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
    ministers

    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
    further.

    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
    70.

    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
    identical.

    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
    practising.

    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
    ruled.

    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
    appeal.

    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
    parliament.

    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
    draconian.

    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
    emerged.

    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
    authorisation.

    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
    project

    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
    144

    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
    staff’

    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
    jobs

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

    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
    nurses.

    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
    residents.

    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
    bullies.

    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
    suicides.

    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
    house.

    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
    co-operative.

    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

     

     

     

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