Dave's News Extras 2010

30/12/10 Childcare cuts to hit families
18/12/10 Gove gives glimmer of hope
08/12/10 Tourism Pickled
22/11/10 Vote for St Mary's
16/11/10 Cable is right on OneNorthEast
12/11/10 Public workers pay capitalism's debts
26/10/10 Whales dying out
14/10/10 Rescue touches miners' hearts
30/07/10 Unions cut out of asbestos talks
20/07/10 Call to Iraq on travel rights
20/07/10 Green cuts will cost jobs - and money
12/07/10 Police will need to provide answers
06/07/10 'Ideologically driven' cuts hit schoolchildren
28/06/10 Commons to debate wheelchair services
26/06/10 New blood test could prevent thousands of cancer deaths
24/06/10 Court closure could 'make things worse'
22/06/10 Job losses and pay cuts
19/06/10 Alarming report on union rights across the world
17/06/10 Call for ring fenced wheelchair budget
11/06/10 Send Sam south!
10/06/10 Care for Duchenne
26/05/10 Dave mourns One North East
21/05/10 Backing Ed
13/05/10 Wait and see
13/05/10 Clegg helps North-East job cuts
11/05/10 History should be kind
08/05/10 North-East rejects Cameron
07/05/10 Thank you!
07/05/10 Dave earns swing to Labour
17/04/10 Asbestos injustice fight goes on
14/04/10 Thatcherism returns
30/03/10 Backing for Post Office account
29/03/10 Ian Caddy MBE
25/03/10 Tory attack on Tourism
22/03/10 Defending Council Housing
22/03/10 Welcome for coalfield regeneration news
18/03/10 Supporting progress in Iraq
13/03/10 Questions on High Speed Rail
04/03/10 Council repents over Crematorium
03/03/10 25 years on, pit closures were a mistake
27/02/10 Concern over QE bed closures
25/02/10 Welcome for payout for pleural plaque sufferers
06/02/10 Pleural plaques bill passes first hurdle
01/02/10 Dave backs the North-East
28/01/10 Integrated education in Northern Ireland
28/01/10 One Voice, more investment
26/01/10 Breast Cancer Screening
25/01/10 Some progress but 'crusade' goes on
22/01/10 Plaque verdict within weeks
21/01/10 Dave's response to a letter in The Journal
16/01/10 Anger as a pleural plaque meeting cancelled
12/01/10 Scotland leads on plaque compensation
11/01/10 Things getting better
07/01/10 Victimisation at work

Homepage | Current News


Childcare cuts to hit families

Childcare 30 Dec 2010

Cuts in the funding of childcare could leave as many as 13,000 families in trouble.

Dave has voiced his frustration at the cuts, accusing the coalition of not looking after families.

Figures released by the Resolution Foundation show that more than 13,000 families in the region will now have to find more money for childcare or leave work.

Dave said,

"If you look at the cuts to education, the maintenance allowance, what they did to students or child benefit higher earners, it's about time they came clean and told people what they're doing.

"People are genuinely worried. I've spoken to a lot of people who are facing being made redundant at the council.

"The Government said nobody would be worse off and they'll take care of families but they clearly aren't. This affects not just young children but women disproportionately in the North East. The frustration I'm feeling is there's nothing new about this."

The government response was that it is necessary to reduce the deficit.

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Gove gives glimmer of hope

18 Dec 2010

Education Secretary Michael Gove has given some hope for Gateshead's schools plans.

The Building Better Schools programme set up by the Labour government was scrapped by the coalition but following talks with Dave and Gateshead MP Ian Mearns, he has agreed to have another look.

Ian Mearns said

"Myself and Dave Anderson had a detailed discussion with the Education Secretary Michael Gove about Gateshead schools. We differ about the scrapping of Labour's investment in local schools through the BSF programme.

"But I am pleased to say that Michael Gove agreed that the people from Partnership for Schools, which put together the original BSF package, should return to Gateshead to re-examine the schools in question."

A new school was to be built after the merger of Hookergate and Ryton schools, and modernisation work was to be carried out at Whickham, St Thomas More and Joseph Swan schools.

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Tourism Pickled

Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP
Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP
8 Dec 2010

The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is accused of 'decimating support' for the region's tourist industry.

Writing in the local press, Dave says that One North East was very successful in developing tourism and that success needs to be built on, not undermined.

Dave's letter reads:

SO, not content with emulating Marie Antoinette's "let them eat cake" by telling councils to "raid their piggy banks", the Bradford Bulldog Eric Pickles is now intent on decimating support for the tourist industry in the North East (The Journal, December 6).

Anyone who lives in our part of the world knows what a great offer we have to make to tourists. Sadly, we have only really started to exploit the jobs and business potential in recent years.

One North East was delivering the fastest growing tourist offer in the United Kingdom. Building on that success will take time and getting tourists to realise that there is a whole variety of things to do and see is a long term, highly competitive task.

As a former member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, I saw the real progress made in Northern Ireland as they developed their tourist offer as part of moving on from the years of the Troubles and in competition with one of the most tourist savvy neighbours on Earth.

Only someone who is deliberately determined to undermine the real progress of recent years would act in this way. But surely that isn't supposed to happen in today's new politics with the love in between Call me Dave and Nice Guy Nick? Don't hold your breath.

Dave Anderson, Labour MP for the Blaydon Constituency, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

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Vote for St Mary's

22 Nov 2010

Dave is urging local people to vote for St. Mary's 'All in the Centre' Project in the 'People Millions'.

The project has reached the final stages but needs as many votes as possible to ensure success. Voting takes place tomorrow, 23rd November The project is to improve the facilities of the hall so it can be used by as many groups as possible.

Dave's letter to local people reads:

Dear Constituent

As someone who has contacted me in the past I am writing to let you know about an exciting opportunity for a community organisation in our area. I am really pleased to have been told that the St. Mary's 'All in the Centre' Project has made it to the final stages of the 'People Millions' which will take place tomorrow on November 23rd. Please see the website for more details - http://www.peoplesmillions.org.uk/2010-finalists/tyne-tees/st-marys-all-in-the-centre-project

The Centre is used by community groups including children, the elderly and disabled as well as able bodied - covering ages from 0 to nearly 100 years old! The 'All in the Centre' project is about improving the facilities of the hall to make them more accessible and inclusive. They have the chance of winning the funding needed to develop the St Mary's Centre to better serve our local community - and you can help!

Voting is by telephone between 9 am and midnight on 23 Nov. 2010. On the 23rd the all important TELEPHONE NUMBER to call will be available from a number of places. We will send you the number in an email on the 23rd November if you send us your email address before that date to allinthecentre@hotmail.co.uk. It will be on the St Mary's website www.stmaryswhickham.org.uk/ and we will distribute leaflets with the number on voting day. It will be given out on the 6 p.m. regional news on Tyne Tees television and in the Daily Mirror on the 23rd.

Please get voting to make sure that this lottery money stays in Gateshead. On Friday the two best runners up will also go head to head so keep watching for our groups!

If you know of anyone who would be interested please feel free to forward this e-mail to them.


Dave Anderson

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Vince Cable
Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable MP - government policy is 'chaotic'.

Cable is right on OneNorthEast

16 Nov 2010

Dave has said Business Secretary Vince Cable is right to describe his own coalition policy as 'chaotic'.

Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary has said that the abolition of the RDA would not jeopardise European funding, but Dave argues the region is in danger of losing out.

Dave said,

"I would be amazed if money wasn't lost. Cable is absolutely right. They are in chaos because they are doing things in a knee-jerk way."

EU funding has helped such big projects as The Sage, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge as well as job creation schemes.

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Public workers pay capitalism's debts

12 Nov 2010

Dave has written to the local press concerning local council finances.

He criticises the government's block on the use of traditional borrowing methods and asset sales which he says will lead to huge disruption.

Dave's letter reads:

The news that local councils cannot use traditional borrowing methods to fund redundancies illustrates that this Con-Dem Government is driven by ideology rather than pragmatism.

I have the scars of being made personally redundant as well as reluctantly negotiating redundancies and reorganisations for over two decades as a trade union representative.

We have to face the reality that this Government is choosing to make public sector workers pay off the debt created by the failure of unfettered capitalism while ignoring decades of experience in how to do this as sensitively as possible.

To prohibit prudent borrowing or asset sales is pure dogma and will mean more job losses, more cuts to services and lower redundancy payments.

The latter is especially problematic because it will be a disincentive to those prepared to leave voluntarily and lead to huge disruption in the workplace.

Sadly, all concerned in local councils have lots of experience in such situations.

We should look to them to know best how to manage this unpalatable situation rather than to our supposed national leaders who, on the whole, have little, if any, experience in the real world.

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Whales dying out

Whaling 26 Oct 2010

Dave has signed a petition to an international meeting in Japan to try to save these majestic creatures.

There is a plan for a global agreement to create, fund and enforce protected areas covering 20% of our lands and seas by 2020 and 193 governments are meeting in Japan to address this crisis.

There is little time left in this crucial meeting. Experts say that politicians are hesitant to adopt such an ambitious goal, but that a global public outcry could tip the balance, making leaders feel the eyes of the world upon them. Click to sign the urgent 20/20 petition, and forward this email widely -- the message will be delivered directly to the meeting in Japan:


Ironically, 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity. By now, our governments were supposed to have "achieved a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss." They have failed, consistently caving to industry when given a choice between narrow profit and protecting species.

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Rescue touches miners' hearts

Chilean mine rescue underway 14 Oct 2010

Dave has spoken of his thoughts for the rescued Chilean miners.

A Durham miner for many years, Dave says he recalls some 'hairy' moments, and the relief of coming to the surface, but theirs is 'a million times more'.

Dave said,

"I've had some hairy moments down mines, but nothing like this. I've been really, really touched by the whole rescue, it's been tremendous to see.

"I've had my moments in a mine, but not like these guys have gone through. When it first happened my wife said, oh that's terrible, they must be in pieces , but I said, no, they know they're in a safe place and there will be people going for them.

"As a miner I never thought about it, but you knew it could happen, as they did. I'm sure the whole time down there and all the way back up through the rescue tunnel they will have held their nerve and just pushed bad thoughts from their mind.

"I know the feeling of coming out of a mine unscathed and getting home to see your wife and children, this will be the same feeling a million times more."

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Unions cut out of asbestos talks

30 Jul 2010

Dave has reacted to the government's decision to exclude unions from talks on asbestos compensation.

Jonathan Djanogly, a junior minister in the Justice ministry, has said that talks will involve "representatives from claimant solicitors, insurers and the judiciary".

Dave said,

"It has not surprised me that this Government is keeping the unions out of talks. There is absolutely no reason for it, it was the unions who supported the legal case, who put forward the medical evidence."

Dave has vowed to continue to fight sufferers who are losing out. The coalition has rpomised £5000 payouts but sufferers are still waiting.

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Call to Iraq on travel rights

20 Jul 2010

Dave has called on the Iraqi government to reverse a law restricting travel for trades unionists.

In a parliamentary motion, he praises the way the trades unions have rebuilt after Saddam, but deplores new restrictions placed on Iraqi trades unionist travelling to international conferences.

Dave's Early day Motion reads:

EDM 559
Anderson, David
That this House recalls the near liquidation of a once strong and non-sectarian trade union movement by the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein; salutes those who have devoted themselves to rebuilding a labour movement in Iraq before and since his overthrow with important moral and material support from the Trades Union Congress and several trade unions in the UK as well as many other national trade union centres and global union federations who believe that the right to free association is a key element of a vibrant democracy and social justice; supports the General Federation of Iraqi Workers and the Kurdistan United Workers' Union joint campaign for a new labour code which would enshrine such rights and which enjoys the support of the Iraqi President; notes that positive moves in this direction have now been undermined by elements within Iraqi government, attempting to force Iraqi unions to hold elections under Saddam's deeply flawed 1987 labour law; deplores, along with the International Trade Union Confederation, the decision on 12 May 2010 of the Higher Ministerial Committee to prohibit all travel by trade union delegations to international meetings or conferences without its approval; and respectfully urges the Iraqi government to reverse this decision in favour of adopting a Labour code that complies with International Labour Organisation standards.

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Green cuts will cost jobs - and money

Nissan Leaf - an example of the North-East's lead in green technology
Nissan Leaf - an example of the North-East's lead in green technology
20 Jul 2010

Dave has said that cutting government support for low carbon technology will lose jobs and cost the public even more.

The government appointed Committee on Climate Change has said that cuts of up 40% will hit the region's lead in these new technologies.

Dave said,

"It is part of the nonsense of these Government cuts because more people will be unemployed and cost more to the public purse. At least with these proposals, we will get something back and save the planet."

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Police will need to provide answers

The scene at Rothbury riverbank 12 Jul 2010

Dave has said he is glad Northumbria Police referred themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Commenting on apparent confusion on the Rothbury riverbank, he said it is important to avoid a 'knee jerk' reaction.

Dave said,

"I said there should be questions asked and we need to see what we can learn from this. I think there's still a lot of confusion about what happened on the riverbank. There are a series of things that need looking at. But if we don't let this be investigated the proper way there is a danger of having a knee - jerk reaction.

"I actually live in Birtley, right next to where the first shootings took place. I was glad that the police referred themselves to the IPCC. Now it's for them to give us the answers."

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'Ideologically driven' cuts hit schoolchildren

Schoolchildren 6 Jul 2010

Dave has claimed the government's school building cuts are driven by ideology.

He says local schoolchildren are paying the price and that the government has led councils along.

Dave said,

"They have led the local education authority along and they have prepared full consultation programmes to no avail. It's the Government's insistence on destroying public sector provision that is behind this move."

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Commons to debate wheelchair services

Lady in wheelchair 28 Jun 2010

Dave has secured a Commons debate about government policy on wheelchair services.

Matt Townsend of the Disabilities Trust has already responded supporting Dave's campaign. The debate is scheduled for Monday evening, 28 June.

Dave says,

"My debate today will bring to the attention of ministers shocking stories from people, living with muscular dystrophy: families forced to wait years for their wheelchair, to pay hundreds or thousands of pounds towards the cost or simply to put up with a wheelchair that does not fit or causes them pain.

These families have been let down by wheelchair services who do not understand their rare and complex conditions and focus instead on short-term penny-pinching at long-term cost, to both patients and the NHS."

Matt Townsend said,

"The Disabilities Trust strongly agrees that it is vital that disabled people can access wheelchair services quickly and easily as such aids to independence can of course make a big difference to an individual's quality of life and their ability to play a full and equal part in our society. Also as is pointed out by Mr Anderson, by investing in such services the government and taxpayer will gain as fewer people will need to be admitted to hospital with complications that result from not having the use of a wheelchair. In these cash-strapped times it is vital that policy-makers do recognise that relatively small investments in providing such aids can pay big dividends in the long-run as fewer people will need to use other health and social care services so placing less pressure on those budgets."

Mr Townsend's reply came after Dave had an article published on the influential epolitix website.

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New blood test could prevent thousands of cancer deaths

Blood test 26 Jun 2010

Substantial numbers of cancers could be nipped in the bud and many lives saved with a programme of mass screening for earlier diagnosis and treatment using a simple new blood test, according to Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

The campaigning MP said:

" British scientists have developed a blood test that could detect a cancer before a tumour takes shape. It could mean that doctors could spot a cancer up to five years earlier. Such early diagnosis would then make it easier to treat the cancer and save lives rather than acting after the fact with less success."

Mr Anderson continued;

"A Times editorial rightly argued that Britain has one of the worst records in Europe in the detection and early treatment of cancer with official figures showing that late diagnosis of cancer killed up to 10,000 patients each year who might have lived had their disease been recognised in time. I agree with the newspaper's judgement that this should be swiftly translated into a mass screening programme. Apart from a massive gain in more people living longer, it would also save the NHS money because it would have fewer people to look after with much more expensive treatment."

The MP then tabled a Commons question to the Health Minister to push him to introduce a cancer screening programme. Mr Anderson added:

"The Minister confirmed that they are researching this possibility but were rather too vague about how soon this blood test could be used in mass screening. I felt that this was too important for vague waffle and am pursuing the matter with a further question and may then seek to build a cross-party consensus for faster progress on this vital matter."

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Court closure could 'make things worse'

Magistrates Court 24 Jun 2010

Dave has hit out at plans to close Blaydon Magistrates Court.

The closure is part of the governments cuts, but Dave argues that the extra costs could make things worse. The work would be moved to Gateshead.

Calling the plan 'penny pinching', Dave said,

"We may end up getting cheaper justice, but not as good justice. In cases where people have fallen into crime because they are desperate, having to travel six miles and pay for the bus fare may not seem a lot to you or me, but it could just make things worse."

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Job losses and pay cuts

Traditional budget box 22 Jun 2010

Dave has warned that the budget will cause the region pain.

He claims the coalition government is using the situation created by the banks to make 'ideological cuts'.

Dave predicted,

"This is an excuse for ideological cuts. We hear from the Tories that they think it is far worse then they expected, but what they have really found is an excuse to make the changes they wanted.

"Cuts in the North East will see people lose their jobs and those who are not on the dole are likely to have their pay hit. Add that to the higher impact a rise in VAT will have and you can see this budget will set the region back decades."

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Alarming report on union rights across the world

19 Jun 2010

A dramatic increase in the number of trade unionists murdered around the world has been uncovered in "an alarming report" from the International Trade Union Confederation.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, a former union leader himself, has tabled a Commons motion which underlines the report's key findings:

"101 union members were murdered in a staggering increase of 30% in just one year and union rights were violated in 140 countries."

Mr. Anderson added:

"This report shows that most of the world's workers lack effective protection of their rights. These rights boost economic equality within and between countries but low incomes just hamper economic recovery. Unions, democracy, growth and human rights are all indivisible."

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Call for ring fenced wheelchair budget

17 Jun 2010

Dave has called for a budget for wheelchairs to be ring fenced.

In a Commons motion, he points out how wheelchairs can enhance the quality of life for people living with muscle wasting diseases and calls for a national strategy for wheelchairs so that provision is fair for all.

Dave's Early day Motion reads:

EDM 257
Anderson, David
That this House welcomes the publication of a new report by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign on the provision of powered wheelchairs; recognises that specialist wheelchairs can be vital for people with neuromuscular conditions as they can improve quality of life, alleviate pain and slow the progression of the condition; notes that too many children and adults with muscle disease in England are waiting years to receive wheelchairs; is concerned that there is considerable variation across the country in waiting times for wheelchairs, resulting in a postcode lottery for families affected by muscle disease; further notes that many people with muscular dystrophy are denied the most appropriate wheelchairs or are forced to pay for the equipment out of their own pocket; calls on the Government to ensure a ring-fenced budget for electric wheelchairs; urges the Government to establish a national strategy for wheelchairs with a uniform eligibility criteria and a clear, comprehensive target for waiting times; and commends the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign for bringing this critical issue to the attention of the House.

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Sam with Dad Danny - watching cricket of course!
Sam with Dad Danny - watching cricket of course!
(Photo: Danny Smith)

Send Sam south!

11 Jun 2010

Dave is backing a campaign to raise money to send a young lad living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy on the trip of his lifetime.

Dave is urging people to buy tickets for Durham Dynamos cricket team in 20:20 action against Notts Outlaws on Sunday, June 20th (2.30 p.m. start) to send ten year old Sam Smith to watch Ashes cricket in Australia next Christmas. Tickets must be bought through Sam's Dad.

Dave said,

"I am urging everybody who can to support this. This is the lad who go me into the All-Party Muscular Dystrophy Group. This a chance to help us raise the money to take Sam Smith to watch the Ashes cricket in Australia next Christmas, and for you to enjoy an afternoon watching Durham Dynamos cricket team in 20:20 action against Notts Outlaws."

Local charity 'Smile For Life' have offered to support the fund-raising efforts and manage all income. Coupled with this, we have 'match-funding' support from Barclays Bank, so a small contribution from a lot of people can raise a huge amount of money.

All you have to do is order tickets for the Durham game through Danny Smith, Sam's Dad, (£12 adults, £5 juniors). A proportion of the ticket price goes to 'Smile For Life', and if we sell more than 150 tickets, we can have a 'bucket collection' at Durham's ground on the day.

Order tickets from Danny Smith for the Durham Dynamos v Notts Outlaws 20:20 cricket match at Durham on Sunday, June 20 (2.30 p.m. start). He needs orders by the end of Monday, June 14th.

Email him at dsmith@rytoncs.co.uk or telephone 01661-854764.

He will distribute ordered tickets before the game and take payment from you.

'Smile For Life' will bank the money. Each adult ticket sold brings in £4 for charity. Each child ticket brings in £2. And, if we sell over 150, we can have a bucket collection at the ground on the day of the game, with income match-funded by Barclays Bank.

Mr Smith said,

"Our son Sam (10) recently took part in a six-month MDEX trial into a therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at Newcastle's RVI. This involved 12 weeks of intensive treatment, three overnight stays in hospital and two operations under general Anaesthetic. Never once did his courage or commitment waver.

"DMD is a fatal muscle-wasting condition, with a life expectancy of perhaps 18-20 years. Sam is now wheelchair-bound, and coming to terms with the real difficulties he faces. We want to take him on a trip of a lifetime at a time when he really needs something to live for.


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Care for Duchenne

10 Jun 2010

Dave has commended Action Duchenne in a Parliamentary motion.

The charity has highlighted that with the right care children living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy can extend their lives by up to fifteen years, and he urges the government to safeguard this care in the coming spending review.

Dave's Early day Motion reads:

EDM 206
Anderson, David
That this House commends the work of charity Action Duchenne in highlighting the need to deliver care levels that will extend by up to 15 years the lives of children living with the severe muscle-wasting disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy; endorses the recently agreed International Standards of Care guidelines for Duchenne published in the Lancet Neurology in March 2010; supports Duchenne families who are calling on the Government to ensure that levels of care for these vulnerable children are not cut in the forthcoming spending review; believes that recommendations in the new guidelines for multi-disciplinary care for Duchenne patients should be implemented for all, irrespective of where they live; and further believes that further funding should be made available to continue research and development of new medicines to cure this devastating condition.

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Dave mourns One North East

26 May 2010

As the government announced the demise of One North East, Dave voiced his fear for the future.

Praising the work of ONE, the regional development agency for its role as a catalyst for jobs in the region, Dave said the proposed Local Enterprise Partnership would not be ass effective.

Dave said,

"I am convinced what is going to replace it is not going to be as good."

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Backing Ed

21 May 2010

Dave is backing Ed Balls in his bid for the leadership of the Labour Party.

North Labour MPs are lining up behind their chosen candidate, many choosing one of the Miliband brothers, but Dave believes Ed Balls is the man for the job.

Dave said,

"I think he is the man for the job. He is good at what he does. He has got his feet on the ground. He has done a lot of good work in education."

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Wait and see

13 May 2010

Dave is not committing himself yet in the Labour leadership contest.

He said he wanted to wait and see what other candidates than David Miliband said before making his decision whom to support, and that he wanted someone who would address the issues facing the working class.

Dave said,

"It is far too early to put our hat in the ring. There will definitely be other candidates, and we have to wait to see what their agenda is. I want to know we have someone who will address the issues that the working class need addressing."

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Clegg help North-East job cuts

Double act - Clegg and his new friend, David Cameron
Double act - Clegg and his new friend, David Cameron
13 May 2010

Nick Clegg has shown his true colours by making a deal with the Tories.

Dave says that he and his party will regret it as Labour voters who protested by voting Lib Dem find themselves facing Tory cuts in jobs and services.

Dave said,

"It is not a surprise that Nick Clegg has shown where his real loyalty lies. He will live to regret it as those who turned away from Labour to the Lib Dems as a protest in the last two elections will rue the day that the man who claimed he was 'different' has helped into power a Government that is committed to job cuts, especially in the North East.

"This coalition with the Conservatives is another nail in the coffin for the Lib Dems, especially in the North-East where they failed completely to make any progress."

Dave added,

"I think after what we have learnt today we have to brace for deep cuts ahead. And that is despite knowing they do not have a mandate for this. We did not vote for these cuts, when we went to the ballot box, and if anything the Liberals gave the impression they would follow us in not rushing into spending reductions.

"But it is as I have always said, Nick Clegg is a closet Tory and his decisions mean we as a region face the same future we did when Thatcher came to office. At least Cameron in the election campaign said this would happen to the region, with Clegg he said one thing and did another.

"Yes we have to reduce the deficit but we will have to take care not to damage people's jobs with this. We should be stopping tax evasion then see where we are."

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Gordon Brown announces his resignation outside no. 10
Gordon Brown announces his resignation outside no. 10

History should be kind

11 May 2010

Dave has paid tribute to Gordon Brown.

He said that he hopes history will be kind to Gordon Brown and that he would play a key role in the Labour movement in future.

Dave said,

"I hope that history is kind to Gordon for his tremendous work for improving the work of the public services in 13 years and also particularly for preventing a global recession turning into a global depression.

"And I look forward to him playing a key role in the Labour movement in whatever he does in the future."

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North-East rejects Cameron

Victory cheer 8 May 2010

Dave says the people of the North-East have decisively rejected the Tories.

He said he will be fighting to retain jobs in the region and that the Tories have 'no right to go swinging the axe'.

Dave said,

"Whatever the result is, whatever seats they now have, there has been a total rejection of Cameron's plans to make thousands of people redundant. The majority of people have said we don't want the Conservatives to run this country and they certainly don't want them to make the cuts they were proposing.

"No matter what we do now we do not want the Tories back in. They have to take some humble pie I think; their support is not what they were hoping.

"And what we can all see now is that they have no right to go swinging the axe as they were saying they would. There is no mandate for deep, damaging cuts to be carried out now.

"If we form a Government I would be putting pressure on Labour - let alone on a Tory Government - to tackle tax reform before cutting the public sector.

"There is a lot of money that we could have which big companies and their bosses avoid paying.

"We should be trying to get that and fill the spending gap as much as we can before we look to make cuts that will lose people their jobs."

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Thank you!

Dave at the election count as the results are announced 7 May 2010

Dave has given a big thank you to the voters of Blaydon.

He has expressed his desire and determination to continue to serve the people of Blaydon constituency to the best of his ability.

Dave said,

"I can't thank people enough for giving me this great opportunity. I'm really proud for the place I call home and the people I represent."

"I am both humbled and honoured to have been chosen again by the people of Blaydon constituency to be their MP.

"I will continue to fight for the interests of all my constituents in the next parliament. I would like to thank those who voted for me and Labour Party and we will continue to fight for fairness, social justice and a better and more equal society that all can flourish in."

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Dave earns swing to Labour

7 May 2010

Dave was re-elected with a majority of 9117.

Not only has he held the Blaydon seat for Labour but there was a 3.3% swing from the Liberal Democrats to Labour.

Results for election in 2010
Blaydon Parliamentary Constituency

Labour (Dave Anderson)2229749.6
Lib Dem (Neil Bradbury)1318029.3
Conservative (Glenn Hall)715915.9
BNP (Keith McFarlane)22775.1
Labour Majority911720.3

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Asbestos injustice fight goes on

Pleural plaques (the white areas) in a diseased lung 17 Apr 2010

Dave has vowed to keep fighting for full compensation for English suffers of pleural plaques.

Sufferers from the disabling asbestos related condition in Scotland have had compensation for a year now, but English suffering continues.

Dave said,

"These people were criminally and negligently injured at work. Their employers knew exactly how dangerous asbestos was and should be made to pay for the harm they caused. We will continue the campaign and I am confident we will get compensation back.

"The differences between Scotland and England could cause all sorts of problems. What if someone has been working in Scotland, and was exposed to asbestos there, but lives in England? If the Government had restored full compensation these sorts of cases, which are going to be very disruptive, would have been avoided."

Compensation was stopped after insurers won a case in the House of Lords, but the Scottish Government restored payouts a year ago.

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Thatcherism returns

14 Apr 2010
Thatcher amid the desolation - more to come?
Thatcher amid the desolation - more to come with Cameron?

Dave has said that Tory plans are 'Thatcherism rewritten'.

Devastating job cuts would hit the region he claimed as the Tories threaten to slash public spending by hitting public sector workers.

Dave said

"It is them admitting they cannot do the job. They want to cut massively the public sector because people they represent don't need the public sector as much as the vulnerable in this country. It is Thatcherism rewritten.

"It is worse then DIY. They know people cannot DIY, but they are giving up their responsibilities so they can blame other people when things fail."

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Backing for Post Office account

30 Mar 2010

Dave has welcomed the announcement of £180M to develop financial services.

He has campaigned for a Post Office bank which would give more people access to full financial services and help safeguard remaining post offices.

Dave commented,

"I am very glad it has happened. Hopefully, it will give more stability to the Post Office network that is there. I hope it will give people cheap and reasonable access to the world of banking."

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Ian Caddy MBE

Ian Caddy MBE
Ian Caddy MBE
29 Mar 2010

It was with great sadness that Dave heard of the death of Ian Caddy on Sunday.

Dave paid tribute to a hero of the Community and a great friend. He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him. Dave recently praised Ian in Parliament for the work he has done as Chair of the Birtley Community Partnership.

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Tory attack on Tourism

Durham Cathedral - major regional tourist attraction
Durham Cathedral - major regional tourist attraction
25 Mar 2010

Tourism in the North-East could suffer if there's a Tory government.

The Conservatives have threatened to abolish One North East, but a committee of MPs has said that this would be folly and tourism would be hit as a result.

The North East Select Committee looked at tourism after Dave said the region should learn from Northern Ireland's experience.

Dave said,

"We need a region wide approach, not a piecemeal plan the Tories have. That's what One North East has been doing and we think we should be building on that. What we have to do next is join up the dots and make sure that everyone is selling the region together.

"We saw in Northern Ireland how people would maybe just come across from the Republic for a day's golf and then go back on the night.

"The money goes with them and we think in the North East we can do even more to link up so when someone comes to, say, Hadrian's Wall or Durham, they are doing so as part of a long weekend, for example, and seeing what the rest the region has to offer."

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Defending Council Housing

Council and social housing 22 Mar 2010

Dave has written to his constituents about his campaign to defend council housing.

He highlights Tory plans to increase rents for council tenants to the same level as private rents, ending their right to secure tenancy and giving a massive rent rise. he has launched a petition to the Prime Minister to ensure that these Tory plans don't see the light of day.

Dave's letter reads:

I am writing to let you know about some of the changes the Conservative Party plan to bring in if they form the next government. Their plans would end the right of council tenants to a secure tenancy and massively increase rents.

The Tories want to increase rents for council tenants to the same level as private rents. The average council rent in England is £61.63. The average private rent is £132.46.

They also want one form of tenancy, meaning that no matter how long you have lived in your home, your tenancy could be ended with just two months notice and the landlord wouldn't have to give a reason.

The Conservative leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council and leader of David Cameron's Council Innovation Unit has been exposed over plans to demolish 3,400 council homes in his borough to make way for property developers, end secure tenancies and increase rents to £225 per week. The choice in the forthcoming election is between a Tory government which would attack council housing and Labour which will defend the rights of council tenants - the choice is clear.

Labour has clear policies and a strong track record on council housing. As your Labour MP, I can give you the following commitments:

Gateshead Housing Company, working with our Labour Council and Government has delivered massive investment in council housing across Gateshead. Our Decent Homes Programme has brought forward £356 million worth of improvements and we are now seeing new council properties being built. In contrast, the future of council housing is under threat if the Tories get back into power.

I am enclosing an information sheet produced by the trade unions and inviting you to join my campaign to secure the future for current and future generations of council tenants. Please register your support by visiting my website, emailing me or contacting my office.

Yours sincerely,
Dave Anderson MP

PS I have written this letter to one person in each household, please share the information with your family, friends or anyone you think might be affected by these Tory plans.

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Welcome for coalfield regeneration news

22 Mar 2010

News that a former miner has been put in charge of the government's new and wide-ranging Coalfield Regeneration Review to further boost the regeneration of former coal mining areas devastated by pit closures has been welcomed by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

Mr Anderson, a former miner himself, said:

"The pain of the pit closure programme remains burnt into the soul of large parts of the North East. It is true that Labour has spent £1.5 billion on regeneration which has put almost 150,000 people into new jobs or training. Contaminated land about the size of 4,500 football pitches is now back in productive use. But there's still some way to go in a huge task of eradicating long-term worklessness and poverty. A quarter of men across the coalfields areas lost their jobs and nearly half of all ex-miners suffered long-term illness and injury."

Mr Anderson added:

"This awful legacy will take further time and concerted action to overcome. The review will be led by MP Mick Clapham who has an excellent record as a dedicated champion of former mining areas as well as new low carbon possibilities. I will work with him as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coalfield Communities. Our former mining communities deserve further action to enable them to play their full part in the economic and social renewal of areas that did so much to create wealth for everyone for so long."

The Coalfields Programme implemented by English Partnerships consists of 20 sites in the North East covering the Durham and Northumberland coalfield. The sites have been transformed from industrial wastelands to housing, commercial, industrial and open space and leisure use.

The Coalfield Regeneration Trust, which was set up to support local communities with grant finance, has made awards to 279 local projects to the value of nearly £5.5 million in the North East alone.

Former miner and Labour MP for Barnsley West and Penistone, Mick Clapham will chair a Review Board that will include senior members of the Industrial Communities Alliance (ICA), the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the Coalfields Enterprise Fund and the Communities and Local Government department. The Review will report to Ministers before the summer recess.

Mick Clapham said:

"This confirms our Government's Commitment to the economic and social regeneration of former coalfield communities. Funding over the last decade by the three Agencies, Coalfield Regeneration Trust, National Coalfields Programme and the Coalfield Enterprise Fund, has had a major impact. This Review will now consider the delivery of the initiatives, in particular how agencies could work better together in the context of wider regeneration to maximise the benefit of Regeneration funding in coalfield communities."

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Supporting progress in Iraq

18 Mar 2010

Dave has tabled a Commons motion urging travel links with Iraq to be made easier.

He says the UK is at a disadvantage compared with other countries, especially those in the Schengen group, because of the onerous visa application procedure for the UK.

Dave's Early day Motion reads:

EDM 1129
Anderson, David
That this House welcomes Iraq's second parliamentary elections as a vital step towards a much more stable and democratic Iraq which can re-establish itself in the wider international community after so many years of isolation, sanctions and dictatorship; notes the widespread desire of Iraqis for increased trade with and investment from other countries as well as a whole host of educational and cultural exchanges and co-operation, most notably with the UK for which many Iraqis have a high regard; further notes that it is extremely difficult for Iraqi citizens who wish to cement such links to obtain visas because they have to travel to third countries and wait there for up to a week rather than being able to apply in Iraq; recognises that this is an onerous process which increasingly and unfavourably contrasts with the ability to secure Schengen visas to other European countries which may then gain an advantage in securing commercial links; and urges the Government to review its practice in this regard as a matter of urgency to enable deep and broad relationships for mutual benefit between Iraq and the UK whilst maintaining border controls.

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Questions on High Speed Rail

High Speed train 13 Mar 2010

Dave wants to know why the North-East has been ignored in the High Speed rail plans.

Lord Adonis, the Transport Secretary, announced plans for a Y shaped system with one spur coming as far as Leeds.

The North-East would not be linked to the new system and trains would have travel at much slower speeds to the region. This is despite it emerging that Lord Adonis ignored expert advice from HS2 that the economic returns from bringing the line to the North-East would far outweigh the additional cost.

Dave said,

"If he has been advised by people that would be a more beneficial route, we really need to know why that advice wasn't followed up,"

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Council repents over Crematorium

Birtley Crematorium
Birtley Crematorium
(Photo: © Copyright Bilbo and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.)
4 Mar 2010

Gateshead Council has listened to the voices of Birtley residents and has reprieved the Crematorium.

Many local families have strong links with the crematorium, and Dave, who backed their campaign, welcomed the decision.

Dave commented,

"I welcome the decision. Common sense has prevailed. I think the council underestimated how much the crematorium means to local people but has thankfully listened to their concerns."

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25 years on, pit closures were a mistake

3 Mar 2010

A quarter of a century after the end of the Miners' Strike, it is now apparent that Thatcher's pit closure programme was a ghastly mistake.

Dave has been championing clean coal technology which could mean that the centuries' supply of energy under our feet could be used.

Dave, who was a miner at Eppleton Colliery at the time, commented,

"We might not have won, we'd just have been a pain in the neck for the Government to a certain extent. Many people were crying when going back. At the bottom of the village there was the pit banner, families, men, women, children and grandchildren, people all saying 'well done'. We were proud in a sense of what we'd done.

"It was all pretty emotive. I don't think any of us realise how badly it would end and that Thatcher would close so many. There had been a pit at Eppleton since 1825. It was closed within the year."

Even John Redwood, a minister in Thatcher's government and an ardent supporter of her policies, now admits the pit closures "made no economic sense".

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Concern over QE bed closures

Queen Elizabeth Hospital 27 Feb 2010

Dave has expressed his concern over plans to lose up to 100 beds at Gateshead's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The move from NHS bosses is to cut costs and they say it reflects the fact that more patients receive treatment in the community or as day patients.

Dave said,

"I was not aware any changes were being made to wards at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It would be respectful if myself and residents were not kept in the dark about the plans.

"I will be wanting to get in touch with those in charge to find out what the exact situation is and what affect it is likely to have on patient care. At present I am concerned patients and staff will be negatively affected by the number of beds being reduced."

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Welcome for payout for pleural plaque sufferers

25 Feb 2010

Dave has welcomed today's news of more money for pleural plaque sufferers.

Sickness benefits will rise above inflation and some will be eligible for a £5000 payout. There will also be help tracking down employers' insurers and a research centre into asbestos related diseases.

Dave has vowed to fight on for full compensation, but in a joint statement with Stephen Hepburn MP, he stated,

"These improvements will make a huge difference in the future to anyone who is presently suffering from pleural plaques if they subsequently develop mesothelioma.

"While we are pleased that thousands of people with pleural plaques, including many in the North East, will be compensated if they registered a claim before the Law Lords ruling in 2007, we cannot hide our deep disappointment that our Government has not gone further by taking action to reinstate a compensation scheme for all pleural plaques sufferers."

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Pleural plaques bill passes first hurdle

6 Feb 2010

A bill to change the law so plaque sufferers can receive compensation has passed through the Commons.

Dave, who has been a prominent campaigner on this issue, welcomed the passage of Andrew Dismore's bill.

Dave said,

"I have supported Andrew Dismore in his efforts and we have been part of the team trying to get the Government to reverse the disgraceful Law Lords ruling since 2007.

"I therefore strongly welcome the introduction of his Parliamentary Bill to ensure that people who have negligently been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with pleural plaques can pursue claims for compensation through the courts.

"It underlines the need for the Government itself to overturn the Lords ruling."

The bill has now gone to the House of Lords.

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Dave backs the North-East

1 Feb 2010

Dave has tabled a parliamentary motion back the campaign, 'The Case for the North East'.

Launched by The Journal last week, the campaign has already gathered momentum as the region's leaders add their support.

Dave said,

"It is massively important. The truth is that if we don't stand up for ourselves, no one else will. And we have got a good case to make. The North East is a stronger position than has been. The best way to continue that is by working together."

Dave's early day Motion reads:

EDM 725
Anderson, David
That this House supports the campaign Case for the North East, that has been launched by the Newcastle Journal to preserve the regional identity, pride and voice of the North East whose contribution to the UK counts even more with the growth of new green technologies and manufacturing industries already established in the region; notes that the North East currently contributes around £41 billion annually to the national economy; shares the Journal's view that the country's leaders need to do more to safeguard this contribution and offer targeted measures to get the most out of its businesses; and further endorses the need for recognition at the highest level that the North East's cultural renaissance and regional voice should be further developed, supported and strengthened.

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Integrated education in Northern Ireland

28 Jan 2010

Dave has tabled a Commons motion calling for Catholic and Protestant children to be educated together in Northern Ireland.

He points out the divide between the communities and that only 6% of children are in integrated schools.

His Early day Motion reads:

Early Day Motion
EDM 746
Anderson, David
That this House recognises that sustainable power-sharing in Northern Ireland would be massively enhanced with greater moves to bringing Catholics and Protestants together in daily life, especially in housing and education; further recognises that these two communities are deeply segregated from each other; notes that only six per cent. of children attend integrated schools which seek to promote mutual understanding; and urges policy-makers to make increasing the size of the integrated education sector a far greater priority.

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One Voice, more investment

28 Jan 2010

Dave has spoken out against Tory plans to split the North-East into competing rival agencies.

The Tories plan to scrap the Regional Development Agency OneNorthEast in favour of smaller agencies each arguing its own little corner.

Having one single strong voice for the whole region gives the North-East more clout and a single voice has transport benefits for the whole region.

Dave said,

"It is one of the reasons we need a regional voice in terms of regional development agency One North East, because if it does become dispersed in different areas, people will quite rightly argue the case for their area first which may be detrimental to the long-term regional interest."

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Breast Cancer Screening

26 Jan 2010

Early detection of breast cancer in the North-East has nearly doubled over the last ten years, according to Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

He has tabled a Commons motion applauding "tremendous progress by the government and dedicated staff" in boosting access to cancer screening.

He said:

"This should provide further assurances to women that breast checks are effective."

And the Breast Cancer Campaign charity has backed Mr Anderson:

"We really appreciate Dave Anderson's enthusiastic support for the campaign and encourage others people across the north east to contact their Members of Parliament by going to the Breast Cancer Campaign website www.breastcancercampaign.org/election"

Last year 95,605 women were screened and 731 cases of cancer were detected, of which 589 were invasive. The current target age range is 50-70 but the widening of the screening programme from April 2008 includes those aged between 47-73 with full coverage expected in 2015.

Dave's Early day Motion reads:

EDM 724
Anderson, David
That this House applauds the tremendous progress made in recent years to increase access to cancer screening and to prevent premature deaths; congratulates the Government and dedicated staff for the fact that cases of breast cancer picked up by screening have already doubled in the North East over the last decade, which should provide further assurance to women that breast checks are effective; notes that 95,605 women were screened in 2009 and 731 cases of cancer were detected of which 589 were invasive; and further notes that the current target age range is between 50 and 70 years old, but that the widening of the screening programme from April 2008 included those aged between 47 and 73 years, with full coverage expected in 2015.

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Some progress but 'crusade' goes on

25 Jan 2010

Dave has said that a proposed compensation package for some asbestos sufferers shows 'some progress'.

But he is very disappointed that there is still no definite news for pleural plaque sufferers who were denied compensation by a 2007 Law Lords ruling

Of the government's plans, Dave said,

"This is not a take it or leave it option, just a proposal the Government will take to the unions. I am very disappointed and I have made that clear to the Prime Minister and Justice Secretary. But we have made progress and our crusade is not yet over."

"There is good news here. Those with mesothelioma will get quicker pay-outs, and a research centre, which has long been needed could now be built. These are not finalised proposals, but I am disappointed the decision doesn't go further. We will keep fighting for them."

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Plaque verdict within weeks

22 Jan 2010

Dave and other MPs have now met Gordon Brown to discuss compensation for Pleural plaque sufferers.

There are concerns over the cost as many sufferers contracted the disease while working in then state owned industries. But Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, expects to make an announcement within weeks.

Dave said,

"The government says the costs of this would be between £26m and £41m every year for the next fifteen years. That works out at about 50p person in the UK each year.

"There has been some progress on compensation for mesothelioma and setting up a National Asbestos Research Centre. But there is still a huge argument about the financial implications."

The Prime Minister has asked Dave and the Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn to look at ways forward on this issue.

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Dave's response to a letter in The Journal

21 Jan 2010

Dave has written to The Journal in response to a letter published today.

The letter referred to Dave's recent participation in the Commons debate on Energy Security.

Dave's letter reads:

Norman Bateman (letters dated 21/01/10) comments on the fact that it would have been much more productive if I had spoken further about the potential for coal in the recent House of Commons debate on Energy. I couldn't agree more, this was exactly what I was aiming to do - and if we had not run out of time and I had been called to speak I would have contributed further.

I would have pointed out that if we had maintained the most technically advanced, safest and cleanest coal industry in the world then we would not need to import coal from the Ukraine where 7 miners are killed for every million tonnes that are produced, or from China where 6,000 miners are officially reported as being killed at work every year.

It is not propaganda to point this out; it is a statement of fact. The Tories did not have to run down the coal industry but they chose to. And their energy spokesman commented in the same debate that by doing so they delivered the cheapest energy prices in Europe.

Well you could claim that if you ignore the economic and social costs of the damage done to all of our mining communities and if you are prepared to ignore the fact that there is a huge amount of innocent blood on the coal that we are now forced to import.

Clean and plentiful coal could and indeed should have a future in this country, and we in the north east are leading the way on this, but it won't happen if we put price before everything else.

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'We are not going away'

16 Jan 2010

Dave has voiced his anger as a pleural plaque meeting with the Prime Minister was called off.

Dave and other MPs were due to meet Mr Brown this week but it was cancelled at short notice. This means further delay in helping the victims of pleural plaques gain compensation.

Dave said,

"It is imperative that the government departments who will have financial responsibilities accept their responsibility and work with us to put through the legislative changes required to reinstate the previous position. The Prime Minister needs to tell them to get on and do it. We are not going away."

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Scotland leads on plaque compensation

12 Jan 2010

Dave is urging the Prime Minister to take action in England after a Scottish court threw out an attempt by insurers to avoid payouts.

The Law Lords backed the insurance companies in 2007, leading to a change in Scottish law which Dave wants for sufferers in England. He is meeting the PM on Wednesday.

Dave said,

"I believe what has happened in Scotland has shown the way forward for the Westminster Parliament doing exactly the same thing. We have been arguing that the Scottish way could have been implemented across the UK before now."

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Things getting better

Car factory workers 11 Jan 2010

As figures show the region is emerging from the recession, Dave has called for support for manufacturers.

Citing the steel industry in the light of the Corus shutdown, he says it is important that the growth be maintained. He is meeting with steel industry bosses later this week.

Dave said,

"One of the key things we will be pushing for is for sectors such as the steel industry to be taken far more seriously now.

"We'll be meeting with steel bosses on Friday as part of a special hearing of the [regional select] committee and then taking their case to Whitehall.

"Because I have seen for myself just talking to people in Blaydon that things seem to be getting better, but we could so easily lose that growth if we do not act now to offer support to the manufacturing sector."

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Victimisation at work

7 Jan 2010

Dave has tabled a parliamentary motion attacking a website that names people who have taken action against their employers.

He says that while a small number abuse the tribunal system, they are not a problem and does not believe that measures designed to expose them should jeopardise the employment prospects of the vast majority of genuine victims.

Dave's Early day Motion reads:

EDM 542
Anderson, David
That this House recognises that people who are victimised in the workplace or treated unfairly in the recruitment process need to be able to challenge employers and seek redress; understands that a very small number of serial litigants are abusing this right for financial gain and condemns their actions; does not accept that these individuals are a big problem, and does not believe that measures designed to expose them should jeopardise the employment prospects of the vast majority of genuine victims; further condemns the launch of a website by Gordon Turner of Partners Employment Lawyers and Damian McCarthy from Cloisters Chambers which allows employers to find out if a person has taken an employer to tribunal in the past; believes that such a website could be used to screen unfairly applicants who have legitimately taken their employer to tribunal in the past, which runs contrary to the Government's progress on dealing with the victimisation of trade union members; is concerned that such a website would be in breach of data protection laws; and calls on the Information Commissioner's Office to investigate whether the website is compliant with the Data Protection Act.

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