Tuesday 18 November 2003

By Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson.
Hodge to apologise publicly for child abuse slur

Margaret Hodge agreed last night to make a public apology to the
child abuse victim she labelled “extremely disturbed”,
in a bid to draw a line under the row.
The children’s minister also agreed to Demetrious
Panton’s demands for her to pay his legal costs and donate
£10,000 to a charity of his choice. Officials confirmed that
the donation to Nacro, and Panton’s legal costs would be paid
by Hodge and not the taxpayer.
Tony Blair hopes the move will enable Hodge to stay in government.
The minister had faced calls for her resignation after it emerged
that she referred to Panton as an “extremely disturbed
person” in a letter aiming to prevent the BBC from reporting
further revelations about child abuse in Islington, north
Source:- Financial Times Tuesday 18 November page 2
Justice bill hope after Tory move
David Blunkett is optimistic about getting his flagship Criminal
Justice Bill on to the statute book after the Tories signalled they
would drop their opposition to a controversial part of the
David Davis, the shadow home secretary, will today back the
government’s plans to scrap trial by jury in cases where the
jury is at risk of being intimidated by suspects.
The Criminal Justice Bill returns to the Commons today.
Source:- Financial Times Tuesday 18 November page 4
Ministers braced for tense reform votes
Ministers are bracing themselves for knife-edge votes on the two
most important health and education reforms this side of the
The government faces a Labour rebellion on the Health and Social
Care Bill which includes plans to create foundation hospitals. John
Reid, the health secretary, held several meetings last week with
Labour back benchers in a bid to persuade them of the need to
adjust NHS structures to meet the demands of patients.
Ministers face an even tougher time fending off a rebellion on
university top up fees.
Source:- Financial Times Tuesday 18 November page 6
Legal aid lawyers may lose their jobs
Hundreds of legal aid lawyers could lose their jobs under plans to
reduce the “over-supply” of lawyers in big
At the same time, the use of “duty solicitors” in
police stations are likely to be cut under proposals to control the
£1.9 billion legal aid bill.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 18 November page 2
Six week limit in B&B for councils
Homeless families will be placed in bed and breakfast accommodation
for no more than six weeks, under laws announced yesterday by
Yvette Cooper.
The minister from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said that
from April, families with children would be able to take their
local councils to court if they breached the six-week limit.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 18 November page 2
Probation and prison services set to merge
The government is planning to merge the headquarters of
the prison and probation services, heralding the creation of an
overall correctional service.
Officials believe substantial savings can be made by uniting the
two services.
A joint correctional service would create much closer working
between prison and probation in helping offenders as they leave
prison and are released into the hands of the probation
Source:- The Times Tuesday 18 November page 10
Teenage suicides

Two girls who had been in care and thought to have committed
suicide by leaping from a tower block, have been named by
Lisa Utton and Danielle Waddington had been taken to hospital drunk
hours before the incident at Southend, Essex.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 18 November page 11
Double identity
An asylum seeker who claimed benefits worth around £16,000 by
using a double identity was jailed for nine months yesterday at
Lewes crown court after admitting false accounting.
Officials admitted they did not know his name, where he came from
or how he entered Britain.
Source:- The Times Tuesday 18 November page 11
Murder of gypsy ‘racial’
A teenager stamped on a gypsy’s head in a killing said to
have “racial overtones”, a court heard yesterday.
The youth was one of two 16-year-olds who repeatedly kicked Johnny
Delaney during an attack in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, in May,
Chester crown court heard.
The two boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, deny
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 18 November page 6
Bailiffs are here and I’m at the end of my

In the first of a series following the experiences of a family
removed from their home for antisocial behaviour, Gerard Seenan
reports on the day of eviction
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 18 November page 9
Begging protester dies
The man who was banned from begging in Manchester and who
then petitioned Buckingham Palace, has died in prison
Leonard Hockey had been transferred to Manchester Royal Infirmary
several days before he died last week at the age of 51.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 18 November page 9
Lib Dems call for more tagging
Tough community sentences that use the latest tagging
technology have been backed by the Liberal Democratic party.
The community sentences could be used for as many as 130,000
offenders as an alternative to prison for non-violent offenders,
the party’s new home affairs spokesperson, Mark Oaten said
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 18 November page 10
Minister to tackle under-age drinking
The government is planning a crackdown on regular under-age
drinking by young people after new evidence showed that almost a
quarter of all 11-15 year olds had consumed an alcoholic drink in
the previous week.
Stephen Twigg, the minister responsible for alcohol and drug
education in schools, admitted he is more concerned about alcohol
abuse than drug taking among school children with figures for the
latter showing regular usage has stabilised.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 18 November page 13
Truant patrol will try to identify pupil

Five police officers have been given the task of identifying the
thousands of children playing truant to join the protest march
against President George Bush.
The pupils will be among the 100,000 campaigners to congregate in
and around Trafalgar Square on Thursday during the mass
Source:- Daily Telegraph Tuesday 18 November page 5
Migrant watchdog ‘victim of smears by Home
The head of a migration policy think-tank last night
accused the Home Office of orchestrating a “smear
campaign” to undermine its work.
Sir Andrew Green, chairperson of Migrationwatch UK, came under
attack yesterday as the think tank published a paper setting out
reforms that it claimed would restore public confidence in the
asylum and immigration system.
Green said it appeared that there was “a concerted campaign
by the Home Office and its friends” to undermine the
credibility of the organisation.
Source:- Daily Telegraph  Tuesday 18 November page 12
Scottish newspapers
Doctor jailed for indecent assaults

A family doctor who admitted a string of indecent assaults against
patients was jailed for nine years yesterday for a gross breach of
professional trust.
David Baillie, who has already been struck off by the General
Medical Council, was told by a high court judge in Edinburgh that
he would have been jailed for longer if he had not pleaded guilty
and spared his 17 victims the humiliating ordeal or reliving the
events in the witness box.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 18 November page 5
Welsh newspapers
Autism services to get review

A decision to axe a babysitting service for autistic children is to
be re-examined by Torfaen council.
The council is facing a £2.2 million overspend on social
services and the decision to end the service was taken as part of a
savings package.
Bur parents complained that the service was cut without warning and
a special meeting of the health and social services committee has
asked the council’s cabinet to review the decision.
Source:- South Wales Argus Monday 17 November page 6
Tot stabbed by syringe in toy box
The parents of a three-year-old boy are waiting for the results of
blood tests after he was allegedly pricked by a syringe while
playing at a Cardiff family centre.
The syringe is thought to have been in a toy box at the Ely Family
Centre, which is run, jointly by Cardiff Council and
The centre offers open access activities and support services for
families in the area, and a council spokesperson said the matter is
now with the council’s legal department.
Source:- South Wales Echo Monday 17 November page 7
Up to 70% of Welsh women use informal childcare

A Welsh agency for the economic development of women, Chwarae Teg,
is calling on employers to consider the childcare provision
available for Welsh families.
The call comes as new figures reveal that 70 per cent of employed
women with dependent children are using informal childcare
arrangements, like friends, neighbours or family.
Chwarae Teg is arguing that family friendly policies adopted by
employers make the workplace more attractive to high calibre
employees and in turn give organisations an advantage in the market
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 18 November page 8
NHS to audit the vulnerable
All NHS organisations in Wales are to be asked about their
procedures for protecting vulnerable children.
The Welsh assembly has commissioned the audit of child protection
arrangements, which will be carried out by the Commission for
Health Improvement (CHI).
A similar audit has already been carried out in England based on
the recommendations contained in Lord Laming’s report into
the death of Victoria Climbie.
The Welsh audit will combine both the Laming report and a review by
Lord Carlisle arising from the ‘Lost in Care’ report
into child abuse in council run homes in north Wales.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 18 November page 8

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