Queen’s speech: bills on mental health, local government and probation

Queen’s speech: bills on mental health, local government and probation
Bills to reform pensions, local government, mental health law and probation were included in the Queen’s speech yesterday, alongside legislation to scrap the Child Support Agency and tackle antisocial behaviour.
Source:- The Guardian, Thursday 16 November 2006, page 12

Blunders that led to murder by mental patient
A report today into a murder of retired banker by a mental health patient today will list a string of preventable errors at a south London hospital that led to the killing. The report on the murder of Denis Finnegan by John Barrett will point the finger at Springfield Hospital, run by South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust.
Source:- The Guardian, Thursday 16 November 2006, page 4

Farepak failure ‘will dent confidence to save’ among poor
MPs warned yesterday that the failure of Christmas savings company Farepak will have dented the confidence to save of poorer people.
The Treasury select committee said the government needed to do more to promote affordable savings schemes, in the wake of the collapse which hit at least 125,000 low income consumers.
Source:- The Financial Times, Thursday 16 November 2006, page 4

BBC’s Children in Need slammed as ‘lazy way’ to give to charity
TV viewers were warned yesterday against giving money to the BBC’s Children in Need appeal.
An independent watchdog, Intelligent Giving, said that donating to the charity is ‘a bad idea’ because of its huge administration costs – £2.4million last year, out of a total of £33million raised. Four other charities were also criticised including Sue Ryder Care, (“dismal…the fact that it relies heavily on social services and health authority funding may explain the astonishing annual report”), Manchester Kids and Muslim Aid.
Source:- Daily Mail, Thursday 16 November 2006, page 22

Critics condemn ’23-week’ premature baby ban
The Disability Rights Commission has criticised calls from a medical ethics committee for babies born before 22 weeks to be refused intensive care unless it is part of a research study.
The DRC said the Nuffield Council on Bioethics’ proposals, which also include calls for babies born before 23 weeks to only receive intensive care if parents strongly object to its withdrawal, were potentially discriminatory.
Source:- The Independent, Thursday 16 November 2006, page 23

Social enterprise drive seeks to tap trend for ethical trade
The government will launch an action plan to boost the role of social enterprises today including measures to boost financial support and improve relationships with local government.
Source:- The Financial Times, Thursday 16 November 2006, page 4

Use of drugs in date rape ‘is a myth’
Police research into the drugs Rohypnol and GHB has found almost no evidence of their use in sex attacks — but many victims had been drinking, sometimes to dangerous levels.
Source:- The Times, Thursday 16 November 2006, page 16

Scottish news

Laws to keep children safe ‘getting out of hand’
New child protection laws introduced in the wake of the Soham murders are “creating a climate of social distrust” between adults and young people, according to a parents’ group.
The Scottish Parent Teacher Council says many adults are deciding not to volunteer at events such as school discos because they will need to have their backgrounds checked to make sure they do not pose a risk to children.
According to the council, the measures included in the new Protection of Vulnerable Groups bill are “over-burdensome, costly and bureaucratic” and would not prevent a repeat of the Soham tragedy. Background checks should be carried out only on individuals who are regularly in contact with young people, it adds.
Source:- The Scotsman, Thursday 16 November 2006
Care home fire scare
Care home residents were evacuated from their home on the Isle of Harris following a fire late last night.
The alarm was raised shortly before midnight at the Harris House care home in Tarbert.
Three residents needed checks but no one was believed to have been injured.
Source:- The Record, Thursday 16 November 2006
Welsh news

Vulnerable youngsters get a hand with transition to secondary school
A scheme to ease the transition from primary to secondary school for vulnerable young people has been set up in Cardiff. The University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, is amongst the organisations running The Moving On Initiative.
Source:- Western Mail, Thursday 16 November 2006

Housing associations’ body to change name
An umbrella body representing housing associations is changing its name to tackle allegations that it is in favour of privatisation of social housing. The Welsh Federation of Housing Associations will now be known as Community Housing Cymru.
Source:- Western Mail, Thursday 16 November 2006


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