Who should investigate murder — the police, or a private security company?

Article published: Friday, April 20th 2012

Senior police officers were quick to play down the implications of plans exposed in the press last March to outsource whole swathes of policing tasks to the private sector, yet despite the assurances major companies such as the security giant G4S are gaining disturbing new powers.

Millions spent on PFI “white elephants” as fire service staff face sack

Article published: Tuesday, April 17th 2012

Hundreds of local frontline fire service staff face the sack despite millions of pounds of public money used to bailout a national initiative undertaken by the previous government and denounced by Parliamentary watchdogs as “one of the worst cases of project failure” they have seen “in many years”.

Serco wins UKBA contract to house asylum seekers across the North West

Article published: Wednesday, April 11th 2012

A company which already detains and deports asylum seekers in the UK has been awarded a government contract worth £175m to provide and manage accommodation, as well as transport, for asylum seekers in Manchester and the North West over the next five years.

Electricians take on the world, and win

Article published: Friday, March 2nd 2012

At a time when pay and conditions for everyone in the UK bar CEOs appears to be on an inevitable downward trajectory, there was a significant cause for celebration last week.

Passing the buck on fuel poverty

Article published: Friday, February 10th 2012

Despite rising bills and cuts to winter aid, the UK has pledged to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016. But past government targets to protect vulnerable groups by 2010 have already been missed. And under the Coalition, new schemes are weakening protections and passing on responsibility for eradicating fuel poverty onto energy companies with little incentive to end the problem – and less interest. Sam Cordon reports.

Mental health worsens in Manchester since recession

Article published: Saturday, February 4th 2012

Suicide rates and prescriptions of anti-depressants in Manchester have risen since the onset of recession according to a new report presented to councillors responsible for monitoring health issues.

A child, a bleeding anus, interrogation by the UK Border Agency

Article published: Thursday, January 19th 2012

In 2010, the last year for which figures are available, just over 1,700 unaccompanied children claimed asylum in this country. A new report from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, released just this week, exposed a shadowy deal between Britain and France where for 15 years often sick or traumatised children were subjected to instant interrogation once they hit the UK border. Clare Sambrook explains.