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5PM DEADLINE FOR COUNCILS TO FIND 28 'MISSING' CARE WORKERS

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Councils and health authorities are expected to report by 5pm today on whether they have employed any of the 28 'mi...
Councils and health authorities are expected to report by 5pm today on whether they have employed any of the 28 'missing' people named in Ronald Waterhouse's report into child abuse in north Wales care homes, reports The Guardian (p11).

But some authorities say they did not receive until yesterday the list of people who are proven or suspected abusers, or who are deemed unsuitable for work with children.

There was also puzzlement and some anger that nothing had been done before Tuesday, when the inquiry report was published, even though the inquiry had stopped taking evidence in 1998.

But a department of health spokeswoman said it had not been possible to circulate the list before Tuesday because it was only publication of the report which had given privilege to publish the names.

A number of newspapers, including The Independent, The Sun and The Daily Telegraph, publish the names of the majority of those cited in the report.

Meanwhile, The Financial Times (p8) reports that local authorities in Wales are to get an extra£2m for child services, and an independent children's commissioner in response to the Waterhouse report.

Jane Hutt, the Welsh assembly's health and social services secretary, made the announcement as the government came under pressure for a substantial increase in funding for children's social services in England and Wales above the£400m already allocated for 1999-2002.

But Jo Williams, president of the Association of Directors of Social Services, said: 'Despite what the government is claiming today there is no new money coming in. What we want to see are sufficient funds so that the programme that has already been announced is extended beyond three years.'

The Daily Telegraph (p12) reports that the insurance company responsible for paying out compensation to more than 150 victims of the north Wales child abuse scandal is mounting a full defence against claims by 27 former residents abused as children at homes in Gwynedd.

Zurich Municipal, which as Municipal Mutual insured the former Clwyd and Gwynedd councils, has said it is broadly in agreement with the tribunal's recommendations.

But Billhar Uppal, who is lead solicitor for all the claims made by the victims, said the defence mounted by Zurich for 27 of his clients contained no admissions either of liability or a duty of care.

He said: 'Zurich Municipal say that 75% of claims have either been settled or there are offers in. They are right in so far as it related to Clwyd. But in relation to Gwynedd there are no offers for my 27 clients. There is no acceptance by them, they are mounting a full defence.'

Zurich said yesterday that there was no difference in the way the Clwyd and Gwynedd cases were treated. A spokesman said: '154 claims have been made, of which 75% have either been settled or have had what we call offers made. Where we have made an offer we are waiting for them to accept.'

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