Breaks for carers

Breaks for carers
Gary Streeter, the MP for Devon South West, is to table a bill to give 700,000 parents of disabled children the right to ask for regular short breaks after coming fourth in a private members’ ballot. It will be debated early next year but is unlikely to become law. Local authorities may still decline to provide the breaks.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 25 November 2006, page 4

Prison figures show link between sex crime and religion
Churches are being advised to protect congregations against paedophiles and rapists in their midst as figures show a clear link between religion and sex crime. The Home Office has disclosed statistics for the first time, showing the prison population according to their faith and type of offence committed.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 25 November 2006, page 24

Suicide father tried to kill girls
A father who took an attempted suicide leap into a flooded quarry, holding his daughters aged 6 and 9, was jailed for eight years. The 36-year-old man, from the Caernarfon area, who cannot be named, had pleaded guilty to attempted murder.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 25 November 2006, page 33

Food vouchers for lower paid
Pregnant women and toddlers from low income families will get free fruit and vegetables under a government scheme starting next week.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 25 November 2006, page 33

Sex trafficker tricked women with job offer
A sex trafficker from Romania who duped and raped his victims before forcing them into prostitution has been sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Source:- The Times, Saturday 25 November 2006, page 40

Cameron pledges action on poverty
Tax credits will not lift more people out of poverty, David Cameron, the Conservative leader, said yesterday. Promising to act against the “moral disgrace” of poverty, Mr Cameron said a Tory government would seek to engineer a “big shift” away from fiscal transfers by the state towards action by voluntary groups and social enterprises.
Source:- FT, Saturday 25 November 2006, page 2

Home Office to clamp down on teenage asylum seekers
A clampdown on lone children who come to Britain seeking asylum is being drawn up by the Home Office, which will argue that a large proportion are economic migrants seeking a better life.
Source:- Observer, Sunday 26 November 2006, page 11

Shift parenting ‘hurts families’
It is a lifestyle many busy couples will recognise: ‘shift parenting’, where children are passed between parents like a baton in a relay race, rarely spending time all together. The phenomenon familiar to dual-income couples who work antisocial hours and weekends is eroding family life, the constitutional affairs minister Harriet Harman will claim today, arguing that children want time with both parents together doing activities that bond them.
Source:- Observer, Sunday 26 November 2006, page 1

Livingstone declares war on race equality watchdog
A furious clash over multiculturalism has erupted after the Mayor of London accused Trevor Phillips, head of Britain’s race equality watchdog, of peddling falsehoods and failing victims of racism.
Source:- Observer, Sunday 26 November 2006, page 2

Study reveals UK’s lack of ethnic integration
Seventy per cent of Britons do not have close friendships with people from different ethnic backgrounds, an Ipsos MORI poll carried out to launch the Commission for Racial Equality’s race convention has revealed.
Source:- Observer, Sunday 26 November 2006, page 10

Christian JP sues over placing of children with gays
A Christian magistrate is taking legal action against the government, saying he was forced to resign from his role of placing children in care because of his religious belief that homosexuality is immoral. Andrew McClintock says he was told he must preside over cases that involved gay parents, despite his appeal that it would contravene his deeply held conviction that children should be brought up by heterosexual couples.
Source:- Sunday Telegraph, 26 November 2006, page 8

Smacking: children’s tsar moves for outright ban
The children’s tsar is warning that parents who smack their children are abusing their human rights and that the practice must be banned. Al Aynsley-Green, the children’s commissioner for England, is preparing a dossier of evidence demonstrating that existing laws fail to protect children from harm and that minors should have as much legal protection as adults. The report will be submitted to United Nations officials next autumn and is supported by the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish child tsars.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 26 November 2006, page 11

Bragg to lead attack on Mental Health Bill
Charities and campaigners are to lobby Parliament this week against a controversial government Bill containing amendments to the 1983 Mental Health Act.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 26 November 2006, page 20

Benefits shock for married couple
A newly married couple who went to a job centre for advice on benefits were told by a civil servant they would be better off if they split up.
Source:- Independent on Sunday, 26 November 2006, page 4

Teachers told: bring back adventure
This week the government will launch sweeping reforms aimed at saving and expanding the traditional school trip.
Source:- Observer, Sunday 26 November 2006, page 2

Rich claim benefits in ‘welfare nation’ as millions remain trapped in poverty
The benefits system is doing little to tackle poverty with some households with incomes above £65,000 entitled to claim, a right-wing think-tank has claimed.
The study by Reform claims many working Britons are stuck in a benefits trap with almost 800,000 people losing more than 70p of every £1 they receive in increased earnings due to lost benefits.
Source:- The Times, Monday 27 November 2006, page 4

Ten community justice courts get trial run
The government will announce the creation of ten UK-style community justice courts, designed to tackle troublespots around the country. The courts will house probation and support services.
Source:- The Guardian, Monday 27 November, page 10

Scottish news

Parents told they can’t help own child unless they get criminal record check
Parents of a boy who suffers from a form of autism are taking their council to court after they were banned from helping him on board his school bus.
Kenneth and Catherine Palmer, from Glasgow, were told parents would not be allowed to fasten their children’s seatbelts on the school bus because they didn’t have clearance from Disclosure Scotland, the body set up to reveal criminal history information to employers and councils.
The couple refused to comply with the ban, and contacted both their local MSP and the Scottish executive to protest.
Source:- The Scotsman, Saturday 25 November 2006

Acceptable behaviour contracts for parents
Parents could be targeted with antisocial behaviour contracts if they fail to act on their children’s bad behaviour at school.
Hugh Henry, the new education minister, is taking a tougher line on school discipline which will require parents to take responsibility for children’s behaviour, as part of a focus on classroom indiscipline similar to the attack on antisocial behaviour.
Just as parents can be required by law to take responsibility for children’s behaviour on the streets, he wants parents to be held accountable for problems in schools.
Source:- The Herald, Monday 27 November 2006

Welsh news

Paediatrician answers charges of acting inappropriately
A leading paediatrician began giving his evidence to a General Medical Council hearing yesterday. Professor David Southall is facing a number of allegations including that he acted in a way which was inappropriate and added to the distress of a bereaved person. One mother involved in the case , who is from Gowerton in Swansea, had earlier accused Southall of treating her child as a “nothing more than a lab rat”.
Source:- icWales, Saturday 25 November 2006

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