Childminders dearer than nurseries at £500 a week
Two out of three parents say child care is unaffordable, a survey by the Daycare Trust has found. For the first time the highest cost was charged by a childminder rather than a nursery.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 8 February 2006, page 9

1.2 million people will reach 100th birthday by 2074, says study
The current population of 10,000 centenarians could increase by more than 100-fold in the next 68 years the government’s population projection study says – reaching 1.2m by 2074.
Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 8 February 2006, page 11

Bailiffs sent in after hospital fails to pay bill
Debt collectors were sent into University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust after it failed to respond to a summons from the city council to pay business rates.
Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 8 February 2006, page 12

School reforms intact after clarifications, claims Blair
Tony Blair insisted that concessions made this week left the heart of his education reforms intact even as a sizeable number of backbenchers demanded further changes before they support the bill’s second reading.
Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 8 February 2006, page 15

Lost horizons
Report on a new book which argues that Britain’s liberal welfare system has marginalised the white working class and helped fuel years of racial conflict.
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 8 February 2006, page 1

Surrey and Sussex health authority forced to borrow £97 million for wages
Surrey and Sussex strategic health authority is having to borrow £97m to pay staff at the counties’ health organisations because of large deficits.
The scale of the problem means the NHS as a whole is unlikely to hit the government’s target of a £200m overall deficit by the end of the financial year.
Source:- Financial Times, Wednesday February 8 2006, page 1

Tories set to support Blair’s watered-down school reforms
Shadow education spokesperson David Willetts has signalled that he will support the government’s school reforms, despite ministers’ decision to water down the plans.Willetts said that should the forthcoming education bill provide extra freedoms for schools, however modest, the Tories would back it.
Source:- Financial Times, Wednesday February 8 2006, page 2

Children’s DNA still being kept
Police are being told to keep the DNA of innocent children they arrest unless there are “exceptional circumstances.” Last month MPs were told that ministers would review the practice and guidelines would be sent to police chiefs.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 8 February 2006, page 8

Scottish news

First council tax rises set well above executive target
The first local authorities to set their council tax rates have confirmed predictions that most rises will not be restricted to ministers’ target of 2.5 per cent.
North Ayrshire councillors voted to impose an increase of 4.6 per cent, claiming that there would also have to be some £8m in savings. Scottish Borders has also posted a rise of 4.4% and, when Falkirk Council sets its tax level today, it is believed it will be close to a 4% increase.
Source:- The Herald, Wednesday 8 February 2006

Moray Council criticised in damning report
Political turmoil, infighting and personal agendas are among the factors which have led to a damning report on the performance of Moray Council by the Accounts Commission. The council has lacked effective corporate leadership and direction, and has been an inward-looking and isolated organisation where small parochial issues overwhelmed any consideration of strategic direction, according to the report.
The report says the style and behaviour of a group of senior politicians created an environment in which officers found it difficult to address major issues.
Source:- The Herald, Wednesday 8 February 2006

Care home attacker unsupervised, court hears
The family of a care home resident who died after he was brutally beaten by a fellow resident told a fatal accident inquiry that carers left the attacker unsupervised for long periods despite knowing of his violent past.
Jim Hutchison, 90, was set on when he tried to stop a younger patient, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, from assaulting an elderly woman resident.
His family have demanded answers as to why Andrew Brown, who kicked Mr Hutchison repeatedly as he lay on the floor, was left unsupervised in the sitting room at Tullideph care home in Dundee, in December 2002. At the inquiry, in Dundee sheriff court, Mr Hutchison’s daughter, Catherine Kelly, 58, spoke of her shock when told her father had been attacked.
Source:- The Scotsman, Wednesday 8 February 2006

Social work shake-up delayed
The Scottish Executive has announced the biggest shake-up in Scotland’s social work services for 40 years. Among the key planks of yesterday’s report was the recommendation that the 7,000 social workers in Scotland should have more autonomy to do their work.
Para-professionals will also be introduced to the social work service to carry out administrative duties and give qualified social workers more time at “the coal face”. People who use social work services and their carers would be given greater involvement in decisions about their own care under the plans.
Source: The Scotsman & Herald, Wednesday 8 February 2006

Extend free care policy
Free personal care for the elderly is an “ageist” policy which should be extended to cover people suffering from conditions like dementia, MSPs have been told. Representatives from Carers Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland told Holyrood’s health committee that the scheme – which costs £140 million a year to help older people with washing, dressing and grooming – should be extended.
They told the committee that “people with dementia and their families should be entitled to free personal care in the same way that people with other illnesses are entitled to free medical care”.
Source: The Scotsman, Wednesday 8 February 2006

Army of helpers for social workers
Hundreds of social work staff are to be hired in a drive to stop child abuse. The unqualified social work assistants will take over routine cases, freeing qualified staff to concentrate on their most vulnerable clients. The plan, outlined yesterday by education minister Peter Peacock, follows a string of abuse cases which shocked Scotland.
Source: – The Record, Wednesday 8 February 2006

Welsh news

Still no verdict in Sion Jenkins retrial
An Old Bailey jury was unable to reach a verdict in the Billie-Jo Jenkins retrial yesterday after its sixth day of deliberations.
Sion Jenkins, 48, of Lymington, Hants denies murdering his 13-year-old foster daughter in February 1997.
Jenkins, originally from Aberystwyth, was jailed for life for the murder in 1998 but a retrial is taking place after he appealed.
Source:- Western Mail, Wednesday 8 February 2006

No action on maths teacher, say police
A maths teacher who was arrested after an allegation of assaulting a child was made has been released without charge.
David Aldridge is head of year eight at Olchfa Secondary School in Swansea. The police said that no further action would be taken against him.
Source:- icWales, Wednesday 8 February 2006



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