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News round-up 2/8: Zero hour contracts 'underestimated'

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Government pays £50m to end private deal | Shropshire slammed for £360k cost cutting measure

Zero hours

Trade unions and think-tanks have warned that the Office for National Statistics is still underestimating the number of people employed on zero hour contracts even after it revised figures from 200,000 to 250,000. The Independent said ministers had already conceded there were 300,000 people on zero hours contracts in social work alone



A private health company has been paid £50m by the government as part of a deal to terminate its contract following concerns over clinical quality, the Financial Times


Council spending

Shropshire CC has been criticised for spending £360,000 on iPads, the Daily Telegraph reports. It says that, although the council claimed the iPads saved it £20,000 per year on stationery and printing, “residents and campaigners said they were dismayed by the cost”.


Pelka case

Coventry North West MP Geoffrey Robinson (Lab) has called on Coventry City Council’s director of children’s services to stand down following the conviction of four-year-old Daniel Pelka’s mother and mother’s partner for murder.

The Independent reports that Colin Green is due to retire in September but Mr Robinson said he was “walking away with all the rights and entitlements of a normal retirement when in fact he takes with him the indelible stain of Daniel’s cruel death which his department had failed to prevent”.


Foster care payments

Councils have been urged to check that they are paying foster carers the going rate, after an investigation found Liverpool had been short-changing carers over many years, according to The Times (£). The Local Government Ombudsman discovered the error when it followed up a complaint from a woman who was caring full-time for her nephew. The child was in her care after domestic violence that let his mother in hospital and father in police custody.



The Daily Telegraph reports that dozens of NHS trusts are “flouting government guidelines” by letting personal injury lawyers advertise in hospital wards.

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