Thursday 16 October 2003

By Amy
Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.

pension credit draws only 100,000 households
Only 100,000 households have applied for the new pension
credit despite 1.6 million eligible older people receiving letters
from the government inviting them to apply.
New figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that
about 1.9 million older people households are receiving the credit
but 1.8 million of them were recipients of the minimum income
guarantee and automatically transferred.
Source:- The Financial Times Thursday 16 October page 4
Longer jail term for internet paedophile
Paedophiles who use internet chatrooms to ‘groom’ victims received
a warning to expect long jail sentences yesterday when three judges
increased a man’s three-year sentence for abusing two 13-year-old
girls by 18 months.
Michael Wheeler’s sentence, given out at Norwich crown court, was
described as “significantly too lenient” by three judges in the
court of appeal.
Source:- The Financial Times Thursday 16 October page 4
Action urged on child protection
Local authorities will be stripped of their responsibilities for
child protection if they do not improve their record on preventing
children from being harmed. Lord Laming, the chairperson of the
Victoria Climbie inquiry, is expected to warn social services
officials today.
Speaking at the annual social services conference he is expected to
state the government’s plan to merge child protection with
education and some health services, is the last chance for English
local government to improve its record in this area.
Source:- The Guardian Thursday 16 October page 7
Courts ‘clogged’ by asylum cases
Courts are being clogged up and large amounts of public money is
being ‘wasted’ by an increasing number of court
applications for financial help from destitute asylum seekers, a
high court judge ruled yesterday.
The court has a caseload of 800 asylum support cases and 60 new
applications from cases funded by legal aid every week.
The increase in figures comes after a change in the law stating
that asylum seekers must make their claim ‘as soon as reasonably
practicable’ after arriving in the UK or face being denied any
Source:- The Guardian 16 October Thursday page 12
Scottish newspapers
Council chief quits
Edinburgh Council’s social work director resigned
yesterday following damning reports into the death of Caleb
Les McEwan, who has worked in Edinburgh for 36 years, said he had
been shocked and saddened by the death of Caleb, and that as
director he had ultimate responsibility for everything that happens
in the department.
Caleb was on the child protection register when he was shaken to
death by his father, Alexander Ness. A report into the handling of
the case found failings at almost every level in the agencies
involved with the 11-week-old baby’s case.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 16 October

at risk left unprotected

The social work
recruitment and retention crisis has left many vulnerable children
unsupervised in breach of statutory requirements, ‘The
Herald’ has discovered.

In the worst case,
one council cannot even provide social workers for the supervision
of 16 children on the at-risk register.

Other councils are
failing to assign social workers to children under supervision
orders from the children’s hearing system.

Source:- The
Herald Thursday 16 October

anguish of stressed students

Students seek more
support for mental health problems than their counterparts outside
higher education, according to a report by the Royal College of

undergraduates are seeking counselling and their problems are
becoming more severe, the report found.

The main causes of
stress were financial difficulties, the desire for academic
achievement and home-sickness.

Source:- The
Herald Thursday 16 October


rage at budget plan

Politicians in
Gwent have condemned the Welsh assembly’s draft budget and
are warning of damaging repercussions if it gets the go-ahead.

Under the draft
budget for 2003-2004 health and social services will receive
£4.53 billion close to 40 per cent of the assembly’s
total spending for the year.

Social justice
will receive £631.25, an increase of almost eight per cent on
last year.

But local councils
are unhappy with their share, with local government receiving
£3.41 billion while education and lifelong learning are given
£1.22 billion.

Source:- South
Wales Argus Wednesday 15 October page 2

Parents’ distress as autism service is

Parents of
autistic children are angry that Torfaen council in south Wales has
cancelled babysitting care, without warning them.

The cuts come at a
time when the council’s social services department is facing
a projected overspend of £2.2 million.

Tim Davies
chairperson of the Gwent Autistic Society said that parents had not
been informed of the changes formally, and that the council had
taken away the only service they provided for autistic

A spokesperson for
the council said that they were disappointed at having to
discontinue the small but valuable sitting service.

Source:- South
Wales Argus Wednesday 15 October page 7

courses face the axe in funding row

Hundreds of
disadvantaged young people face having their training schemes axed
because of cash limits imposed by the Welsh education and training
quango, Elwa.

charitable trust Rathbone has announced that it can no longer
afford to subsidise many of the training courses it has been
running across south and west Wales because of the low level of
funding it receives from Elwa.

chief executive Darrel James travelled to Wales yesterday to meet
with officials from Elwa and the Welsh assembly.

After the meeting
he said that he had outlined the position that Rathbone found
itself in as a result of the funding problems, but that no
additional money was on offer.

Source:- Western
Mail Thursday 16 October page 2



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