Councils to cut care for old and disabled
Four in five local authorities are moving to tighten the eligibility rules for services for elderly and disabled people, in response to a record £1.8 billion gap in funding for social care and the knock-on effects of the cash crisis in the NHS. The funding gap is revealed by a joint survey of English local authorities published by the Local Government Association and bodies representing council treasurers and social care directors.
Source:- The Guardian, Thursday 16 March 2006, page 11
Disabled baby must be kept alive, judge rules
A profoundly disabled baby boy should be kept alive on a ventilator despite the belief of doctors that his life is so intolerable that he should be allowed to die, the High Court has ruled.
Source:- The Independent, Thursday 16 March 2006, page 12

Local government workers vote to strike over pensions
More than one million workers in town halls, schools, the probation and police support services voted for a series of one-day strikes starting on March 28. Workers in nine trade unions have voted to strike following the breakdown on talks on pensions.
Source:- The Guardian, Thursday 16 March 2006, page 5

Tories help Blair push through education bill
Tony Blair was forced to rely on the support of Conservatives last night to get the government’s flagship education reforms though the Commons, as 52 Labour MPs rebelled in a crunch vote.
Source:- Financial Times, Thursday 16 March 2006, page 2

Desperate mother wins appeal over son’s truancy
A mother “at the end of her tether” who was convicted of failing to ensure that her teenage son attended school was cleared yesterday by the High Court. A senior judge ruled that the burden should have been on the local education authority to prove that she had failed “with reasonable justification” to ensure the 14-year-old attended his Liverpool comprehensive.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Thursday 16 March 2006, page 7

Parents of independent school pupils should help fund places for poor
Parents using independent schools should pay up to £5,000 a year more to help fund places for poorer children, government adviser Sir Peter Lampl said.
Source:- The Daily Telegraph, Thursday 16 March 2006, page 7

Criminal age call
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has called for the age of criminality to rise from 10 to 14 or 15, to bring it in line with most of the rest of Europe. The college said children of 10 may not be able to follow a trial nor understand what it means to take responsibility for crime.
Source:- The Times, Thursday 16 March 2006, page 2

Prisoner can sue
A man who was on remand at Winchester Prison when his cellmate killed himself has won the right to sue the Home Office for compensation, after the appeal court ruled officers may have breached their duty of care to him.
Source:- The Times Thursday 16 March 2006 page 2

Scottish news
Mother admits letting nine-year-old drink alcohol
A mother yesterday pleaded guilty to letting a boy of nine, not a relative, drink alcohol in her flat. Glenda Miller, 44, will be sentenced next month.
Source:- The Scotsman, 16 March 2006

Fears for care home places as numbers of older people increase
Care home places have dropped slightly, according to a census by Scottish Care Homes. It found there were eight fewer care homes, which meant the loss of 100 places. Campaign groups said Scotland should be looking to increase the quality and number of care homes rather than letting numbers fall because of rising costs.
Lindsay Scott of Help The Aged said: “For the last few years it has been dropping off gradually and we are worried there will be less and less places and more and more old people.”
Source:- The Scotsman, 16 March 2006

Mother killed secret baby
A young mother who was too scared to tell her parents she was pregnant smothered her newborn baby, a court heard yesterday. Beverley West was 20 when she gave birth alone. Her pregnancy had been too advanced by the time she contacted her GP.
She pleaded guilty to a charge of culpable homicide at the High Court in Edinburgh.
Source:- The Scotsman, 16 March 2006

Welsh news

Victims of bullying have support at their fingertips
A leading children’s charity has launched a text helpline for people who are being bullied. The service, provided by Barnardo’s Cymru, has only been running a short while but has already received a range of calls about bullying, self-harm and problems at home. It has been created at the same time that the assistant children’s commissioner for Wales, Sara Reid, called for better services for children who may think about killing themselves. The suicide rate amongst young people is five times higher in Wales than England.
Source:- Western Mail, Thursday 16 March 2006

Annual check up for children in care
Looked after children will get an annual health check after the idea was backed by the Welsh Assembly yesterday. Labour AM Huw Lewis tabled a motion calling for the checks arguing that they would help to provide looked after children with better health care.
Source:- Western Mail, Thursday 16 March 2006

Posters to target abuse offenders
Domestic violence perpetrators and paedophiles are to be targeted by a new crown prosecution service and voluntary sector campaign. Posters and beer mats with the slogan “It’s Criminal” have been created as part of the initiative. The campaign covers nine types of crime which can affect women and children.
Source:- Western Mail, Thursday 16 March 2006



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