Tuesday 9 December 2003

By Amy Taylor, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Disabled girl barred from shop’s grotto
A disabled girl has been refused entry to a shop’s Christmas grotto
in case her wheelchair damaged the floor.
Danielle Axam, aged 12, and her mother Jean was told by staff at
the QD store at the Orton Centre in Peterborough that they would
prefer it if the wheelchair didn’t enter the grotto because it
would damage the felt flooring.
A QD spokesperson said they were sorry to hear of the girl’s
experience but said: “It’s our responsibility to protect customers’
Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 9 December page 5
Law enforcers urged to tackle human

Police and prosecutors need to do more to tackle the increase in
human trafficking, the attorney general warned yesterday.
Speaking at a conference organised by the Crown Prosecution
Service, Lord Goldsmith said that the practice was “likely to get
worse before it gets better, unless action is taken now”.
He added: “I have been concerned that the anecdotal evidence of
human trafficking taking place has not been met by a commensurate
number of arrests and successful prosecutions.”
Source:- The Financial Times Tuesday 9 December page 8
Brown pledges more cash for child aid
A large increase in childcare at the centre of the government’s
economic policy, was signalled by Chancellor Gordon Brown
Speaking in an interview with ‘The Guardian’, Brown
indicated that the measures will include new tax incentives for
employers to fund workforce childcare.
He went on to promise to extend help with childcare to beyond the
poorest families.
The comments come ahead of tomorrow’s pre-Budget report in which he
will outline the government’s long-term plans and discuss the state
of the economy.
Source:-The Guardian Tuesday 9 December page 1
Poverty rates on the decline – but 22 per cent of Britons
still live below the line

Poverty in Britain is at its lowest level since the late 1980s, but
22 per cent still live below the poverty line, according to a
report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation today.
A survey carried out by the New Policy Institute found that 12.5
million people lived in households with incomes below the poverty
line compared to 13.4 million in the mid-90s.
Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 9 December page 5
Selfish but financially astute: today’s young adults
are all Thatcher’s children, reveals annual social attitudes

Young adults are less sympathetic to the plight of poor people,
according to a new report from the National Centre for Social
It showed that nearly half of the people surveyed believe cutting
benefits would encourage people to be more self-sufficient. Less
people believe the government should spend more on welfare for poor
The 20th Social Attitudes report shows less than a third support
raising taxes to help unemployed and single people compared to 48
per cent in 1987.
Source:- The Independent Tuesday 9 December page 10
Scottish newspapers
Smart tech is making elderly safe as houses

Nearly 2,000 older people in West Lothian are set to benefit from
new technology in their homes in a bid to make it easier for over
60s to stay at home for longer.
The new home safety package includes movement detectors, flood
alerts, activity monitors, smoke detectors and temperature extreme
The systems are linked to a 24-hour monitoring system operated by
West Lothian Careline. It can pinpoint a specific sensor which has
been activated and take the appropriate action.
Source:- Edinburgh Evening News Monday 8 December
Schoolgirl jailed for knife attack
A schoolgirl who slashed a former friend repeatedly across the face
was yesterday sentenced to four-and-a-half years’
A judge told Jennifer Moffat that the attack had been “truly
evil”. Roderick Macdonald QC also lifted reporting
restrictions to allow Moffat to be identified by the media, whereas
normally an accused under 16 is given anonymity.
Moffat admitted assaulting the 15-year-old girl to her severe
injury and permanent disfigurement last year. The court heard that
Moffat had been drinking and taking drugs and attempts by social
workers to help her had failed.
Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 9 December
Sheriff exiles teenage hooligan
A teenager who terrorised an entire town has been banned
from a huge area of Scotland.
Edmond Eccles and his “private army” of youths launched
a four-month orgy of violence, vandalism, housebreaking and
intimidation in Alva, Clackmannanshire.
Yesterday Eccles was ordered to keep out of a massive swathe of
Scotland from Arbroath in the north to Crianlarich in the west and
Grangemouth in the south-east for nine months.
Sheriff William Reid deferred sentence until then for Eccles to
show that he could behave – despite a “shocking
catalogue of criminality”.
Source:- Daily Record Tuesday 9 December page 1 and 5
Act now and save kids from B&B hell
Homelessness charity Shelter wants the Scottish executive
to honour its pledge not to house any more families in bed and
breakfast accommodation.
Around 186 Scots children live in B&Bs and Grainia Long, policy
officer at Shelter, said the number was small enough to switch the
families to more appropriate housing.
“The executive has no excuse not to tackle this issue,”
she said. “We want a situation where this is the last
Christmas kids will spend in B&B accommodation.”
Source:- Daily Record Tuesday 9 December page 9
Welsh newspapers
Heroin project overwhelmed

A project in south Wales that treats heroin addicts needs new funds
because it is overwhelmed by demand for services
The Kaleidoscope Project based in Newport has taken on 106 clients
since it opened six weeks ago, with a further 62 expected before
The project is only funded to treat 150 clients, but clinical
services manager Vicki Robothan said people from all over the area
are turning to Kaleidoscope for help.
Source:- South Wales Argus Monday 8 December page 4
Curfew call as children try to cause road

Welsh children are playing potentially lethal games of
‘chicken’ by lying in front of cars or hurling missiles
at them.
Police are warning that the children are risking their own lives
and those of others, and are calling for changes in the law to
tackle the problem. They want curfews for second time offenders and
changes in the law to make parents more responsible for their
children’s behaviour.
The anti-social behaviour comes from children from all sorts of
backgrounds and, say officers, some of the antics are so serious
that they could bring cities to a standstill, with the police at
present powerless to prevent them.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 9 December page 1
Tories attack soaring cost of ‘grey army’ in
The first minister of the Welsh assembly, Rhodri Morgan,
has been accused of recruiting a grey-suited army following the
disclosure that the cost of employing assembly civil servants has
risen by 50 per cent in three years.
But Morgan defended the costs by saying that one of the new
responsibilities was that of the Care Standards Inspectorate, that
helped to ensure that vulnerable people were looked after properly
in care homes.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 9 December page 5
Head teacher given court date
A primary school headteacher charged with causing unnecessary
suffering to a child has been give a date to appear in court.
Maurice Flynn, headteacher of St Joseph’s Roman Catholic
Primary school in Penarth, Cardiff, is due to appear in court on 22
December to answer charges over an alleged incident involving a
four-year-old boy.
Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 9 December page 5

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