Dave's News Extras 2005-6

18/12/06 Care needed in Benefits Reform
04/12/06 Tell us when
28/11/06 R U showing solidarity with Iraqi unions?
24/11/76 Companies urged to help Farepak Families
18/11/06 Action on Climate Change
16/11/06 Further Education Plans Welcomed
13/11/06 Road Safety delay condemned
10/11/06 Yobs should be "sorted out"
04/11/06 Commons to debate Gateshead Housing
03/11/06 New Job no Gag - Dave
01/11/06 Say "NO!" to phone mast
31/10/06 Not now for Iraq Inquiry
31/10/06 Government "pushed" to solve Nexus Crisis
25/10/06 Cameron's Crocodile Tears
14/10/06 Happy Birthday, MetroCentre
11/10/06 Dave joins Gibside Battle
11/10/06 New Office opening
11/10/06 Back and Busy
03/10/06 Dave on Drug Campaign
30/09/06 Muscular Dystrophy Campaign
28/09/06 Ulster Meeting
27/09/06 Brown's Speech on target for leadership
18/09/06 Iraq needs UN force
25/08/06 "Lame excuses" by some employers
24/08/06 Govt. should help people exercise
19/08/06 Dave backs Clara Vale Protest
16/08/06 Dave backs Football Fans
15/08/06 Afghanistan should be discussed at Recall
14/08/06 Dave calls for Recall of Parliament
19/07/06 Dave praises Channel Swimmer
13/07/06 Kids rap Blair
08/07/06 Welcome for Danish Furniture Store
07/07/06 Dave hosts Iraqi trade union leaders
28/06/06 Dave backs DMD funding
10/06/06 Jobs boost for Birtley
07/06/06 Local Soccer talent needed
07/06/06 Mesothelioma Meeting
06/06/06 Support for Sam
17/05/06 Mark the Pits
30/03/05 Integrated Education
23/03/06 More access to higher education
11/03/06 Labour should end Pensioner Means Testing
27/02/06 Backing for Iraqi Workers
25/02/06 MP backs union link
14/02/06 Colliery Surface Workers
13/02/06 Cautious backing for Police Merger
07/02/06 All "clinically agreed" drug treatments should be funded
01/02/06 Government has "let down" Tyne & Wear
31/01/06 Welcome for Education Report
20/01/06 Return the Gospels
12/01/06 Dave backs Warm Front
18/01/06 Backing for Bevin Boys
17/01/06 Books not Bombs
17/01/06 MP welcomes Motivators
17/01/06 Hall of Fame Call
01/12/05 Human Rights for the North
17/11/05 MP backs Hospice Kit
16/11/05 Disability and Fuel Fill-ups
02/11/05 Ten Years of Anti-Racist Activity
02/11/05 Birtley Community Partnership
02/11/05 Praise for Local Government Workers
19/10/05 Backing for NHS Managers
07/07/05 Call for Integrated Education
14/06/05 Cash for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Homepage | Current News


Care needed in Benefits Reform

Dave has responded to Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton's challenge to those who won't work.

He sounded a note of caution, warning that genuine cases might be affected.

Dave said,

"In any welfare system, you will always get some people who may abuse it, but my worry is that in trying to sort them out, you end up hurting people who genuinely need it. For anybody who's been out of work a long time, it's a different world to go back to than the one they left, so you have to look after people properly."

18 Dec 2006

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Tell us when!

Clogged Western By Pass
Clogged Western By Pass
(Photo: Freephoto)

Dave is asking Roads Minister Stephen Ladyman for an accurate timetable on when the A1 will be upgraded.

This follows a letter from Dr. Ladyman saying plans had been delayed so that it could be linked to the Transport Innovation Fund, in other words, road pricing.

The government had promised to announce its plans for the Western By Pass by now, but this further delay is a setback to plans for an early solution to the congestion problems on the road.

Plans are not expected to be put forward now for another year. Dave wants to know when, exactly.

4 Dec 2006

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R U showing solidarity with Iraqi unions?

Dave Anderson MP and Labour Friends of Iraq are supporting the TUC's appeal for people to pass on their used mobile phones to the Iraqi trade union movement as an act of 'second-hand solidarity'.

Unions representing workers in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan face incredible challenges in defending working people and rebuilding democracy. One of their requests for solidarity from British trade unionists is the provision of mobile phones - crucial for any union organiser these days, but especially in Iraq where travel can be dangerous and landlines aren't sufficiently reliable or widespread.

But mobile phones can be expensive to buy in Iraq (and UK phone systems don't work there yet), so buying new ones could eat up scarce union resources. Instead, the Iraqi trade union movement has identified a way of easily converting old European mobile phones for use in Iraq. So now the TUC Iraq Solidarity Committee has opened an appeal for used mobile phones.

Dave Anderson MP said:

'This is a simple practical way that everyone can help build the peace in Iraq. Rather than throwing your old mobile phone out, put it to good use rebuilding trade unionism in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan.'

Old mobile phones can be sent to Dave Anderson's office

St Cuthbert's Church Hall
Shibdon Road
NE21 5PT

28 Nov 2006

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Companies urged to help Farepak Families

Dave Anderson MP calls the top companies in the UK to donate towards the Family Fund's scheme to help those connected by the Farepak collapse.

Dave Anderson MP has donated a day's pay to the fund and said,

"Along with many parliamentary colleagues I have donated a day's wages and I call on the top 100 companies in Britain to donate a day's profits. I know of over 50 people in my constituency alone who have had their Christmas's ruined through no fault of there own We are looking for gestures of goodwill from any sources to help these people at this special time of the year, but feel that the top 100 companies could make a real impact on the situation"

He further advised that the deadline for payments to the Fund had been extended until next Wednesday.

"This gives us all a chance to help. We must address the underlying issues in Parliament, but, in the short term we need to concentrate on relieving the position as far as we can for these people who acted responsibly throughout."

Mr Anderson also urged local companies to help wherever possible.

It has been announced that the deadline to make donations to the Farepak fund has been extended to Wednesday 29th November. The website is www.farepakresponsefund.org.uk or call 0845 260 1096.

24 Nov 2006

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Action on Climate Change

Dave was one of 318 MPs who responded to a survey from 'Rough Guides' on climate change.

They had sent every MP a copy of Robert Henson's "Rough Guide to Climate Change" and posed three straightforward questions. MPs get sent many surveys, but half the House responded to this one, reflecting its importance.

Dave's answers to the questions were:

  1. How important a concern is climate change?
    Climate Change is the greatest challenge facing us all. We have no choice other than to wake up and address the problem, even if it may already be too late.
  2. What can Britain do to make a difference?
    We need to ignore all those who say that one country cannot make a difference. Look at incremental changes we can make for example delaying street lighting times, encourage all businesses and public bodies to turn down their heating by 1 degree C. Expand and resource sustainable energy developments. Re-invigorate UK coal industry using clean coal technology. Promote geothermal developments.
  3. What steps do you plan to take (or have you taken), in your constituency, and as an individual?
    I sent all households a ten point plan of simple steps to reduce Climate Change along side the Energy Saving Trust. I have agreed to Chair the Public Utilities Reform Group. I have supported positive EDM and supported the Governments overall programme.

Dave has received a letter of thanks from Mark Ellingham, Publisher, Rough Guides

18 Nov 2006

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Further Education Plans Welcomed

Dave has welcomed plans in the Queen's Speech for further education.

Dave, who is now Parliamentary Private Secretary to Bill Rammell in the Department for Education and Skills, knows from his own experience that education is the key.

Dave said,

"The Further Education proposals in the Queen's Speech are very exciting and will help thousands of people in the North-East, the sort of people I grew up with who haven't had the greatest chances in life."

Dave remembered how he lost his job as a miner and re-educated himself to work as a care worker, he said,

"I lost my job and thought that was it but education got me out there. This is such a positive, exciting move and it's necessary for all of us."

16 Nov 2006

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Road Safety delay condemned

Dave has condemned a delay in bringing new laws against careless drivers who kill.

The new law was to introduce a new offence of causing death by careless driving, but because of Home Office delays, the law, promised for January 2007, may not now reach the statute books for a year or more.

Dave said,

"This is ridiculous. The Home Office and Department of Transport have had months to get this right. This is crucial legislation."

There is already an offence of causing death by dangerous driving which carries severe penalties, but if the driving was simply careless rather than dangerous, the offender can currently only be prosecuted for careless driving which carries much lighter penalties.

The new law was intended to correct this anomaly to bring justice to bereaved families.

13 Nov 2006

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Yobs should be "sorted out"

Dave has hit out at yobs who attack firefighters doing their job.

As firefighters refuse to enter a South Tyneside estate, Dave is backing firefighters in his constituency.

On Bonfire Night (Sunday), firefighters were attacked in Birtley while tackling a blaze in Portmeads Road.

Dave said,

"It shouldn't get to the situation where firefighters have to be supported by police officers, but if they have to, the police should go in and sort out whoever is doing this."

Firefighters have been attacked dozens of times in recent months in Tyne and Wear, and four firefighters injured.

10 Nov 2006

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Commons to debate Gateshead Housing

The House of Commons will be debating the Gateshead Young Persons Housing Plan this week.

Dave has secured the Adjournment debate on Tuesday to debate the plan.

The Gateshead Housing Company is an 'Arms Length Management Organisation' set up to run Gateshead's 21,000 Council Houses.

As part of the drive to reach three star status, they were advised by the Audit Commission to "Do more work with young people."

The council was also under a remit to develop an overall Children & Young Persons Plan.

The Plan is the first of its kind. It is based on big consultation and involvement with young people via Gateshead Youth Assembly, people involved in further education and skills council. They have also involved the Black and Ethnic Minority Housing Forum and the Disabled Persons Forum.

They worked up the plan by identifying the problems that young people face, identifying key issues and clarifying what young people want.

The plan has now been adopted and key to its success will be the access available on-line at www.mypadgateshead.co.uk again led and developed closely with the young people.

Crucially the Housing Company does not just want to get young people into homes, they want them to consider carefully what it is that may be compelling them to leave home, and look at alternatives.

They are also keen to support the young people in understanding the reality of being responsible for a home.

Dave said,

"I welcome this positive approach to a very serious social issue. We should support the work being done and especially the constant involvement of young people."

"The plan has been based on an initial 3 year schedule, with annual reviews led by young people, with the intention of building in improvements and innovation to shape the next phase."

"I hope to convince the Minister responsible to come to Gateshead and meet with the professionals and meet with the professionals and the young people and see first hand the potential in this plan as it unfolds."

"I am led to believe that in the next few days, a young man of 24 will take up a place on the Board of the Housing Company as a direct result of this initiative. This is great news and shows the real meaning of putting people first."

4 Nov 2006

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New Job no Gag - Dave

Dave has said his new appointment on to the lower rungs of the government ladder will not stop him speaking out.

Dave has been appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department for Education and Skills, working as part of the education team, along side the Minister for Further Education & Higher Education Bill Rammell MP and Phil Hope MP.

Usually this means that MPs who are a PPS are less free to speak out on matters, but Dave has assured his constituents he will still speak out if he needs to.

"If I feel there is something I completely disagree with then I will say something."

Although there is no extra pay for this job, it is seen as a 'step up' for an MP and in Dave's case, newly elected in May 2005, early recognition of his talent.

3 Nov 2006

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Say "NO!" to phone mast

Dave has today placed the residents' petition against a phone mast planned for Crawcrook on his website.

The petition is to support local residents in their fight against Vodafone who are appealing against a council decision preventing theme erecting the mast on the Pentecostal Church, Kepier Chare.

Dave has asked Vodafone to withdraw their appeal and stop the distress and anguish they are causing local people by appealing against the decision. Local residents say they will not be worn down by Vodafone's repeated appeals, but will fight all the way.

1 Nov 2006

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Not now for Iraq Inquiry

Dave has said he will vote against a fresh inquiry into the Iraq war.

The government is being challenged in the Commons by the Tories and Lib Dems to set up an inquiry into the Iraq war.

But Dave, who has connections with trades unions in Iraq, says now is not the time.

"I shall be voting with the Government against an inquiry. It is not the right time for an inquiry while our boys are fighting and dying in Iraq. There will be plenty of time to think about that later."

31 Oct 2006

Dave explains his position in a letter to the press:

It is clear to see that Greg Stone is, like his Parliamentary colleagues, a member of the political opportunist party (The Journal Letters). He accuses me of lack of courage in not voting for an inquiry to the Iraqi War, without ever asking me why I voted the way I did.

Although I opposed going to war in Iraq, I voted against the political chicanery of the Nationalists, the Lib Dems and the Tories because I believe that any inquiry should only be held when the politicians and the military people responsible are able to fully focus on the inquiry.

I want nothing to distract them away from the job at hand and an immediate inquiry would do that.

And, much more importantly, I want an inquiry where some of the friends and comrades who I have worked with in Iraq for over three years can attend in safety and be able to return home. These are the people who, despite my view, saw the UK as liberators from decades of tyranny. They are the relatives of the 180,000 Kurds wiped out by Saddam.

They lived in some of the 4,500 villages that he had destroyed in an orgy of ethnic cleansing.

They are also the people asking me to convince our Government not to pull out our troops until the country is secure and they can move forward.

I believe that at the right time we should question those who took us to war and learn the lessons; we should also question those who, in the 1980s, sat on their hands and played power politics with Iraq and Iran while ordinary folk paid the price.

6 Nov 2006

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Government "pushed" to solve Nexus Crisis

Dave has said he is pushing the Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander on the issue of funding transport in Tyne and Wear.

The funding formula used for transport services by central government leaves Nexus without enough cash to cover its costs.

Last year Nexus dug into its reserves to fund the shortfall and cut some services.

Dave said,

"The Secretary of State recognises the anger and frustration felt by all concerned last year and he has agreed to work closely with us to try and find a solution that removes the problem for next year. I will be pushing him and Treasury colleagues to reach that outcome."

Nexus welcomed the MP's support and said they were still in talks with government about the budget.

31 Oct 2006

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Cameron's Crocodile Tears

Dave has accused David Cameron of shedding crocodile tears for the Tory destruction of the North-East's heavy industry.

In a letter to The Journal, published today, Dave remembers how the Tories left communities to rot after Thatcher wreaked havoc.

Dave's letter reads:

Dear Sir

I nearly choked on my Cornflakes when reading of David Cameron's 'excitement' when Nissan was established in the Wearside in the mid 1980's (Journal Saturday 21 October). His thoughts that "it was marvellous news for the North East" and just "how much it would mean to an area of high unemployment" made me realise that he is not a chameleon, he is a crocodile, shedding tears for a town and a region that was decimated by his Party in an orgy of ideological spite.

None of us who lived through the cuts and job losses of the Thatcher years will ever forgive them or their heirs. They destroyed the engineering base of the North, they dismantled the safest and most technologically advanced coal industry in the world and the left us with a steel industry that was a shadow of itself.

In the aftermath the villages and towns were left to rot, young people had no hope and no future and our country is facing the reality of being reliant on foreign energy supplies from some of the most unstable regimes in the world. So, Dave, don't put the Con back in Conservative, in the North your Party was rumbled years ago and we ain't forgetting now!

Dave Anderson MP
Blaydon Constituency

25 Oct 2006

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Happy Birthday, MetroCentre

The MetroCentre is twenty years old today.

Dave, in whose constituency it lies, has joined those offering "birthday wishes", but he also said the area needed a better road system to service it.

Dave said,

"I'm old enough to remember when it was a real scar on the landscape. Now it's something to be really proud of. It's a shame we don't have a better road network in the area to serve it.

"Personally, it's not a place I go to because I'm not a big shopper and I tend to shop and get things as I need them. But in terms of what it's done for the whole region and tourism it's been really positive."

The brainchild of Sir John Hall, the centre has been credited with helping the rejuvenation of Tyneside, but has also been criticised for drawing custom away from High Street Shops the North East.

14 Oct 2006

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Dave joins Gibside Battle

A View near Gibside
A View near Gibside

Dave has promised to fight open cast mining plans "tooth and nail".

Dave, a former miner, said the plan had been opposed by the council and rejected twice before.

Residents oppose the plan because of traffic and environmental damage. It is close the National Trust property at Gibside.

Dave said,

"The council opposed it on 10 very strong points. We will be fighting it tooth and nail."

The proposal will go to a public Inquiry, but not until well into next year.

11 Oct 2006

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New Office opening

St. Cuthbert's Church Hall, Shibdon Road, Blaydon
St. Cuthbert's Church Hall, Shibdon Road, Blaydon

New constituency offices for Blaydon MP, Dave Anderson, will be officially opened on Friday.

Former trade union leader and pensioners' champion, Rodney Bickerstaff, will be the principal guest at the event to mark the MP's move into a newly renovated part of St. Cuthbert's Church Hall, Shibdon Road, Blaydon.

Dave Anderson said,

"The opening of our new constituency office is an important step in providing the best possible service to the people and communities of Blaydon Constituency. I now employ three full-time staff to support my work on behalf of constituents."

Rodney Bickerstaff said,

"I am delighted to have been invited to open Dave's new offices. I have known and worked with him over many years. I greatly respect the work he does for people both inside and outside of Parliament."

11 Oct 2006

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Back and Busy

Dave has returned to Westminster after the recess spent working in Blaydon and is already busy.

As well as speaking in the Commons, he has co-sponsored a number of Commons Motions.

These concern apparent inequality of provision in adult education, at the expense of those with learning disabilities, black and ethnic minority communities, and women and older learners. (EDM).

Another cause taken up is a call for the extension of breast cancer screening to the over seventies. At present they have to ask for a test, but Dave is calling for them to be recalled automatically, although age is a major factor linked to breast cancer. (EDM)

Dave has also joined calls for school playing fields to be protected and for the criteria on the size required to be broadened. (EDM).

Dave has hit the ground running!

11 Oct 2006

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Dave on Drug Campaign

Dave is keeping up his campaign for mesothelioma sufferers.

He has met with the firm Ely Lilly who manufacture a drug called Alimta which can allow sufferers to live longer.

Mesothelioma is a cancer associated with asbestos, often appearing many years after exposure which can make the actual time and place of exposure hard to define.

Dave is campaigning to have Alimta recognised for NHS use by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence. He is patron of the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma research Fund.

Dave said,

"The dispute here seems to be about the cost of Alimta but NICE is not taking into account the costs of alternative treatments, in that they involve an overnight stay in hospital costing a minimum of £800.

"In any case, there is a moral argument for Alimta whatever the cost. These men and women are suffering devastating disease because they were illegally exposed to an element that has been outlawed for decades.

"Alimta is available to sufferers across Europe, North America and Australia. It has even allowed mesothelioma sufferers to return to work."

3 Oct 2006

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Raisng funds for Muscular Dystrophy
Raisng funds for Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular Dystrophy Campaign

Dave attended a coffee morning with Ryton School on the 30th September to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy.

This is part of his on going campaign to raise the profile of the issue of Muscular Dystrophy raise £5 million to find a cure. Teacher Danny Smith is also a big campaigner on the issue due to his son's illness.

Dave is the chair of the APPG on Muscular Dystrophy.

30 Sept 2006

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Ulster Meeting

Dave has met with Democratic Unionist Leader Ian Paisley in an effort to return devolved government to Northern Ireland.

Dave was there in his capacity as a member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

Afterwards Dave said,

"He didn't really give anything away. But the very fact people are talking has got to be positive. I remember five or six years ago taking a delegation from Unison and they refused to meet us, so we've moved on from there."

28 Sep 2006

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Brown's Speech on target for leadership

Dave said yesterday that Gordon Brown's speech to the Labour Conference in Manchester would help him in his bid to succeed Tony Blair.

Dave also said a new leader would need time to bring the party behind him before new elections. He said.

"This is not anti-Blair at all, it's about being positive for the party and going forward in the best way possible."

Dave also praised the Prime Minister's speech saying it was an amazingly strong performance of a kind that Gordon Brown would not make. Dave commented,

"But they are different people. Gordon Brown will make the country stronger, safer and more secure."

27 Sep 2006

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Iraq needs UN force

An Iraqi MP has said that Iraq needs a UN force.

Adnan Pachachi spoke to Dave as part of Dave's campaign to support Trades Unions in Iraq.

Dave said.

"Adnan painted a bleak picture of major problems facing Iraq, particularly the weakness of its security forces which have been massively infiltrated by insurgents and are not yet up to scratch.

"He said that more foreign military support was needed and suggested that Iraq needed a UN military force made up of Arab and European armies."

18 Sep 2006

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"Lame excuses" by some employers

Dave has hit out at employers who hide behind "lame excuses" for failing to pay workers the minimum wage.

HM Revenue and Customs, which enforces the national minimum wage, has published the top ten worst excuses for not paying the minimum wage.

These feeble reasons include: being disabled, over 65, foreign and being "not worth it".

Dave said,

"Most employers are doing the right thing, but some are hiding behind lame excuses to deny working people their legal due."

Dave was one who campaigned for a national minimum wage to combat exploitation by ruthless employers.

The top ten worst excuses were:

  1. He doesn't deserve it - he's a total waste of space
  2. But she only wanted £3 an hour
  3. I didn't think the workers were worth national minimum wage
  4. I didn't think it applied to small employers
  5. He's disabled
  6. They can't cope on their own and it's more than they would get in their own country
  7. She's on benefits - if you add those to her pay it totals the national minimum wage
  8. He's over 65, so the national minimum wage doesn't apply
  9. The workers can't speak English
  10. I only took him on as a favour

25 Aug 2006

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Govt. should help people exercise

Dave has said that the government can't encourage people to exercise, they need to want to do it..

He was responding to the recent statements about increasing obesity and the effect on health. The North East is one of the worst affected regions.

Dave said,

"I am a fat guy and I can say that people know the reality of what they are doing to themselves. People know they should be taking more exercise but don't.

"The Government cannot constantly tell people what to do as generally it won't make a difference. Government time and money would be better spent making it more convenient for people to exercise."

Obesity related disease costs the NHS £1bn a year and this is set to rise unless people change their attitudes and lifestyles.

Date 2006

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Dave backs Clara Vale Protest

Dave has given his support to residents in Clara Vale who are opposing a planned composting site near their homes.

Graphite Resources wants to site the plant, for composting biodegradable waste, on land at Stannersford Road, Crawcrook. Residents have concerns over health and the effect on the environment.

Dave said:

"The residents' fears are very real and the council has to look to take full account of these concerns in their decision."

He wants Gateshead Council to look again and shift the plant to an enlarged existing site instead of building a new one. The council rejected a similar plan three years ago.

19 Aug 2006

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Dave praises Channel Swimmer

Dave attended a Commons Reception for Little Britain star David Walliams, fresh from his solo swim across the English Channel to support the work of Cardiac Risk in the Young.

Dave and local MP Sharon Hodgson were among MPs who went to congratulate the start on his support for the group which works to help reduce the frequency of heart deaths among young people.

Dave and Sharon said,

"We were both deeply moved by the testimonies of the young people who had suffered cardiac problems very early on in their lives. One had a heart operation at the tender age of just three years old. The group is very lucky to have the support of David Walliams who can do much to help Little Britons everywhere."

19 Jul 2006

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Dave backs Football Fans

Dave has joined those who seek to have fans on football club boards.

Celtic fans were recently charged £40 to watch their team in a friendly, and although Magpie prices haven't reached that level local MPs have called for fan representation at board level.

16 Aug 2006

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Afghanistan should be discussed at Recall

Dave awaits a recall
Dave awaits a recall

Dave has said that if Parliament is recalled because of the Middle East Crisis, Afghanistan should be discussed by MPs as well.

His comments follow the death of L-Cpl Sean Tansey in Afghanistan recently.

Dave said,

"I'm not saying what we're doing in Afghanistan isn't just or right, and it's very sad that this lad has died.

"But I would think it remiss of MPs if we do get a recall of Parliament to just talk about one particular issue when it's quite clear there's a link with what is going on in the Middle East."

16 Aug 2006

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Dave calls for Recall of Parliament

Dave has urged the recall of Parliament to discuss the crisis in the Middle East.

He was one of the first MPs to sign a letter to the Deputy Prime Minister asking that Parliament be recalled to debate the crisis. Over 100 MPs have now signed.

Dave says that constituents have genuine concerns about the conflict, and these need to be voiced by their MPs.

Dave continued,

"Even with the ceasefire, we've still got a situation where the Israelis are 18 miles into Lebanon, and that's massively worrying. As long as they are there, it gives an excuse to other parties across the Middle East to do similar, and we are just well on the road to escalating issues. They can use language like `incursion', but it is an invasion as far as I'm concerned.

"I agreed straight away to sign up because I think it's clear that things are out of hand, it's clear the Israeli position has been disproportionate, and that's in no way excusing what Hezbollah did at the beginning." He said he has been inundated with calls, emails, and visits, from worried constituents.

"They are very concerned about the position that our Government has taken, which seems to be: let's see what George Bush says and follow along with it.

"I think we need to make sure the Government knows the feelings of the people on the ground, both our constituents and members of its own party.

"There's a reality that people feel we should have a genuine debate about it. That's in no way saying necessarily we won't agree ultimately with the Government's point of view, but we do want it to know the strength of feeling out here."

14 Aug 2006

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Kids rap Blair

Local children told the Prime Minister to do more for education at the G8 summit.

The children from St Joseph's RC Junior School, Birtley were on a visit to the House of Commons organised by Dave.

The children sang a rap they had composed for Mr Blair and gave him a poem, which Dave later quoted in the Commons.

Dave said,

"They were great. The Prime Minister seemed very impressed . They even told him if they had to give up things to get food and education for children in developing countries, they would do."

13 Jul 2006

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Welcome for Danish Furniture Store

Dave has welcomed Danish furniture chain Ilva to Gateshead.

The superstore, a rival to Swedish Ikea, is setting up 100 yards from Ikea on the site of the old Marks & Spencer Lifestore at Gateshead's MetroCentre.

Dave said,

"I'm very keen to see anybody come into my constituency to create jobs. I welcome Ilva wholeheartedly. I've been told that they mainly try to employ local people, which I think is great. This shows the success of the MetroCentre and the area as a whole."

Recruiting has started for the 350 jobs and the store is expected to open in the autumn.

8 Jul 2006

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Dave hosts Iraqi trade union leaders

Dave is hosting a visit by two Iraqi trade union leaders.

Moustaf Yousif al Saad of Oil and Gas Union Southern Oil Company Basra and Sardar M Muhammed, General Secretary of Kurdistan Workers Syndicate, Sulymania will attend the Durham Miners' Gala and visit Ryton Comprehensive School for a 6th form debate on democracy. They are also due to meet with local Trades union leaders in Newcastle.

7 Jul 2006

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Dave backs DMD funding

Dave has put down a Commons motion calling for more funding for Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy.

This disease affects young males who rarely live to adulthood. Dave's motion ; congratulates the Medical Research Council for its recent grant but says funds are still running out.

The full Early day Motion reads:

EDM 2460
Anderson, David
That this House congratulates the organisers of the Race Against Time campaign in their continuing fight to find a cure for Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic severe muscle wasting disease from which on average two young people die every week in the UK; congratulates the Medical Research Council for its recent grant of £600,000 which has extended the clinical trials; notes with concern that this and similar grants have fallen a long way short of the real costs of the trials and that it is probable that unless further funds are found vital research and development is likely to stop in September 2006; and calls on the Government to use some of the funding identified in the review of Government spending on health research as announced by the Chancellor in this year's budget to close this funding gap and provide the facility to allow further experimental research and clinical trials for a cure or treatment for Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy.

28 Jun 2006

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Jobs boost for Birtley

Dave has visited the Carcraft Car Supermarket in Birtley.

The 14 acre site is one of the largest such developments and has brought 200 jobs to Birtley.

Dave commented,

"In terms of the business it brings to the town it's brilliant and in terms of bringing people into Birtley it's excellent."

10 Jun 2006

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Local Soccer talent needed

Dave used a debate on junior football in Scotland to make a more general point.

Dave intervened in a Commons debate to urge Ministers to reduce the burdens on community football clubs so allow local talent to flourish instead of clubs buying in expensive foreign players.

In the debate, Dave said,

"We should be talking about tax breaks, not tax burdens. We should be looking for incentives, not disincentives, and we should be finding support, not putting obstacles in the way. I understand the reality that PAYE must be paid, but I urge it on the Minister that if there is any way of relieving the burden on these clubs, it can only be for the good of the community." (Full Speech)

Later Dave remarked,

"In 1974, I was playing local football, as were hundreds of thousands of other people, just as they are now. Football in the British Isles is suffering because of the demise of players coming through the junior ranks and because big money is bringing in players from abroad and not encouraging junior footballers to come through. That is a big mistake for us all."

7 Jun 2006

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Mesothelioma Meeting

Dave has met with the Prime Minister to urge better compensation for mesothelioma victims.

The asbestos related cancer appears many years later and a recent court case has made it more difficult for sufferers to get compensation.

Dave with other MPs want a change in the law to help sufferers get full compensation quickly.

7 Jun 2006

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Support for Sam

Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy is a disease which affects young males who rarely survive to be adults.

Dave is supporting a campaign by Danny Smith for more help for his son Sam who suffers from DMD.

Dave is calling on the government for more money to try to find a cure for this terrible affliction. He is tabling a Commons motion demanding more spending on this and has appealed to the Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt.

6 Jun 2006

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Mark the Pits

Dave is running a campaign to have former collieries marked in OS maps.

He is sponsoring a Commons Motion so that future Ordnance Survey maps will use a pithead symbol so that the history of mining is not lost.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 2181
Anderson, David
That this House warmly welcomes the initiative led by young people from former mining communities to have all the former UK collieries marked on future Ordnance Survey maps with a scale of 1:25,000 with a pit wheel symbol; acknowledges that the pits have shaped both communities and the local landscape; believes it is important that they are recorded by Ordnance Survey in the same way as other archaeological and historical information; welcomes the positive response so far from Ordnance Survey to this campaign and the assurance that they will give the matter serious consideration; and looks forward to the history of the coal mining industry being permanently recorded on reference maps in the future.

17 May 2006

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Integrated Education

Dave is backing a move toward integrated education in Northern Ireland.

He has tabled a Commons motion supporting the decision of the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) in Northern Ireland to give financial support of over £750,000 to establish integrated education provision in areas where government funding was not given.

The full Early day Motion reads:

EDM 1952
Anderson, David
That this House welcomes the decision of the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) in Northern Ireland to give financial support of over £750,000 to establish integrated education provision in both the Clogher Valley and the Saintfield/Carryduff areas following the refusal of the Government to fund these schools; welcomes the IEF's decision to continue to fund the campaign by a group of parents in the Moira/Hillsborough area for an integrated primary school in their area; and notes that support for integrated education was a key theme of the St Patrick's week celebrations in the United States where policy-makers and American-Irish organisations see the great importance of promoting integrated education.

30 Mar 2006

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More access to higher education

Dave has co-sponsored a Commons motion calling for the government to re-state the economic case for funding improved participation in higher education.

The motion outlines the benefits if a university education, expresses concern that young people from less affluent backgrounds do not take up a fair proportion of places and urges more places for mature students as the number of 18 year olds declines in years to come.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 1894
Taylor, Dari
That this House applauds the success of the university sector; recognises the vital contribution universities make to economic, cultural and intellectual well-being; believes that the expansion of higher education has been generally a good thing for individuals and for society; supports the principle that all those who have the ability should have the right to access higher education; regrets that the opportunities and advantages arising from a university education are still not accessed equitably by students from poorer and less traditional backgrounds; rejects the proposition that growing numbers of those entering higher education are not, or will not, benefit from it; notes in particular that there will be an increased need to support opportunities to access higher education by mature full-time and part-time undergraduates as the number of 18 year olds declines after 2010; recognises that any policy which had reduction of participation in higher education as an objective would undermine individual opportunity, capacity for regional regeneration, innovation and the development of a professional and skilled workforce and would run directly counter to the expansionist higher education policies being pursued and funded by China and other emerging, competitor economies; and urges the Government to re-state the economic case for funding improved participation in higher education.

23 Mar 2006

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Labour should end Pensioner Means Testing

Dave addressed a packed pensioner power meeting on Saturday.

The meeting was part of Pensions Action Week organised by the National Pensioners Convention and was mirrored by similar events across the country.

There was a call of the basic state pension to be increased and for means testing to be abolished.

Dave said:

"I support their call to see the end of means testing for state pensions. This is something that the Labour Government should definitely pursue.

"It is important to point out, though, that many pensioners are not claiming benefits that they are entitled to. Some people have been found to be missing out on £42 of benefits. Until we know exactly how state pensions will progress, my advice is for people to go to their local Citizens Advice Bureau and check that they are receiving what they are entitled to."

11 Mar 2006

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Support for Iraqi Workers

In response to the Iraqi government's actions against free trades unions, Dave has tabled a Commons motion backing the rights of Iraqi workers' basic rights such as freedom of association.

The Iraqi government has issued a decree taking control of union money and installing its own appointees as union leaders. Dave is urging the International Labour Organisation to intervene directly with the government in Baghdad.

The Early Day Motion is as follows:

EDM 1689
Anderson, David
That this House supports the independent and democratic Iraqi trade union movement, mainly centred around the newly merged Iraqi Workers' Federation (IWF) and the Kurdish trade unions, which play an important role in the re-building of Iraq's devastated national economy and consolidating the current political process in order to create a democratic, united and federal state after years of repression and hardship at the hands of the deposed dictatorship of Saddam Hussein; is, therefore, deeply disturbed that on 8th August 2005 the Iraqi Council of Ministers issued decree 8750 which declared that union finances would be taken over by the government and that a new law on trade unionism would be developed by the government, without mentioning freedom of association, which is a basic human right and one of the fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), or the involvement of the Iraqi trade union movement; is further disturbed at recent reports that the Iraqi government has replaced the leadership of the independent engineers' union with its own appointeees in a prima facie breach of freedom of association; welcomes the decision of Iraqi professional organisations to create jointly with the IWF an umbrella organisation to oppose decree 8750; further congratulates the TUC for initiating global protests against decree 8750 and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions for supporting the IWF's complaint formally requesting that the ILO intervene directly with the Iraqi government; and supports the IWF and others in all available democratic means to stop this undemocratic practice against Iraqi workers.

27 Feb 2006

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MP backs union link

Dave has come out in support of links between the unions and the Labour Party.

At the Unison Conference on Tyneside he countered calls for the links to be weakened with a case for retaining the support of the unions.

Dave said,

"Being unrepresentative of the people you're supposed to be representing sounds a bit like New Labour. We should be looking to maintain the support of unions rather than alienating them through policy issues such as attacking people's pensions."

Former Minister Stephen Byers has said that a planned merger of two unions would give too much power to too few people, whom he called "unrepresentative". He thinks this will frighten the voters.

25 Feb 2006

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Colliery Surface Workers

Dave has co-sponsored a Commons motion supporting the case for surface workers to get compensation.

This follows his recent speech on the subject in the House of Commons.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 1648
That this House notes that the Department of Trade and Industry laid a minute before Parliament on 10th July 2000 accepting liability for surface workers who worked in dusty jobs; welcomes the fact that 84,000 mixed cases have been settled, but points out that many were exposed to more dust on the surface; considers it unjust that a surface worker with underground service who contracts the disease from a dusty surface job receives compensation but a man with surface-only service does not; is aware that on two occasions, in the debate on 7th February 2006, the Minister of Energy stated that the Department of Trade and Industry did not deny liability in all such cases; is concerned that many firms of solicitors have received hundreds of denial letters for such claims; and calls on the Minister to end this injustice by negotiating with the mining unions a no-fault liability scheme for surface workers.

14 Feb 2006

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Cautious backing for Police Merger

Dave has given his cautious backing for the merging of local police forces.

He thinks it will be a good move overall, but that he still has concerns over structure and allaying the fears of different parts of the region.

Dave said,

"I think that it will generally be a good move, but I have some concerns. There is still a lot of talking to be done about how things are structured. People living in the South of the region don't readily identify themselves with people living in the northern part of the area. People in Teesside fear they will become second-class citizens, and people in the North feel the problems down in Teesside may pull on our resources."

13 Feb 2006

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All "clinically agreed" drug treatments should be funded

Dave is backing a campaign to have all clinically agreed drug treatments funded by the NHS.

The Commons motion he is co-sponsoring also urges the government to speed up NICE approvals to ensure that longevity does not depend on postcode. The move come after the death of a Washington man from cancer having been denied drug treatment.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 1593
Hodgson, Sharon
That this House notes with regret the sad death of Mr Jack Wilson, aged 66 years, of Washington on Sunday from bowel cancer; offers its deepest sympathies to Mr Wilson's family; further notes that Mr Wilson had been refused Cetuximab and may have survived longer had he received this treatment when requested; believes that other lives may be prolonged if the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence becomes more effective in its role of ensuring parity of treatment throughout England; and urges the Government to fund all clinically agreed drug treatments and speed up NICE approvals so that the chance to live longer is not dependent on private means or where a person lives.

7 Feb 2006

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Government has "let down" Tyne & Wear

Dave has criticised the government's implementation of the free travel scheme locally.

Nexus faces a huge deficit in funding concessionary travel for pensioners and the disabled from April under the government's scheme.

Dave feels the region merits special consideration for its particular problems.

He said,

"They have let us down badly. We have been betrayed and are being punished for doing the right thing - using the bus."

1 Feb 2006

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Welcome for Education Report

Dave has welcomed a report on the benefits of integrated education in Northern Ireland.

He has tabled a Commons Motion to that effect, emphasising that integrated education helps to soften the sectarian divide in the province.

The Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 1544
Anderson, David
That this House welcomes the publication of a report by Professor Bernadette C Hayes, Professor Ian McAllister and Lizanne Dowds entitled, In Search Of The Middle Ground: Integrated Education and Northern Ireland Politics; notes that the report is based on data from a range of social attitudes surveys to explore whether people who have experienced an integrated education are different in their outlooks compared to those who have attended segregated schools and examines whether attending an integrated school can have some positive long-term benefits in promoting a less sectarian outlook; further welcomes the report's key findings that respondents who had attended an informally or formally-integrated school were more likely to reject traditional identities and allegiances than those who had attended a segregated school; and believes that the report's tentative results add weight to the studies which have shown that integrated schools can and do have an impact on the outlooks of the pupils who attend them and that the positive effects of integrated schooling extend into later life, with the potential substantially to soften sectarian attitudes and help create a new common ground in Northern Ireland politics.

31 Jan 2006

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Return the Gospels

A page from the Gospels
A page from the Gospels

Dave is backing a campaign to bring the Lindisfarne Gospels back to the North.

He has signed a Commons motion calling on the Secretary of State for culture to return the precious books to Durham Cathedral.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 1437
Blackman-Woods, Roberta
That this House seeks the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels to their original home in Durham Cathedral; notes that the Gospels date from 698 AD and represent the first great religious and cultural achievement which combines the Roman, Celtic and Saxon traditions; further notes that they were prepared for the shrine of St. Cuthbert on the island of Lindisfarne, now known as Holy Island, off the North East coast and that the permanent home of the shrine of St. Cuthbert and the Gospels was, from 995 AD to the Reformation, the great Cathedral of Durham; further notes that the brief 1987 and 1996 return of the Gospels to Durham and Newcastle resulted in large attendances of local people; and therefore calls upon the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the trustees of the British Library to arrange for the permanent return of the Gospels to Durham Cathedral.

20 Jan 2006

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Dave backs Warm Front

Dave has given his backing to the government's Warm Front scheme.

The scheme allows those on benefits top upgrade their homes to make them more fuel efficient and warmer.

Already more than 100,000 people have been helped by the scheme in the North East.

Dave said,

"This is a very important issue, not just for the elderly, who should claim for their winter fuel allowance, but for families and other vulnerable people."

To make enquiries about the scheme, call 0800 316 6014

12 Jan 2006

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Backing for Bevin Boys

Dave is calling for recognition of the role the 'Bevin Boys' played during the war.

He has given his support to a Commons motion calling for an award on a par with those available to military veterans.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 1417
Banks, Gordon
That this House acknowledges the role played by the Bevin Boys, who served this nation during the period 1943 to 1948; notes that many paid the ultimate price in their endeavour to rid Europe of Nazi tyrants; and calls upon the Government officially to recognise by the way of an award similar to that available to military veterans the importance of the Bevin Boys to victory in the Second World War.

18 Jan 2006

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Books not Bombs

Dave has asked Parliament to support the 'Books to Iraq Initiative' to re-equip Iraqi academic libraries with pharmaceutical textbooks.

He has put down a Commons motion which recognises the contribution Iraq has made in the past to pharmaceutical and medical knowledge and the effect which the Saddam regime, two wars and sanctions have on the supply of medicines and pharmaceutical drugs.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

The full Early Day Motion reads:
EDM 1403
Anderson, David
That this House believes that Iraq has given the world a great legacy of pharmaceutical and medical knowledge; notes that in addition to the recent conflict and continuing violence, two wars and 12 years of sanctions have had a crippling effect on Iraq's pharmacy education and practice, have severely affected access to information resources such as books and journals and have imposed a total isolation from the international scientific community; and supports the new initiative Books to Iraq, www.bookstoiraq.org.uk which has been created by pharmacists who wish to contribute to rebuilding Iraqi schools of pharmacy by raising money to send them a range of medical and pharmaceutical textbooks because the safe supply of drugs and drug information is an essential tool of public health which will directly help Iraqi universities, academics and students and indirectly help the wider Iraqi population as well as help replenish the knowledge that Iraq held for humanity in the

17 Jan 2006

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MP welcomes Motivators

Dave has welcomed the appointment of fitness motivators by Gateshead Council.

He has co-sponsored a Commons motion supporting the decision to promote fitness for all ages but noting especially the emphasis on facilities for the elderly.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 1396
That this House welcomes the decision by Gateshead Council to recruit four physical activity development workers in a bid to encourage local people to take more exercise; notes that the new team, which is funded by Active England and based at the Gateshead International Stadium, will co-ordinate several programmes in the town and work closely with the Gateshead Primary Care Trust to support businesses in encouraging staff to participate in physical activity within or near the workplace; further notes they will co-ordinate exercise and cardiac rehabilitation for people referred for health reasons, as well as targeting school leavers through mentoring and sports outreach programmes; and particularly welcomes the planned work with volunteers from Age Concern to increase facilities available to older people.

The motion also has the support of other local MPs.

17 Jan 2006

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Hall of Fame Call

Dave has backed a call for a young Scottish footballer's place in history.

The Commons motion he has co-sponsored calls for John Thomson, 'Prince of Goalkeepers', who died tragically in 1931 to be granted a place in Scotland's footballing Hall of Fame.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 1392
McGovern, Jim
That this House recognises the valuable contribution that John Thomson made to Scottish football during his short career as Celtic and Scotland goalkeeper; believes his untimely death at the age of 23 was a devastating loss to the Scottish game; and calls on the Scottish footballing authorities to grant him a place in Scotland's footballing Hall of Fame.

17 Jan 2006

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Human Rights for the North

Dave has welcomed the government's decision to site the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights in Manchester.

He has co-sponsored a Commons motion which recognises that the North is a rich and diverse area and that many other organisations are creating jobs and careers.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 1185
Keeley, Barbara
That this House welcomes the Government's proposal that the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights will have its main site in Manchester where the majority of its staff will be located; recognises that Manchester has shown that public sector posts can be successfully located in the North of England; further recognises that Greater Manchester and the North West are diverse areas with a rich cultural mix and substantial experience in building community cohesion in the face of racial and ethnic tensions; notes that the BBC and other organisations are helping to create jobs and career structures in the area which is a location of choice for Government, industry and commerce; and calls upon the new Commission to fully embrace its Manchester headquarters location and establish all Commission functions operating from this new base.

1 Dec 2005

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MP backs Hospice Kit

Dave is backing the launch of a 'toolkit' to help in the setting up of children's hospices.

The Toolkit will be launched in London on 29th November by the Association of Children's Hospices.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 1069
Anderson, David
That this House pays tribute to the Association of Children's Hospices, that brings together over 40 voluntary sector children's hospice services throughout the United Kingdom dedicated to the care of children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families; recognises the tremendous work carried out by children's hospice staff and volunteers; and supports the Children's Hospice Service toolkit which is designed to support those interested in setting up a children's hospice and the Toolkit launch event which will be held on Tuesday 29th November, 7pm, at 7 Millbank.

17 Nov 2005

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Disability and Fuel Fill-ups

Dave is tackling the problems faced by disabled people at filling stations.

The lack of assistance at some filling stations means that disabled people may have to travel further to get fuel. He wants the industry and government to work together to resolve this.

His Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 1045
Anderson, David
That this House notes with concern the lack of assistance for disabled persons in fuel filling stations; is worried that failure to provide assistance at all stations may mean that some persons have to travel unnecessarily to obtain fuel; and calls on the industry to work with Government in order to address this situation as a matter of urgency.

16 Nov 2005

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Ten Years of Anti-Racist Activity

Dave has put down a Commons motion congratulating the anti-racist group, Show Racism the Red Card, on celebrating its 10th anniversary.

He notes the continuing work of the group in schools and the wider community.

His full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 934
Anderson, David
That this House congratulates the anti-racist group, Show Racism the Red Card, on celebrating its 10th anniversary; acknowledges the hard work and commitment of the campaign team and its supporters including many professional footballers who have shown themselves to be genuine role models; commits to continue to stand up against racism in any form; encourages Show Racism the Red Card to continue its work with young people at school and in their communities; and looks forward to the day when racism is confined to the history books.

2 Nov 2005

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Birtley Community Partnership

Dave has called on government to support the Birtley Community Partnership.

He has tabled a Commons motion congratulating those involved, the community and asking both local and national government for support.

His full Early Day Motion is:

EDM 933
Anderson, David
That this House congratulates those individuals and organisations who work together in the Birtley Community Partnership; recognises the efforts of all concerned in working in a consensual manner for the benefit of their town; wishes them the very best in their efforts to develop their plans to improve their town centre, to promote community safety and to improve their environment; looks forward to the outcome of their plans especially through the use of the Planning for Real Concept which is based on real involvement of the whole community with particular input from younger people; and calls on local and national government to continue to support this very worthwhile initiative which could prove to be a role model for genuine community partnership action.

2 Nov 2005

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Praise for Local Government Workers

Dave has praised the work done by local government workers, often under difficult conditions.

In a Commons motion, eh highlights problems of pay, pensions and morale, but says that they still offer good service, and asks government to address their concerns.

His full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 932
Anderson, David
That this House notes with concern the findings of the recent Mori Survey, Sustaining Communities-Taking the Strain, that paints a picture of the local government workforce as being undervalued, under pressure, understaffed and under-resourced; is further concerned that staff shortages, verbal abuse, falling morale, worries about pensions, stress at work, working unpaid overtime and being expected to work extra hours at short notice are seen as major factors in the workplace; is pleased to note that despite this the workforce is still committed to positive change and continues to provide high quality services to all citizens, particularly to some of the most needy and vulnerable; and calls on the Government to consider these factors seriously, to discuss ways to relieve the problems with the workforce and its representatives, and to ensure that in taking forward its reform agenda, nothing is done to compound these issues.

2 Nov 2005

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Backing for NHS Managers

Dave has given recognition to the work done by NHS managers and staff.

He says this often maligned group make a vital contribution to the NHS describing their role as "necessary if clinicians are to be able to deliver first-class services to patients".

EDM 800
Anderson, David
That this House notes that an organisation the size of the NHS, treating one million people every 36 hours, must have effective management as well as administrative and clerical staff; recognises that, of the 1.3 million staff in the NHS, 84 per cent. are involved directly in patient care, with just 16 per cent. providing the infrastructure support, including cleaning, catering, IT and human resources, necessary to keep hospitals, surgeries and NHS organisations running effectively, of which three per cent. are managers and senior managers; has concerns that accusations of a proliferation of `pen-pushers' and bureaucrats in the NHS are damaging to the morale of hardworking NHS staff and to the quality of the health debate; encourages honourable Members to engage fully with their local health community in their constituency and show their support for the whole health team; and welcomes the joint campaign by UNISON and the NHS Confederation to show the real people behind the non-clinical roles in the NHS and how managers and support staff are necessary if clinicians are to be able to deliver first-class services to patients.

19 Oct 2005

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Call for Integrated Education

Dave has called for more integrated education in Northern Ireland.

He says this is an essential aspect of the reconciliation process is the promotion of a culture of tolerance at every level of society. He has tabled a motion in Parliament urging the Government to increase its support to integrated schools as an urgent matter of public policy.

His Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 612
Anderson, David
That this House notes that the Belfast Agreement embraces the need to facilitate and encourage integrated education because an essential aspect of the reconciliation process is the promotion of a culture of tolerance at every level of society; further notes, however, that only five per cent. of pupils in Northern Ireland attend integrated schools, which bring together pupils, staff and governors, in roughly equal numbers of Protestants and Catholic pupils, plus other faiths and none, to cultivate self-respect and respect for other people and cultures; applauds the fact that the integrated education movement has made major strides in academic year 2004-05 with the opening of seven new integrated schools and that the number of such schools stands at its highest, thanks to the efforts of dedicated parents, the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education and the Integrated Education Fund; further notes that 700 pupils were denied access to integrated schools because of a lack of places; further notes that President Bush received two students from Ulidia Integrated College at the St Patrick's Day event at the White House symbolising US support for the integrated education movement; recognises that integrated education does not provide a panacea for a deeply segregated and divided society but that increasing the integrated education sector will be a massive investment in a non-sectarian and pluralist society, without imposing a single educational model but giving all parents and students a choice; and urges the Government to increase its support to integrated schools as an urgent matter of public policy.

7 Jul 2005

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Cash for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Dave has called for more money for research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

He has tabled a Commons welcoming the £1.6M given to set up a research consortium, but asking that £20M be put into finding a cure.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

EDM 327
Anderson, David
That this House recognises that on average two young people die every week in the UK from the genetic severe muscle wasting disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD); congratulates the Department of Health for its initiative in providing £1.6 million to establish the MDEX consortium of researchers to start the first phase of a clinical trial in the UK for a gene therapy for DMD; and calls upon the Secretary of State for Health to support the aims of the Race Against Time Campaign organised by Parent Project UK, the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and the Duchenne Family Support Group to provide £20 million of further funding to accelerate the MDEX project and other research towards a cure or treatment for this devastating disease.

14 Jun 2005

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