Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Article excerpt

* Prime Minister Gordon Brown has asked Conservative MPs John Bercow and Patrick Mercer and Liberal Democrat MP Matthew Taylor to provide policy advice to the government. In a speech to voluntary organisations on September 3, Brown vaunted consensus politics and revealed that Mercer - who resigned as Tory spokesman for homeland security earlier this year - would assist security minister Lord West and Bercow would head a review of services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs. Taylor is to advise on planning in rural communities.

* The new head of the Criminal Bar Association has called for a review of the way young people are treated in the criminal justice system. Sally O'Neill said on September 3: 'At a time of heightened public concern over youth crime, we need to look again at the way in which the system treats witnesses, victims and defendants, an increasing number of whom are not even teenagers.' Crown courts were inappropriate for trying young people, she added.

* A survey by the charity Help the Aged revealed that two-thirds of people over 60 believe that the government is not doing enough to combat ageism. The survey, of 1,321 adults, showed that a majority wanted a ban on age discrimination. Kate Jopling, head of public affairs at the charity, said: 'It's high time the government stopped dragging its heels and took an active role in fighting age discrimination. We live in a society where racism and sexism are not tolerated, yet age prejudice is tolerated and even accepted in goods, facilities and services.'

* Edinburgh City Council has pulled back from plans to close more than 20 schools after a campaign by parents. Up to 13 primary schools, three secondary schools and six nurseries were threatened with closure. Now the Scottish National Party - which runs the council in coalition with Liberal Democrats - wants to reconsider. …

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