The cabinet has agreed a draft programme of legislation including six Bills to tackle problems ranging from antisocial behaviour to global terrorism. The list of Bills, disclosed to The Independent(p2), will be unveiled in the Queen's Speech in November. A Safer Neighbourhoods Bill would step up the government's crackdown on antisocial behaviour, extending the range of offences for which on-the-spot fines of up to£80 could be imposed. Councils would get new powers to deal with graffiti, flyposting and minor vandalism. A Protection of Children Bill would implement recommendations from the inquiry into the Soham murders by Sir Michael Bichard, who called for a register and possible identity card system for people working with children. Other legislation would set up a national identity cards scheme, scrap the Strategic Rail Authority, and create pilot schemes for school transport to reduce road congestion. The prime minister has scrapped plans for further public service legislation in an attempt to buy peace with his MPs, according to the paper.
Support services group Jarvis will outline its long-term strategy for survival today, as well as report its delayed 2003-04 results, reports the Financial Times(p21). The fate of the company, active in accommodation services and highway maintenance, is seen as a test of the robustness of the private finance initiative.
COMMONS COMMITTEE TO ATTACK HOME SECRETARY'S IDENTITY CARD PLAN
David Blunkett's plan for compulsory identity cards will be condemned by MPs tomorrow as improperly costed, poorly thought out, secretive and 'lacking in clarity both over the scheme's scope and practical operation'. In the report, due to be published tomorrow but seen by The Guardian(p1), the MPs on the home affairs select committee stress that they do not oppose ID cards in principle, but they warn that ministers are already planning to use the ID card scheme as a cover to introduce a national fingerprint system within five years, and predict that identities may soon be checkable on the national register from CCTV pictures.
COMMONS COMMITTEE DEMANDS THAT GOVERNMENT CLAMPS DOWN ON FLYPOSTING
Major companies are prepared to pay for large-scale flyposting campaigns because it is cheaper to pay the fine than advertise legally, a committee of MPs said yesterday, demanding that the government cracks down on the practice. The environment audit committee said companies such as condom manufacturer Mates Healthcare saw 'illegality as a way of boosting sales as a result of accruing street credibility through what is effectively promotional crime,' reports The Guardian(p7).
ANOTHER FINE MESS(LGC)