Friday 28 January 2005

By Maria Ahmed, Derren Hayes and Amy Taylor

Council staff to vote on strike action

Almost 800,000 government workers represented by Unison are to vote
on strike action against changes to their pension scheme, including
an increase in the retirement age from 60 to 65. The result will be
known on 9 March, according to Unison.

Source:- The Financial Times Friday 28 January 2005 page

Howard claims asylum seekers cost town halls £400m a

Michael Howard will say today that refugees land town halls with a
£400 million bill every year.

Source:- The Financial Times Friday 28 January 2005 page

‘Violent culture’ at murder case school

A “culture of fighting” among boys at a comprehensive
school led to the murder of a 14-year-old pupil in November 2003,
an inquiry has ruled.

Alan Pennell, the killer of Luke Walmsley, a pupil at Birkbeck
School, Lincolnshire, felt pressured by his peers to fight, the
inquiry team said.

Source:- The Independent Friday 28 January 2005 page

Teenagers for Parliament

Teenagers are to be allowed to stand for parliament at 18-years-old
to revive the interest of the young in voting, the government
announced last night.

Source:- The Daily Mail Friday 28 January 2005 page

Youth jailed over court photo

A teenager was jailed yesterday for taking a picture of a
judge with a camera mobile phone at Tower Bridge Magistrate’s
court in one of the first cases of its kind.

The 19-year old was sent to Feltham Young Offender Institution for
21 days after being convicted of contempt of court.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 28 January 2005 page

Gipsy sites rule change

Councils will be forced to do more to find proper sites for gypsies
and travellers, the government said yesterday.

Yvette Cooper, a minister in the Office of the Deputy Prime
Minister, said new planning guidance for local authorities would
reduce the chance of people setting up camp in
“inappropriate” places.

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Friday 28 January 2005 page

Minister threatens budget cap

The government prepared the ground yesterday for tougher action to
curb council tax rises in the run-up to the general election by
warning 17 local authorities that their budgets could be capped.
With provisional figures showing that this year’s rises will
average around 4.8 per cent, the local government minister Nick
Raynsford, said he was poised to take harsher measures than last

Source:- The Guardian Friday 28 January 2005 page 8

Child victims one in six rapes

One in six rapes in London was committed against girls under 16 in
two-year period, according to official figures. A total of 850
girls under 16 were raped in the capital between 2001 and 2003, the
Metropolitan Police said.

Source:- The Times Friday 28 January 2005 page 2

Steep rise in homes found

The number of children adopted has risen by 37 per cent in the past
five years, in response to a government effort to find permanent
homes for more children in care. Official figures published today
show that 3,700 children were adopted in 2003-4 – 1,000 more
than 1999-2000.

Source:- The Times Friday 28 January 2005 page 33

Scottish newspapers

Council loses £5m due to poor housekeeping

Edinburgh Council is blaming problems with a new computer system
for failing to collect 16 per cent of the rent due from its tenants
costing it £5 million.

The Audit Scotland report also found one in 10 tenants was 13 weeks
behind in rent payments while almost £2.3 million in potential
rent was lost because council homes lay empty.

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 28 January

‘Say no until you’re ready’ is sex health message to

The Scottish executive’s new sexual health strategy places
abstinence as the solution to unwanted pregnancies and STDs.

Health minister Andy Kerr said abstinence was the starting point
for all sex education in schools but said contraception services
must be more readily available to all.

Source:- The Scotsman Friday 28 January

Asperger’s man seeks damages for sacking

A civil servant with Asperger’s syndrome has launched a six-figure
compensation claim against the government alleging it was guilty of
disability discrimination when it sacked him after a 25-year

Patrick Roberts, who suffers from the rare form of autism, is
taking HM Customs and Excise to an employment tribunal claiming
unfair dismissal.

Source:- The Herald Friday 28 January

Drug addicted babies crisis

There is an indication Scotland’s drugs problem is improving
after new figures showed the number of babies born to drug addicted
mothers in the north-east of the country has dropped from 101 in
2002 to 72 in 2003.

Thirteen in every 1000 babies are still born addicted though.

Source:- Daily Record Friday 28 January

Welsh newspapers

Donors warned of fake charity

Trading Standards officers in the Vale of Glamorgan warned people
to beware of a fake charity last night.

Ecotex Collection Ltd had been distributing leaflets in Barry
asking for people to donate unwanted clothing to help people in the
Third World but the Vale council said that it appeared that the
clothing was being sold for profit.

Source:- Western Mail Friday 28 January



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