Dave's News Extras

30/12/15 How many will have to die?
08/12/15 Courting disaster
03/12/15 Hydrotherapy for muscle disease sufferers
30/11/15 We must address reality in Syria
22/11/15 Backhanders for the rich while people starve BBC Sunday Politics
16/11/15 Naval asbestos victims get a raw deal
16/11/15 Public pay cap hammering health, education and care services
10/11/15 Slow going at Team Valley
09/11/15 Ex- Service personnel with mesothelioma
13/10/15 Backing for NHS Support Staff
01/10/15 Halfon hypocrisy over Tory bid to woo workers
30/09/15 Involve the workers! Dave's speech to conference 30 Sep 2015
09/09/15 Free schools 'Vanity Project' designed to reduce the state
05/08/15 Welcome for free flights
23/07/15 I'll play no part in that nasty game
20/07/15 Government dismantling welfare state
20/07/15 Northern Rock Foundation
12/06/15 Orgreave 'cover up'
10/06/15 The Big Shave Off
05/06/15 Love Your Job campaign
28/05/15 Backing Burnham
27/05/15 Fee scandal for health professionals
23/05/15 Changes would be 'deliberate gerrymandering'
24/04/15 'Great Day for Birtley'
21/04/15 It's not too late for the interview
26/03/15 Call for court action over Blaydon Tip
26/03/15 A million adult learners lost
24/03/15 Praise for Kurds
18/03/15 Please watch Sue Barker
15/03/15 End unfair discrimination against veterans
26/02/15 Fair treatment for injured veterans
25/02/15 No second jobs for MPs
17/02/15 'Blame and prosecute the poor; chide and cajole the rich'
14/02/15 Veterans lobby MPs for a better deal
12/02/15 Rich trying to scare the poor
11/02/15 Ban backstreet breeding
10/02/15 Welcome for asbestos payout
04/02/15 While officials are talking, young boys stop walking
03/02/15 Dave hosts veterans at Commons meeting
31/01/15 MP in talks over academy staffing crisis
31/01/15 Rethink green belt houses
28/01/15 Time to tame 'Masters of the Universe'
27/01/15 Time to turn from austerity
26/01/15 Too many pubs face final closing time
22/01/15 Call for action on NHS pay
15/01/15 Orgreave answers wanted
11/01/15 Cuts cause bed blocking
10/01/15 Bedroom Tax 'a disgrace'

Current News


How many will have to die?

Firefighters in Tyne and Wear 30 Dec 2015

Dave has lashed out at government cuts to local services as the Fire Brigades Union issues dire warnings.

This comes after the FBU published figures showing the service had lost 7000 firefighters in the last five years.

Dave said,

"Everyone involved in the fire service is warning of the dangers of these cutbacks.

"Unfortunately we have got a government run by a PR man. They were not going to take refugees and then the image of a drowned three-year-old washed up on a beach emerged and they agreed to take 20,000. It is terrible, but it will take a really serious incident for them to back track over these cuts."

His Labour colleague Ian Lavery MP also attacked the cuts, saying,

"The reality of these cutbacks is that someone, somewhere will lose a loved one. The cutbacks are unsustainable, the fire service is being hammered from all angles. They are needed more than ever, - we only have to look at their work helping those affected by the floods to realise this."

The Tyne and Wear FBU branch has warned that major incidents such as Kard Bar fire would be hard to cope with because the service no longer has enough firefighters and is short of appliances (fire engines) because of the cuts in funding by government, while the Northumberland FBU said it needed to keep its current remaining fire stations open, which the floods had demonstrated. .

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Courting disaster

8 Dec 2015

The government's cost cutting court closure plans are causing concern.

Dave has tabled a Commons motion urging ministers to listen to concerns such as travelling distance, failure to take public transport into account, the needs of the staff involved and the inadequacy of some council buildings where replacement courts ate to be held.

Dave's early Day Motion reads:

Session: 2015-16
Date tabled: 08.12.2015
Primary sponsor: Anderson, David
Sponsors: Kinnock, Stephen

That this House is concerned by the Government's proposed closure of 91 courts and tribunals in England and Wales, and the entirely detrimental impact this will have on access to local justice; believes that the public need to see justice being delivered within the communities it is meant to serve if confidence in the system is to be upheld; is further concerned at inaccuracies relating to a large under-estimation of travel times to alternative courts contained within the HM Courts and Tribunal Service consultation document and the assumption that those attending court have access to their own vehicle, with little or no acknowledgement that many vulnerable families and victims will rely on public transport, particularly in rural areas; further believes that Government proposals to hold court proceedings in local authority-owned buildings could compromise the safety of staff and members of the public as these buildings were not built to cope with such proceedings, and therefore lack the necessary facilities currently present within court buildings; is disappointed that the consultation document remained largely silent on the impact the proposals would have on staff; and urges Ministers to listen carefully to the concerns being raised and not to continue with any closures that would restrict access to justice, remove or reduce staff and public safety and lessen public confidence in local justice delivery.

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Hydrotherapy for muscle disease sufferers

3 Dec 2015

Dave has sponsored a Commons motion calling for access to hydrotherapy for everyone with a muscle-wasting condition.

The motion points out that some with these conditions are turned away because the pools are only for people with broken bones and also notes there are twice as many pools for animals than there are for people.

The Early Day motion reads:

Session: 2015-16
Date tabled: 03.12.2015
Primary sponsor: Glindon, Mary
Anderson, David McCabe, Steve
That this House welcomes the new report by Muscular Dystrophy UK on the urgent need to increase access to hydrotherapy across the UK; notes that many health professionals believe it improves or maintains mobility, strength and flexibility and is a good form of aerobic exercise for people with muscle-wasting conditions; expresses concern that individuals and families living with muscle-wasting conditions are being turned away from some hydrotherapy pools after being told they are only for use by people with broken bones; further notes that there are more than twice the number of hydrotherapy pools available for animals compared to those available for people; recognises the need for reasonable adjustments to be made to community swimming pools to ensure that they are accessible for people with muscle-wasting conditions; calls on the NHS to ensure that everyone with a muscle-wasting condition who requires hydrotherapy receives a referral; and further calls for a national review of hydrotherapy provision to be undertaken by the Department for Health.

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We must address reality in Syria

RAF Tornado on take off. Soon to be deployed in Syria? 30 Nov 2015

I do not want to sanction action in Syria but I believe it is simplistic to base decisions on this on other failed military interventions.

At the end of the day we must learn those lessons but we also have to address the reality of a situation where people are prepared to bring war into our towns and cities and murder innocent people. I will need a lot of convincing, including being assured that we are working with all other players in the region, including Russia and Iran, to defeat the evil of Daesh. I am not averse to action as a last resort - and I do say that, sadly, we can't hope that this threat will just go away - but there is a lot of thinking to be done beforehand.

I am not fully convinced by the so called strategy espoused by the PM on 26/11/15 and I need further clarification especially regards to the so called troops on the ground who will, allegedly, take the fight to Daesh. I'm not certain that they are either competent or disciplined enough to carry out that role and there is no proof that they are capable of becoming a united force. I still think we need to take Daesh on and completely defeat them. I will be engaging over the next few days to try and be more confident of my position either way.

I do not want to mislead anyone. Where I am at present doesn't mean that I won't, ultimately, support military intervention in this area. I am not a pacifist. We were right to fight Hitler and wrong not to fight Franco. We were right not to support the U.S. In Vietnam, thanks to a great Labour Prime Minister, and disastrously wrong in Iraq. Sometimes action is the only answer but, as Iraq showed, it has to be the right action and it has to be fully thought through and we have to go the extra mile to get the fullest possible international buy-in possible. We aren't there yet by a long chalk.

I have also written for the Journal newspaper on this matter.

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Naval asbestos victims get a raw deal

16 Nov 2015

Those who served in the Royal Navy before 1987 and who have contracted mesothelioma due to asbestos are being treated badly compared to civilians.

Dave has taken up the cause and has tabled a Commons motion outlining this anomaly where civilians can get up to six times the compensation than former service personnel, and calling on the government to act more swiftly to right this wrong

Dave's Early Day Motion reads;


Session: 2015-16 Date tabled: 16.11.2015 Primary sponsor: Anderson, David Sponsors: Gapes, Mike Bottomley, Peter Dowd, Jim Cunningham, Jim Shannon, Jim

That this House notes that thousands of people who served in the Royal Navy before 1987 are not entitled to full compensation for being exposed, while under military orders, to asbestos and for when they have contracted mesothelioma; further notes that they will lose out massively when compared with people who contracted the lethal lung disease in civilian life where compensation reaches £180,000, while an estimated 2,500 sailors in this position may only be eligible for £31,000 through their war pension; believes that this is a clear breach of the Armed Forces Covenant, which the Prime Minister rightly described as the promise to the UK's military that, because of the sacrifices they make on the UK's behalf, they should not have less good treatment than other groups of people; agrees with Chris Simpkins, director general of The Royal British Legion, that this is a clear breach of the Armed Forces Covenant; recognises that the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence are examining the matter; and urges them and service chiefs to take swift and positive action to resolve this gross anomaly.

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Public pay cap hammering health, education and care services

Nurses getting left behind 16 Nov 2015

The government's policy of capping public sector pay means that those workers are being left behind as private sector pay outstrips it.

In a Commons motion which Dave has tabled, he points out that health trusts and local councils can't recruit staff while the pay of bosses of big companies is averaging a 21% increase.

Dave's Early Day Motion reads:


Session: 2015-16 Date tabled: 16.11.2015 Primary sponsor: Anderson, David

Sponsors: Cunningham, Jim Durkan, Mark Skinner, Dennis Campbell, Ronnie Stephens, Christopher

That this House believes that the one per cent four-year public sector pay cap announced by the Chancellor in the Summer Budget will inflict deep damage to public services and unfairly shut out public sector workers from the benefits of growth across the economy; notes that public sector workers have already endured a two-year pay freeze, followed by a three-year one per cent pay cap that has cut thousands of pounds from the real value of wages, followed by this new four-year one per cent pay cap which will cut almost £2,400 from the value of the average public sector wage by 2019 as RPI inflation returns to an annual rate of over three per cent; further notes that this contrasts sharply with economic growth running at 2.5 per cent, average earnings in the private sector predicted to reach close to four per cent within the next two years, the remuneration of FTSE 100 chief executives growing at 21 per cent and corporate profits growing at almost five per cent; notes that this trend is already apparent in a recent Smith Institute survey of HR directors and managers which found that 63 per cent of health trusts are unsure that they have enough staff to meet demand, particularly among highly trained, specialist and experienced staff, while 88 per cent of local authorities state that the continuation of the pay squeeze will impact on their ability to recruit and retain staff; and further believes that the huge gap between public and private sector wage growth is set to create a recruitment and retention crisis that will undermine the standard of care provided by the UK's health service, the quality of education for children in UK schools and care for the vulnerable in UK communities.

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Slow going at Team Valley

10 Nov 2015

Dave has spoken out about poor internet service at Team Valley.

Businesses there claim that the slow connection is stunting their growth and that BT's response to too slow and too late.

Dave said,

"The Team Valley is an important part of my constituency, being the first publicly-built industrial estate in the world and still a vital source of employment. I am deeply disappointed that BT have failed to invest in providing it with decent broadband."

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Ex- Service personnel with mesothelioma

9 Nov 2015

Following his recent question to the Prime Minister, Dave has followed up with a Commons motion.

He recognises that both the Prime Minister and Defence Secretary are aware of this problem and urges them both to take 'swift and positive action' to resolve what he describes as a 'gross anomaly'.

Dave's Early Day Motion reads:


Session: 2015-16
Date tabled: 09.11.2015
Primary sponsor: Anderson, David
Sponsors: Mearns, Ian Hepburn, Stephen Dowd, Jim Shannon, Jim McDonald, Andy

That this House notes that thousands who served in the armed services before 1987 are not entitled to full compensation for being exposed, while under military orders, to asbestos and when they have contracted mesothelioma; further notes that they will lose out massively when compared with people who contracted the lethal lung disease in civilian life where compensation reaches £180,000, while an estimated 2,500 sailors in this position may only be eligible for £31,000 through their war pension; believes that this is a clear breach of the military covenant, which the Prime Minister rightly described as the promise to our military that, because of the sacrifices they make on our behalf, they should not have less good treatment than other groups of people; agrees with Chris Simpkins, Director General of The Royal British Legion, that this is a clear breach of the Armed Forces Covenant; recognises that the Prime Minister and the Defence Secretary are examining the matter; and urges them and service chiefs to take swift and positive action to resolve this gross anomaly.

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Backing for NHS Support Staff

Hospital cleaner 13 Oct 2015

The indispensable work done in the NHS by support staff has been highlighted by Dave.

He has tabled a Commons motion welcoming a campaign by UNISON recognising their valuable role 'behind the scenes' such as cleaning, cooking, in IT, finance, maintenance and so on and deploring the attacks on 'back office' staff and managers without whom doctors and nurses could not do their work.

Dave's Early Day Motion reads:

Session: 2015-16
Date tabled: 12.10.2015
Primary sponsor: Anderson, David

Kinnock, Stephen Huq, Rupa Jarvis, Dan Cox, Jo Stephens, Christopher

That this House recognises the essential work carried out by support staff in helping the NHS achieve consistently high standards of care and patient experience; believes that everyone who works in the NHS should be properly valued, whatever role they fill; asserts that the media-driven divide between frontline clinical services and so-called back office support services is entirely artificial in the NHS; further believes that without support staff the NHS could not function, as those staff enable clinicians to carry out their jobs to the best of their abilities; further recognises that every day NHS support staff work round the clock to dispense medicines, maintain vital equipment, order medical supplies, book appointments, pay bills, manage computer systems, clean, cook, do the laundry and oversee the day-to-day running of the NHS; notes with concern that support staff jobs are often the first to be cut and that many of the services they provide face the constant threat of outsourcing; recognises that managers in the NHS are also under constant attack, despite the NHS being relatively under-managed compared to the rest of the UK economy; and welcomes UNISON's One Team campaign that seeks to highlight this important issue.

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Halfon hypocrisy over Tory bid to woo workers

1 Oct 2015

Dave has hit out at a Tory MP for hypocrisy who says he is on the side of workers.

Tory MP Robert Halfon is accused of hypocrisy by the Public and Commercial Services union over his plans to try and woo trade union members.

Dave said,

"Robert Halfon takes the biscuit for flying in the face of the reality of his Conservative government's many measures that hobble unions and disadvantage working people. He must surely be having a laugh in trying to pretend to uphold the interests of working people. It may not be April Fool's Day but it certainly feels like it."

Mr Halfon claims he is on the side of workers, but his voting record shows he has consistently voted against workers' interests and for the government's cuts to jobs and living standards, including:

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said:

"Robert Halfon has consistently voted in parliament against workers' interests, most recently supporting the government's vindictive and unnecessary trade union bill designed to severely restrict our ability to assist people at work. Scratch the surface and this is just more of the same-old Tory hypocrisy."

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Free schools 'Vanity Project' designed to reduce the state

School children using computers 9 Sep 2015

Dave has hit out at the government's plan for 500 more free schools after it was revealed they get much more money that other state schools.

This follows an analysis by The Guardian which revealed that free schools received an average of £7,761 per pupil while those in other state schools got £4,767.

Dave said,

"Higher pupil funding shows that free schools are free loading. We should level the playing field so that there is equity between different schools in the state system.

"This is made more urgent by the Prime Minister's decision to further boost the number of free schools. Their freedom should not be at the expense of pupils who attend other schools.

"And despite this lopsided funding the success and failure rates are very much in line with schools in the state sector so it is clear that this programme is little more than an ideological vanity project driven by the desire to undermine the foundations on which local Government is built.

"The taxpayer is funding the demise of the democratic structures that ensure fairness and equal access for the next generation."

There are 252 free schools already open with a further 52 due to open this term. There are around 22,000 state school all together. Last year a free school in Durham City was closed after it was heavily criticised by Ofsted.

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Welcome for free flights

5 Aug 2015

Dave has welcomed the news that kids can fly free.

This follows the new s that under 12s can fly free from Newcastle to London from now until 1 November.

Dave said,

"News that under-12s can fly entirely free until November 1 from Newcastle to London on BA flights is very welcome. It flows from success in getting the government to scrap Air Passenger Duty for under 12s but this is a good opportunity for families to go together to see, for instance, the Rugby World Cup in Twickenham."

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I'll play no part in that nasty game

23 Jul 2015

Dave has responded to comments made by Stephen Timms MP, Labour's work and pensions spokesman.

In an open letter, Dave describes the comments as an 'uncharacteristic attack' on himself and other Labour MPs who defied the party and voted against the Welfare Bill.

Dave's letter to Mr Timms reads:

Dear Stephen

Following your uncharacteristic attack on myself and 47 other comrades, I thought I would just send you this very clear message sent to me by a constituent. So far it is one of about two dozen that I have received. I have not had anyone writing to say "what on earth are you doing supporting scroungers", which seems to be where some in our party want us to position ourselves.

Perhaps I am closer to this than most having been brought up in a home where my Dad was more out of work than in and having been made redundant, spent time on the dole and had two lengthy periods of long term sickness in my working life. I don't want anyone to be persecuted for being poor or sick or out of work but it is clear that this is the Tory agenda which is to force people into work regardless of their situation and , when that doesn't work, to punish them for their temerity.

I, for one, want to play no part in that nasty game. I'm proud of the role that our Party played in the creation of the Welfare State and until we, collectively, get back to being the moral compass of our nation and stating that, Yes we are our brothers and sisters keepers, then we will continue to confuse and dismay those who need us most. And, as much as it hurts, we have to accept that in doing this there will be some who exploit our goodwill and generosity. We don't help anyone by hurting everyone

In solidarity

Dave Anderson MP

Speaking on BBC Radio London, Mr Timms had said the rebellion was

"smaller than quite a lot of people expected"
and included a number of MPs who regularly defy the party whip.

He went on to say,

"There were also a number of newer members who broke the whip and I hope as we go into the summer recess they will conclude that they really want to be supporting our party's efforts to replace the current government rather than undermining them."

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Government dismantling welfare state

20 Jul 2015

Dave voted against the Welfare Reform Bill, defying his party's leadership to do so.

Labour's acting leader, Harriet Harman, told Labour MPs either to support the government or to abstain, but Dave was adamant in his support for the weak and vulnerable and so voted against the government's plans.

Dave said,

"This is a red line for me. It's time to stop blaming poor, vulnerable and sick people for the failings of the rich and powerful who messed up our economy. I am particularly opposed to the regionalisation of benefits because it is the thin end of a very thick wedge.

"We all have to realise that one day any one of us may find ourselves in the position where we need the support of a decent social security system. The Tories are systematically taking that apart because they are ideologically opposed to the principle of a welfare state."

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Northern Rock Foundation

20 Jul 2015

Dave has tabled a Commons motion calling for the survival of the Northern Rock Foundation.

He asks the Chancellor to support a plan proposed by the Chair of the Foundation that a 'reasonable and fair proportion of profits made by the Treasury from Northern Rock's former holdings' be used to continue the work of the foundation which many charities and other community groups have benefited from over the years.

Dave's Early Day Motion reads;

Session: 2015-16
Date tabled: 20.07.2015
Primary sponsor: Anderson, David

That this House notes the proposal made in the Newcastle Journal by Northern Rock Foundation Chair, Alastair Balls, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should allocate a reasonable and fair proportion of profits made by the Treasury from Northern Rock's former holdings to the work of the Northern Rock Foundation; further notes that the work of the Foundation has made a real difference to communities and individuals over many years through helping tackle issues such as domestic abuse, investing in the arts and supporting schemes to help disadvantaged people; and agrees with Vera Baird, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria, that the Chancellor has a unique opportunity to ensure the long-term future of the Foundation.

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Orgreave 'cover up'

Orgreave, June 1984 12 Jun 2015

Dave is angry at the news that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is not going to investigate police handling of the 'Battle of Orgreave' in 1984.

He was then a miner and was present at Orgreave and witnessed the events there and has described the decision as an establishment cover up by what he called the 'forces of darkness'.

Dave said

"I'm not surprised by the outcome. It is yet another establishment cover up."

"Innocent people were stitched-up, beaten-up and set-up by the agents of the state and I have no doubt that this is the forces of darkness closing ranks to protect the powers that be that really run this country as opposed to us, who are democratically elected."

Some police officers including two from the North-East, were accused of 'fitting up' miners on false riot charges and the IPCC was called to investigate South Yorkshire Police and other officers drafted in from across the country.

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The Big Shave Off

10 Jun 2015

Dave has tabled a Commons urging MPs to support a member of Parliament's staff in his charitable fund raising.

Paul Kehoe is trying to raise funds for a number of charities and to this end has grown his hair and beard ready for the time it can be shaved off on 17 June.

Dave's early Day Motion reads:

Session: 2015-16
Date tabled: 10.06.2015
Primary sponsor: Anderson, David
That this House praises the efforts of Paul Kehoe, one of the House's doorkeepers and a servant of the House for 37 years, in supporting The Big Shave Off in order to raise funds for charities involved with autism, Alzheimer's, Cancer UK, Help the Heroes and prostate cancer; is impressed by the luxuriant growth on his head, upper lip and chin and recognises that he has been the butt of good humour from hon. Members during his time of growth and expansion; looks forward to his moment of relief when The Big Shave Off takes place on 17 June 2015; urges colleagues to support Paul's fundraising efforts; and recognises that several hon. Members support the Movember campaign every year, but is not surprised that one of the House's staff has, as always, gone the extra mile on behalf of others.

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Love Your Job campaign

5 Jun 2015

Dave has welcomed the Evening Chronicle's Love Your Job campaign.

He has congratulated the newspaper for the initiative and says he hopes employers and employees will benefit from workers being happy in their work.

Dave said,

"Well done to Chronicle for doing the Love Your Job campaign. Let's hope we can encourage people to get more jobs they enjoy.

"By paying them properly, treating them properly and paying proper attention to Health and Safety, employer have the chance to make their employees happy."

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Backing Burnham

Andy Burnham 27 May 2015

Tory MP Guy Opperman's advice to northern Labour MPs on whom to back for the leadership has been decisively rejected by Dave.

Dave, who is supporting Andy Burnham for the Labour leadership, said he was not about to take advice from a Tory on the matter and praised both Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper as progressive and articulate and condemned 'scare stories' from Tories.

Dave said,

"Guy's completely wrong. The day people like me take advice from a Tory as to who we should have as Labour leader is the day when we should pack up and go home.

"Both are progressive and articulate people, and these scare stories we are seeing about them are coming out because they realise they are capable of beating them hands down at the next election."

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Fee scandal for health professionals

27 May 2015

Dave has tabled a Commons motion expressed concern over fees levied on health professionals by the Health and Care Professions Council.

Despite having promised not to raise fees until at least 2016 the HCPC intends to hike fees by 12.5% in August, on top of a 5% rise last year, and this after years of pay freeze.

Dave's Early Day Motion reads:

Session: 2015-16
Date tabled: 27.05.2015
Primary sponsor: Anderson, David

That this House notes that the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is increasing its mandatory fees for all 16 regulated professions by a massive 12.5 per cent on 1 August 2015; further notes that this follows a five per cent increase in 2014, breaches an undertaking not to review fees again until 2016, and affects 330,000 dedicated staff, from paramedics to social workers, occupational therapists to physiotherapists, across the UK; further notes that less than a third of the increase is accounted for by a levy on HCPC to fund the Professional Standards Authority (PSA); is aware that these dedicated workers have suffered five years of pay freeze and pay restraint; understands that the overwhelming majority of respondents to a consultation by HCPC were against such a massive increase including 97 per cent of UNISON members surveyed; is astonished that HCPC ran a surplus of £1.3 million and increased its general reserves by nearly £1 million in 2014 but is pressing ahead with little public and no Parliamentary scrutiny; calls on HCPC to delay any rise until the Health Select Committee holds its annual accountability hearing and until it fully considers the cost savings that enactment of the Law Commission draft Bill Regulation of health and social care professionals will enable; and further calls on the Secretary of State for Health to resume central funding of the PSA, to instruct HCPC to reduce the costs of unwarranted investigations and hearings before raising fees and to protect registrants in future from fee increases that exceed registrants' annual pay awards.

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Changes would be 'deliberate gerrymandering'

MPs in the Commons 23 May 2015

Dave has said that government plans to change constituency boundaries would be gerrymandering.

The Tories pledged to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600, but the North-East would lose three MPs and its voice at Westminster reduced.

Dave said,

"The whole process is deliberate gerrymandering to ensure that the end result would give the Tories an electoral advantage.

"Professional electoral officers despaired at a process that gave simple number of electors as the most essential criteria in developing new boundaries. Locally we would see the Angel of the North represented by a Sunderland based MP and people living in Gateshead borough being represented by MPs covering five separate council areas."

NB: Gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan advantaged districts.


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'Great Day for Birtley'

Dave with happy shoppers at the new Morrions in Birtley 24 Apr 2015

Those were Dave's words as a new Morrisons Store opens.

The new store, which is on the site of many previous stores on Durham Road (A167), was opened today by Paul Roxborough, a well known local figure who used to work in other shops in the site, and Corban Bruce from St Joseph's RC Primary School, who won a competition to design a carrier bag. The Mayor of Gateshead, Neil Weatherley, was also present to lend his support.

Dave says:

"A great day for Birtley as Morrisons comes to town".

Morrisons Birtley Store General Manager Ian Brocklehurst said:

"We were overwhelmed by the support shown for the store and the new team and I'm delighted that we have created so many new local jobs. We're looking forward to playing an active role in the community, as Corban has shown in this design, as well as bringing a great range of fresh food and fantastic produce to Birtley. ."

Paul Roxborough and Corban Bruce cut the ribbon to open the new store, watched by the Mayor of Gateshead, Neil Weatherley.
Paul Roxborough and Corban Bruce cut the ribbon to open the new store, watched by the Mayor of Gateshead, Neil Weatherley.

The 26,000 sq ft store has a pedestrian bridge to link the supermarket with the town's High Street, as well as a covered lower level car park with 286 spaces.

Not only is this a great new retail outlet for Birtley but it has also created 137 new jobs.

Crowds of happy shoppers, many carrying bags bearing Corban's winning design, soon made their way into the store to start taking advantage of this new facility for the people of Birtley and surrounding area.

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It's not too late for the interview

David Cameron 21 Apr 2015

Dave has called on David Cameron to stand up and be counted.

He accuses the Tory leader of shirking the job interview, pointing out that people on benefits would get sanctioned if they fail to turn up for an interview, but in this case as many others, we are not all in it together

Dave's letter in The Journal reads:

If someone on the dole doesn't turn up for a job interview they get sanctioned, lose benefits and certainly don't get the post. But as always with this Prime Minister we have one rule for the rich and powerful and another for the rest of us. So we see David Cameron, the man who has already told us he couldn't live on a zero hour's contract, thinking he can shirk the interview and keep the job.

He did the initial TV interviews five years ago, and insisted that TV debates should for all time be a crucial part of the democratic process, so why won't he do it now them again so we can judge him and the other candidates properly? The broadcasters have made it abundantly clear that it is not too late for a head-to-head with Ed Miliband. So come on Dave, stand up and be counted or the whole country will think you really are chicken.

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Call for court action over Blaydon Tip

Dave on BBC Look North speaking about the environmental mess at Blaydon Tip 26 Mar 2015

Dave has called for stronger powers for the Environment Agency and for court action against the operators of Blaydon Tip.

Speaking on BBC Look North, he said the operating company had not followed the regulations laid down by Gateshead Council or the Environment Agency.

Dave was speaking with Carol Malia and said,

"The council's closed the road for two weeks and been cleaning up, and they haven't got it finished; that's how desperately bad it is.

"There's an issue with the lack of powers [of the Environment Agency] that I'm trying to work with them now. There's a DEFRA consultation on now and I'm trying to encourage local people and local politicians to give them more ammunition. There is an issue about resources. The Environment Agency., like all public bodies, has lost lots of people and they are stretched but they do need more resources.

"But at the end of the day, if this company, and the companies previously, did what they were supposed to do under the regulations put in place by the council and the Environment Agency, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

"The report talked about 120,00 tons surplus last year. I'm having an ongoing debate with the Environment Agency about when's a surplus not a surplus. They argue it's the volume of the waste rather than the amount of the waste. You cannot dump a third more than what you're licensed to and not expect to have problems.

"What we should be doing is getting the Environment Agency to go to court. They've said to me they are preparing to take Mr Wanless and the company, under caution, to interview them with the intent of going to court. But we do need stronger powers.

"But we also want Mr Wanless to accept the fact that he is doing a public service. He's being paid good money by the people of Gateshead to do the job and he needs to do it properly. It's time he came out of his bunker."

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A million adult learners lost

26 Mar 2015

Dave has joined leaders from across the North-East in accusing the government of preventing thousands of people across the region from retraining for new job opportunities.

He says an estimated one million adult learners have been lost to the economy since 2010 as cuts to adult further education have denied adult learners a second chance at training and a job.

And now more cuts are coming as the coalition says a further 24% cut will be made next year and employers and colleges are campaigning against this.

Dave said,

"Such deep and damaging cuts have been imposed for many years.

"One estimate is that a million adult learners have been lost since 2010 and these changes will remove opportunities for many more. Many courses most at risk from the changes cater for those who missed out on qualifications at school, or for those who need short bursts of learning to get back into employment."

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Praise for Kurds

24 Mar 2015

Dave has tabled a Commons motion welcoming the recent inauguration of the Centre for Kurdish Progress' national awards for the most successful Kurds in Britain.

The motion also praises those who have contributed to the Kurdish cause and reflects the appreciation of the role of the Kurds in fighting against the so-called Islamic State.

Dave's Early Day Motion reads:

Session: 2014-15
Date tabled: 24.03.2015
Primary sponsor: Anderson, David
That this House warmly welcomes the recent inauguration of the Centre for Kurdish Progress' national awards for the most successful Kurds in Britain as a sign of the growing importance and vibrancy of the Kurdish Diaspora in the UK; notes that the award categories include business, role model, social responsibility, art, press and publication, student society and young entrepreneur; congratulates the right hon. Member for Cynon Valley and Gary Kent, Director of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Kurdistan Region in Iraq, for their awards for extraordinary contributions to the Kurdish cause and the hon Member for Stratford on Avon, who won the most successful politician of the year award; and believes that such initiatives do much to help foster connections between Kurds and British people, who appreciate the positive role that Kurds play in resisting the genocidal and misogynistic activities of the so-called Islamic State.

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Please watch Sue Barker

18 Mar 2015 Poster about Sue Barker's BBC1 Appeal

Dave is asking people to spare a few minutes on Sunday afternoon to watch Sue Barker appeal for Muscular Dystrophy UK.

The short programme will be broadcast on BBC1 on Sunday 22 March at 4.45pm and will be presented by the charity's President, Sue Barker, and will tell the stories of two people living with muscle-wasting conditions: seven-year-old Abbi Bennett from Birmingham, and 28-year-old Jonathan Gilmour based at Cambridge University. The film will show viewers the impact muscle-wasting conditions can have on the lives of children and adults, and why funding for research and support is so vital.

Supporters can tweet about this and the society has suggested a number of tweets:

You can also like and share via Facebook and/or Twitter our Storify page www.storify.com/TargetMD/bbc-lifeline-appeal-to-feature-muscular-dystrophy as well as see our updates on our social media channels.

After the broadcast we will have the link to watch again and other ways to get involved on the website at http://www.musculardystrophyuk.org/get-involved/

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End unfair discrimination against veterans

15 Mar 2015

Dave has backed the comments of a former Chief of the Defence Staff who has called for an end to different care rules for different veterans.

Lord Richards has called on the government to change a system that means military veterans injured before 2005 have to pay for their own care but those injured later do not.

Dave said,

"It's unfair and it's about saying these people have a special case.

"There is a cost to it, but these people have been prepared to pay the ultimate cost. It's about how much we value those who have served for us."

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Fair treatment for injured veterans

British troops in the field 26 Feb 2015

Dave is calling on the government to remove discrimination against injured service personnel.

Some are finding that that their military compensation except the last £10 is being withheld to offset the cost of their care, while others, and those in civilian life do not suffer this.

Dave has tabled an Early Day Motion in support of a campaign by the Royal British Legion which reads:


Session: 2014-15

Date tabled: 25.02.2015

Primary sponsor: Anderson, David

That this House notes the invaluable contribution made by servicemen and servicewomen, past and present, to the security of the UK and the risks they take with their health and lives in defence of freedom; further notes that this unique sacrifice is not fully recognised within the social care system, with veterans who were injured before 6 April 2005 typically finding that all but the first £10 per week of their military compensation is taken to cover the costs of their care; further notes that this is not the case for veterans who were injured after 6 April 2005, or for civilians who have been injured in the workplace, both of whom can retain their compensation awards in full when accessing council support; recognises that the current situation amounts to a clear breach of the Armed Forces Covenant principle of no disadvantage due to Service; and calls on the Government and devolved administrations to harmonise the treatment of injured veterans' compensation payments in social care charging guidance, making additional financial resources available to help local authorities implement this policy change.

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No second jobs for MPs

House of Commons in session 25 Feb 2015

The plight of Sir Malcolm Rifkind apparently struggling to live on £66,396 a year has drawn little sympathy from Dave.

He said MPs knew what they the salary was to be when they stood for election, and if they didn't like it, they should leave.

Dave said,

"If you can't live on the salary get another job. You know what you sign up for.

"If you can't live off £67,000 a year you must be from another planet.

"If you want another job, take another job and leave. You shouldn't have a second job as an MP regardless.

"My colleagues and I work so many hours I don't know how anybody could fit another job in."

Dr Martin Farr of Newcastle University said that British MPs aren't paid a lot nor do they get the same level of support as MPs elsewhere.

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'Blame and prosecute the poor; chide and cajole the rich'

17 Feb 2015

Dave has described what he says are the clear differences between the Tories and Labour.

Writing in The Journal, he also points out that the most deprived parts of the country have been hit by the government's overall economic plan than the rich parts which have suffered much smaller losses.

Dave's letter reads:

A week is a long time in politics and didn't last week show it? On Monday parliament closed four and a half hours early to allow Tories to go to their mega fundraiser where for the price of a decent house up here people could pay to go shooting grouse in Devon or have a chicken dinner served by Michael Gove.

On Wednesday our PM, who used to demand that sunshine was the best medicine, refused six times on the trot to answer questions about tax fiddlers and why he had elevated one of his cronies to the House of Lords and given a plum job to a man who had been in the middle of a huge tax rip off exercise.

The following day one of his biggest supporters, who first threatened to sue the Leader of the Opposition, had the audacity to say that it's OK to dodge tax because everyone does it and he was only at the vanilla end of affairs.

Labour's response is to accept we were far too lax in the past but we are now committed to introducing much tighter legislation in its first Finance Bill after the election to ensure that everyone pays their fair share or face real sanctions, not a cosy chat, a small fine and a secret slap on the wrist.

We then find out that there are only 300 tax inspectors chasing upwards of £70bn of avoidance and evasion while there are 3,250 officials in the DWP chasing benefit cheats. Where's the fairness in that? Blame and prosecute the poor; chide and cajole the rich. What a disgrace.

And on Saturday we get the news that people in the most needy parts of the country have been hit much harder by cuts than those in the more wealthier areas. Knowsley folk have lost £400 per head whilst in Wokingham it is a mere £2.29.

The next few weeks will see the dirtiest election in living memory as this rabid government tries to cling on to power as it presses on with taking this country back to the 1930s.

They will throw the sink at Labour.

They will ignore the role played by their friends in the City and banks in putting the world into recession. They will attack my leader for his inability to eat a bacon sandwich, remember all of his lines or scoff at his accent.

But the people of this country need to look no further than this week to see what the difference in politics is, to see that there is a difference in who you vote for. It's a clear choice between favours and protection for the rich under the Tories or any coalition that they desperately cobble together; or fairness and progress under a Labour leader who is not frightened to stand up to the rich, the powerful and the greedy.

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Veterans lobby MPs for a better deal

Dave with the group at Westminster 14 Feb 2015 2015

A group of military veterans and campaigners from the North East has returned from a mission to Westminster to win backing for measures to reintegrate former armed forces members into civilian life.

The delegation visited the Commons, as a guest of their patron and Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, to meet leading MPs who were soldiers and to test the debating skills of the veterans as part of a project to boost their employment prospects. The MPs were Conservative Rory Stewart, who chairs the influential Defence Select Committee, and Labour frontbencher, Dan Jarvis.

Tony Wright, a former Marine who is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of the Forward Assist charity, said:

"We are trying to teach veterans the basics of British parliamentary debate and this visit came at the end of two months intensive training in public speaking. It has enabled participants to better understand how national and local government works, and their place in it. The project also built links with Northumbria university and increased the aspirations of the veterans involved, removing psychological barriers to further education and gave the students some real life experience and time with people that they would not normally associate with."

Tony Wright added:

"No current programme uses debate training to help veterans make the sometimes difficult transition from soldier to citizen. The veterans were awestruck by the magnificent setting of the Palace of Westminster but more importantly the personable and approachable nature of MPs who gave up their time to meet them. Three of the veterans had never seen the point in voting whilst serving in the military but would now do so after gaining a greater understanding of how Parliament works."

Forward Assist volunteer, Julie Denton commented:

"It was an uplifting experience supporting the team during the debating project. I watched the team's confidence grow in such a short space of time. The veterans, volunteers and the students formed unexpected friendships throughout the project and shared many memorable moments together that won't be forgotten. Being involved with this project is something I will always be very proud of. A unique experience for all concerned."

Rory Stewart MP described his transition from the military to being an MP. He said that Debate Training for veterans was a brilliant example of the community covenant in action and should be replicated nationwide both for veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces as awareness of the Parliamentary system would encourage interest in politics and increase the number of people voting.

Dan Jarvis MP took the team to the Imperial War Museum for a guided tour of Lord Ashcroft's collection of Victoria & George Crosses and the stories behind them and for a Q&A session. Veteran Neil Tulley told him;

"I was accepted onto an MBA course at Newcastle University four months ago but was unable to get funding for postgrad study despite being medically discharged from the Royal Engineers after 16 years service. Had I served in the United States Armed Forces I would be able to fund any level of education for life. To complete an MBA part time over 2 years is cheaper than an undergrad degree part time over 6 years. I don't see any logic to that. Are there plans to improve the available funding for ongoing personal and professional development for UK veterans?'

Dan Jarvis promised:

"I will table the question to the MOD about support to service leavers for postgrad study and see what they come back with. Once they have responded we will see if anything can be done."

Dave Anderson MP commented:

"I am very proud to be involved with this great group of people. They constantly amaze me with their initiatives that means they are facing new challenges at all times and they then, magnificently, rise to them."

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Rich trying to scare the poor

City financial district 12 Feb 2015

Dave has written in the local press about big business and a Labour government.

He poses several rhetorical questions outlining why big business might be frightened of a Labour government, but goes on debunk this and show these are scare tactics; and reminds us that when the banks fouled up it was to a Labour government they turned to for help.

Dave wrote as follows:

Wow, who would have thought it? Big business is worried about a Labour win at the election.

I wonder why. Is it because they won't be able to continue to pay FTSE 100 chairmen more than £4m a year? Or is it because the directors of these companies won't be getting a 21% pay increase like last year, when nurses and other crucial public-sector workers are seeing their pay cut yet again? Perhaps they worry that we will reverse the low-pay, low-skill regime that the present government has allowed to flourish with the use of exploitative zero-hours contracts? Or are they worried that ,unlike the present government, Labour doesn't see health and safety and other positive workers' rights as simple red tape just waiting to be cut? Perhaps they want to go on getting huge taxpayer-funded handouts while poor people get hammered by the bedroom tax.

Or are they worried that there may be even more HSBC-style tax evasion programmes just waiting to be exposed and stopped? People in this country aren't fools. They know that businesses won't desert these shores if Labour gets in, because they have form. Just remember where all those failing banks turned to when the slide was on in 2008. They turned to a Labour government and cried: "Please, please bail us out."

No, this is the people at the very top trying to frighten the people at the sharp end to help to keep them in the place they think that is theirs as of right. Perhaps they don't realise that we are all in this together.

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Ban backstreet breeding

11 Feb 2015 Campaign poster against backstreet breeding

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has launched a campaign to ban backstreet breeding and Dave is delighted to lend his support.

Countless dogs are being forced to repeatedly breed, only for their puppies to be sold for profit. Across the UK, unlicensed breeders are making easy money by forcing female dogs to be mothers again, and again, and again.

Dave, owner of a 17 year old farm bred border collie, said,

" I am delighted to add my support to this campaign and I will try to find time to visit them. This is an important issue and this greedy exploitation of helpless dogs must be stopped and the perpetrators well and truly collared."

All too often, mothers are ill-treated then abandoned when they are no longer of use. The puppies, having not been cared for properly, are sold with health or behavioural problems already ingrained.

The mistreatment of these dogs has to stop. With your help, we can end backstreet breeding.

This campaign is calling for:

These changes to current legislation would clamp down on backstreet breeding by extending licensing to cover everyone who is running a breeding operation without penalising those households who produce genuine accidental litters, and promoting animal welfare in the early years by closing loopholes that help breeders move puppies on from their mothers too early.

The Kennel Club currently runs The Assured Breeder's Scheme which focuses on pedigree dog breeders. We want to improve standards in breeding for all dogs. This is a voluntary scheme so there is no legal obligation for breeders to sign up. This means that it does not include many commercial breeders - in fact, less than 40% of the total dog population is Kennel Club registered. The Assured Breeder's Scheme provides a useful supplement to the licensing proposals we are calling for but it is not an alternative.

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Welcome for asbestos payout

Lung dqamage caused by asbestos 10 Feb 2015

Dave has welcomed the news that the government has announced that asbestos-related cancer suffers are to receive up to £54,000 extra in compensation.

New rules mean that the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme will now pay out compensation matching 100% of the average civil claim rather than 90%.

Dave said'

"I'm delighted to hear this news, this is what campaigners have asked for many years.

"At last people who were denied justice by dilatory ex-employers and their friends in the insurance industry will be properly compensated, it's long overdue but welcome."

The news has also been welcomed by Chris Knighton of the Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund which she set up after the death of her husband.

She said,

"I feel very pleased. It has been a long haul for this to come about and it does give people the opportunity for compensation that would otherwise not have had.

"There is still a long way to go and sadly this decision should have been taken a long time ago as those with mesothelioma don't have the luxury of time.

"Those with the condition want to know that their family will be financially provided for when they are no longer here and this is why the new rules are so important."

The disease is particularly prevalent on Tyneside as a legacy of the shipbuilding industry.

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While officials are talking, young boys stop walking

4 Feb 2015

Dave has called for urgent action to make Translarna available to boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

He is asking the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to speed up the approval process and so boys are able to walk for more of their shortened lives.

Dave said,

"Let me be blunt. I know there is no cure for Duchenne but this treatment could delay children being put in a wheelchair for what is likely to be a much shorter life."

Dave recalled discussing this with the Prime Minister who said he would speak to the Health Secretary about it, but so far nothing has happened.

Dave commented,

"He is effectively saying there is nothing he can or will do. Young boys who could be ambulant for longer will inevitably be in wheelchair before they should be. And why? Because of an internal, bureaucratic impasse. While officials are talking, young boys stop walking."

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Dave hosts veterans at Commons meeting

3 Feb 2015

Former service personnel are visiting the House of Commons today to meet and debate with MPs

They are members of Newcastle based military charity Forward Assist of which Dave is Patron, and they will be meeting MPs who also former servicemen, Rory Stewart MP and Dan Jarvis MP

Dave said,

"This is a real opportunity for veterans and Forward Assist to engage with MPs who know the armed forces very well and are in a position to act on the agenda that we are proposing in order to ease the transition from Army to civvy life.

"I am very glad we are seeing senior MPs from the major parties working together to promote a new deal for former service personnel which is above the usual rough and tumble of party politics."

The contingent will also include students who are members of the Northumbria University Debating Society and the subject of the discussions will be the transition from Army to civilian life.

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MP in talks over academy staffing crisis

Thorp Academy Logo 31 Jan 2015

Dave has held urgent talks with teacher unions as many teaching jobs are threatened at two Gateshead academies.

Thorp Academy in Ryton, which is run by the Northern Education Trust Academy, and the Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy in Birtley are both facing drastic staffing cuts by the summer.

Dave said'

"It's appalling. I will be doing all that I can to support the people affected. Academies force schools out of local authority control and now it's backfired."

"Thorp Academy was forced into converting to academy status in 2013 to get much needed Government money to make drastic improvements to the school campus. The school already had the money to do the much needed work under Labour's Building Schools for the Future programme in March 2010, but following the formation of the Tory led coalition, that money was snatched away.

"The school needed refurbishment. The option presented to the school was to become an academy, which basically forced them away from local authority control.

"Now it's backfired and we're taking about 22 teachers and nine support staff at Thorp. We're also talking about putting children into classrooms with 35 people in.

"I've always opposed academies. One of the reasons why councils were given the role of education was because they take a realistic view."

In addition to the jobs at Thorp Academy, Lord Lawson of Beamish Academy needs to cut 9 jobs.

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Rethink green belt houses

31 Jan 2015

Dave has called for a rethink of plans to build 1500 houses on green belt land.

The scheme is part of an 8000 house plan for Gateshead by 2030, but Dave says that the green belt is a precious asset that must be protected.

Dave said,

"The new Newcastle/ Gateshead housing strategy envisages 25,000 new houses in the North East by 2030, and that 8,000 or a third of them will be built on the green belt. More specifically, 1,500 will be built on green belt land in and around Ryton, Crawcrook, and Dunston Hill.

"The green belt is a precious asset and should be respected to the maximum possible degree. My worry and that of the campaigners is that the planning assumptions are just wrong and may not justify using the green belt at all.

"In these circumstances, the minister should defer decisions until accurate figures are available and properly assessed."

Gateshead Council says that it has carried out extensive population surveys and forward planning and that the plans have government approval.

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Time to tame 'Masters of the Universe'

Ed Miliband 28 Jan 2015

Dave is among a group of Labour MPs calling on Ed Miliband to invest in public works to revitalise the economy.

The MPs say in a statement issued 100 days before the election that low interest rates are an opportunity for the next government to invest £30 billion to rebuild the country's infrastructure and create over a million jobs.

Dave said,

"People at the sharp end have suffered too long for the crass behaviour of the so-called Masters of the Universe whose greed and self-interest turned this country upside down.

"It's time to redress the balance and give some relief for those least able to carry the heaviest burden."

The MPs reject Ed Balls's policy of continuing cuts while protecting the NHS and want investment, as well as returning all rail services to the public sector as franchises expire.

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Time to turn from austerity

The Acropolis of Athens 27 Jan 2015

Dave has tabled a Commons motion welcoming the result of the general election in Greece.

Wishing the new Greek government well, he says now is the time to put the welfare of the people before the demands of the bankers.

Dave's Early Day Motion reads:

Session: 2014-15
Date tabled: 26.01.2015
Primary sponsor: Anderson, David
That this House welcomes the result of the general election in Greece and accepts the democratic will of the Greek people; wishes the new government well in its efforts to reduce the burden on its population that years of austerity have brought; urges the international community to work positively with the new government and recognise the will of the Greek people; believes that the austerity agenda being foisted on people across Europe and in the UK is ensuring that those least responsible for the financial crash are being forced to carry the heaviest burden; and further believes that it is now time to turn away from austerity and promote an economic system that puts the well-being of a nation's citizens before the desires and demands of those who created the economic mess in the first place.

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Too many pubs face final closing time

Dave enjoys a pint at a local pub 26 Jan 2015

Dave is backing a move to change the rules concerning the use of pubs.

This week MPs have tabled an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill so that planning permission is needed to chance the use of a pub building.

At the moment no planning permission is needed to change a pub to another retail outlet such as supermarket or surplus store.

Dave said:

"We hope that building this into the Bill will give the protection that some of the most iconic buildings in our country deserve, Too many classic buildings have been lost, with scant regard for the impact on the towns and villages where they are sited.

"We have to stop the rot as we see more and more of these irreplaceable buildings disappear."

The campaign is sparked by figures released by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) which says that the country is losing 29 pubs a week.

Dave has also signed Early Day Motion 208 tabled on 2 July 2014 calling for this change.

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Call for action on NHS pay

Nurse at work 22 Jan 2015 2015

Dave has called on the government to resolve the current pay dispute.

In a Commons motion, he urges the Secretary of State for Health to meet the NHS trade unions about how future pay and rates should be structured and not to muzzle the NHS Pay Review Body.

Dave Early Day Motion reads:

NHS PAY DISPUTE Session: 2014-15 Date tabled: 21.01.2015 Primary sponsor: Anderson, David

That this House registers its concern about the ongoing pay dispute in the NHS in England and the resultant protracted industrial unrest in the health service; notes that current NHS non-medical pay policy and the resultant dispute is damaging the health service both directly, as a consequence of disruption through industrial action and indirectly, through morale, motivation and staffing issues; urges the Secretary of State for Health to engage in urgent discussions with the NHS trade unions about how future pay and rates should be structured with a view to resolving the current pay dispute, delivering the flexible workforce implied by NHS England's Five Year Forward View and addressing the growing gap between NHS pay and costs; and encourages the Secretary of State for Health to reverse plans to prevent the NHS Pay Review Body from making recommendations for pay for non-medical health staff for 2015-16, to recognise that in addition to meeting the NHS's efficiency savings over the last four years pay restraint has been a significant factor in staff shortages and morale issues in evidence in the health workforce, to re-think current plans to repeat last year's pay policy of no cost of living increase to over 60 per cent of NHS staff and to make a 2015-16 pay settlement for NHS staff which reflects the current and forecast levels of inflation as well as the 10 per cent average gap between pay and costs.

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Orgreave answers wanted

Confronation at Orgreave 15 Jan 2015

Dave is asking the government about the police actions at Orgreave.

He wants to know the reasons why the Independent Police Complaints Commission has not published its report on the actions of South Yorkshire Police at Orgreave coke works in 1984.

Dave, a miner at the time of the strike who was at Orgreave that day, said:

"It's been two years now and still the IPCC hasn't reached a decision. It's a disgrace."

He added:

"Has South Yorkshire Police got something to hide? It has been involved in many dodgy things. There was Hillsborough after Orgreave where there was the issue of doctored notebooks too."

When the government supplies the answers they will of course be on this website.

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Cuts cause bed blocking

Dave on the Sunday Polituics programme 11 Jan 2015

The shortage of available hospital beds in the NHS is caused by cuts to local councils.

Dave made this point when speaking on the BBC's Sunday Politics programme, saying that because councils had less money to spend, there was a shortage of care homes and places for the elderly who could leave hospital.

Dave said,

"Cuts to council services means care homes have closed and as a result people who should be in residential care rather than lying in hospital beds - there's nowhere for them to go. So we have the situation where beds are blocked where in the past people would have been out of hospital and into care."

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Bedroom Tax 'a disgrace'

We oppose the Bedroom tax 10 Jan 2015

New figures revealed to day show that there is a shortage of smaller social housing in the region.

And this means that even those people who want to downsize' can't and are stuck paying the punitive bedroom tax while Dave says the government is treating people like subhumans and Labour will abolish the hated tax.

Dave said,

"This blows the myth out of the water and Labour will be rid of it. It was a pretence and a myth right down the lines about people having too many bedrooms.

"There simply aren't enough one-bedroom properties for people to move into. It's nonsense. These are people, human beings in houses they have been living in 40 years. We're talking about them as if they're subhumans. It's a disgrace."

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