Tuesday 1 February 2005

By Maria Ahmed, Derren Hayes and Amy Taylor

Prescott plan to turn councillors into

The life of humble councillors could be about to change under ideas
proposed by John Prescott to turn them into
“mini-mayors” for their communities.

The deputy prime minister wants the ward councillor to be a more
central figure in the neighbourhood, shaping the local services
people expect from town halls and other public bodies.

Source:- The Financial Times Tuesday 1 February 2005 page

FSA seeks to help low earners

Helping low income consumers access credit and bank accounts is an
important task for the financial regulator, its head

Callum McCarthy, chair of the Financial Services Authority, said he
wanted to help the financially excluded, even though it was not
part of the FSA’s duties.

Source:- The Financial Times Tuesday 1 February 2005 page

Tories want to encourage claimants into jobs

The long-term sick and disabled should be encouraged rather than
“dragooned” back into work with the threat of benefit
cuts, the Conservatives have said.

David Willetts, shadow work and pensions secretary, unveiled a
softly-softly approach to the 2.7 million people on incapacity
benefits, with private employment agencies and the voluntary sector
to be given a bigger role in getting claimants back to work.

Source:- The Financial Times Tuesday 1 February 2005 page

Education loyalty card scheme fails the test

A public-private partnership which aimed to get 16-19-year-olds to
stay on in education in return for loyalty card points has not been
effective, according to the independent research for the Department
for Education and Skills.

The Connexions card was launched in 2001 in a £108 million as
part of a deal with a consortium led by Capita, as part of a
government drive to combat Britain’s drop-out rate at

Source:- The Financial Times Tuesday 1 February 2005 page

Old rage pensioners

A grandfather of 82 has been given an antisocial behaviour order
after a war of noise with a disabled neighbour.

John Kirkpatrick could face up to six months in jail if he carries
on playing his radio or television at top volume. He was trying to
drown out the singing of his neighbour Tommy Dunn, 65.

Source:- The Daily Mail Tuesday 1 February 2005 page

Court’s mercy for the drink-driver aged 12

Britain’s youngest drink-driver left West Berkshire youth
court in Newbury with a 12-month supervision order as punishment

The girl was only 12 when she drove off in her father’s car.
She was also banned for driving for two years, although she is not
legally entitled to drive until she is 17.

Source:- The Daily Mail Tuesday 1 February 2005 page

Blair’s health adviser ‘neglected

A former health adviser to Tony Blair appeared before the General
Medical Council yesterday, charged with the neglect of older
patients at one of a string of care homes he ran.

Dr Chai Patel, a high-profile donor to the Labour Party and an
architect of the government’s policies on older people, is
accused of serious professional misconduct and could be struck off
the medical register if found guilty.

Source:- The Independent Tuesday 1 February 2005 page

BNP ban urged for probation officers

A ban on prison officers being active members of the British
National Party and other far-right groups should be extended to the
probation service if it is to retain the confidence of ethnic
minority communities, according to the chief inspector of

Source:- The Guardian Tuesday 1 February 2005 page 4

Extra special

Ash Field School in Leicester has won specialist status for Special
Educational Needs teaching

Source:- The Guardian Education Tuesday 1 February 2005
page 4

‘I keep a pen where I once kept a knife’

Dominique De-Light’s writing course at the Big Issue in
Brighton gives the homeless a voice – or did, until the
funding dried up.

Source:- The Guardian Education Tuesday 1 February 2005
page 19

Antisocial pigs in the clear

An antisocial behaviour order on Brian Hagan, a Norfolk farmer
whose pigs kept escaping was dropped yesterday due to insufficient

Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 1 February 2005 page

Zero tolerance is school policy

Ruth Kelly, the education secretary, will tell head-teachers at a
conference in Blackpool today to impose “zero
tolerance” of disruption in schools, punishing even minor
infringements of rules.

Source:- The Times Tuesday 1 February 2005 page 2

New test could detect the start of Alzheimer’s

A test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease before its symptoms
become obvious could soon be available.

A team at Northwestern University in Illinois have discovered a way
of detecting a biological marker of the disease in living

Source:- The Times Tuesday 1 February 2005 page 27

Scottish newspapers

OK to get drunk, McConnell tells pupils 

First minister Jack McConnell became embroiled in a row over
drinking last night after appearing to condone young people getting
drunk “once in a while”.

His comments came in a public question-and-answer session with more
than 100 secondary pupils from various schools in the

When one asked him how the Scottish executive proposed to tackle
under-age drinking, McConnell spoke of the evils of binge drinking
and railed against irresponsible drinks promotions.

Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 1 February

Volunteer initiative ‘is policing on the cheap’

A £2 million Scottish executive initiative to pay volunteer
police officers for the first time has been criticised as policing
on the cheap.

Many regular police officers also fear it could be a ploy to create
an “illusion” of more officers on the beat. Under the plan special
constables will be paid an allowance of £1,000 a year –
£5 per hour – for committing to 50 specific four-hour

Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 1 February

‘Unsafe sex’ leads to record level of Scots testing

The number of Scots testing positive for the HIV virus has hit an
all-time high, with 365 new cases diagnosed last year. The new
figures surpass the previous record of 348 in one year, recorded in
1986. The report by Health Protection Scotland says up to 2,800
people are now believed to be living with HIV in Scotland – the
highest-ever figure.

Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 1 February

Nicotine patches plan targets child smokers

Opposition parties gave a guarded welcome last night to news that
children as young as 14 are to be given nicotine patches in an
effort to cut under-age smoking.

The scheme intends to offer young smokers patches, gum or tablets
through schools and youth groups. Pupils will also counsel friends
trying to quit and refer classmates to anti-smoking co-ordinators
who will decide on the appropriate form of nicotine replacement

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 1 February

Shot drug dealer banned from home

A drug dealer who survived a shooting has been banned from his home
to protect the neighbours.

Police yesterday obtained a court order to stop Peter Simpson
returning to his flat. Simpson, who was jailed for six years in
1993 over Scotland’s largest LSD haul, was shot by two masked men
near his home last Monday.

Source:- The Herald Tuesday 1 February

Perv tried to snatch 5 kids from school

A pervert has tried to abduct five young children from outside a
primary school. The man has been lying in wait before pouncing on
pupils just yards from the gates.

He has tried to lure his victims into a close, where he has been
hiding, next to Holy Cross Primary School in Govanhill,

Source:- Daily Record Tuesday 1 February

Welsh newspapers

Experts in birth trauma beg mum of dead baby to get help

A senior midwife has urged the mother of a newborn baby, whose body
was found abandoned in a back garden in Cardiff, to come

Brenda Rees, head of midwifery at the University Hospital, Cardiff,
said that the girl could be risking her own life by not getting

The police believe the mother may be as young as

Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 1 February


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