Jackie Long on Social Affairs

Our social affairs editor looks at the issues affecting modern Britain in an era of spending cuts and high unemployment.

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April 10, 2014 No Comments

Suicide of sexual abuse victim was preventable

Her death “could and should” have been prevented. That was the damning verdict of a serious case review into the suicide of Frances Andrade.

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The violinist killed herself days after testifying against the former music director Michael Brewer who was jailed for six  years last year for sexually assaulting the musician as a teenager.

The review says mental health authorities failed to realise how vulnerable Frances Andrade was – despite her numerous suicide attempts in the build-up to the trial.

It urged mental health services to be more alert to the fall-out from sexual exploitation and called for criminal justice professionals to improve the support offered to sex abuse survivors, and recognise their “vulnerability” when facing their abusers in court.

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April 4, 2014 No Comments

The unexpected costs of the ‘welfare revolution’

If the government’s “welfare revolution” is to work , then it has to work in places like Torfaen, a south Wales community where direct payments are being trialled.

April 1, 2014 4 Comments

Families hit hard by scrapping of council tax benefits

If you’re one of the 2.34 million low-income families who used to get council tax benefit, you’ll be paying on average £149 more in council tax this year than just over a year ago.

March 27, 2014 5 Comments

Now Atos is judged unfit for fit-to-work tests, what next?

Atos is to pull out of a contract to carry out fit-to-work tests early, and will pay a financial settlement as a result. But the company clearly feels it is not the only guilty party.

March 19, 2014 3 Comments

Budget brings storm clouds to Port Sunlight

Port Sunlight on the Wirral lives up to its status as a model village, with wide tree lined roads and pristine gardens. That’s despite, not because of, the economy, residents say.

February 27, 2014 3 Comments

Child poverty: rhetoric and reality

While ministers wring their hands about the official definition of poverty, low-paid workers are embarrassed and isolated.

February 26, 2014 1 Comment

Rubbish tips and mice: one mum’s story of the private rental sector

Aggressive landlords and the fear of eviction: a new report shows how the private sector is increasingly being used by councils to house the vulnerable.

February 10, 2014 2 Comments

‘We thought it was a flat for life. We can’t afford to move’

Councils are more likely to give discretionary housing payments to those without disabilities than those who are disabled. Jackie Long reports on how the ‘bedroom tax’ is affecting

February 5, 2014 3 Comments

Child abuse and the Catholic church: is the Vatican still resisting reform?

A UN Committee say the Catholic church has proved itself neither capable nor willing to properly root out abuse.

January 23, 2014 7 Comments

As leaders in Davos debate inequality, on Davos Drive people are living it

World leaders and the global elite may be debating poverty, hardship and inequality but here in Stoke people are living it, writes Jackie Long from Davos Drive in Staffordshire.

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