Public sector targets to be scrapped

Year-old body found

A woman with a history of mental illness lay dead in her bed for almost a year before she was discovered, an inquest has been told. Sandra Drummond, 44, lived in Hulme, Manchester. Verdict: open.

Source:-The Times, Wednesday 18 July 2007, page 4
Unhappy wards

Morale among nurses is at its lowest point for ten years, a survey by the Royal College of Nursing has found.

Source:-The Times, Wednesday 18 July 2007, page 
Criminals avoid court

Fewer than half of the criminal brought to justice by prosecuting authorities in England and Wales now go to court, the Crown Prosecution Service revealed. Instead, offences are dealt with by fines or cautions.

Source:-The Times, Wednesday 18 July 2007, page 4
Race riot convictions

Five men and a boy aged 15 were found guilty of criminal charges in connection with race riots in the Lozells area of Birmingham in 2005.

Source:-The Times, Wednesday 18 July 2007, page 11
Wanted by police, Polish speakers to answer 999 calls

A police force is advertising for Polish speakers to answer 999 calls in an effort to cope with the influx of migrants who cannot speak English.

Source:-The Daily Mail, Wednesday 18 July 2007, page 21
Schools urged to tap into the talents of grandparents

Grandparents should be targeted to help out in schools because many parents are too busy working, Ofsted argues today.

Source:-The Daily Mail, Wednesday 18 July 2007, page 24
Public sector targets to be scrapped

The government is to slash the number of high-level public service agreement targets from 110 to 30 for 2008-11, chief secretary to the Treasury Andy Burnham has pledged.

The move is part of drive to give public bodies and professionals more flexibility to deliver and commission services in line with local circumstances, rather than national diktats.

In an interview with Society Guardian, Burnham said this would mean public services in different parts of the country will look increasingly different.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 18 July 2007 page 1

Government advice to parents: make sure your child plays conkers

The government will produce proposals to encourage schools and parents to become less risk averse in allowing children to be adventurous and playful.

A minority of schools have banned conkers and snowball throwing amid concerns that injuries could expose them to legal action, while government figures show that nearly two-thirds of parents are worried about allowing their children to play outside.

Source:- The Guardian Wednesday 18 July 2007 page 3

Constructive criticism

The government should ensure all new homes are “age-proofed” to ensure that older people are enabled to live at home rather than in residential care, a Help the Aged policy adviser has said.

Joe Oldman also called for a national network of accredited “handy person” schemes to deal with repairs and home security for older people.

He made the comments in the context of the government’s pledge to increase home building.

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 18 July 2007 page 4

Choose or lose out

Charities will need to become more efficient if they are to successfully tender for government contracts, Shelter’s chief executive, Adam Sampson, has warned.

But he said this will not be easy, citing the difficulties Shelter has faced in extending staff hours, restructuring its grading system and cutting management and administration.

Source:- Society Guardian Wednesday 18 July 2007 page 7

Scottish news

Drunkenness is no excuse, says MacAskill

New justice minister Kenny MacAskill has announced a radical new attack on Scotland’s “bevvy culture”.

In front of an international conference, MacAskill unveiled a series of initiatives to tackle alcohol abuse, including a change in the law which would ensure defendants could not use drunkenness as mitigation in court cases.

And he told his audience they should learn from his own past indiscretion – in 1999 he was arrested at Wembley before an England v Scotland football match on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.

Source: The Scotsman, Wednesday 18 July

Welsh news

Christian father and son were paedophiles, court hears

A devout Christian father and son were accused of abusing children over an eight year period at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday.

It is alleged that Keith Gasson, 67, abused two girls and his son Andrew, 38, abused a boy and a girl.

The pair attend church three times every Sunday and pray twice a day the court heard.

Source:- Western Mail, Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Number of Welsh on incapacity is falling

The number of people in Wales on incapacity benefit is falling a work and pensions minister said yesterday.

But Caroline Flint, speaking in front of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, also said that the number was still 50 per cent higher than in the rest of the UK.

Source:- Western Mail, Wednesday, 18 July 2007

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