Baby boomers’ care in old age set at £30 billion
Spending on personal care for older people in England will have to treble to about £30 billion a year by 2026 to meet the needs of the ageing baby boomer generation, says a landmark report today that is set to push social services towards the top of the political agenda.
Source:- Guardian, Thursday 30 March 2006, page 6

Too much use of Asbos for teenagers says ex-prison head
Martin Narey, former head of the prison and probation service and now chief executive of Barnardo’s, yesterday criticised the “routine use of Asbos” for teenagers and said too many youngsters were being locked up for breaching the orders.
Source:- Guardian, Thursday 30 March 2006, page 12

Postcode lottery in rape convictions
The number of rapes reported to police that end in a conviction depends on a “postcode lottery” which sees convictions fluctuating between 1% and 14% depending on where you live. The Home Office figures for 2004 were released yesterday as ministers put forward a package of reforms aimed at boosting the plummeting conviction rate for rape, now at an all-time low of 5.29% of crimes reported in England and Wales.
Source:- Guardian, Thursday 30 March 2006, page 5

Boy bullied on hate website
School bullies made life hell for a boy of 12 by setting up a website dedicated to humiliating him.
Source:- Daily Mirror, Thursday 30 March 2006, page 1

Kelly row with school
A school in Cumbria was locked in a row with education secretary Ruth Kelly last night after she ordered it to take a seven year old boy expelled from another school for persistent violence.
Source:- The Sun, Thursday 30 March 2006, page 2

NHS advisers ‘cost £200 million’ as key jobs go
The government has spent £52.5 milion in six years on management consultants for the health service, figures obtained by former health secretary Frank Dobson reveal.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Thursday 30 March 2006, page 1

Children ‘progress most at grammars’
Pupils make the most progress between the ages of 11 and 14 at grammar schools, according to a league table published today.
Source:- Daily Telegraph, Thursday 30 March 2006, page 2

Suicides in Northern Ireland raise by 50 per cent
Suicides in Northern Ireland soared by almost 50 per cent last year, it was revealed today as the general registrar confirmed that 213 people took their lives in 2005.
Source:- Guardian, Thursday 30 March 2006, page 13

Trainee midwives win maternity rights battle
A government challenge to the maternity rights of trainee midwives was defeated in the court of appeal yesterday. Last year a tribunal said they were entitled to continue receing bursaries if they were absent from courses due to childbirth. The Department of Health agreed to pay them, but appealed against the principle of tribunals making decisions on social policy which it thought should be made through legislation.
Source:- Guardian, Thursday 30 March 2006, page 13

Sex attacker ‘will never be freed’
A convicted sex attacker has been given three life sentences and told he will never be released from prison.
Viktors Dembovskis fled to Latvia after raping and murdering a 17-year-old girl.
Source:- Independent , Thursday 30 March 2006, page 8

Parental duties
Caroline Flint said that the government’s review of fertility laws will emphasise the responsibilities of patients as well as their rights to treatment.
The minister said the “reproductive liberty” of individuals must be balanced against their duties to society and unborn children.
Source:- The Times,  Thursday 30 March 2006, page 2

Scottish news

Councils warned of cash pitfalls
Spending watchdogs yesterday praised councils for improving their finances, but warned the good work could be undone by a failure to prepare for a time of massive political upheaval.
The Accounts Commission said financial stewardship was sound across Scotland’s 32 local authorities, with tax collection rates up last year. But the commission’s report said councils must do more to prepare for a raft of “major challenges” on budgets and public service reform, as well as the change to the election system next year. Rising costs of free personal care and anxiety over child protection are all issues that will have to be addressed, it said.
Source:- The Herald, Thursday 30 March 2006

£50 million housing project to transform old paper mill
A former paper mill in Aberdeen is to be transformed into an urban village of 365 affordable homes.
The Donside mill, which is to undergo a £50 million development, was once one of Aberdeen’s biggest employers but it closed five years ago with multi million pound debts.
The 25-acre site has now been bought by the Devanha Housing Partnership, a group of Grampian-based housing associations, with support from Communities Scotland, the Scottish Executive’s housing and regeneration agency.
Source:- The Herald, Thursday 30 March 2006

Free care for old ‘falling into crisis’
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) have said ministers are ignoring or misunderstanding their own guidance over when care should be provided and demanded extra money to deliver the package. New figures showed the policy cost more than £200m last year.
One senior local government source said last night: “I think it is a crisis because what is clear is there is not a common understanding between the executive, councils and consumers of what this policy means. So people have different expectations and the money only covers one interpretation (of the law).”
Source:- The Herald, Thursday 30 March 2006

Children in ethnic minority homes face double poverty risk
Children from minority ethnic backgrounds are twice as likely to live in poverty as white children, according to Scottish executive figures. 41 per cent of children with a minority ethnic head of household were living in relative low-income poverty between 2002-3 and 2004-5.
For youngsters living in a household led by a non-minority ethnic adult, the figure was only 21 per cent.
Source:- The Scotsman, Thursday 30 March 2006

Welsh news
Beach-tent dweller quizzed in Ben probe
Police investigating the death of a sixth former who was found dead on a beach in Swansea questioned a homeless man who lived in a tent near the crime scene, a court heard yesterday.
John George was questioned after his prescription box was found near Ben Bellamy’s body. As a result of the find he was questioned by the police.
Three teenagers are on trial for Ben’s murder.
Source:- Western Mail, Thursday 30 March 2006


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