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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