Balls takes charge of new ministry for children

By Mithran Samuel, Maria Ahmed, derren Hayes and Clare Jerrom

Balls takes charge of new ministry for children

Gordon Brown has created a new ministry for children in his first cabinet reshuffle, under close confidant Ed Balls, and covering the whole range of children’s policy.

The new Department for Children, Schools and Families, will assume responsibility for schools, 14-19 education and children’s social care from the now defunct Department for Education and Skills, the Respect agenda from the Home Office and assume joint responsibility for youth justice with the Ministry of Justice, and child health with the Department of Health.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 29 June 2007 page 4

NHS crisis will be Johnson’s first task

New health secretary Alan Johnson’s first task may be to deal with an industrial relations crisis hitting the NHS due to the low pay deals offered staff this year.

However, his appointment was welcomed by public sector union Unison.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 29 June 2007 page 5

Obesity linked to Alzheimer’s as epidemic looms

Overweight people are substantially more at risk of dementia, it was revealed yesterday, at the launch of a campaign to encourage people to embrace healthier lifestyles to stave off the condition.

The Alzheimer’s Society, which is behind the campaign, said given a predicted hike in the numbers of people with Alzheimer’s over the next 20 years, it was vital to tackle risk factors such as obesity.

Source:- The Guardian Friday 29 June 2007 page 16

Love that can be lethal: Muslim couples in fear of ‘honour’ killing

Police are investigating more than 120 deaths they suspect of being ‘honour killings’ and estimate 12 women die each year by families on the pretext of dishonour.

The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, set up in 2002 in east London to combat the problem, claims it has saved 50 women’s lives by helping people relocate.

Source:- The Independent Friday 29 June 2007 page 18

Whitehall blamed for death of youth in jail

Failures in the Youth Justice Board and the privately-fun Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre were behind the death of Gareth Myatt in April 2004, an inquest jury said yesterday.

Giving a verdict of accidental death, the jury nevertheless criticised the YJB and the STC over the use of a now-banned restraint on Gareth by officers which led to his death.

Source:- The Independent Friday 29 June 2007 page 24

Don’t ignore children, urges judge

A senior family judge has urged his fellow judges to stop children from being sidelined in court proceedings so that they failed to understand what was going on. Lord Justice Wilson, who sits in the Court of Appeal, said that the courts system was “largely oblivious to the damaging bewilderment of children caught up in family proceedings.”

Source:- The Times, Friday 29 June 2007, page 35

Scottish news

Six care homes saved from sell-off

A campaign group for elderly people has welcomed the “common sense” decision to scrap plans to sell off six care homes to the private sector.

Highland Council confirmed the U-turn and will now spend £21 million to build and run the homes itself.

Sheila Mackay, of the Highland Senior Citizens’ Network, which campaigned for the retention of the homes, said: “The council has come to the right decision and it is a victory for common sense.

Source:- The Scotsman, Friday 29 June

Cop’s heroin call rubbished

Calls to give addicts heroin on the NHS have been dismissed by the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency boss Graham Pearson.

Tayside Chief Constable John Vine and Nationalist MSP Bill Wilson this week suggested the class A drug should be made available on prescription to cut crime.

But Pearson said fewer than 100 of Scotland’s estimated 55,000 drug abusers would benefit from such a move.

Source:- The Record, Friday 29 June  

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