Britain’s binge drinkers begin to sober up

By Maria Ahmed, Mithran Samuel, Derren Hayes and Amy Taylor

Earnings link to pensions to be restored no later than 2015
The Pensions Bill, published today, will promise that the restoration of the link between the state pension and earnings will happen no later than 2015.
There had been fears that the policy, which the government hopes to implement by 2012, would be significantly delayed.
Source:- Financial Times Wednesday 29 November 2006 page 4

Falconer defies solicitors’ strike
The government has agreed to reconsult on legal aid fee levels for family lawyers though will press ahead with controversial plans to replace hourly rates by fixed fees.
Constitutional affairs secretary Lord Falconer said he would proceed with the reforms, despite significant opposition from solicitors who say it will drive many firms out of business.
Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 29 November 2006 page 9

Britain’s binge drinkers begin to sober up
The proportion of people drinking over recommended levels has fallen, Office for National Statistics figures show.
While 39 per cent of men drank over four units per day and 24 per cent of women over three units per day in 2004, in 2005 these had dropped to 35 per cent and 22 per cent.
Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 29 November 2006 page 10

History revision
How reliable are allegations of child abuse 30 years ago? Fay Wertheimer on why her years working in care homes make her question today’s name-shame-culture
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 29 November 2006, page 1-2
Crushed hopes
A new report shows the government’s inadequate response to the problem of 1.6 million British youngsters living in cramped or badly maintained homes, with devastating effects.
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 29 November 2006, page 3
Legacy builder
The award-winning social entrepreneur on how experiencing racism as an immigrant in the 1960s influenced her vision to create a community centre that has drawn comparisons with the Eden Project
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 29 November 2006, page 5
Identity crisis
According to some activists, the disability movement is focusing on all the wrong issues and has lost its way. So where next?
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 29 November 2006, page 6
Pudsey’s worst nightmare
A self-appointed watchdog has questioned some British charities’ use of public donations. But on what basis?
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 29 November 2006, page 7
An amazing journey
An award-winning training programme helps people to swap the dole queue for a career in social care
Source:- Society Guardian, Wednesday 29 November 2006, page 7

Scottish news

End in sight for free care waiting lists
Scotland’s Public Services Ombudsman Professor Alice Brown has criticised Argyll & Bute Council for refusing to pay the care home costs of a 90-year-old man for four months earlier this year.
The man – identified only as Mr A – in Professor Brown’s judgment, was moved into a home in February, but the council did not pay his costs until June, as it claimed it had not been given enough funds by the Scottish executive.
However, Prof Brown upheld the man’s complaint against the council, and said it should not have operated a waiting list for care payments. She also recommended Argyll & Bute repay Mr A’s costs for the four months it skipped.
Source: The Herald, Wednesday 29 November 
MSPs urge access to jobs and courses for disabled
A raft of measures to help disabled people play a full part in society have been suggested by MSPs.
At a time when almost half of disabled households earn less than £10,000 a year, Holyrood’s Equal Opportunities Committee is demanding the disabled be given mainstream access to educational choices and the jobs market to capitalise on the “disabled pound”.
From improved assistance to find work and better physical access to buildings and transport, to an end to “pretend” courses which turned colleges into virtual day centres for the disabled, the committee claimed that changing attitudes was the key to helping a fifth of Scots play their full part in society.
Source: The Herald, Wednesday 29 November  

Welsh news

Call for patient contracts in the NHS
A contract setting out the rights and responsibilities for NHS patients in Wales should be brought in by a future Assembly Government, a think tank said today.
The Wales-based Bevan Foundation, which makes the comments in a new report entitled Setting the Agenda: Priorities for Public Policy in Wales, also said that patient rights were accompanied by responsibilities and the assembly should consider imposing sanctions on people who did not meet them.
Source:- Western Mail, Wednesday 29 November 2006

Plea to put child poverty first
Two thirds of people in Wales think tackling child poverty should be a high priority, according to a new survey from charity Save the Children.
Keith Towler, the charity’s programme director in Wales, said the UK Government needed to listen to the public if it wanted to meet its target of eradicating child poverty in the UK by 2020.
Source:- Western Mail, Wednesday 29 November 2006

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