Wednesday 18 February 2004

By Amy Taylor, Natasha Salari, Clare Jerrom and Alex

Blair bid to avoid immigrant rush

Measures to tighten up eligibility for welfare benefits and control
the possible influx of workers from Eastern Europe when 10 new
member states join the EU in May were being hastily put together by
ministers last night.

Ministers were called to No 10 midway through the Commons half-term
recess to finalise the measures. Downing Street refused to discuss
the details of the plans.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 18 February page

Soham case leads to police data review

New guidelines on the storage and use of information on suspects
for the police is due to be launched in the wake of the Soham

Ian Huntley, who murdered schoolgirls Jessica Chapman and Holly
Wells, got a job as a school caretaker after police failed to pass
on details of sexual allegations against him.

The new measures are likely to include a national database of
allegations and intelligence on reported crimes.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Wednesday 18 February page

Poor see objective move out of reach

Deprived areas that currently qualify for lucrative EU funding will
no longer do so after the accession of 10 new member states to the
European Union.

The Objective One funding is given to areas with gross domestic
product per head below 75 per cent of the EU’s average.

West Wales and Merseyside currently receive the funding but neither
has seen a vast improvement in their economies. Provisional figures
published today indicate that both areas would still qualify for
the next round of grants for 2007-13 if it wasn’t for the new
states joining.

Source:- Financial Times Wednesday 18 February page

Conservatives pay mothers to stay at home with

Mothers who choose to stay at home to look after their children
would be paid by the state to do so under plans being drafted by
the Conservative party.

The Tories are determined to provide parents with a choice over how
to combine work and family life. Under the plans, a “child
home care allowance” would be paid to all parents of children
under the age of three who decide not to place them with a nursery
or childminder.

Source:- The Independent Wednesday 18 February page

Full steam ahead

He has been labelled a ‘shameless authoritarian’, but
David Blunkett tells Society Guardian why he is determined not to
let liberal critics stand in his way of tackling the threat of

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 18 February page

Model set for makeover

Education secretary Charles Clarke and children’s minister
Margaret Hodge are expected to bring a children’s bill before
parliament in the first week of March.

The bill will probably start in the House of Lords.

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 18 February page

Hungry for change

At the BBC, Niall Dickson reported for many years on health policy
in the making. But now, he says it’s time to make some
himself at the King’s Fund

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 18 February page

Trading Places

An apprenticeship scheme with a social landlord is offering
residents a chance to gain marketable skills.

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 18 February page

Peace process

Manchester has just opened the doors to England’s first unit
for housing ‘neighbours from hell’.

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 18 February page

Broken promises?

The government is to slash funding to thousands of schemes across
the country that benefit young people. Society Guardian
investigates whether the move undermines Labour’s commitment
to children.

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 18 February page

Knight Moves

In a world of foundation hospitals and public-private partnerships,
can we still assume a clear ethical and managerial distinction
between the public and private sectors?

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 18 February page

Scottish newspapers

Revealed: plight of children abused by children

Vulnerable children placed in care for their own protection are
being abused by their peers, according to an investigation by The

Young children are being bullied and abused by teenagers they
should not be living with because a shortage of foster families and
pressure on residential units has forced staff to place
“abused” alongside “abusers” in the same

Experts say that despite warnings in a government commissioned
report in 1997 which revealed that abuse between youngsters is more
prevalent than abuse by staff, too little has been done to protect

Source:- The Herald Wednesday 18 February

Cash call to fund care for elderly

Ministers have been urged to provide special funding to pay for the
care of older people in Edinburgh by the city’s council
Council leader Donald Anderson and Brian Cavanagh, chairperson of
 Lothian NHS, have called on health minister Malcolm Chisholm to
agree higher payment rates for Edinburgh because the number of care
homes is shrinking.

They warn that the capital’s special economic circumstances
will cause a backlog of patients waiting to be discharged from
hospital unless more money is provided.

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 18 February

Nursery nurse strike continues

Councils have branded a key union demand in the pay negotiations
for nursery nurses as non-negotiable, raising the prospect of
further strikes.

Public sector union Unison want a nationally agreed wage settlement
to put all nursery nurses on the same pay scale. But Cosla, the
umbrella group for councils, wants authorities to make local

Source:- The Scotsman Wednesday 18 February

Welsh newspapers


A man appeared in court yesterday charged with trying to abduct a
two-year-old girl in Cardiff’s city centre.

The man is alleged to have attempted to abduct the child when her
mother lost sight of her daughter during a shopping trip. The child
resisted and her mother intervened and prevented the alleged

A second man from the Cardiff area, who was also questioned by
police over the incident, has been released without charge.

Source:- South Wales Echo Tuesday 17 February pages

We’re at breaking point’

Wales’ largest accident and emergency unit is at breaking
point, with patients forced to wait on trolleys in makeshift
treatment areas, according to a senior nurse.

Margaret Abouharb, the Royal College of Nursing lead steward at
Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, said that pressure on beds at the
University Hospital of Wales was now at critical levels.

The underlying problem is the lack of care available in the
community, which prevents patients being discharged when they are
ready to leave hospital, she added.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 18 February page 1

Disabled badgered for £2

Proposals to charge £2 for disabled parking badges have been
branded “mean and wasteful”.

Liberal democrat MP for Montgomeryshire Lembit Opik said that plans
from Powys Council to charge 8,000 holders of disabled Blue Badges
defied logic. He said that the proposal would cost more to
administer than could be recouped.

Powys Council claimed the move was not intended to make money, but
was a measure prompted by Welsh assembly guidelines to ensure
social services charging was based on ability to pay.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 18 February page 1



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