Thursday 30 October 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Race row over village that turned its fire on gipsies instead of
Guy Fawkes

A village that was involved in a dispute with travellers has been
the centre of race row after a caravan with gypsies painted on it
was burned at a bonfire party.
The burning of the caravan, which had the numberplate “P1
KEY”, took place in the village of Firle, East Sussex and
caused complaints from some residents.
“Pikey” is a slang term for gypsies.
Last night there were calls for the organisers, the Firle Bonfire
Society, to be charged with inciting racial hatred.
Source:- Daily Mail Thursday 30 October page 27
Disabled man is beaten and run over in car

A disabled man was run over by car thieves after they beat him up
and then stole his car .
Andrew Walker, who has cerebral palsy, was leaving his house in
Nottingham when he was attacked by two teenagers. They punched and
kicked him to the ground and then stole his car keys.
They then deliberately ran over him as they drove away in his blue
Police have linked the attack to a number of burglaries at Walker’s
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Thursday 30 October page 11
Umbrella body for all discrimination
A special advisory taskforce made up from the private and public
sectors is to take forward plans to set up a single equality and
human rights body to combat all types of discrimination.
The plans, which are due to be laid out in a statement to
parliament today, will be part of a white paper out next
The statement will confirm that a new body will replace the
Commission for Racial Equality and the Disability Rights Commission
while also incorporating responsibilities on religion and human
rights. This follows a one year consultation.
Source:- The Financial Times Thursday 30 October page 3
Council pay rises trail rest of public

Basic pay rises for council workers are lower than those of most
other public sector workers according to new report.
The research, from the Local Government Pay Commission, said that
although pay rises compare unfavourably for council workers they do
receive better benefits than those working for other
Pay settlement increases for local government workers have
increased at an average of 2.8 per cent over the past decade
compared to 3.3 per cent for teachers and 3.2 per cent for police
Source:- The Financial Times, Thursday, 30 October, page 8
Scottish newspapers
3 years’ jail for fugitive sex abuser

A former scout master who sexually abused two young boys in his
care was jailed for three years yesterday and placed on the sex
offenders’ register. Paul Firth fled Scotland three years ago in a
bid to escape justice just days before he had been due to stand
trial at the high court on charges of preying on young boys.
Yesterday, sheriff Annella Cowan imposed the maximum three-year
available to her at Aberdeen sheriff court.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 30 October
Borders social work chief quits
The head of a Scottish social work department, which was
criticised in the wake of an abuse case, has resigned from his
Colin Johnson handed in his resignation to managers at Scottish
Borders Council yesterday. The authority is expected to confirm
whether it will accept the decision at a meeting today.
The council’s social work department came under fire following the
case of
Miss X, who has learning difficulties, and who was sexually abused
and tortured by three men, one of whom was her carer.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 30 October
Scots drug chief to retire
The first director of the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency is to
retire in January.
Jim Orr, who has been in the post for four years, is to take up a
position in the private sector.
Source:- The Scotsman Thursday 30 October
Warning over asylum kids
Holyrood’s legal experts insisted last night that the Scottish
executive does not “have any powers to intervene” in the education
of asylum seekers’ children.
The warning was in a report prepared in the wake of growing public
fear for the families of asylum seekers held at Dungavel detention
centre in Lanarkshire.
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 30 October
Nativity video ban dropped
Parents will be allowed to film their children in nativity plays
this Christmas, Edinburgh Council confirmed yesterday.
Last year, Edinburgh councillors banned cameras unless every parent
gave their written consent.
But following a backlash, the council has changed the rules.
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 30 October
Six years jail for junkie car jacker
A drug addict who abducted a social worker and threatened to shoot
her was jailed for six years yesterday.
James Graham forced his way into Joanne Wilson’s car, made her
drive around Glasgow and demanded cash. When she drew up alongside
a police car, Graham jumped out and bolted.
After the social worker gave evidence, he pleaded guilty to the
assault and abduction last July, at the high court in
Source:- Daily Record Thursday 30 October
Welsh newspapers
‘Survey had quizzed just four people’

A transport expert has admitted that only four people were
questioned in a survey used as evidence in a public inquiry into a
planned asylum appeals court.
The inquiry into the proposed asylum appeals court in Langstone,
Newport, is held after residents protested that the area was not
the right place to house an appeals centre serving the west of
England and south Wales.
Source:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 29 October page 4
Race equality five ‘must stand

A member of a south Wales equality council is calling on five
members of its executive committee to resign over their handling of
the controversial ousting of its director.
Dr Mashiq Ally lost his job as director of the South East Wales
Racial Equality Council in July, but was reinstated after an
employment tribunal ruled in his favour.
Now Naseem Babur is calling on the group’s chairperson
Venester Cyril and four other members to stand down over the way
the dismissal was handled.
Source:- South Wales Argus Wednesday 29 October page 6
Truancy levels improve
School absenteeism has fallen for the third consecutive year,
although children are still missing almost one in 10
Figures from the Welsh assembly show that 9.5 per cent of half-day
sessions in secondary schools were missed through authorised and
unauthorised absence in 2002-03.
But all but one authority in Wales has seen a drop in the number of
children playing truant from school.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 30 October page 7
High Court ruling gives Serbian asylum seeker fresh

An asylum seeker who married his Welsh girlfriend and is living in
Cardiff, has welcomed another reprieve in his battle against
Milan Simic, who fled Croatia for Wales during the Balkans
conflict, has won a high court ruling allowing him to seek a
judicial review of a deportation order. Simic argued that his life
would be at risk if he returned to his homeland.
Source:- Western Mail Thursday 30 October page 9

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