Tuesday 1 February 2005

    By Maria Ahmed, Derren Hayes and Amy Taylor

    Prescott plan to turn councillors into
    ‘mini-mayors’

    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
    4

    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
    believes.

    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
    4

    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
    4

    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
    16.

    Source:- The Financial Times Tuesday 1 February 2005 page
    6

    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
    32

    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
    yesterday.

    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
    35

    Blair’s health adviser ‘neglected
    patients’

    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
    11

    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
    probation.

    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
    evidence.

    Source:- The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 1 February 2005 page
    2

    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
    people.

    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
    Highlands.

    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
    shifts.

    Source:- The Scotsman Tuesday 1 February

    ‘Unsafe sex’ leads to record level of Scots testing
    HIV-positive

    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
    therapy.

    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,
    Glasgow.

    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
    forward.

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

    The police believe the mother may be as young as
    13-years-old.

    Source:- Western Mail Tuesday 1 February

     

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