiles for sex at parties, the high court in Edinburgh heard.
Ford began the attacks on the girl after she fostered her from a
Barnardo’s home in 1964, and they continued until 1971. The
boy endured the attacks between 1967 and 1971.
Sentencing was deferred until October 29 at the High Court in
Kilmarnock by Lord Hardie.
Source:- Daily Record Wednesday 8 October page 4
Revealed: tagging plan for reluctant witnesses
Electronic tagging will be forced upon reluctant witnesses
to make them attend court as part of a radical overhaul of the
Scottish criminal justice system.
Cathy Jamieson, the justice minister, wants to ensure trials run
more smoothly by introducing tagging for witnesses who refuse to
appear in court.
However, lawyers warned that moves to tag innocent witnesses could
breach the European Convention of Human Rights, and may deter vital
witnesses from coming forward.
Source:- The Herald Wednesday 8 October
Aid pledge to social work teams in child abuse

The first minister yesterday pledged to provide “all support
necessary” to social work teams faced with large scale
operations similar to the child abuse investigation on Lewis last
Seven people appeared at Stornoway Sheriff Court on Monday charged
in connection with a major child abuse investigation centred on the
Western Isles.
In Stornoway yesterday, Jack McConnell said it was a
“difficult time” for the local community after the
allegations were made public.
He said the Scottish executive wanted to ensure that day-to-day
social work operations are not affected when staff are called to
deal with large-scale operations in their area.
Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 8 October
Advocate depute calls for guilty verdict in murder

The advocate depute urged jurors to find guilty of murder a man
accused of bludgeoning his friend to death.
During his closing speech in the trial of Allan Menzies, Andrew
McMillan told the high court in Edinburgh that he would like them
to return a verdict of guilty on all of the counts.
A psychiatrist had earlier claimed that Menzies was a paranoid
schizophrenic, but was not insane at the time of the alleged
Menzies claimed he killed his friend in December last year because
it would grant him immortality to become a vampire.
Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 8 October page 3
Miss X report passed to procurator fiscal
A police inquiry investigating claims that Borders social workers
were aware of a signed confession of rape two years before the Miss
X case came to light has resulted in a report being submitted to
the procurator fiscal.
Christine Grahame, a Scottish National Party MSP, passed
“disturbing” information concerning the case which she
received anonymously to David Hume, the chief executive of the
Scottish Borders council.
The allegation that James Mercer had admitted raping Miss X in 2000
was made to Grahame, who has called for disciplinary action to be
taken against managers in the council’s care department for
their handling of the case.
Mercer was jailed for 10 years after he admitted a catalogue of
torture and abuse against the victim who has learning
Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 8 October page 5
Welsh newspapers
Hospital in Valleys ‘like nursing

A hospital in Ebbw Vale is so badly affected by the problem of bed
blocking that it is effectively being run as a nursing home.
Patients who are medically fit for discharge currently take up all
23 beds at the hospital. But lack of money for care home placements
or for adaptations to homes that would make independent living
possible, mean that the patients remain blocking NHS beds within
the hospital.
Source:- South Wales Argus Tuesday 7 October page 6
Smart’ home cares for the

A half-page feature looking at a ‘smart’ home in
Tredegar in south Wales that could help people suffering from
dementia retain their independence for as long as possible.
The exhibition house contains the latest technology that will allow
older people to remain within their own homes, and it is hoped that
the technology can be used in the future to support vulnerable
people and delay the need for residential care.
Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 8 October page 6
Registered sex offender jailed after being caught by police
with teenage boy in his car

A convicted paedophile has been jailed for three years for
abducting two schoolboys.
James Smith met the two 13-year-olds only six months after being
released early from a prison term.
The court heard that Smith had begun grooming the boys after
meeting them at a seaside resort and gave them money, cigarettes
and alcohol.
Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 8 October page 6

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