News round up: School protection register is flawed

School protection register is flawed

The man whose inquiry led to new vetting procedures for adults working with children today calls on the Government to rethink parts of its controversial anti-paedophile register.

Sir Michael Bichard, who led the inquiry into child protection following the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in 2002, said some people would be caught up in the Vetting and Barring Scheme unnecessarily.
Read more on this story in The Independent

Harman’s intervention leaves new rape laws floundering

Civil servants have been told to work through the summer to resolve a damaging Whitehall split over how to bring more rapists to justice.

The deputy Labour leader, Harriet Harman, cancelled a planned announcement of a review of how police and the courts treat rape victims because she did not think the review was sufficiently comprehensive. Her intervention – less than 48 hours after Downing Street had signalled that an initiative on rape conviction rates was to be announced yesterday – provoked accusations that she was “grandstanding” to try to win plaudits among Labour activists.

Read more on this story in The Independent

Review into children on talent shows

The government will tomorrow launch a review into whether children on TV talent shows need better protection following the breakdown on live TV of 10-year-old semi-finalist Hollie Steel during Britain’s Got Talent.

The review is not focused solely on talent shows, and will also look at the modelling, stage and film industries. Children’s entertainment legislation has not been fully reviewed since 1968.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Fears of increasingly ageing UK population falls as birthrate rises

Fears that we are heading towards a predominantly elderly population that will be unable to support itself may have been overstated, as a new study shows that in the most advanced countries birthrates begin to rise again.

The United States, Norway and the Netherlands were the most striking examples of the trend. But the UK also showed an increase in fertility of 6.5 per cent between 1975 and 2005, coinciding with improvements in education, income levels and lifespan.
Read more on this story in The Times

Ban sales of poorly insulated homes, says Energy Saving Trust

Owners of poorly insulated homes should not be allowed to sell or rent them until they have invested in energy efficiency measures, the Government’s advisory body on domestic energy use says.

The Energy Saving Trust said that the 5.5 million homes in the lowest two bands for energy performance — more than a fifth of all homes — should also be subject to higher council tax bills and additional stamp duty.
Read more on this story in The Times

The bus pass means test: Millions of middle-class pensioners may lose right to free travel

Millions of middle-class pensioners face being stripped of their free bus passes.
A report by town hall chiefs yesterday said too many people who own cars or can afford tickets are taking advantage of free travel.
It said spending £1billion a year of taxpayers’ money on them was a waste and free bus passes should be only for the poor. It called for ‘targeting’ – or means-testing – to select those who deserve the privilege.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail


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