Inquiry into hanged girl, 8
A thorough investigation will be held into how an eight-year-old girl on the books of social services came to be found hanged in her bedroom, Nottinghamshire County Council said yesterday.
Charlotte Moody, who had severe learning difficulties, was found hanged by her parents at their home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, on Saturday morning.
Ministers retreat on child database
Moves to vet every adult who works with children are set to be watered down after the Government ordered a last-minute review of the controversial anti-paedophile scheme.
Ed Balls, the Children’s Secretary, acted amid fury that the criminal record checks would affect parents who give lifts to children on behalf of sports teams or voluntary organisations such as the Scouts. The move comes after The Independent revealed that prominent children’s authors, including Philip Pullman and Anthony Horowitz, have threatened to stop visiting schools rather than subject themselves to the “insulting” requirement.
Tories target state pension in battle to balance books
Plans to raise the basic state pension are expected to be delayed by an incoming Conservative government as it seeks to reduce the huge deficit in the public finances.
While Labour yesterday reaffirmed its intention to restore the link between state old age pension and earnings in 2012, Tory sources told the Independent that the party could postpone the start of the bigger annual rises until 2015. But they promised that the move would still be implemented before the general election-after-next.
Foster mother ‘was not told of risk to Down’s syndrome children’
Bernice Taylor and her husband Terry have fostered for 45 years, as well as bringing up five children — both natural and adopted — in their Nottinghamshire home. Now that the couple are in their sixties, they offer respite care only, helping families with special needs children to have a break.
They looked after 12-year-old Harry (not his real name) for a couple of weekends one springtime to give his foster family some time off. When his placement broke down, social services asked if they would consider caring for him from July until a new placement could be found for the start of the autumn school term.
Details on foster children kept from children, says report by Fostering Network
Thousands of foster carers are welcoming children into their homes without being given the full facts about the children’s past, including whether they were victims of abuse.
More than half of all foster carers in Britain (51 per cent) say that in the past three years they have been given inadequate information about a child in their care, which has put themselves, their own children and even the foster child at risk.
We must curb Scotland’s drink problem, says BMA boss
Alcohol now pervades everyday life and has become the hidden problem of middle-class, leafy suburbs, according to the new leader of Scotland’s doctors.
Brian Keighley, the new chairman of the British Medical Association in Scotland, said yesterday that issues with alcohol affected hard-working, respectable citizens who were drinking at home just as much as it did those receiving ASBOs on Friday night.
Vetting scheme for adults under review
The government is to look again at the detailed operation of its controversial scheme to vet the 11 million adults who are in regular contact with other people’s children in the face of a public outcry that it could jeopardise “perfectly safe and normal activities”.
The children’s secretary, Ed Balls, tonight announced that he had asked the head of the new Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), which will be operating the vetting scheme, to check that the government has “drawn the line in the right place on this issue”.
Gordon Brown to TUC: spending cuts are necessary
Gordon Brown will today seek to brush aside poll findings questioning the quality of his leadership with a major speech to the TUC in which he will for the first time acknowledge the need for “cuts” in public services.
The prime minister will say he will have to reduce spending in some areas to protect frontline staff.
Plan to extend UK paternity leave
Employers face an “administrative nightmare” under plans to be announced on Tuesday to give fathers the right to up to three months’ paid paternity leave, business representatives have warned.
The new right would allow mothers, who go back to work after six months, to transfer their unused six months of maternity leave to their partner.
Detectives investigating nursery children’s broken bones make sex assault arrest
Detectives investigating the alleged abuse of children at a nursery have made an arrest over the alleged sexual assault of a child, police said today.
Two people had already been arrested by officers probing ‘unexplained fractures’ at The Rocking Horse Nursery in Plumtree, Nottinghamshire.
Cops quiz ‘hell boys’ copycats
THREE young brothers and a pal accused of a sex attack on primary schoolboys are feared to have been copying the sadistic “Hell Boys”.
Cops are probing claims they threatened to kill three ten-year-olds and mutilate their genitals unless they obeyed sick demands.