The home office has signalled that the public will not be given direct access to paedophile registers in spite of a press campaign for a so-called 'Sarah's law'. Paul Boateng, home office minister, said the disclosure of information about the whereabouts of child abusers was still best handled by police and probation officers, reports The Financial Times(p3).
LEYLANDII WILL BE CUT DOWN TO SIZE, SAYS HOME OFFICE
New curbs on the growth of leylandii, the towering garden hedge, are expected to be announced by the government this week, reports The Times(p1). The curbs will be announced along with the results of a nine-month consultation project on the issue by the department of the environment, transport and the regions.
Performance-related pay systems covering more than 700,000 civil servants are 'fundamentally flawed', according to the analysts, Industrial Relations Services. The Independent(p4) reports that, according to the IRS survey, only 18% of senior managers in the public sector thought they improved productivity and one-quarter said they enhanced commitment.
PLAN TO GIVE PAID LEAVE TO NEW PARENTS
Parents are to be given paid leave from the state of up to£150 a week to care for their newborn babies, says The Times(p1). The scheme, which is expected to be limited to the first two week's of a baby's life, would be included in Labour's election manifesto as the most eye-catching element in a package of 'familiy friendly' measures.
WARNING ON RURAL RAIL TICKET CHANGES
Tom Winsor, the rail regulator, yesterday moved swiftly to defend the the right of passengers to buy advance tickets from their local stations, following the announcement of plans by the Association of Train Operating Companies which threaten to force people in rural areas to buy tickets for future travel by telephone or internet. The Times(p11) reports that a statement from Mr Winsor, said he had no intention of approving anything which would be detrimental to the interests of passengers.
COURTS URGED TO ADOPT 'SENSIBLE' APPROACH IN DEALING WITH EXPECTED FLOOD OF HUMAN RIGHTS CLAIMS
Cherie Booth, a leading QC and wife of the prime minister, has written an article for The Daily Telegraph(p4) seeking to calm fears that the incorporation of the European convention on human rights into English law in October will 'open the floodgates' to legal challenges. She urges the courts to adopt a 'sensible approach' to discourage the expected spate of 'crackpot' claims.
PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION STILL ON THE LABOUR AGENDA
Labour campaigners for proportional representation to elect the house of commons believe they have kept alive the prospect of a referendum on the issue, reports The Financial Times(p2). A member of the government told the paper: 'A referendum would be held towards the end of second term or at the beginning of a third.'
By Lewis Williamson, assistant editor LGCnet.