Wednesday 26 May 2004

By Shirley Kumar, Clare Jerrom and Alex Dobson

Home Office underestimates asylum figures

Home Office statistics may underestimate asylum figures by a
third, according to the National Audit Office.

The government’s figures show the number of people claiming asylum
has fallen by 20 per cent over the first three months. They show
76,245 asylum seekers and their dependents were supported by the
National Asylum Support Service at the end of March.

But the NAO warned some 24,000 could be in the system, including
16,000 refugees being looked after by other organisations, 7,000
unaccompanied children being cared for by councils and 1,000
supported by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Source:- Independent Wednesday 26 May page 18

Immigrants should learn English

Immigrants to the UK should learn English so they can take part in
the national culture, the Conservative leader Michael Howard said
last night.

He told delegates at an election campaign in Birmingham that the
culture is not the exclusive property of white people. It belongs
to all those of any skin colour who live here, speak the language
and regard themselves as British.

Source:- Independent Wednesday 26 May  page 18

Public inquiry into raciest murder

The family of murdered Zahid Mubarek who was beaten to
death with a table leg by his raciest cell-mate at Feltham Young
Offenders Institution in west London attended a public inquiry

Robert Stewart, who was jailed for life in October 2001 for murder,
will give evidence if required.

The hearing continues.

Source:- Independent  Wednesday 26 May page 23

Fathers support children emotionally

Fathers are important for the emotional development of
children, confirm a study into separated parents in Bristol
published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Researchers say they found a direct relationship between
children’s behavioural problems and the amount of contact
they had with their natural father. The effect was more pronounced
when the mother was a teenager.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph   Wednesday 26 May page 8

Parents blamed for drug use

Parents are often responsible for their children becoming
drug users, according to a report by charity Parentline Plus.

The report, based on data from 3,000 calls to the charity’s
helpline, blames parent’s ignorance about drugs and their
failure to set boundaries on their children’s behaviour as
they are growing up as crucial factors on whether children turned
to drugs.

Source:- The Times Wednesday 26 May page 11

Home is where the heart is

A new exhibition of photographs at the Museum of London highlights
the upheaval caused to people’s lives when they are forced to
leave council houses that are being torn down.

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 26 May page 8

Bridging the gap

Scope’s new campaign to expose
‘disabilism’ finally sees the charity working alongside
rights activists. But how long can this delicate truce last?

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 26 May page 10

Liverpool tunes in to the people

A housing association is treading on the turf of major TV
broadcasters in an ambitious bid to reach its tenants. Watch out
for local programmes, message boards and online services.

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 26 May page 7

Red letter day for child protection

Databases designed to flag up suspected child neglect are
being trialled, although care is being taken to put decision-making
into human hands.

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 26 May page 17

Scottish newspapers

Lawyers ‘tout’ for clients at Dungavel

Lawyers are “touting” for business with the asylum
seekers held at Dungavel detention centre, it was alleged

Sources close to the centre claim lawyers are exploiting detainees
financially and in terms of the quality of the

In an unrelated case yesterday, a law firm has lodged a
“touting” complaint with the Law Society of Scotland
over an Algerian asylum seeker.

Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar strenuously denies professional
misconduct in connection with the Algerian man.

Source:-The Herald  Wednesday 26 May

Executive faces £1m legal bill over slopping out

The Scottish executive is facing a legal bill of up to £1
million after it unsuccessfully tried to defend the practice of
“slopping-out” in prisons.

Justice minister Cathy Jamieson admitted in a written answer that
the bill for court proceedings in which Robert Napier successfully
claimed the practice breached his human rights, amounted to

But last night the Scottish National Party said the figure could
top £1 million after legal aid and compensation were taken
into account.

Source:- The Scotsman  Wednesday 26 May

Green light given for city’s new special needs

A new multi-million pound school for children with special needs
was yesterday given the go-ahead in Glasgow by council

Gordon Murray and Alan Dunlop Architects were awarded the contract
to design the new school which will be built on the south side of
the city.

The new school, which is due to be completed by June 2006, will
cater for children aged between four and 18 who have visual
impairment as well as hearing and mobility problems.

Source:- The Scotsman  Wednesday 26 May

Capital is the first to get own drugs tsar

Edinburgh has become the first Scottish city to be awarded its own
drug and alcohol tsar.

The latest figures show a rise in the number of drug related deaths
in Edinburgh as 11 people died as a result of drug abuse in the
first three months of 2004. Around 27,000 men and almost 10,000
women in the city have alcohol problems.

The new tsar will be tasked with leading the fight against drugs
and alcohol misuse by ensuring various projects in the city work
together and share information.

Source:- Evening News  Tuesday 25 May

Children’s tsar calls for caution on tagging

Plans to tag young offenders in the capital have been criticised by
Scotland’s new children’s commissioner.

The pilot scheme, which is linked to the Antisocial Behaviour Bill
currently going through the Scottish Parliament, will see
persistent young offenders fitted with electronic tracking devices
as early as this autumn.

But Kathleen Marshall has warned the risks associated with the
scheme could outweigh any benefits and has called for the scheme to
be “closely monitored”.

Source:- Evening News  Tuesday 25 May

Welsh newspapers

Council explains care changes

Members of Newport’s Home Care Service are asking local
politicians to support a campaign against cuts in their pay.

Newport Council has responded by saying that it has been asked to
balance the high standard of care with a more responsible and
flexible service. Home carers have been objecting to a scheme that
would see their pay changed to a consolidated rate, with no
overtime rates.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 26 May page 6

Assembly rejects NHS system to cut waiting

The Welsh assembly has turned down the chance to sign up to a
£2.3 billion computer project designed to cut waiting lists
and improve patient care by linking all doctors’ surgeries
and hospitals.

The project is being rolled out in England and has been described
by health minister John Hutton as the most important development in
the NHS.

But the Welsh assembly has decided not to take up the initiative in
spite of warnings that Welsh patients could lose out.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 26 May page 11




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