Councils fund panic rooms for domestic violence victims
Councils are setting up “panic rooms” in private homes to help women protect themselves from abusive partners. The scheme to create high security rooms for victims of domestic violence has been adopted by 120 local authorities and 165 are planning to follow suit.
Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 22 February 2006, page 8

Men urged to report brothels using trafficked women
Police are urging men who visit brothels to contact them in confidence if they suspect women working there have been forced into prostitution. The move is part of Operation Pentameter – a major initiative to tackle human trafficking.
Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 22 February 2006, page 8

Hospital patients to be screened for malnutrition
Every patient should be weighed on arrival at hospital to identify the 40 per cent who are at risk of malnutrition, doctors were told by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.
Source:- The Guardian, Wednesday 22 February 2006, page 10                                

Mayors planned for England’s big cities
Manchester and Birmingham could be the next cities with mayors wielding billion-pound budgets as part of a drive to shake up local government and devolve power, according to plans to be drawn up by a Labour think-tank.
Source:- The Independent, Wednesday 22 February 2006, page 6

Pioneering project to teach in pupils’ own languages scrapped
A Tottenham school’s experiment in teaching ethnic minority pupils lessons in their home languages is to be abandoned. The experiment failed to show any improvement in results.
Source:- The Independent, Wednesday 22 February 2006, page 13                             

£5 million donor accuses Cameron of education U-turn
Right-wing discontent over David Cameron’s efforts to ditch Thatcherism intensified when he was accused by a party donor of committing a U-turn on education by opposing increased selection in state schools.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 22 February 2006, page 10

Minister proposes citizen power in town halls
Residents and outside experts should be involved in decisions about council services and citizen juries should help to decide on grants, minister for communities and local government David Miliband said yesterday.
Source:- The Times, Wednesday 22 February 2006, page 26

BNP retrial date
Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party, and Mark Collett, a BNP activist, will be retried on race-hate charges on October 30.
Source:- The Times, Wednesday 22 February 2006, page 4

Big charities urged to stop shouting and start working
Large charities such as the NSPCC should spend more time helping vulnerable individuals and less time engaging in political campaigns, Iain Duncan Smith said yesterday.
Source:- The Times, Wednesday 22 February 2006, page 26

The cell block showgirls
The women of HMP Bronzefield are putting on Chicago. From next week, you can watch it too.
Source:- The Times, T2, Wednesday 22 February 2006, page 4

Former Blair aide advocated competition and choice in public services
The welfare state will not survive without the introduction of competition and choice in public services, most notably in schools and hospitals, Julian Le Grand, Tony Blair’s former health adviser said yesterday.
Source:- The Financial Times, Wednesday 22 February 2006, page 4

Scottish news

Council officials to carry can
Council chief executives and other senior public officials are to be held directly accountable for bad or weak advice they give under new laws planned by the Scottish executive.
Tom McCabe, minister for public sector reform, told MSPs he wanted legislation to “codify” the responsibilities of officials, with the implication that failure to measure up could mean people losing their jobs.
He said the way councils had failed to bring in equal pay for their staff, resulting in compensation bills of up to £560m, had crystallised his thinking on the issue.
McCabe said he felt the delays and cost overruns had been down to chief executives and others failing to give councillors strong advice and ducking tough decisions.
Source:- The Herald, Wednesday 22 February 2006

Plea for England to copy free care for elderly plan
The architect of Scotland’s system of free care for the elderly believes it is working well and England will inevitably be forced to follow suit.
Lord Sutherland also attacked the Treasury for withholding from Scotland savings made in benefits as a result of the new system.
He said of his royal commission report of almost a decade ago which led to the historic policy split with south of the border: “We were not perfect, but were broadly right and we are broadly going in the right direction.”
Source:- The Herald, Wednesday 22  February 2006

Scotland’s schools must do better says key report
Thousands of Scottish pupils are still being failed by weak leadership, poor teaching and a postcode lottery of education provision across the country, according to the first comprehensive report on our education system.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education declared that the majority of pupils were performing well and praised the efforts of the vast majority of staff.
But Graham Donaldson, the HMIe chief inspector, pointed out that “a small but significant number of learners are let down by the weaknesses in the education they receive”.
Source:- The Scotsman, Wednesday 22 February 2006

Scotland’s 6000 sex slaves
Thousands of women are being used as sex slaves in Scotland, police have said. Brutal gangsters imprison the terrified girls in brothels, rape them repeatedly to break their spirits, and force them to have sex with up to 60 men each per day.
Around 7000 women in Scotland work as escorts, or sell their bodies in massage parlours or saunas. And senior cops believe that 85 per cent of them – approximately 6000 – are sex slaves trafficked into Britain from eastern Europe and elsewhere.
Source:- The Record, Wednesday 22 February 2006







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