Homelessness in spotlight. The week that was. August 14 to August 21, 1991

Archbishop of Canterbury shares a joke with released hostage Terry Waite when he returns to RAF Lyneham November 22, 1991 after being held for more than four years in captivity in Beirut. PA.
Archbishop of Canterbury shares a joke with released hostage Terry Waite when he returns to RAF Lyneham November 22, 1991 after being held for more than four years in captivity in Beirut. PA.
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the Government stepped up efforts to dissuade thousands of homeless teens from heading to London from the regions with the announcement of £3m worth of grants for support schemes during this week of 1991.

Health Minister Virginia Bottomley listed aid for projects in Kirklees, Bradford and 12 other areas of England, with the budget shared between them.

In Kirklees, the Catholic Housing Aid Society had won support for a scheme to provide move-on accommodation to act as a half-way house between hostels and independence. Bradford’s 1 in 4 project was promised funding for three workers to help young women who had suffered sexual abuse to find accommodation, counselling and other help.

The whine of the dentist’s drill could soon be virtually unknown as people learned to practise DIY dentistry, according to a new report. Six dental experts, including Professor Martin Curzon of Leeds University, predicted that fillings would be almost unheard of within the space of a single generation, as new technology picked up decay before it was visible and special sealants were used to protect teeth from bacteria.

All that would be left for dentists to do would be to repair breakages and teach people how to brush their teeth.

One innovation, pellets attached to teeth to release regular amounts of protective fluoride, were about to be tested on 200 children in Beeston, Leeds.

As released British hostage and journalist John McCarthy toasted his many supporters and began to adjust to normal life, fears were growing that diplomats could face a “hard slog” before remaining UK hostages in Lebanon Terry Waite and Jackie Mann were freed.

United Nations Secretary General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar appeared to dash hopes that there would be another release of hostages within days.

Crucial to any agreement was an Israeli commitment to free Arab prisoners it was holding. But Israel first wanted reliable information about the fate of seven citizens missing in the region.

Mr Mann and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s special envoy Mr Waite were released in the autumn of that year.

In foreign news, The Yorkshire Post reported that the threat of civil war was hanging over the Soviet Union in the wake of a coup which had ousted President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Boris Yeltsin, President of the Russian Federation – the largest of the 15 republics making up the USSR – was preaching open defiance of the eight-man Emergency States Committee currently running the country.

He warned of a reign of terror which would engulf the Soviet Union if the overthrow of Mr Gorbachev was allowed to succeed.

The Prince of Wales was at the centre of a fresh row with architects, over the design of a prestigious new museum.

Buckingham Palace confirmed that Prince Charles was deeply unhappy about moves to find an architect for the new Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, with a panel of experts but no lay members in charge of the process.

And birds in Britain had had their worst breeding season in nearly 30 years, with up to eight million resident birds wiped out.

Bad weather early in the year combined with continuing problems of loss of habitat, draining of wetlands and abstraction of water from rivers were to blame. Populations of blue and great tits, robins, wrens, song thrushes, chaffinches and sparrow were all down by a quarter nationally compared to the previous year.