Wednesday 16 June 2004

By Clare Jerrom, Lauren Revans and Alex Dobson

Blair and Howard shift focus to public services

The Conservative and Labour Party leaders both called yesterday for
greater choice for users in return for higher spending.

Following last week’s disappointing election results, Tony
Blair promised to speed up and extend public service reform,
shaping service around individual need, while Michael Howard
promised pupils and patients the “right to choose”
their school and hospital.

Source:- Financial Times Wednesday 16 June page 2

Schools to be give more power, insist education

Schools will continue to be given more power over their own
financial and management decisions despite the Chancellor’s
concerns about the proportion of the Department for Education and
Skills’ budget spent locally and the implications of that for
efficiency savings.

Education secretary Charles Clarke warned that the 2.5 per cent
efficiency savings required of each government department, on top
of £15 billion on administrative costs, were “not
attainable” in schools, particularly when the thrust of
school policy was to devolve power and money to headteachers.

But schools minister David Miliband indicated that the DfES did not
want to move towards centralised control, and would concentrate
instead on strategic decisions.

Source:- Financial Times Wednesday 16 June page 2

Warning of race relations risk from ID cards

The Commission for Racial Equality has warned that the home
secretary’s plans for national identity cards could give the
police new scope to victimise blacks and Asians.

In a paper submitted to the House of Commons’ home affairs
select committee, the CRE says that blacks and Asians are already
much more likely to be stopped by police, and that the introduction
of ID cards could see them unnecessarily inconvenienced even

Source:- Financial Times Wednesday 16 June page 2

TUC in warning on pensions

The Trades Union Congress has warned that one in five people would
not live to receive a pension if the retirement age was raised to

The union added that the biggest losers would be those living in
the most deprived areas, particularly some London boroughs.

Source:- Financial Times Wednesday 16 June page 4

Muslim girl loses school dress battle

A Luton school did not breach a pupil’s right to education by
refusing to allow her to wear strict Muslim dress in the classroom,
a High Court judge ruled yesterday.

Mr Justice Bennett said Denbigh High School, which allows Muslim
girls to wear the shalwar kameez, a combination of trousers and
tunic, had not breached human rights laws by not allowing Shabina
Begum to wear the jilbab, an ankle-length gown covering the whole
body apart from the hands and face.

Justice Bennett dismissed the 15-year-old’s claim for
judicial review.

Source:- Financial Times Wednesday 16 June page 6

Judge exposes asylum claim fraud

Five failed Nepalese asylum seekers lost their attempt to stay in
Britain after a judge exposed a scam in which they were helped to
fill in identical legal challenges.

Mr Justice Wilson said the men had been advised what to write in
legal documents as the opening sentence in each claim was

He said there was further evidence to support his suspicion that
abuse was taking place because the typeface was identical in each
of the claims.

Source:- The Times  Wednesday 16 June page 2

Refugee physicians not being utilised

Hundreds of refugee doctors in Britain are not practising because
they face problems funding their studies.

The British Medical Association said 955 refugee and asylum seeking
doctors were registered on a database but just 57 were

Many of the doctors have refugee status but have not passed the
exams they need to practise here.

Source:- The Times  Wednesday 16 June page 2

Boy robber wins rights case ruling

Putting an 11-year-old boy on trial in an adult court was a breach
of his human rights, the European Court of Human Rights has

The judges said the unnamed boy was unable to participate
effectively in the legal proceedings because of his age and low
level of intellect.

The boy, who was sentenced to two-and-a-half years’ detention
for snatching a bag from an older woman in June 1999, has been
awarded £3,500 in costs.

Source:- The Times  Wednesday 16 June page 4

Clark baby death doctor abused his position

A child abuse expert who accused the husband of Sally Clark of
murdering their two children, faces disciplinary action after being
found guilty of abusing his professional position.

David Southall behaved in an “irresponsible and
misleading” way by filing a report on Stephen Clark based on
a documentary, a General Medical Council inquiry ruled.

The consultant contacted social services and the police to warn
them that he thought Clark had killed his two babies and was a
threat to their third child, who was in his care.

At the time of the incident, Sally Clark was serving a double life
sentence for murdering their two sons. She was later freed on

Source:- The Times  Wednesday 16 June page 7

Task force for Asian offenders

A task force to combat serious crime among South Asian communities
is being planned in London amid concerns at rising numbers of
murders and kidnap.

Senior Scotland Yard detectives want to prevent the rise of
powerful, violent criminals who could dominate Asian communities
and provide dangerous role models.

Source:- The Times  Wednesday 16 June page 13

‘Draconian’ Mental Health Bill revived

A Bill that would force patients with mental health problems to
undergo treatment will be re-introduced within weeks, according to
Rosie Winterton.

The health minister has told campaigners that the government will
keep its promise to reintroduce the Mental Health Bill during this

The Mental Health Alliance, which includes mental health charitis
Mind and Sane, protested that the bill, which allows the detention
of people with dangerous personality disorders, was

Officials at the Department of Health have sought compromise by
narrowing the group of people who will be subject to compulsory
treatment when they are released in the community.

Source:- Independent  Wednesday 16 June page 6

Drug trial results published

Britain’s biggest drugs firm has caved in to pressure and
published research showing how an antidepressant drug was linked to
suicidal thoughts in children.

GlaxoSmithKline revealed the results from nine clinical trials
after it was accused of withholding data on the effects of Seroxat
on children and teenagers.

Source:- Daily Telegraph  Wednesday 16 June page 2

Asylum case lawyers milk legal aid

More than 120 solicitors firms have been overclaiming millions of
pounds from the legal aid budget for handling asylum cases, it has

The news comes after investigations by the Legal Services
Commission that led to £8 million of legal aid being recouped
from law firms.

Ten of the worst offending legal firms have had their contracts for
acting in asylum cases terminated by the commission, which is
responsible for legal aid.

The government is set to announce plans for a pilot of its own
pubic immigration and asylum legal service.

Source:- The Guardian  Wednesday 16 June page 1

Detainees held in ‘filthy’ conditions

The Home Office admitted last night that detainees at an
immigration removal centre in Doncaster had been thrown into the
punishment cells at a neighbouring prison without proper

Immigration minister Des Browne pledged that the practice would end
by October as Anne Owers published an inspection report into
Lindholme centre condemning the conditions.

The chief inspector of prisons highlighted that little improvement
had been made to the centre since it was inspected two years ago
and concluded that it was not an appropriate place to hold
immigration detainees.

Source:- The Guardian  Wednesday 16 June page 11

Carers hope to stay in contact

Cash injection sought to continue successful telephone

Source:- Society Guardian  Wednesday 16 June page 4

Community spirit

After tackling homelessness and drug dependency on the streets of
London for four decades, the Rev Ken Leech, founder of the charity
Centrepoint, is retiring.

Source:- Society Guardian  Wednesday 16 June page 6

Steps in the right direction

The canteen of a London hospital is not where you would expect to
watch classical ballet. But these performances form part of an
innovative programme for mental health patients.

Source:- Society Guardian  Wednesday 16 June page 8

Write and wrong

New research into young offenders suggests that screening for
dyslexia would be beneficial in identifying sufferers and providing
the support they need to stay out of trouble.

Source:- Society Guardian  Wednesday 16 June page 12

What else can I do?

After taking time off to start a family, Penny wants to return to
nursing, but not to her old job on a hospital ward.

Source:- Society Guardian  Wednesday 16 June page

Scottish newspapers

Anger as sex offences buck falling trend

Recorded crime in Scotland fell by five per cent to the lowest
level in almost a quarter of a century, according to Scottish
executive figures.

But women’s groups yesterday rounded on ministers for failing
to tackle an alarming rise in the number of sexual crimes.

Cases of rape and attempted rape rose by 8 per cent while other
sexual crimes such as indecent assault and offences connected with
prostitution also rose.

Source:- The Scotsman  Wednesday 16 June

9 out of 10 firms ‘would not employ blind

Nine out of 10 employers may be breaking the law and discriminating
against blind job seekers, according to a report by the Royal
National Institute for the Blind Scotland.

The study reveals 92 per cent of employers surveyed believe it
would be “difficult or impossible” to employ a blind or
partially sighted person.

Despite discrimination being illegal, employers put people with a
sight problem top on a list of people they would not employ.

Source:- Evening News  Tuesday 15 June

Childcare academy will offer students one-year route to

A childcare academy is to be launched by Edinburgh Council in
August under an initiative thought to be the first of its

The plan is part of the local authority’s strategy to recruit
new carers to a profession.

Applicants to the academy, to be based in Pilton, will need no
formal qualifications. The academy will offer students one-year on
the job training for posts with after school clubs or as assistants
in nurseries with the chance to progress to  qualify as nursery

Source:- The Herald  Wednesday 16 June

Care worker suspended over sick mobile snaps

A care home worker has been suspended following allegations that he
used a mobile phone to take degrading photographs of older female

The pictures are alleged to show five women aged between 67 and 98
in various states of undress. Policed were called after a worker
made a complaint against a colleague at Parkhouse Manor Nursing
Home. Bosses have suspended Joseph Shearer while an investigation
is carried out.

Source:- Daily Record  Wednesday 16 June page 9

Death trial is told of bruises on toddler

A child allegedly killed by his mother was covered in bruises when
he was left with a childminder, a court heard yesterday.

Childminder Alexander Hastie told Manchester Crown Court she
changed the boy’s nappy and found further bruising after his
mother Lorna Gray had commented: “Look at him, anyone would
think he is a battered child.”

The baby, called John, died in March last year in the home of
Gray’s lover James McEwan, who she met on the Internet.

The court heard that John had 200 injuries to 92 areas of his body,
including a split liver.

Gray and McEwan deny manslaughter and two charges of child cruelty.
The trial continues.

Source:- Daily Record  Wednesday 16 June page 9

Teen tragedy

A teenager at a school where bullies drove another girl to
suicide has hanged herself.

Erin Payne was found in her bedroom by a family member and police
are investigating why the 15-year-old killed herself.

However, they claim there is no evidence she had been the victim of

Suzy Barclay died at the same school, Balwearie High in Fife, in
1997 after being hounded by bullies.

The Samaritans have launched a campaign to combat the rise in teen

Source:- Daily Record  Wednesday 16 June page 23

Welsh newspapers

Killed by waiting

A widow has told how her husband died after waiting three years
for a vital heart operation and six years for a suitable

Cath Partridge said that her husband Douglas endured intense
pressure while waiting for a triple heart by-pass because of
blocked heart vessels. She describes too how she lobbied Caerphilly
Council in south Wales in an effort to find a suitable house with a
downstairs toilet and she claims that both the NHS and the council
let her husband down.

Source:- South Wales Argus Tuesday 15 June page 1

Yobs could soon be ordered off the streets

Young people who make life a misery for Newport residents could
soon be ordered off the streets at night.

Police are looking at imposing a curfew in some of the city’s
trouble spots to help put an end to antisocial behaviour. Gwent
police have just revealed that they will be enforcing dispersal
orders in the Rhymney Valley for two months from June 18.

Source:- South Wales Argus Tuesday 15 June page 5

New twist in bridge row

Blaenau Gwent Council may be in line to be dubbed the worst
service provider in the UK by the Disability Rights Commission
(DRC) because of a controversial landmark footbridge.

Alun Thomas of the DRC said that the new St Paul’s bridge in
Cwm that has steep steps leading up to it on both sides is highly
dangerous for disabled people. The council and the bridge designers
have agreed to consult with the DRC and other advisory bodies over
the access issues.

Source:- South Wales Argus Tuesday 15 June page 11

Credit union put paid to loan sharks

Loan sharks who charge exorbitant interest rates are being shown
the door in one Welsh town thanks to the success of a financial

The Save Easy Llanelli and District Credit Union has already loaned
out more than well over £2.5 million and has some 2,500
members. Save Easy is a credit union that has been successful not
only in Wales but in other parts of the UK. As a result of that
success it has now been chosen to pilot a new initiative enabling
people in Llanelli to access low cost loans and secure savings
facilities through two local post offices.

Source:- Western Mail Wednesday 16 June page 5




More from Community Care

Comments are closed.