Monday 20 October 2003

By Clare Jerrom, David Callaghan and Alex

Big issue sellers held in drugs crackdown
Most of the ‘Big Issue’ sellers in Liverpool were
arrested yesterday on suspicion of dealing heroin and crack cocaine
while using the magazine as a cover.
A 15-month investigation by Merseyside Police culminated in 54
arrests for drug offences and possession of a replica gun, sword
and knives. At least 30 are thought to be sellers of the Big Issue
in the North.
Source:- The Guardian  Saturday 18 October page 4
Record number of prisoners
The number if prisoners in England and Wales reached 74,023
yesterday – 6,000 more than the level when the system becomes
officially overcrowded.
Since Labour came to power in 1997 the prison population has risen
by 12,000.
Source:- Daily Telegraph  Saturday 18 October page 10
Boy in autism tests after two MMR jabs
A boy who has received a double dose of the MMR vaccine is
being tested for autism after his family believe he has started to
show signs of the condition.
The boy’s mother, who has requested anonymity, said her
five-year old-son was given the second dose by mistake after the
family moved areas, and his GP did not know he had already had the
The mother claims that after the second vaccination, her
son’s behaviour changed.
Source:- The Independent Saturday 18 October page 12
Schools urged to teach minorities in ethnic

Schools are being urged to teach pupils in their native tongues
despite calls from the home secretary for immigrants to embrace
Britain’s language and values.
Education minister, Stephen Twigg believes lessons in the first
language of pupils from ethnic minorities will help them to
Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 20 October page 29
This teenage thug lives in a hotel – and we foot the

A teenage gang leader jailed for terrorising a community, is living
in a hotel it emerged yesterday.
Donovan Osborne moved into the £44.95-a-night room two weeks
after being released from custody.
The teenager is officially classed as homeless because magistrates
have banned him from Chadsmoor, a district of Cannock,
Source:- Daily Mail Saturday 18 October page 43
First sin bin for nuisance neighbours
A new unit to house anti-social neighbours has been opened in
Manchester. The Foundations Project, which has been nicknamed
“a sin bin”, has been launched at a cost of
Two welfare workers will staff the project for 24 hours a day. It
is to be run jointly by Manchester Council and children’s
charity NCH.  Five maisonettes have been converted in order to
house families, who voluntarily take part in the scheme in the
Miles Platting area of the city.
Similar projects are to be run in Birmingham, Sheffield and
Birmingham, following a successful pilot in Dundee.
Source:- Sunday Times 19 October page 2
Carey helped prostitute be vicar
The archbishop of Canterbury George Carey has revealed that a
teenage prostitute he befriended has become a priest in the Church
of England.
He met the woman after she set up a home for her two young children
with the help of a local church group.
Source:- Sunday Times 19 October page 6
Fury as Winston Silcott becomes adviser to

Winston Silcott has become an adviser to children in schools on how
to avoid a life of crime.
Silcott, who was convicted of killing PC Keith Blakelock but later
cleared on appeal, has agreed to talk to pupils after being
released from prison.
But the move has been opposed by Norman Brennan, chairperson of the
Victims of Crime Trust, who said Silcott had “been
involved” in three violent deaths.
“You have to ask yourself just what sort of role model he is
going to be to young whites and blacks who already live within a
culture of guns and violence,” he said.
Source:- Mail on Sunday 19 October page 15
Revealed town hall chiefs pay bonanza
Chief executives of many local authorities are receiving
pay rises of up to 50 per cent, taking their salaries up to as much
as £200,000.
The increases are adding to the upward pressure on council tax
bills, which rose by an average of 13 per cent last year.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph 19 October page 4
Flagship scheme to aid deprived areas hindered by lack of
A government commissioned report claims today that John
Prescott’s £2 billion flagship scheme for tackling
deprivation in the poorest parts of the UK is being undermined by
confusion, a lack of skills and tensions among its managing
Many of the local partnerships boards running the New Deal for
Communities project aimed at raising the quality of life in 30
areas over 10 years are “in a state of flux” while
“burn out” among community leaders is
Source:- Financial Times Monday 20 October page 3
New campaign to boost rate of fines

The government is to make a concerted effort to improve the dismal
rate of fines collections through financial incentives, ministerial
admonition and the deployment of the private sector.
Home secretary David Blunkett is keen to ease the pressure on the
courts system and increasing prison population by replacing jail
sentences with fixed penalties for a series of petty crimes.
Source:- Financial Times Monday 20 October page 3
Crackdown on antidepressants given out ‘like

Britain is being kept artificially happy by pills as doctors are
prescribing eight million more prescriptions for depression than
five years ago.
Around two million people are estimated to be taking anti
depressants every year costing the NHS £380 million, according
to government figures.
‘The Times’ has learnt that the government is to advise
doctors that anti depressants should not be used as a first line
treatment in such cases.
Source:- The Times Monday 20 October page 7
Court battles over children may ease
Thousands of bitter disputes between separated or divorced parents
over contact with their children could be avoided under plans sent
to the Lord Chancellor by the charity Fathers Direct.
Under the proposed scheme, which does not require a change in the
law, a project would test “early intervention”. Parents
would be diverted from court and required to agree a parenting plan
involving contact with both parties.
Source:- The Times Monday 20 October page 7
MPs want new child rights in UK law
The government will be urged to incorporate the UN Convention on
the rights of the child into British law, by an influential group
of MPs and peers this week.
The move would allow children to challenge in the courts any
legislation or policy as being against their best interests.
It could have as much impact as the incorporation of the European
convention on human rights during Tony Blair’s first
The group believe the children’s green paper was a timid and
inadequate answer to the problems faced by children in Britain
Source:- The Guardian Monday 20 October page 5
Teachers to get help to buy bigger homes
Key public sector workers such as teachers are to be offered
subsidised mortgages to help them move up the property ladder as
part of a deal to be announced this week.
The Office for the Deputy Prime Minister initiative has been
designed in a bid to stem the loss of staff in areas of high
property prices.
The new package will build on the starter home initiative, the
existing scheme for first time buyers.
Source:- The Guardian Monday 20 October page 7
Asylum saving limited
Government proposals to rein back the legal aid budget for asylum
will save between £30 – £40 million a year less than
initially expected, the constitutional affairs minister, David
Lammy, has concluded.
The legal aid budget has risen from £74 to £181 million
over the past three years prompting the prime minister to cap free
legal aid to four hours.
Source:- The Guardian Monday 20 October page 10
Blair’s tough stance on asylum ‘helps

Bill Morris has warned that emotive language used by the prime
minister and his senior colleagues is helping the far right British
National Party.
By attacking asylum seekers, Tony Blair is leaving
“footprints” for the BNP to follow, Morris said on his
retirement from the leadership of the Transport and General Workers
Source:- The Independent Monday 20 October page 8
New Labour is in danger of appearing soulless, Milburn
warns PM

Alan Milburn has warned that Labour must produce new policies to
avoid being defensive at the next general election about its record
on public services.
The former health secretary calls for tenants who become
“antisocial” neighbours to lose their housing benefit,
and for similar sanctions to be applied to other state
Milburn calls for independence to be given to all schools and
hospitals and wants every school to become a specialist one and
every hospital trust to win foundation status.
Source:- The Independent Monday 20 October page 8
Scottish newspapers
The interim head of Edinburgh Council’s social work
department was today facing calls for his removal amid allegations
that the committee he chaired failed to produce progress reports on
child protection over the last four years.
Frontline social workers are believed to be concerned by the
appointment of education director Roy Jobson to the post on a
temporary basis. He takes over from Les McEwan, who resigned last
The Liberal Democrat spokesperson for social work, Tom Ponton
called for Jobson to be removed immediately from the post. He
claims Jobson, as chairperson of the council’s
children’s services strategy group, was responsible for
producing annual reports into the status of recommendations made by
the Edinburgh inquiry into sex abuse in city children’s homes
in 1999.
The councillor claims no reports were ever submitted.
Source:- The Scotsman Saturday 18 October
Scottish childcare crisis ‘set to get

Scotland’s child care crisis will get worse before it gets
better, a senior figure in the profession warned last night.
Ruth Stark, of the British Association of Social Workers Scotland,
claimed the Scottish executive’s plans to tackle the staffing
crisis in social work departments would not have an effect for at
least four years, and that large numbers of staff were due to
retire soon.
Source:- The Scotland on Sunday 19 October
Red jackets get powers to fine bad

Plans being drawn up by the Scottish executive will give community
wardens powers to issue £100 fixed penalty fines.
The wardens were originally meant to provide reassurance on
Scotland’s streets, but the proposal has sparked fears that
the government is creating a second-tier police force on the
Source:- Scotland on Sunday 19 October
Child sex scout held
A man posing as a pop talent scout was arrested in Spain in
connection with allegations that he abused children.
Frederick Wood is alleged to have sexually assaulted an 11-year-old
girl. It is thought he conned her English parents into giving him
permission to take her to Madrid for an audition to join a child
pop group.
When the child returned, the parents discovered she had been
sexually assaulted. Police have charged Wood with sexual assault
and porn offences.
Source:- Daily Record Monday 21 October
Kids victims of care crisis
Vulnerable children are being placed at a greater risk because of a
shortage of social workers.
Unions claim child care departments in some areas have just 40 per
cent of the staff they need. Eighty of the 100 social work
vacancies in Glasgow are childcare related posts.
East Lothian Council admitted that 16 of the 87 children on the
child protection register do not have a social worker.
Source:- Daily Record Monday 21 October
Scotland’s population faces decline as youth look

One in three Scottish youngsters would leave their homeland if
given the opportunity, a study has revealed.
The survey of more than 300 young people found dissatisfaction with
the way they were portrayed in the media and a high distrust of
The numbers of children wanting to leave Scotland will cause alarm
among those who have already warned about the consequences faced on
a social and fiscal level by an ageing population.
Source:- The Herald Monday 20 October
Tax officials check on charities that may have moved
All of Scotland’s 28,000 charities are to be written
to by tax officials amid fears many may have disappeared from their
last known address.
An Inland Revenue spokesperson said that inquiries fell short of a
full investigation, but admitted that no-one knew how many
registered charities may have moved offices.
Last week a judge ordered that the accounts of Moonbeams, an
Edinburgh-based children’s cancer charity be frozen and
directors suspended amid allegations that millions of pounds have
been diverted.
It is the latest scandal that has increased the scrutiny of the
voluntary sector.
Source: The Herald Monday 20 October
Catholic young have more self-esteem
Roman Catholic children are less likely to suffer mental health
problems, and are more confident than their protestant peers,
according to a survey.
Children who attend the Church of Scotland are more prone to
bullying, low self-esteem and bouts of depression in comparison
with their Catholic counterparts, the study by Medical Research
Council found.
Source:- The Herald Monday 20 October
Children’s panels ‘close to

Scotland’s unique children’s panel system is close to
meltdown because the chronic shortage of social workers has
worsened, a panel member warned yesterday.
George Roberts said in a letter to Peter Peacock, the education
minister, children are being failed because the panels legally
binding supervision orders to protect them are not being carried
out because of the staffing crisis.
Source:- The Herald Monday 20 October
Welsh newspapers
Parents urge child-porn doctor to be sent to jail

Families in a west Wales community are concerned that a doctor who
downloaded over a thousand child pornography pictures may escape
Charles Bartlett, a consultant radiologist who formerly worked at
the West Wales General Hospital, has admitted 17 charges of making
and possessing indecent photos.
He was investigated as part of Operation Ore after his credit card
details were found on a US child pornography site. Bartlett has not
yet been sentenced but families in the village of Ferryside where
he lives say they are shocked and concerned that he is still living
among them.
Source:- Western Mail Monday 20 October page 2
Parents’ mood swings worry teens
A new study reveals that moody parents can be a big effect on their
teenage children.
The research from the BBC’s ‘Talking Teenagers’
survey, found that 40 per cent of teenagers who responded
complained that the worst thing about their parents was their mood
The survey one of the largest snapshot’s of teenager’s
attitudes also reveals that more than half of the teenagers
questioned believe that they get a bad press and only 13 per cent
felt valued by society.
Source:- Western Mail Monday 20 October page 3
Anger as council axes help for autistic children
Parents of autistic children will be among the first
victims of cuts to social services spending in Torfaen.
The south Wales council has cancelled a babysitting service for
children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome who require
constant care.
Around 30 families are likely to be affected by the decision as the
council heads for a £2.2 million overspend, and social workers
are now consulting with parents.
A spokesperson for the council said it was disappointed, but that
the service had been under review amid concern that it did not meet
new standards of care.
Source:- Western Mail Monday 20 October page 5

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