Press Releases 2009

 
28/12/19 Good news for housing in the North
23/12/09 The fight to tackle climate change continues after Copenhagen
20/12/09 3500 homes in Blaydon missing out on energy savings, says Dave Anderson MP
15/12/09 MP outlines regeneration challenges in the North East to the regional Grand Committee
14/12/09 Blaydon MP takes fight to Number 10
04/12/09 Blaydon MP continues his fight against muscle disease
03/12/09 A warm welcome in Whickham for campaign to curb fuel poverty
02/12/09 Local MP supports community pharmacy
30/11/09 Blaydon MP backs housing fraud crackdown
25/11/09 High-level meeting on Muscular Dystrophy in North East
25/11/09 Commons motion on how people can conserve energy, save money and tackle climate change
23/11/09 Benefits and services fact sheet produced by MP
19/11/09 Disabled get raw deal on public transport
09/11/09 Pleural Plaques meeting with PM Tuesday, joint statement by Stephen Hepburn MP and Dave Anderson MP
03/11/09 MP joins school trip to Auschwitz
03/11/09 Local MP takes fight for muscle disease patients to the Commons
29/10/09 Joint Statement from Stephen Hepburn and Dave Anderson on today's meeting with Jack Straw re Pleural Plaques
22/10/09 Hear! Hear!
22/10/09 MP encourages people to take up Will offer
19/10/09 Don't write off people with autism, says Blaydon MP
16/10/09 Joint statement by Dave Anderson and Stephen Hepburn on pleural plaques victory in the Commons
14/10/09 MPs put themselves in shopworkers' shoes
13/10/09 MP hails victory over rainwater tax for local groups
13/10/09 MP marks UN world food day
12/10/09 How to use Parliament workshops heading for the North East
11/10/09 MD and Me
08/10/09 Bookstart day marked in Blaydon
01/10/09 Open community surgery
30/09/09 Blaydon Skills and Enterprise Centre
25/09/09 Blaydon MP says G20 plan takes us closer to a new global tax on speculators
25/09/09 Pupils put MP on the spot
25/09/09 Pensioner Poverty
23/09/09 Protecting Workplace Rights
12/09/09 Pioneering local social enterprise scheme nominated for national award
08/09/09 Come and fight cancer
01/09/09 Drive for cancer patients to claim prescriptions
25/08/09 'Follow Newcastle's lead'
20/08/09 Bringing mining history to life in Sunniside this Saturday with local MP
15/08/09 High Spen project and allotmenteering praised
05/08/09 Campaigners congratulate David Anderson MP for backing new move to increase transparency re taxpayers money
18/07/09 People should be allowed to keep their pets when they move into care, says MP
15/07/09 Climate Change: a warning from the future
09/07/09 Determined action to tackle reckless driving and joyriding needed, says Blaydon MP
07/07/09 Dave secures action from Transport Minister
07/07/09 Lift Scouts ban in the Commons, says Blaydon MP
01/07/09 Campaign for free oxygen on airlines bearing fruit says Blaydon MP
25/06/09 MP's backing for local newsagents
17/06/09 Welcome for new money for crackdown on teenage binge drinking
11/06/09 MP’s welcome for de La Rue passport bid success
09/06/09 New post for Blaydon MP
08/06/09 MP and unions see minister about QE laundry contract
29/05/09 Carers are the UK's secret service, says Blaydon MP
21/05/09 Rogue bosses beware, says Blaydon MP
20/05/09 Blaydon MP to present asbestos disease petition to Downing Street on 20th May
13/05/09 Former miners can claim new compensation free of charge, says MP
12/05/09 RCN Northern Region Welcomes Support of David Anderson MP on International Nurses Day
11/05/09 Plan to scrap Minimum Wage is cause for 'Wage Concern'
06/05/09 North East Tourist boost for local 'gem' bed and breakfast commended by local MP
02/05/09 Chickens can stay home and roost
30/04/09 Dave urges MEPs to do the right thing
30/04/09 Commons backing for local under 13s football team
23/04/09 Dave Anderson backs green motoring and local company
17/04/09 Justice for Miners Knee Sufferers
03/04/09 Remembering British heroes from the Holocaust
02/04/09 Blaydon MP hails G20 deal
27/03/09 Blaydon MP to take QE laundry fight to Parliament
23/03/09 Dave Anderson urges investment in the well-being of children to benefit all
09/03/09 Blaydon MP organising Commons support for peace rallies in Northern Ireland
04/03/09 Blaydon MP backs online service to help disabled children
27/02/09 Dave Anderson backs UK Pub Crisis Summit
19/02/09 MP’s warm welcome for new waste recycling plant and new jobs at Blaydon
12/02/09 Dave Anderson backs campaign to get Britain building
10/02/09 MP encourages young people to take up free theatre tickets
04/02/09 Save the pub, says Blaydon MP
22/01/09 Let Gateshead lead the way on free school meals, says Blaydon MP

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Good news for housing in the North

28 Dec 2009

"Newcastle and Gateshead will next year (2010) receive a £29 million share of a £311 million government investment to boost current work to transform homes and regenerate communities," according to Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

Dave Anderson said:

"This money will help build attractive communities that will bring people back to live there and provide much needed new homes. It will also help improve the quality of life and the neighbourhoods for people stuck, unable to sell their homes, in these abandoned streets."

Mr Anderson added:

"This Housing Market Renewal funding will also protect and create over 1,000 construction jobs and apprenticeships and is in addition to nearly £2 billion on new homes since June. Communities are built by individuals and families but central government investment can do much to aid their efforts, especially during a recession."


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The fight to tackle climate change continues after Copenhagen

Burning fossil fuels without capture technology has to be controlled
Burning fossil fuels without capture technology has to be controlled
23 Dec 2009

"Global action to tackle climate change is still vital and hasn't been derailed by the Copenhagen summit," according to Blaydon MP Dave Anderson who actively campaigns for energy conservation and other measures.

Dave Anderson said:

"I know that many people feel disappointed with Copenhagen but it was always going to be a massive task to persuade so many governments with different interests to reach a deal at the first attempt."

Dave Anderson added:

"However, Copenhagen made important strides forward. We now have international backing for an overall limit of 2 degrees on global warming. All countries will take action on climate change. There will be immediate and longer term financial help to countries most at risk of climate change. There will be real scrutiny and transparency to ensure emission targets are put into effect, with mandatory reporting every two years for developing countries. Developed countries will work to provide long term financing of 100 billion dollars a year by 2020, a figure first put forward by Gordon Brown in June."

He commented:

"We shouldn't give up. The Copenhagen deal was far from everything we hoped for but public pressure played an important part in securing the gains we did achieve. The campaign to save the planet from climate change has only just begun, but it's a fight must win. Our children's futures are at stake."


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3500 homes in Blaydon missing out on energy savings, says Dave Anderson MP

20 Dec 2009

"3500 Blaydon households could be missing out on savings of £250 a year on energy bills by failing to claim free insulation grants," according to local MP Dave Anderson.

Mr Anderson said:

"Local people should phone the free Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99 to check if they are eligible for assistance and to request a free copy of the 'Little Book of Energy' advice booklet."

Dave Anderson added:

"The Little Book of Energy is a valuable resource to help families save money and keep warm this winter. It contains tips for making your home more energy efficient and information about free grants for insulation and assistance available to cut heating bills."

Research shows residents could save around £150 a year on their heating bills by insulating their lofts and another £115 a year with cavity wall insulation.


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Blaydon MP takes fight to Number 10

Dave with campaigners at no. 10 on 15 Dec 2009
Dave with campaigners at no. 10 on 15 Dec 2009
14 Dec 2009

Young muscle disease campaigners will this week take their campaign for equal access to transport, university and leisure facilities to Downing Street and Parliament.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson will help present a petition at Downing Street (2pm Tuesday 15th December) which demands improved transport, education and leisure services for disabled people across the UK.

Dave Anderson will then take the message to Parliament and join campaigners from across the UK at a lobby in the House of Commons organised by Trailblazers - the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's pressure group for young disabled people.

The lobby at Parliament and trip to Number 10 is the culmination of a year long 'Inclusion Now' campaign by the Trailblazers, who have published three hard hitting reports about access to transport, education and leisure services.

The award winning young campaigners network have since secured debates in Parliament, met Ministers and spoken out on the national news against discrimination.

Their 'undercover' investigations into transport, university life and access to leisure facilities, exposed shocking findings, including buses refusing to stop for wheelchair users, disabled toilets used as storage cupboards in pubs, as well as universities refusing accommodation for carers.

Dave Anderson MP, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Muscular Dystrophy, said:

"I am very glad that these determined campaigners are being listened to. They have engaged with the Transport Minister, as well as with universities and leisure facilities across the UK.

"The Sports Minister is attending the reception, and MPs from the main parties are taking part.

"These events will allow the Trailblazers to highlight the issue of accessibility to services for young people living with muscle disease."

Disabled campaigner David Gale, who is 26 years old and from Carlisle, said:

"I'm really looking forward to handing in our petition to Downing Street on Tuesday. This is the culmination of almost a year and a half of hard work investigating the state of the UK's facilities for disabled people. Our investigations show there is a lot to be done to give disabled people the same experiences on transport, in education and at leisure venues as our non-disabled peers. I hope this petition and the launch of our Inclusion Now report will be the catalyst for change."

Meeting the young campaigners on Tuesday, Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe MP said:

"I applaud the work these young people are doing in highlighting the issues facing those with disabilities in their day-to-day lives. The Trailblazers campaign is a positive way for young people to make a difference in their communities and I support their achievements so far and the work that is ahead of them".

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is the only national charity focusing on all muscle diseases. It invests £3 million a year in care support services, research, muscle centres, networks, information and resources. It has pioneered the search for treatments and cures for 50 years and provides practical, medical and emotional support to people affected.

They will launch their "Inclusion Now" campaign in the Commons (Tuesday 15th December 3pm - 5pm, Attlee Suite Portcullis House).

Since April 2009 the Trailblazers have published three hard-hitting reports which revealed that:

Key facts and figures

Trailblazers

Muscular Dystrophy Campaign

Vinvloved


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Blaydon MP continues his fight against muscle disease

Dave with the petition 4 Dec 2009

Over forty families living with muscle disease joined forces with MP for Blaydon, Dave Anderson, Lord Walton of Detchant and the Mayor of Gateshead, at a meeting on Friday in the Civic Centre, as part of a campaign to improve NHS services for vulnerable patients.

The meeting was called following serious concerns that many local patients are not getting the care they need.

MP for Blaydon, Dave Anderson, who also Chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for Muscular Dystrophy, launched a new petition at the meeting and said:

"Muscular Dystrophy is a devastating condition as I know all too well, losing both my brother and sister to the disease.

"I was shocked to hear about the problems facing vulnerable patients in the region - by adding my name to the petition, I am calling on the North East NHS Specialised Commissioning Group to undertake an urgent review of services

Robert Meadowcroft, Director of Policy at the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, said:

"We are extremely pleased that local parliamentarians are committing to keep this vital issue at the top of the political agenda. For too long families with rare muscle conditions have had to endure inferior services.

Patients discussed a number of urgent concerns including:

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is the leading UK charity focusing on muscle disease. It has pioneered the search for treatments and cures for 50 years, and is dedicated to improving the lives of all people affected by muscle disease.

It funds world-class research to find effective treatments and cures; provides free practical and emotional support; campaigns to raise awareness and bring about change and awards grants towards the cost of specialist equipment.

For more information about the work of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign please contact Miriam Foster on 02078034844 or email m.foster@muscular-dystrophy.org


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A warm welcome in Whickham for campaign to curb fuel poverty

Dave with Mr Jennings
Dave with Mr Jennings
4 Dec 2009

Great Grandfather Joseph Jennings, 83, of Whickham, was so impressed by energy efficiency improvements by Gateshead Warm Zone that he invited local MP Dave Anderson to enjoy the warmth and discuss the difference it has made at home.

The visit was part of the Warm Homes Campaign, led by campaigning charity National Energy Action to boost awareness of how fuel poverty hits over 5 million households and the support available to end the misery of living in a cold damp home. The campaign is sponsored by ScottishPower and the Department for Energy and Climate Change

Mr. Jennings, who lives with his daughter, first heard about the scheme through a Warm Zone letter offering free energy efficiency measures.

Mr Jennings said,

"They put lagging in the loft which keeps the house a lot warmer, and they also told me I was entitled to benefits I didn't even know about. The heating doesn't need to be on long before it gets the whole house warm and it stays warm. And it was all done at no cost to myself."

Dave Anderson, MP for Blaydon said:

"It was delightful meeting Mr Jennings today and hearing about his experiences. Fuel poverty is a serious and often not recognised issue. It can cause debt problems, isolation, and poor health which sadly many do not recover from. Winter is a difficult time for many households and with energy prices remaining high it is important to look at ways of improving energy efficiency to bring people's energy bills down and make homes healthier to live in. It is because of this I am supporting the Warm Homes Campaign.

"The key message, as Mr Jennings has demonstrated, is that there is help out there for vulnerable households. I urge everyone to contact the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99 to access help and advice on staying warm in their home this winter without the fear of fuel debt and ill health."

Gateshead Warm Zone is a not for profit organisation working in partnership with Gateshead Council, Gateshead Housing Company, Scottish Power and other local organisations. The main aim of Warm Zone is to reduce fuel poverty in Gateshead, including cold/damp related illnesses, and economic hardship by improving energy efficiency and increasing incomes in homes across the whole of Gateshead.

John Leslie of Gateshead Warm Zone said,

"I am very pleased that Dave Anderson was able to come along and see first hand the work we are doing in Gateshead. I hope this will encourage as many people as possible in the area to take advantage of our excellent free service which can help residents to stay warm this winter and save money at the same time. Residents of Gateshead can reach us on our local office number 0191 477 1919 to arrange assistance."

NEA Chief Executive Jenny Saunders said,

"Millions of households urgently require support through grants to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Extra resources for trained advisors to help people make successful claims for benefits and to give debt advice are also essential."

Jim Paterson, Sales and Marketing Director at ScottishPower said:

"Tacking fuel poverty remains a challenge particularly during this time of recession, which will potentially see many households impacted financially.

"However, we believe it is a challenge we can face together, pooling resources to have a lasting impact on tackling fuel poverty. We are delighted to be supporting the Warm Homes Campaign, which provides the platform to showcase many of the successful energy efficiency and fuel poverty initiatives already underway across the country."


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Local MP supports community pharmacy

2 Dec 2009
Dave at R.W Wilson Pharmacies in Winlaton
Dave at R.W Wilson Pharmacies in Winlaton

Blaydon MP, Dave Anderson, visited R.W Wilson Pharmacies in Winlaton to see the fast-growing number of services now available from pharmacies, many of which were previously only available from a GP's surgery.

Mr Anderson met pharmacist, John McDougall, and heard how pharmacies such as his are now delivering a range of additional services including stop smoking support, vascular checks, prescribing repeat prescriptions and managing long-term conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Mr Anderson was shown the range of new services being offered by pharmacists and how they can be commissioned more effectively from primary care trusts. He was keen to see greater use of pharmacy as a resource providing front-line care for the local community.

Mr Anderson commented,

"I'm hugely impressed with the range of services now available from pharmacies within the community, at a time convenient to patients and without an appointment. This is an easy way for people to take control of their health, ensure they are getting the most out of their medicines and to stay healthy. And if we improve the way in which patients use their medicines we can the best value from the £8 billion annual NHS bill for medicines; money which could otherwise be spent on local front-line services.

"All round this is a huge step forward in the standard of care available to the public and I hope Winlaton will be able to benefit from more of these initiatives in the future."


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Blaydon MP backs housing fraud crackdown

30 Nov 2009

The first ever national crackdown on the scam whereby up to 10,000 council and housing association homes are being fraudulently sub-let has been backed by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

Almost 150 councils, including Gateshead, have signed up to the initiative which also encourages tip-offs from neighbours with a reward of £500 to anyone whose information leads to the recovery of one of the first 1,000 homes.

Dave Anderson said:

"Cheating families who are in real need of a home is completely out of order. I am very pleased that the Government has given Gateshead £30,000 to tackle this scandal. This drive rightly aims to protect the public and taxpayers money."

The government's anti-fraud drive to recover homes accompanies the largest council house-building programme for nearly two decades.


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High-level meeting on Muscular Dystrophy in North East

25 Nov 2009

Gateshead will host (Friday) a high-level seminar to discuss how to build support for Muscular Dystrophy sufferers.

The meeting of the North East Muscle Group, hosted by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson at the Civic Centre, will hear from prominent speakers including Lord Walton and officials from the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

The campaigners this year used undercover methods to expose how disabled commuters in the North East are forced to pay more for an inconsistent and inaccessible public transport system

Dave Anderson said:

"This seminar will explore how to promote our analysis of the access and health problems suffered needlessly by people with Muscular Dystrophy as well as how to pool our resources to make a difference."


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Commons motion on how people can conserve energy, save money and tackle climate change

25 Nov 2009

Adding circulator pumps to building regulations "would save a significant amount of energy if every house and business had one fitted" according to a Commons motion tabled by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

Dave Anderson, who is a member of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, added:

"this is just the sort of measure that, with others, helps us all do our bit to conserve precious energy resources and help avert climate change."

The cross-party motion reads as follows:

"That this House welcomes the publication of the consultation document for Part L of the Building Regulations which includes circulator pumps for the first time with a minimum rating of Band C for both domestic and non-domestic properties; notes that there are an estimated 15 million stand-alone circulators on boilers in UK homes, of which 97 per cent. are Band D or below; recognises the significant carbon savings and reductions in energy consumption that could be achieved by installing an energy efficient circulator in Band C or above; congratulates British Gas and Eaga for already installing energy efficient circulators in Band C or above; considers that without a minimum Band C in the Building Regulations the work of contractors that recognise the importance of installing energy efficient pumps would be undermined; and recognises that having a minimum rating of Band C will help manufacturers in the UK prepare for the EuP Directive that will mean that only Band A circulator pumps will be sold from 1 January 2013 and A*, or their equivalents, from August 2015."


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Benefits and services fact sheet produced by MP

23 Nov 2009

"Families should get all the benefits and services to which they are entitled," according to a new fact sheet produced by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson and which has been distributed across Blaydon.

Dave Anderson said,

"In the current economic times it is even more important than ever that our families are receiving all the support and help they can to help them with costs such as Childcare, Education and support when having children."

He added,

"I have distributed 50,000 leaflets across the constituency. This includes all households so they can ensure their extended family and friends can see if they are receiving all their entitlements. Libraries and community centres have also received copies of the leaflet"

This leaflet compliments the leaflet "A Guide to support for older people in Blaydon" which Dave Anderson produced last year to provide advice and support for older people.

More information on help and support for families and older people can be found on www.Directgov.co.uk or by contacting Gateshead CAB.

Download Dave's guide.


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Disabled get raw deal on public transport

19 Nov 2009 Delegation at the Commons

Disabled commuters in the North East are forced to pay more for an inconsistent and inaccessible public transport system, as revealed by a three month undercover investigation published this week.

The investigative report End of the Line, which was presented this week to Dave Anderson MP, Chair of the Muscular Dystrophy All Party Group, includes a number of mystery commuter journeys taken across the North East. The trips were undertaken by young disabled campaigners in order to assess the state of our nation's public transport system.

End of the Line is the first report as part of the Inclusion Now campaign being organised by the Trailblazers - the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's nationwide network of 16 to 30-year-olds who are fighting for the rights of young disabled people.

Having completed surveys every time the Trailblazers made a journey on public transport, as well as using blogs and focus groups, today's report exclusively reveals:

* wheelchair users are forced to pay more to use public transport than their non-disabled peers;

[A typical train journey with a Disabled Adult's Railcard often costs more than a typical coach journey would cost. The majority of coaches are inaccessible, leaving trains as the only option available for longer journeys]

* half of trains lacked basic disabled facilities at stations and on board the trains;

* on a third of bus journeys, the mystery commuter was unable to board the first bus which arrived at the bus stop;

[This is a consequence of the access ramp being broken, the accessible space on the buses being unavailable or the driver failing to stop]

* two out of five of the young disabled people were forced to pay more to use a wheelchair accessible taxi, compared with their non-disabled peers;

[As a result of the strain of using the bus and rail networks many disabled people feel forced to use taxis to be able to travel around a town or city.]

These results come four years after the Disability Discrimination Act came into force, suggesting that transport providers are still failing to fulfil their duties in providing an equal service to disabled commuters.

The young campaigners presented their findings to MPs and Peers at the House of Commons, where they will called on the Government and local authorities, together with transport providers, to review their accessibility policies

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson MP, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Muscular Dystrophy, met with campaigners in Parliament, and said:

"Many people with muscle disease feel that our public transport system does not meet the needs of its passengers. I hope that the report's findings will help boost independence and improve the quality of life for all people living with muscle disease.

"It's fantastic that young people are being given the opportunity to see their ideas make a difference and have an impact in their local communities."

Trailblazer Ambassador, David Gale from Carlisle, with Becker muscular dystrophy, said:

"Most people find it easy to get around and be independent, but when you are disabled simple tasks like travelling spontaneously can be extremely difficult.

"It's incredible that transport providers think the level of service they currently provide for disabled commuters is good enough. The End of the Line report shows there is still a long way to go before the transport system in the UK really is accessible.

"I hope that by joining forces with other young disabled campaigners from across the UK we'll have a real impact and access to public transport can be improved."

Commenting on the Trailblazers' report, a spokesperson for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said:

"The Equality and Human Rights Commission welcomes the Trailblazers and their current campaign to promote access to public transport.

"Although the Disability Discrimination Act started to come into force in December 2006 many disabled people still not do experience equal access to transport, leisure facilities and education.

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is the only national charity focusing on all muscle diseases. It invests £3 million a year in care support services, research, muscle centres, networks, information and resources. It has pioneered the search for treatments and cures for 50 years and provides practical, medical and emotional support to people affected.


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Pleural Plaques meeting with PM Tuesday, joint statement by Stephen Hepburn MP and Dave Anderson MP

9 Nov 2009
"A delegation of MPs including ourselves and accompanied by Justice Secretary Jack Straw will meet the Prime Minister on Tuesday evening to discuss the issue of compensation for those who suffer from pleural plaques. The meeting is the culmination of a long-standing and passionate campaign by many MPs, unions and others to overturn the unjust Lords ruling of 2007. We are glad that Jack Straw will help present the case for reinstating the compensation. We hope that the PM will see the merits of this and take a broader and longer-term view of the issue."

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MP joins school trip to Auschwitz

3 Nov 2009

Scores of pupils from across the North East are flying to Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland tomorrow (Thursday 5 November) to see the site of the 20th century's most terrible genocide for themselves.

Arbeit Macht Frei, the mocking message over the gates of death camps Dave with the pupils at Auschwitz

Arbeit Macht Frei, the mocking message over the gates of death camps

Dave with the pupils at Auschwitz

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who will be accompanying pupils from Ryton Comprehensive School, said:

"I was born after the second world war but I have been acutely aware of the crimes that the Nazis committed at Auschwitz and elsewhere for all my life. I am a strong supporter of the Holocaust Educational Trust, which is organising this trip to Poland, in their work to convey these historical horrors to new generations."

Dave Anderson added:

"I hope that the students will see how millions of individuals, with their own lives and stories just like themselves, were treated so abominably. I am sure that it will be a life-changing visit for everyone concerned. We must know our history so that we never allow genocide to be repeated."


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Local MP takes fight for muscle disease patients to the Commons

3 Nov 2009

MP Dave Anderson fought for better services for children and adults with neuromuscular conditions during a House of Commons debate when he called for "real improvements throughout the country" for patients earlier this week.

Mr Anderson, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Muscular Dystrophy also met with ministers and peers to look forward to the launch of a new investigation and subsequent report into wheelchair provision for people with muscle disease.

Anderson, who has several family members affected by muscle disease, has been a prominent figure in the fight for better services for these patients. As well as Chairing the All Party Parliamentary Group, Anderson has written about his experiences in the national press and appeared on BBC News calling for vital improvements.

MP for Blaydon, Dave Anderson said in Parliament:

"We need a strategic approach and we need the development, throughout the country, of specialised centres for everyone. People are travelling ridiculously long distances to receive the treatment that they need. Indeed, the distance that they are travelling is making their condition worse. That is not the care that they should be receiving."

Robert Meadowcroft, Director of Policy at the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, said:

"Dave Anderson MP has been an invaluable figure in the fight for better services for people with muscle disease. I appreciate the strength of his words in Parliament this week and hope that we start to see more commitments to improve services across the UK."

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is the leading UK charity focusing on muscle disease. It has pioneered the search for treatments and cures for 50 years, and is dedicated to improving the lives of all people affected by muscle disease.

It funds world-class research to find effective treatments and cures; provides free practical and emotional support; campaigns to raise awareness and bring about change and awards grants towards the cost of specialist equipment.

For more information about the work of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign please contact Miriam Foster on 020 7803 4844 or email m.foster@muscular-dystrophy.org


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Joint Statement from Stephen Hepburn and Dave Anderson on today's meeting with Jack Straw re Pleural Plaques

29 Oct 2009

"Our meeting with Jack Straw was very useful because the Justice Secretary agrees with our constructive case for reinstating compensation. He will also accompany us and other MPs who are campaigning for justice for those with pleural plaques to a meeting in the near future with the Prime Minister where we will present a joint case for action. Only the Prime Minister has the ability to take an overall view beyond the particular concerns of different spending ministries that would be affected and effect a deal that delivers justice for those who have been criminally, negligently and knowingly exposed to a proven poisonous substance through no fault of their own."


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Hear! Hear!

Dave at the Co-op 22 Oct 2009

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is supporting a call from The Co-operative and charity RNID, for Blaydon shoppers to value their hearing health.

On Thursday at 12 noon Dave Anderson MP will be exclusively visiting the Blaydon Co-operative Food Store to encourage customers to take RNID's free five-minute Hearing Check, which helps identify whether you have a hearing loss.

Dave Anderson says:

"Many people don't realise how vital their hearing is in everyday situations until they start to lose it. RNID estimate that as many as one in seven of us have a hearing loss, so I am delighted to support The Co-operative and RNID in their efforts to encourage Blaydon residents to value their hearing health by taking their Hearing Check."

RNID's Chief Executive, Jackie Ballard, says:

"On average, it can take someone up to 15 years to deal with their hearing loss, and in that time, a person's quality of life can be greatly reduced. We greatly appreciate the support of Dave Anderson MP and The Co-operative in encouraging people to value their hearing health and start addressing any hearing loss to avoid experiencing unnecessary isolation from friends, family and their community."

With the support of its members and customers, The Co-operative aims to raise more than £2 million in 2009 for RNID.

RNID is hoping to encourage everyone to check their hearing during its year as The Co-operative charity of the year. You can check your hearing now by calling 0844 800 3838 or visiting www.rnid.org.uk/123 for the free online hearing check.

  1. Calls to RNID's telephone hearing check from a BT landline cost up to 5p per minute. Other providers' charges may vary. Call set up charge may apply.
  2. RNID is the charity working to create a world where deafness or hearing loss do not limit or determine opportunity, and where people value their hearing. We work by campaigning and lobbying, raising awareness of deafness and hearing loss, promoting hearing health, providing services and through social, medical and technical research.
  3. The Co-operative Group is the UK's largest mutual retailer, with over 4,000 trading outlets, 5 million members and more than 120,000 employees. Its major businesses include food retail, financial services, funerals, healthcare and travel, together with property, farming, consumer legal services and motor dealerships. In addition, the society operates the on-line electrical retailer, The Co-operative E-store. For further information about The Co-operative, visit www.co-operative.coop .

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MP encourages people to take up Will offer

Will 22 Oct 2009

Local people can take advantage of this November's Will Aid, a campaign that encourages people to make a Will with a local participating solicitor and also raise vital funds to help good causes.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"Will Aid solicitors draw up a basic Will free of charge but hope that people will donate to a group of dedicated charities which help transform the lives of children, elderly people, their families and whole communities at home and abroad."

Dave Anderson added:

"About two-thirds of us don't have a Will. This is unwise and risks their loved ones' financial security as the absence of a Will may mean that your estate doesn't benefit people as you would wish."

Participating solicitors can be found at www.willaid.org.uk or by calling the hotline 0300 0300 013.


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Don't write off people with autism, says Blaydon MP

19 Oct 2009

A campaign to stop adults with autism being written-off by the employment and benefits system has been backed by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

Dave Anderson said:

"The National Autistic Society's shocking report shows that a third of people with this condition currently live without a job and without benefits and that many rely on family and friends. But they have much to offer and many want to work but are unable to get help and support. It is important that people with serious, lifelong and disabling conditions such as autism get the help they need when seeking employment and are supported financially when they cannot work. They shouldn't be written off as both they and society as a whole loses out."

Only 15% of adults with autism in the UK are in fulltime paid employment. The Don't write me off report reveals that the majority of the over 300,000 working age adults with autism want to work but are being held back by a lack of understanding of autism amongst employment and benefits advisors at Jobcentre Plus and a dearth of specialist employment services. As a result they often experience inadequate job-seeking support, unnecessary and distressing delays in payment, or are being denied essential benefits altogether.

Mark Lever, chief executive of the NAS said:

"People with autism say their experiences of the employment and benefits system are marred by anxiety, confusion, delays and discrimination. It is scandalous that thousands of people with autism are being consigned to poverty by a complex and counter-productive benefits system. We will keep campaigning until the Government's "no-one written off" pledge is a reality for people with autism."

Research for the Don't write me off report found:

The NAS is calling for a national strategy from government to transform access to employment for people with autism across the UK. The charity is also campaigning for a better understanding of autism across all Jobcentre Plus staff and new measures to make the system fair for people with the disability.

To find out more about the campaign, visit: www.autism.org.uk/dontwritemeoff

The National Autistic Society is the UK's leading charity for people with autism and their families.

Founded in 1962, it continues to spearhead national and international initiatives and provide a strong voice for all people with autism.

The NAS provides a wide range of services to help people with autism and Asperger syndrome live their lives with as much independence as possible.

The NAS relies on the support of its members and donors to continue its vital work for people with autism. To become a member, make a donation or to find out more about the work of the NAS, visit the NAS website www.autism.org.uk

For more information about autism and for help in your area, call the NAS Autism Helpline on: 0845 070 4004 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday, (local rates apply).

The NAS Autism Services Directory is the UK's most comprehensive directory of services and events for people with autism. Visit www.autism.org.uk/autismdirectory to find autism services and support networks in your area.


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Joint statement by Dave Anderson and Stephen Hepburn on pleural plaques victory in the Commons

Lungs scarred by asbestos 16 Oct 2009

Tyneside MPs Dave Anderson and Stephen Hepburn have hailed the "historic vote" in the Commons on a backbench bill which recognises pleural plaques - a scarring of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos - as a compensatable illness.

They said:

"We were concerned that a couple of mavericks were planning to halt progress so we organised to block them. We were, therefore, very pleased that backbench MPs and frontbenchers approved this important Bill. We now have cross-party support and ministers say they will not impede progress in the Lords. We urge all parties to speed progress through the Lords in order to get Royal Assent before we rise next month. We have done all we can in the Commons but will be working with colleagues in the Lords. If the Lords let us down, we will not stop in the fight for justice for those with pleural plaques."

The Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) Bill is a response to a House of Lords ruling in 2007 which denies compensation and seeks to turn back the law. The Bill now goes to the Lords where the Government must find time for debate.


Dave later commented,

"Now it goes to the Lords and hopefully the Government will give it all support possible. Because it has got all-party support, it should pass through the Lords and hopefully it will be back to the Commons for royal assent before the Queen's Speech."


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MPs put themselves in shopworkers' shoes

Dave at the Usdaw campaign 14 Oct 2009

The daily dilemmas and dangers for shopworkers have been dramatically brought to life in a Westminster event organised by retail union Usdaw.

MPs were asked to put themselves in the shoes of a shopworker trying to decide whether a young person is old enough to buy alcohol.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson took part in the exercise and said:

"It brought home to me just how hard it is to tell someone's age. But shopworkers have to make that call all the time. They know that refusing to serve someone who is underage can lead to abuse or violence. They also know that failure to spot an underage customer can lead to fines which many of the lowest paid workers cannot easily afford."

The campaigning MP added:

"In the run-up to Christmas, when a little more alcohol is purchased, I suggest that shoppers are patient with shopworkers and produce ID if asked."

The MP has also backed a Commons motion calling for the Government to run a high profile campaign making it clear to youngsters that it is illegal for them to attempt to purchase alcohol underage and for retailers to display that information prominently in their stores.


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Dave with the minister Huw Irranca-Davies - and a brolly
Dave with the minister Huw Irranca-Davies - and a brolly

MP hails victory over rainwater tax for local groups

13 Oct 2009

Excessive water bills for scout groups, churches, amateur sports clubs and other organisations at the heart of the community will be stopped following pressure from MPs and local groups.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has announced that these voluntary organisations will not face unaffordable increases in their bills that were threatened by some water companies.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson welcomed the move and said:

"The Scouts and Churches locally made it clear to me that the so-called rainwater tax wouldn't wash and fully agreed with them and supported them in persuading ministers to step in. The dedicated volunteers who keep these organisations running and serving our community can now get on with doing their job instead of worrying about water bills. Fairness means practical steps to make life better. I will very happily do my bit to make this law when it comes to the Commons in the next few months."

Dave added,

"The Scouts and Churches locally made it clear to me that the socalled rainwater tax wouldn't wash and fully agreed with them and supported them in persuading ministers to step in.

"The dedicated volunteers who keep these organisations running and serving our community can now get on with doing their job instead of worrying about water bills.

"Fairness means practical steps to make life better. I will very happily do my bit to make this law when it comes to the Commons in the next few months."


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MP marks UN world food day

Hungry children queueing for food handout 13 Oct 2009

Over a billion people worldwide endure chronic hunger every day, according to a cross-party Commons motion which has been backed by Blaydon MP in the run-up to UN World Food Day on Friday (16 October).

Dave Anderson said:

"It's neither moral nor good sense to ignore the plight of the starving millions around the world. History tells us that such conditions only lead to conflict and waste the potential of so many individuals whose contributions could benefit the world as a whole. The Commons motion seeks to build support on a cross-party basis for the UK doing its bit to halve the incidence of chronic hunger in the coming years."


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How to use Parliament workshops heading for the North East

House of Commons 12 Oct 2009

A series of free workshops for voluntary and community organisations on how Parliament works and how to become involved with MPs and Lords is coming to the North East.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson has welcomed the move and said:

"This is a very good way of spreading awareness of the work, processes and relevance of Parliament and encouraging greater engagement. Parliament is best when it is understood and used by the people."

The Sunderland event is from 10-12 on 22 October and places can be booked by contacting Rob Charlton on email at rob.charlton@sunderlandcvs.co.uk or by phone on 0191 565 1566.


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MD and Me

11 Oct 2009

Dave has written a heart rending account of the way his family has been decimated by Muscular Dystrophy.

While he himself is not affected due to the random nature of genetic transmission, his family has been ravaged by this disease, but of course he campaigns vigorously for more resources to tackle its onslaught. The article in the Mail on Sunday may be read here.

NB. Dave has also tabled an Early Day Motion about MD services:

EDM 2001
ACCESS TO SPECIALIST NEUROMUSCULAR CARE AND THE WALTON REPORT
12.10.2009
Anderson, David
That this House welcomes the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Muscular Dystrophy's publication Access to Specialist Neuromuscular Care: The Walton Report; is deeply concerned about the vulnerability of services for people with muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions in many parts of the UK; notes the urgent need to address gaps in service provision; expresses the hope that the recommendations put forward in the report will be implemented; calls for regional specialised commissioning groups to follow the lead of the South West and the West Midlands and conduct an urgent review of services; and further calls on the Department of Health, the National Specialised Commissioning Group and regional specialised commissioning groups to work with families living with muscle disease, health professionals and the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign to improve access to specialist care.

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Bookstart day marked in Blaydon

8 Oct 2009

National Bookstart Day has been marked by local MP Dave Anderson at Blaydon Library.

Dave Anderson said:

"This superb initiative encourages parents and carers to enjoy books with their children. It's a great way to relax and learn while having fun."

The MP revealed his own favourite reading - books by the American crime fiction writer Donald E Westlake.

Over 4,500 events have been held across the country to celebrate the day with every local authority; book shops; authors and illustrators taking part, meaning that 2009 is the biggest ever National Bookstart Day celebration.

Bookstart is working with libraries, health and early years professionals to give every child all the benefits that arise from a love of books. The scheme has been operating in Gateshead since 2000.


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Open community surgery

1 Oct 2009

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is holding an open community surgery at Swalwell Fire Station on Market Lane from 5-6.30 pm on Friday, 2 October

Dave Anderson said:

"This open surgery gives local people a chance to seek advice over problems or to air their views."

No appointment is necessary. MPs may only represent their own constituents. To find out if Dave is your MP, enter your postcode below.

Is Dave your MP?

Enter your postcode to see if you are in the Blaydon constituency.



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Blaydon Skills and Enterprise Centre

From L-R, Margaret Hollin, Mary Lindsay (Asst. Principal Adult and Higher Education), Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor John Eagle, MP for Blaydon Dave Anderson, Judith Doyle (Deputy Principal Curriculum and Quality)
From L-R, Margaret Hollin, Mary Lindsay (Asst. Principal Adult and Higher Education), Mayor of Gateshead, Councillor John Eagle, MP for Blaydon Dave Anderson, Judith Doyle (Deputy Principal Curriculum and Quality)
30 Sep 2009

Dave Anderson MP attended the official opening of the new Skills Centre in Blaydon opened by the Mayor of Gateshead Cllr John Eagle.

Gateshead mayor, Councillor John Eagle, has officially re-opened Blaydon Skills and Enterprise Centre following its recent refurbishment. He formally cut the ribbon in an opening ceremony whilst students of the centre watched on and celebrated.

The refurbishment programme involved a complete revamp of the reception area, classrooms and break out room, including new carpets and contemporary furniture as well as general repainting and decorating, resulting in a brighter, more spacious and modern centre.

The Mayor of Gateshead was delighted with the new look. After cutting the ribbon, he said;

"It's wonderful to see investment being made into community learning. The work that has taken place here at the centre will help it to remain a vital resource and provide learning facilities for the local community for years to come."

The Skills & Enterprise Centre, which forms part of Gateshead College, encourages and supports learning in a community environment. After opening nine years ago, it has seen over 5,000 students come through its doors. The centre offers people in the local community the chance to use new ICT technologies, gain qualifications and develop confidence and skills. The courses are delivered in a flexible way so students can fit their learning around their current commitments and work at their own pace.

71 year old student Margaret Hollin, a student at Blaydon Skills and Enterprise Centre, has proved that age is no limit to success by working her way through the full range of UK Online courses at the centre and has now turned her attention to IT and English.

Margaret, who joined Councillor John Eagle in cutting the ribbon at the opening said;

"I started coming to the centre after my husband passed away. I began with some taster sessions in the afternoons at first, but now I come down in the mornings too because I enjoy it so much. The staff are very helpful and if I ever get stuck, they are always there straightaway to lend a hand.

"I really look forward to coming here because I've made lots of friends and we have a laugh together while doing our courses. The refurbishment has made a big difference to the centre, it really does look fantastic and it makes coming here even more enjoyable."

As well as offering ICT, maths and English courses, the centre also has a training beauty salon where students can gain practical experience in hair and beauty treatments whilst studying towards a qualification.

Judith Doyle, Deputy Principal for Curriculum and Quality, who was present at the opening said;

"Gateshead College is committed to supporting learning in the Gateshead Community, offering students the chance to gain new skills and qualifications at their own pace in a flexible and accessible way. This investment at Blaydon Skills and Enterprise Centre will help ensure that our students have the best possible learning experience during their time with us."

The college operates from four world class campuses:

  1. Baltic Campus, Quarryfield Road, Gateshead
  2. The Skills Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics, Team Valley.
  3. The Skills Academy for Construction, Team Valley. This Academy is also home to the Gateshead Collective and a Skills and Enterprise Centre for 14 - 16s.
  4. Academy for Sport at Gateshead International Stadium.
  5. And two outreach centres in Blaydon and Felling.

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Blaydon MP says G20 plan takes us closer to a new global tax on speculators

25 Sep 2009

The possibility of a new global level on currency speculation has been increased by the decision of world leaders at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, according to Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

The leaders, including Gordon Brown, have agreed to task the IMF to prepare a paper on "how the financial sector could make a fair and substantial contribution toward paying for any burdens associated with government interventions to repair the banking system."

Dave Anderson MP, who has long campaigned for a tax on currency speculators, commented:

"There has been major and official pressure from France and Germany for ensuring that those who take part in this trillion dollar a day trade pay their fair share. The idea that a very small tax on this could raise billions and compensate ordinary taxpayers for bailing out the banks will be very popular. I think that public pressure for this should be increased so that world leaders finalise it at their next meeting."


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Pupils put MP on the spot

Dave with students at Whickham School
Dave with students at Whickham School
25 Sep 2009

Two dozen pupils on a new politics A level course and a history course at Whickham School put Blaydon MP Dave Anderson on the spot about the theory and practice of politics.

Dave Anderson said:

"A great group of intelligent and interesting students put me through my paces on many topical issues. It's very important that elected politicians always seek to engage with and learn from the voters of tomorrow."


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Pensioner Poverty

Pensioner counting money 25 Sep 2009

Dave wants to know what the government is doing to tackle pensioner poverty in the North-East.

He was speaking at the House of Commons North East Regional Grand Committee meeting held today at the Town Hall in Middlesbrough.

He asked the Minister for the North East what recent discussions he has had with Ministerial colleagues on levels of pensioner poverty in the North East. Dave is the first North East MP to ask a question in the committee.

After the session, Dave commented,

"Today's Grand Committee was a very good opportunity to discuss vital constituency interests and how Labour has and is handling the recession compared to the Conservatives who still seem to think that the free market can help without having an active and enabling government to support businesses and prevent recession turning into slump. Myself and my colleagues defended the role of the regional development agency, One North East in promoting green-collar jobs and a drive for exports."

You can download Dave's Financial Advice sheet for pensioners here


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Protecting Workplace Rights

23 Sep 2009

A new and free national Pay and Work Rights helpline to protect vulnerable workers has been launched to boost raise awareness of workplace rights introduced by the Government and to provide a single contact point for employers and workers.

Blaydon MP, Dave Anderson said:

"Workplace rights have soared in recent years and this new hotline enables vulnerable workers and employers to ask questions about the rules we have introduced and to blow the whistle on bad or illegal practice."

The MP, himself a former national union leader, added:

"Enforcement of rights is the biggest part of the battle for fairness. The recession mustn't be an excuse to deny people their basic rights at work. I'd add that the best way to ensure to be protected at work is to join a trade union, which together form the biggest and mainly voluntary force dedicated to improving working conditions."

The free hotline number is 0800 917 2368 and starts today.

The helpline proposal was an outcome from Labour Minister Pat McFadden's Vulnerable Worker Enforcement Forum which reported last year. This work is overseen by the Fair Employment Enforcement Board (FEEB) which includes the CBI, TUC, FSB, Unite, CAB, REC, and representatives from the enforcement agencies. The helpline number is 0800 917 2368. The textphone number is 0800 121 4042. Information is also available on direct.gov.uk/payandworkrights and businesslink.gov.uk/payandworkrights.


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Pioneering local social enterprise scheme nominated for national award

Dave at class 1 Kids with Mary Fleming and Tracey Patterson
Dave at class 1 Kids with Mary Fleming and Tracey Patterson
12 Sep 2009

A pioneering social enterprise in the North East has been nominated for an award in this year's prestigious national Upstarts Awards run by the New Statesman current affairs magazine.

The nomination of Class I Kids, which offers quality recycled and new school uniform items at affordable prices and donates profits to local schools, was made by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

The campaigning MP told the judges,

"This organisation should certainly win this award, as it provides a brilliant service for families and children. They don't expect a profit from their sales, they use the money earned to reduce the prices of the uniforms for future customers."

Dave Anderson added:

"This is also a non-profit operation which relies on the dedication of Mary Fleming and Tracey Patterson who have not taken a wage in their last four years of hard work. I know that they are desperate for funding and may even have to relocate due to funding difficulties. I hope that being nominated and, hopefully, winning this national award will help their sterling efforts."

Mary Fleming of Class I Kids said:

"We are delighted to be nominated for the award by Dave Anderson. The project has grown extensively since we had media interest and this can only give us more positive publicity."

Class 1 KidsThe 2009 Upstarts Awards recognise and reward those who have courageously impacted the lives of their communities. Social entrepreneurs are guided by social and environmental purposes and resulting profits from their endeavours are reinvested to sustain and cultivate positive change. These dynamic enterprises and individuals invigorate the UK economy and challenge the traditional role of companies as profit-driven ventures. There are approximately 62,000 social enterprises in the UK with a combined turnover of at least £27 billion.

Social enterprises foster innovative business practices including vocational training, enterprise structures, creative revenue solutions and co-operative ownership models. The main beneficiaries of social enterprises are often the socially excluded such as the long term unemployed, people with disabilities, the elderly, people on low incomes and children or young people.

The website of Class I Kids is www.classikids.btik.com

Founded in 1913, the New Statesman is Britain's leading political and current affairs weekly. The New Statesman has a unique and influential readership base. These prestigious awards attract significant attention from a broad range of senior people in the business and commercial enterprise sector, politics, media and communications, education, and the non-profit sector; and as a result, the Awards encapsulate innovation, originality and progressive projects from true social entrepreneurs.

www.newstatesman.com


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Come and fight cancer

FACT logo 8 Sep 2009

As its Patron, Dave is supporting the following Cancer Support Awareness Event organised by FACT (Fighting All Cancers Together) on Saturday 10th October (11am-1.30pm) at the Copthorne Hotel, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3RT.

The guest of honour is the Sheriff and Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Cllr Brenda Hindmarsh and X Factor's Bad Lashes

Free Goodie Bags Worth Over £20 for first 150 people. Raffle. FREE PRIZE DRAW - All Who Attend Entered - 3x £50 Cash Prizes.

FREE: Holistic and Complimentary Therapies, Make-ups and Nail Painting, Refreshments

Also at the event we have: Camouflage Make-up Specialists to cover scars and blemishes, Thyroid Cancer Specialist Nurse and Support and Advice, MandJ Clothing Alterations Advice and Service, Pummi Mattu Personal and Corporate Coach, Mastectomy Bras, Swim Wear and Clothing, Clinimed Specialist Ostomy Products, Stop Smoking Advice and Information, Prostate Cancer Support and Advice, Women's Cancer Detection Society, Prostate Cancer Support and Advice, Hereditary Breast Cancer Advice, Bowel Cancer Support and Advice, Lung Cancer Support and Advice, CHI Ostomy Wear and Clothing, Northern Genetics Service, Wigs - suppliers and cutting, Patient and Carers Network, Head coverings and Scarves, Chemotherapy Cool Caps, Hair and Scalp Care Advice, Occupational Therapist, Lymphoedema Advice, Therapy Radiographer, Physiotherapy Advice, Employment Advice, Cancer Research UK, Coping With Cancer, Breast Cancer Care, Emmanuel House, Fashion by M&S, Financial Advice.

Free tickets available and free parking

For your maximum of 4 free tickets, please send a stamped, self addressed envelope, along with a note of your telephone number and number of tickets required to:

October 2009 Support Event Tickets, Fighting All Cancers Together, PO Box 271, Newcastle, NE16 9AH

Please only apply for tickets if you can come to the event - places are limited and therefore valuable - thank you!

Phone: 0191 442 0833


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Drive for cancer patients to claim prescriptions

Pharmacy sign 1 Sep 2009

Hundreds of local cancer patients are still paying for their drugs despite qualifying for free prescriptions according to Blaydon MP, Dave Anderson who is backing a campaign by Macmillan Cancer Support to ensure that no-one needlessly pays such charges.

Dave Anderson said:

"The government scrapped charges for sufferers on April 1. So anyone with the disease, or on medication for the effects of treatment, should not be paying. But only a third of the 150,000 people eligible nationally have applied for an exemption certificate."

The campaigning MP added:

"It appears that some GPs are unaware of the new rules - and that some patients may be refused exemption as doctors are not linking health problems to previous or current cancer treatment. Instead of scrimping to pay for vital medication, patients should double check with their doctors and GPs and pharmacists should check that people are aware of their entitlements. We did the right thing in scrapping these charges but we need a drive to make sure people take advantage of this policy."

To claim the free entitlement, patients can get an exemption application from their GP's surgery or oncology clinic and get it countersigned.

The Macmillan Cancer Information Centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital is open Monday to Friday 10 am - 4 pm on a drop in basis or by phoning 0191 445 2979.


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'Follow Newcastle's lead'

the call from MPs and Peers, as new parliamentary report is published

25 Aug 2009

Families living with rare illnesses in the North East are receiving the best care and support in the UK, according to a new parliamentary report about specialist NHS services chaired by a Tyneside MP.

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Muscular Dystrophy praised Newcastle as a centre of excellence but heavily criticises the way in which the NHS plans services for rare conditions in other parts of the country, following an in depth investigation, which took evidence from key clinicians, researchers, patients and NHS commissioners from across the UK.

Clinicians and researchers from the Centre for Life in Newcastle assisted MPs and Peers by providing evidence for The Walton Report - named after Lord John Walton of Detchant for his lifetime contribution to research and clinical development.

The report exclusively reveals:

Dave Anderson, MP for Blaydon and Chair of the Group, who has spearheaded the Inquiry, said:

"Muscular Dystrophy is a devastating condition as I know all too well, losing both my brother and sister to the disease.

"It is very clear that, in contrast to services in the North East, the standard of care provided to these patients by the NHS is often inadequate and not acceptable.

"The Walton report shows an urgent need for NHS Specialised Commissioning Groups to recognise muscular dystrophy as a condition within their remit and to provide adequate services to patients in their region.

"It is totally unacceptable that there are no NICE guidelines available for muscular dystrophy - a condition that affects 60,000 babies, children and adults in the UK."

Philip Butcher, Chief Executive of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, said:

"I am delighted that Members of Parliament have drawn attention to Newcastle's lead in providing high quality care and services for muscular dystrophy patients and are publicly acknowledging today that the current state of care in many other areas of the country is totally unacceptable.

"The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has been urging the Department of Health, ministers and leading NHS officials to improve this situation for a long time. I hope that the Walton Report will help to put pressure on the NHS to start providing the standard of care that these patients so dearly need and deserve."

The All Party Parliamentary Group has called for:

Having called for immediate guidelines to be set in place for muscular dystrophy, the group will today be presenting the report to the Chairman of NICE at an urgent meeting being called at The Royal College of Physicians.

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is the only national charity focusing on all muscle diseases. It invests £3 million a year in care support services, research, muscle centres, networks, information and resources. It has pioneered the search for treatments and cures for 50 years and provides practical, medical and emotional support to people affected.

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group.

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is the leading UK charity focusing on muscle disease. It has pioneered the search for treatments and cures for 50 years, and is dedicated to improving the lives of all people affected by muscle disease.

It funds world-class research to find effective treatments and cures; provides free practical and emotional support; campaigns to raise awareness and bring about change and awards grants towards the cost of specialist equipment.

For more information about the work of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign please contact Dominique Vincent on 020 7803 4844/07827 241043 or email d.vincent@muscular-dystrophy.org


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Bringing mining history to life in Sunniside this Saturday with local MP

20 Aug 2009

The region's rich mining heritage will be marked this Saturday by Sunniside History Society by a musical march with the Dunston Brass Band and the launch of a new book and the premiere of a film called "Like Carrying Coals to Newcastle, the Story of the Tanfield Way."

Former Miner and Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who will speak at the event which will be attended by nearly 150 local history buffs, said:

"The history of coal is intrinsically linked with the history of this region and our people. The Sunniside Local History Group has done an amazing job in providing a comprehensive history of the railway and capturing the human effort in this local story. It was a real privilege to be asked to write the foreword to the book."

Francis Newman from the Sunniside Local History Society said:

"The members of the Society are rightly proud of the finished product and hope that the public at large will find it informative and entertaining. It is probably the last opportunity for anyone to film the vanishing old waggonways and Colliery sites as nature reclaims the land. Thanks to Gateshead Council and Grassroots Grants, we were able to fund the production costs and purchase the specialised equipment necessary to undertake what has been a mammoth task."

The Sunniside History Society spent almost two years researching and compiling the A4 size book 'Like Carrying Coals To Newcastle, the Story of the Tanfield Way' with an accompanying 50 minutes long DVD, 'Pontop Pike to the Tyne and the Colliery Villages Along the Way'.

The World Premier of the DVD takes place this Saturday when the history society will air the film for the first time to its 140 members, who meet monthly at Sunniside Club. The film showing will be preceded at 12:30 by a march down the main Sunniside to Whickham road with music from The Dunston Brass Band. They will be marching under the Durham Mechanics Colliery Banner.

In the past the group has produced three books and three DVDs on local history.

The North-East, and especially the area around Whickham, Sunniside, Tanfield, Marley Hill, and Beamish has a long and rich industrial heritage, particularly in those activities associated with extracting, transporting, and utilising coal. Over a period of some 500 years, the entire area became covered with mining activity and associated industries; and was criss-crossed by the vital transport links needed to shift the coal from the pits to the river Tyne.

This book, written by two local amateur historians, and the accompanying DVD provides a detailed account of one particularly famous transport link - the Tanfield Way. This route started life as a simple wain road used by pack animals, then became a wooden waggonway, and ended its days as a bustling railway. A small section - the 'Tanfield Railway' has now been restored and is a thriving tourist attraction. Incorporating some new research and a wealth of photographs and illustrations (some never reproduced before) this account covers the development of coal extraction and transportation in the area, and focuses on some of the individuals who were responsible for driving forward the technological, industrial, and social changes that enabled the North-East to become one of the richest coal producers and exporters in the World.


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High Spen project and allotmenteering praised

Sarah Cossom and Dave at the opening of the Hop garden
Sarah Cossom and Dave at the opening of the Hop garden
15 Aug 2009

The HOP Garden community organic allotment project in High Spen has been praised by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson on its first community market stall and its "sterling contribution" to the growing public interest in allotments providing local, seasonal and chemical-free produce.

Mr Anderson said; "Local people have given a great deal of their time, with funding from Gateshead Council and others, to transform an overgrown plot full of weeds and rubbish into a welcoming space where the community can come to chat, grow and socialise. They are part of the 'allotmenteering' movement whose National Allotments Week has just demonstrated the strength of interest in the heritage of allotment culture. These pioneers deserve our support in digging for decent food and doing their bit to protect the environment."

Mr Anderson added: "the HOP Garden is looking for volunteers and can be contacted on www.thehopgarden.toucansurf.com"


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Campaigners congratulate David Anderson MP for backing new move to increase transparency re taxpayers money

5 Aug 2009

Local Works, a national coalition of over 100 organisations including 11 other large national organisations today joined together to congratulate David Anderson MP for backing a call to increase transparency on how tax payers' money is spent in our communities.

David Anderson MP has signed House of Commons Early Day Motion No 1064 in support of Local Spending Reports being published to show how taxpayers money is spent locally by central and regional government agencies.

The Sustainable Communities Act of 2007 requires the government to publish Local Spending Reports. Government Ministers categorically promised (see below) that these would show a local breakdown of how ALL taxpayers money is spent - something that has never been done before. However Whitehall officials are resisting this. EDM 1064 supports the Local Spending Reports being published in full as Ministers have promised.

Local Works Campaign Co-ordinator, Steve Shaw, said:

"In these credit-crunch times people are more concerned than ever about their taxes being spent on things that communities really want and need. Government Ministers promised that the Local Spending Reports, required by the Sustainable Communities Act, would show a full breakdown of how all public bodies - including QUANGOs and national agencies - are spending our money in our local areas. This has never been done before. But Whitehall mandarins are snarling things up, so Parliament must act to ensure the figures are fully published. We therefore congratulate David Anderson MP for supporting full Local Spending Reports."

Local MP, David Anderson, said:

"Local people should also be able to see how their taxes are spent in their communities not just by local councils but also by government agencies and QUANGOs. I therefore support the publishing of the Local Spending Reports in full, as promised by Ministers, and will do all I can to ensure that this happens."


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People should be allowed to keep their pets when they move into care, says MP

18 Jul 2009

People should be allowed to keep their pets when they move into care homes, according to Blaydon MP Dave Anderson who will back parliamentary moves to increase this possibility.

Dave Anderson said:

"As a passionate dog owner and a former elderly care worker I am very supportive of this. In many other countries the general rule is that a pet is allowed if the resident is able to look after it and it is unlikely to cause disturbance to other residents. Here practice varies but some homes will not even allow you to have a goldfish, let alone a cat, just because it simplifies life for the home not to have to worry about it."

He added:

"Going into care is often traumatic without the extra upset of having to give up a long-standing pet at the same time. We should require homes to give reasonable consideration to this."

A recent survey by The Society of Companion Animal Studies found that 65 per cent of care homes still have no formal written policies on pets.


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Climate Change: a warning from the future

Age of Stupid poster 15 Jul 2009

A climate change film gets its Birtley premier this Thursday, the film "Age of Stupid", and Dave will be a speaker at the showing.

Pete Postlethwaite stars as a man living alone in the devastated future world of 2055, looking at old footage from 2008 and asking: "Why didn't we stop climate change when we had the chance?"

Touted as the drama version of Al Gore's "an Inconvenient Truth" the film hopes to reach local audiences and is being distributed by local people.

This screening has been organised by local member Gemma Bone to raise awareness and raise money for her place as a youth delegate to the crucial UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December and costs only £2 to get in, at St. Joseph's Parish Centre, Birtley this Thursday night. Doors open at 7.30 with the screening to start at 8pm

The much acclaimed film will be followed by special guest speakers in the form of Dave Anderson MP and Andy Redfearn, CEO and Co-Founder of local business EthicalSuperstore.com.

The Age of Stupid Trailer Feb 2009 - SD from Age of Stupid on Vimeo.


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Determined action to tackle reckless driving and joyriding needed, says Blaydon MP

Road accident 9 Jul 2009

"Determined action to tackle reckless driving and joyriding by teenagers is needed to reduce road deaths,"

according to campaigning MP Dave Anderson following a local spate of accidents involving new teenage drivers.

The Blaydon MP is writing to all schools in his constituency to suggest that they show a brief DVD called "Live Now, Drive Later" which is a fictionalised and harrowing account of the tragic consequences of joyriding and

"is aimed to make people think deeply about how their behaviour can ruin their lives and mar others too."

Dave Anderson has been in touch with James Alexander, a councillor and the Children and Young People's Champion in York who has spearheaded efforts there and secured cross-party support from Gordon Brown, David Cameron and many others.

Councillor James Alexander said:

"It is really great that Dave Anderson is supporting the campaign that will help save people's lives. The campaign has had a real effect in York and I am sure it will have an effect in Blaydon."


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Dave secures action from Transport Minister

Dave with Transport Minister Sadiq Khan at the meeting
Dave with Transport Minister Sadiq Khan at the meeting
(Photo:Muscular Dystrophy Campaign )
7 Jul 2009

Action to improve public transport for disabled people was advanced by a meeting this week between Blaydon MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Muscular Dystrophy, Dave Anderson and Transport Minister Sadiq Khan.

The meeting follows a report by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's Trailblazers network of young campaigners, which reveals that disabled commuters face an inconsistent and inaccessible public transport system. The investigative report, End of the Line, included mystery commuter journeys taken across the North East.

Having read the report and having met local young disabled people, Dave Anderson secured a debate with the Transport Minister in the Commons, when the Minister also agreed to meet the MP and campaigners.

Dave Anderson said:

"I'm pleased that the Minister showed his full support for the Trailblazers network and promised to do his best to improve accessible public transport across the country. The Minister will be putting one of the Trailblazers on the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee and will place pressure on the Association of Train Operating Companies and other bodies to increase and improve disability awareness training among staff members and improve services for disabled passengers."

He added:

"I hope that our meeting will be one step towards boosting independence and improving the quality of life for all people living with muscle disease."

Attending the meeting with Dave, one of the Trailblazers, Suliman Khan, said:

"Most people find it easy to get around and be independent, but when you are disabled simple tasks like travelling spontaneously can be extremely difficult. I am pleased that the Minister is taking these matters seriously. I know that with Dave behind our campaign we'll have a real impact and ensure that transport is improved for disabled people."


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Lift Scouts ban in the Commons, says Blaydon MP

7 Jul 2009

The ban on 100 cub scouts using Westminster Hall in the Commons to lobby MPs because they "are not old enough to vote" should be lifted immediately, according to Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is backing cross-party moves to overturn "this ludicrous ban."

Dave Anderson said:

"I am flabbergasted that a planned lobby of Parliament about increases in water charges to voluntary groups has been cancelled because the cub scouts involved are 'ineligible to vote." All constituents, regardless of age, should be free to lobby their MPs. I listen to people who are or will be voters and so should the Commons."


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Campaign for free oxygen on airlines bearing fruit says Blaydon MP

1 Jul 2009

A campaign to curb restrictions and extra charges by airlines on passengers with lung conditions who need supplementary oxygen has been boosted by a series of parliamentary questions tabled by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

Dave Anderson asked the Transport Minister what discussions he has held with the European Commission on this controversial issue, following reports of several incidents in which people with a lung condition were charged for this oxygen and following representations from the British Lung Foundation.

The Minister Paul Clark told the MP that he had raised the issue of carriage of medical oxygen with the European Commission which is to review the regulations next year.

Dave Anderson said:

"This gives the British Lung Foundation the chance to convey its views and I hope that airlines will adopt the British code of practice which says that portable and battery powered oxygen concentrator devices should normally be allowed."

Dave Anderson added:

"In the coming months many people will be going on holiday by plane. People with lung conditions should have the same opportunities to travel, free from discriminatory charges, as the rest of us. I therefore urge all the airlines that have not already done so to drop these charges and restrictions."

The British Lung Foundation will be continuing to campaign on this issue. They will soon be meeting with the Transport Minister to discuss how best to influence the European Commission's review and how they can work with the transport industry to ensure that it meets the requirements of people who need supplementary oxygen.

Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said:

"We are delighted that Dave Anderson is supporting our campaign. Supplemental oxygen is as important to people with breathing problems as a wheelchair is to people who have difficulty walking. All airlines should allow people dependent on supplemental oxygen to travel with it free of charge, if they have medical clearance to do so. We need the airlines to act on this with urgency."

Iain Armstrong, Chairman of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK stated:

"I believe the charging of those with lung conditions for supplementary oxygen is a grossly unfair tax. Disability rights are not about having different rights but equal rights. These individuals should have the same opportunities to travel, free from discriminatory charges, as the rest of us. I therefore urge all the airlines that have not already done so, to drop these charges."

People with lung conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Pulmonary Hypertension often require additional supplementary oxygen due to low levels of oxygen in their blood.

A recent survey of twenty-two major airlines, conducted by the Pulmonary Hypertension UK, found that just five companies allow people to bring their own oxygen cylinder on to their planes and that only seven companies allow people to bring their own oxygen concentrator on board. Other airlines only allow passengers to use the oxygen that they provide and at an additional cost.

Early Day Motion 1444: Supplementary Charges for Oxygen by Airlines
Nick Ainger MP
That this House recognises that patients with pulmonary hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, muscular dystrophy and other conditions require supplemental oxygen when travelling by air; is dismayed that the vast majority of airlines operating in the UK currently charge passengers requiring supplemental oxygen on flights; applauds the work of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, the British Lung Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign to end the unfair financial impact of what is effectively a tax on the disabled; calls on all airlines flying from or through UK airports to allow passengers requiring in-flight supplemental oxygen to either bring personal oxygen equipment on board and use it, subject to necessary security checks, or to have supplemental oxygen provided for them by the airline, in both cases, without charge; welcomes the recent decision by British Airways, Emirates and Cathay Pacific to drop all charges; notes that as of 1 May 2009 airlines in the United States of America will have to allow passengers requiring supplemental oxygen to be able to use their own portable oxygen concentrator free of charge; and urges all airlines operating in the UK to follow suit.

Members of PHA-UK conducted the 'secret shopper' research exercise with a random sample of 22 airlines in May 2008. Each airline was subsequently supplied with a written list of responses received from their customer service representatives to check the information provided, within the correspondence we stated that if we did not hear back from the airline we would take that mean that the information gained by PHA-UK members was correct. Only Monarch, Virgin, British Airways, Lufthansa, and SAA responded.

AIRLINECOST FOR OXYGENPER FLIGHTCAN I USE MY OWN OXYGENCAN I USE MY OWN PORTABLE OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR
Air Canada$150 (Canadian $)NoNo
Air France€182.46 NoNo
AlitaliaCost of a 2nd seat for O2 on flightNoNo
American Airlines$100NoYes
British AirwaysAs of July 08 FreeNoYes
BMI£100NoN
Cathay PacificWas £55 Now FreeNoNo
EasyjetFree: Bring your ownYesYes
El Al£75 (pending on exchange rate)NoNo
EmiratesWas approx £1,100 (ex VAT). Now freeNoNo
First Choice£150 short haul £250 long haulNoNo
FlybeFree: Bring your ownYesYes
Iberia£124 (pending on exchange rate)NoYes
KLM€100 NoNo
Lufthansa€300 Inter-continental €150 ContinentalYesYes
Monarch£80YesYes
QantasN/ANoNo
Ryanair€148NoNo
SAA£150NoNo
SAS€150YesNo
Singapore AirlinesCouldn’t supply informationCouldn’t supply informationCouldn’t supply information
TAP€150No No
Virgin AtlanticFreeNoYes

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MP's backing for local newsagents

Dave signing up with his support 25 Jun 2009

Newsagents in Blaydon and nationwide are being backed by local MP, Dave Anderson who is

"deeply concerned that traditional newsagents are being forced to shut up shop at a rate of more than one every day."

Dave Anderson said,

"Traditional newsagents are the backbone of our community. They deliver a vital service and are a friendly face that many rely on but many face an uphill struggle to survive."

Developments in the news distribution industry have left most newsagents with no choice over who supplies them. Shop owners fear that lack of competition will leave them with no alternative supplier and vulnerable to increased costs.

Last week almost 800 newsagents delivered a petition to the Office of Fair Trading demanding urgent action to protect competition in the news distribution industry.


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Welcome for new money for crackdown on teenage binge drinking

17 Jun 2009

A nationwide crackdown on teenage binge drinking during the summer holidays, with up to £1.4 million of new cash from the government for several youth crime priority areas in the North East has been hailed by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

Dave Anderson said:

"This new crackdown on anti-social drinking is in response to evidence from police and other experts that alcohol is a major driver of low-level youth crime and anti-social behaviour. The summer holidays are coming near which means longer evenings and more people milling outside with their mates. It's one thing to enjoy a drink and most teenagers are responsible and caring for others but it's unacceptable when a minority of teenagers makes life a misery for other people."

Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside, Stockton-on-Tees and Sunderland have all been asked to show how they will use the new money to reduce young people getting drunk and causing trouble, provide one-to-one support and get the message over to the local community.


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MP’s welcome for de La Rue passport bid success

11 Jun 2009

Blaydon MP hailed the news:

"This is excellent news for the North East and will secure and create jobs for our region's people. I have worked very closely with De La Rue, colleagues inside and outside Parliament and with Gateshead Council to support this organisation and their bid. This is a great company with a proven track record of providing a high quality and secure service right here on our doorstep."

De La Rue Identity Systems, a world leader in identity solutions and part of De La Rue PLC, today announces that it has been selected as preferred bidder to design and produce the UK Passport for the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), part of the Home Office.

The 10-year contract to deliver the UK biometric passport was awarded following a competitive international tender process conducted by IPS and is subject to contract. The total value of the contract over this period is expected to be in the region of £400m with some initial investment in capability required at the start of the project.

De La Rue Identity Systems has implemented more than 50 secure identity management solutions worldwide and has recently been selected to produce the UK Emergency Travel Document. It also designs, develops, implements and supports government identification systems for passports, e-passports, visas, ID cards, driving licences and voter registration schemes. De La Rue is the world's largest commercial security printer of banknotes and is a leading expert in secure ID solutions.

James Hussey, CEO of De La Rue, said:

"The Identity and Passport Service was looking for a partner it could rely on to deliver the complete service for the UK passport. As a British company, producing passports and identity documents for over 50 governments, De La Rue is proud to be selected to bring its expertise to this project. This contract further reinforces De La Rue's strong growth in the identity sector."

De La Rue is the world's largest commercial security printer and papermaker, involved in the production of over 150 national currencies and a wide range of security documents such as passports, authentication labels and fiscal stamps. The Company is also a leading provider of cash sorting equipment and software solutions to central banks, helping them to reduce the cost of handling cash. De La Rue also pioneers new technologies in government identity solutions for national identification, driver's licence and passport issuing schemes. De La Rue employs approximately 4,000 people worldwide and is a member of the FTSE250.

For further information visit De La Rue's website at www.delarue.com


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New post for Blaydon MP

9 Jun 2009

Local MP Dave Anderson has been appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the new Armed Forces Minister, Bill Rammell.

Dave Anderson said:

"I have seen at first hand the professionalism of our soldiers and diplomats in Iraq and look forward to working with Bill to protect and promote the position of our Army, Navy and Air Force."

Dave Anderson, who liaises between the Minister and MPs, added,

"The Minister of State for the Armed Forces plays a vial role in upholding the military covenant - a long recognised 'duty of care' which says that in return for our soldiers' sacrifices society will ensure that they and their families receive fair treatment and are valued and respected. I also work closely with local veterans and recognise the need to ensure that we continue to recognise their contribution and provide them with help."


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MP and unions see minister about QE laundry contract

Queen Elizabeth Hospital 8 Jun 2009

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is leading a delegation to the Health Minister on Tuesday to discuss the decision to scrap the laundry contract for local hospitals at the QE hospital and award the contract to a Leicester-based company.

Mr Anderson said:

"I have seen staff, union and managers at the QE and they cannot understand how the service could cost nearly a million pounds less a year without slashing standards and wages. We need to be crystal clear about protecting good local services and jobs.

"We will be calling on the Minister to intervene in order to clarify the claims made by Newcastle Hospitals that the QE has a 'mark up' of up to 35% although professionals at the QE claim that the actual differentiation in costs equates to less than 1%. I also share the great concern that Newcastle has expressed its dissatisfaction with QE's ability to deliver the highest level of product standards - something that is vigorously denied and an issue that was not raised previously."


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Carers are the UK's secret service, says Blaydon MP

29 May 2009

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, Sir Geoff Hurst, Sir David Jason, Fiona Phillips and Jonathan Dimbleby have teamed up to celebrate those who provide unpaid care for the ill, frail and disabled.

Dave Anderson, himself a former care worker, says:

"As someone who was a care worker with the elderly I have seen at first hand how vital so many unpaid carers are. Thousands of people sacrifice their time and often their health, finances, work and social life to look after a loved one. These heroes are the UK's secret service."

Dave Anderson added:

"It doesn't bear thinking about what would happen if they downed tools and stopped caring. Millions of frail, elderly and disabled people would be in a dreadful position. Carers are not going to do this, of course, but society must not take them for granted. I hope that this Carers Week helps boost the campaign for greater recognition and support for carers. They need to know that they are not alone but are valued by the whole community."

Carers Week from 8-14 June is organised by a partnership of 10 national charities: Carers UK, Counsel and Care, Crossroads Caring for Carers, Help the Hospices, Macmillan Cancer Support, MS Society, Parkinson's Disease Society, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Vitalise and WRVS.

For more information about local events and activities taking place as part of Carers Week, visit www.carersweek.org or call 0845 241 2582.


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Rogue bosses beware, says Blaydon MP

21 May 2009

Rogue employers who refuse to pay compensation to unfairly sacked workers levied by employment tribunals are in for a rough ride following a successful campaign waged by Citizens Advice together with MPs including Blaydon's Dave Anderson.

Dave Anderson commented:

"I am delighted that the Ministry of Justice has announced that High Court Enforcement Officers are to take on recovery of awards granted by employment tribunals or in out-of-court settlements. Previously, those who had won their case and had been made a financial award by an employment tribunal had to enforce payment themselves through the courts and at their own expense, when employers refused to cough up."

Citizens Advice research showed that this situation was all too commonplace and meant that the employment tribunal system was not delivering complete justice to many workers, including those drawn from vulnerable groups. Ministry of Justice research found that 39% of people granted awards have not been paid, and only 53% have been paid in full.

Dave Anderson added:

"The changes will make a real difference to people who lose their jobs unfairly or who are discriminated against at work and will also help good employers who abide by tribunal rulings. It is a welcome victory for campaigners and for social justice for working people."


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Blaydon MP to present asbestos disease petition to Downing Street on 20th May

20 May 2009

A petition of over 22,000 signatures is being presented at Downing Street urging ministers to establish a National Centre for Asbestos Disease (NCARD) on Wednesday 20th May at 4 p.m.

Local MP Dave Anderson, who is one of those presenting the petition, said:

"We need a national body to fund research into asbestos related disease including Mesothelioma, which affects very many people."

"Mesothelioma is the least researched of the top 20 cancers. 65,000 people will die from malignant Mesothelioma in the coming years through past exposure to asbestos. Various charities have taken up the slack but government funding would boost their efforts and encourage more medical experts into the field to develop life saving treatments and develop life saving treatments."

Text of the petition

"We, the undersigned, believe that properly funded research is absolutely vital if advances are to be made in the diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma and we call on the UK Government to provide dedicated funds for mesothelioma research in a National Centre for Asbestos-Related Disease."


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Former miners can claim new compensation free of charge, says MP

13 May 2009

An "urgent warning" to former miners not to be taken in by offers from lawyers to help them claim compensation for miners knee has been issued by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

The former miner said:

"My message is simple - if you suffer from miner's knee, you can claim for free."

Mr Anderson added,

"Some lawyers tried to fleece people when we introduced compensation for miners with respiratory diseases or vibration white finger. I don't want this to happen again and I am also keen that everybody with the disease makes a claim from July."

"People are entitled to use a lawyer but need not fork out for one when they can claim without any cost. All they need to do is to apply to the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit scheme directly to Jobcentre Plus free of charge where very experienced staff can help them claim. Or they can phone the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit office on 0845 600 1587 or text phone on 01977 464144."

It was announced last month that osteoarthritis of the knee in former coal miners to was being added to the list of prescribed diseases covered by the. Symptoms of the disease include pain, swelling, stiffness and reduced mobility. The change is expected to come into force in July.


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RCN Northern Region Welcomes Support of David Anderson MP on International Nurses Day

12 May 2009

RCN Northern Region Director, Glenn Turp, today welcomed the support of local Blaydon MP David Anderson, who has tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons which pays tribute to the hard work and dedication of the UK's nursing workforce.

Speaking today, Glenn said:

"The dedication and quality of our nursing workforce is second to none. Day in, day out they serve our country, providing essential front line care. So, it's appropriate that on the 189th Anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth, we can celebrate the fact that we have the very best health care professionals serving our country. I welcome the fact that David Anderson MP has tabled this motion, in recognition of our nursing staff, and I hope that the motion will attract the support of the rest of our region's MPs."

The text of EDM 1463 is as follows:

INTERNATIONAL NURSES DAY
That this House joins the rest of the UK in celebrating International Nurses Day on 12 May which is also the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale; recognises the vital role the nursing workforce plays in maintaining the health of the nation and the dedication and commitment they show in providing patient care in a wide variety of settings in which they work in the NHS, private sector and elsewhere; acknowledges the expertise, compassion and professionalism nurses display in treating patients of all ages from neonatal care to end-of-life provision; praises the wide range of specialist settings where nurses work as practitioners at the forefront of modernising the healthcare system and the role nurses play in the leadership and innovation of the NHS; and gives thanks to those nurses serving in the armed forces and recognises the essential role they play both in the UK and areas of conflict abroad.

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Plan to scrap Minimum Wage is cause for 'Wage Concern'

11 May 2009

The National Minimum Wage should not be scrapped according to Blaydon MP Dave Anderson who was a leading proponent of its establishment in the first place.

Dave Anderson, who is backing a union campaign called 'Wage Concern' to stop a Private Member's Bill on 15th May that would undermine the minimum wage and drive millions of workers back to poverty pay, said:

"The Minimum Wage is a great achievement which my government introduced in the face of alarmist nonsense that it would cost jobs. It provides income protection for millions and this shows the Tories in their true light. We now know what David Cameron has in mind for low paid workers when he talks about an age of austerity."

Dave Anderson is also one of the main movers of a Commons motion with David Blunkett on the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the National Minimum Wage and which says that annual uprating and effective enforcement are the key to its continued success.


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North East Tourist boost for local 'gem' bed and breakfast commended by local MP

6 May 2009

The Stables Lodge in Lamesley has been praised for winning the Silver Award at the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence in Bed & Breakfast/Guest Accommodation of the Year 2009 by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

Dave Anderson said,

"I was really pleased to visit this local business to commend them on their success in this national competition on top of another three awards in just a year. It's great to find such wonderful high quality accommodation on our doorstep. It shows that we can offer great facilities for local people and tourist from around the country and further afield to help them enjoy our amazing area in comfort. Well done to everyone at the Stables Lodge on their success."

Co-owner Janet MacPherson added,

"We feel privileged to have won such a prestigious award in what has been a tremendous year for The Stables Lodge. This is an outstanding achievement and a great reward for the team's dedication, enthusiasm and hard work. We remain focused on the future doing what we enjoy in promoting the North East and NewcastleGateshead."


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Chickens can stay home and roost

2 May 2009

A Birtley couple's two pet chickens have been reprieved from the chop by what the Blaydon MP calls "a common sense decision" from The Gateshead Housing Company.

Dave Anderson MP has worked closely with Mr and Mrs Lewis to save the Birtley chickens since they were told last year that they had to get rid of the chickens under their tenancy agreement.

The Gateshead Housing Company has now agreed that the flap is over and that Mr and Mrs Lewis can continue to rear the chickens in their back garden.

Dave Anderson said,

"I am extremely pleased that The Gateshead Housing Company has come to this sound decision and I would like to thank people from all over the country who have offered their support and advice about Mr and Mrs Lewis's case."

Mr and Mrs Lewis said,

"It's a big relief. We can give them proper names now they're safe."


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Dave urges MEPs to do the right thing

Seal pup
Seal pup
30 Apr 2009

A vote is due to take place in the European Parliament in early May which could mark the end of Europe's involvement in the death of thousands of seals each year, the long awaited vote follows, the decision last week, by the Internal Market Committee who agreed to reject labelling in favour of a ban on seal product into Europe.

Dave Anderson MP has long been an active supporter of the campaign to end the commercial seal hunt in Canada's east coast and today signed EDM 1397

"I fully support a European Union ban on the trade in all products derived from the commercial slaughter of seals, which is inherently inhumane. I urge MEPs to vote to end trade in seal products into Europe."

Dave acknowledged that the UK Government has consistently pursued an EU Wide Ban, reflecting the long standing British opposition to the largest slaughter of marine mammals anywhere on the planet. The UK can stand proud of its efforts in continually pressing the European Commission to introduce measures to ban the import of seal products.

Dave recognises the effort of the majority of MEPs, and particularly, Members of the Internal Market Committee in reaching an agreement that will harmonise the trade rules throughout Europe.

He is delighted that MEP's saw the labelling option for what it is - an unworkable cop-out.

If passed, this would prohibit the seal products being placed on the market in the EU. Bringing Europe in line with US who have had a ban all seal imports in place since 1972.

Dave said,

"There is major opportunity to close loopholes and stop this unacceptably cruel trade throughout the European Union once and for all - sending a clear message that Europe wants no further part in this cruel and unnecessary hunt."

VOTE ON SEAL PRODUCTS IN EUROPE
EDM 1397
That this House applauds the members of the European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection for their decision to vote in favour of a complete ban on the commercial trade and importation into the EU of seal products; recognises the Canadian seal hunt is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on earth; believes that the nature of the hunt is inherently inhumane; deplores the 1.7 million harp seal pups killed since 2003; further notes that Public opinion polls consistently show that over 70 per cent of British and European citizens are opposed to commercial seal hunting; recognises the UK Government's efforts in urging both the European Commission and European Member states to carry forth the wishes of British and European citizens and calls on all MEP's to vote for ban on seal products in Europe.


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Commons backing for local under 13s football team

30 Apr 2009

Local boys from the successful Gateshead under 13s football team have been formally hailed in the House of Commons on reaching the national final of the English Schools Inter-Association Under 13 Trophy.

Blaydon MP, Dave Anderson, who has tabled a motion congratulating the team, said:

"The team comprises lads from across Gateshead and they have had a roaring success on the way to the final previously beating Newcastle and triumphing over Liverpool in the semi-final.

Dave Anderson added,

"It's great to see our youngsters beating the best in the country. I encourage everyone to get along to St. James for the final and give our team a great local advantage. Howay the lads."

Dave has also helped the team to raise money from local businesses De La Rue and Graphite Resources, which hopefully means they will be wearing a new strip at the prestigious final.

The English Schools Inter-Association Under 13 Trophy Final against Northampton SFA is on Sunday May 17th, 10am at St. James Park, Newcastle United. Admission is £3 for adults and £1 for children.

Text of EDM

Gateshead Under 13s
That this House congratulates Gateshead Under 13s F.C. who have reached the final of the English Schools FA Inter-Association Trophy Final; recognises their achievement in beating teams such as Liverpool, York, Barnsley and Newcastle on the way to the final; celebrates the success of all the players who come from schools across Gateshead; and anticipates the exciting final against Northampton Town Under 13's, which will be held at St. James Park the home ground of Newcastle United F.C on Sunday 17 May 2009.

Previous Rounds

Round 1- York (away) Won 3-1
Round 2- South Northumberland (home) Won 5-0
Round 3- East Northumberland (away) Won 2-1
Round 4- Barnsley (away) Won 1-0
QF- Newcastle (home) Won 5-3 (A.E.T)
SF- Liverpool (home) Won 2-1


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Dave Anderson backs green motoring and local company

Dave at Tegral 23 Apr 2009

"Green motoring should be an everyday reality as part of the fight to curb climate change," said Blaydon MP Dave Anderson following a visit to local company, Tegrel to celebrate the launch of the innovative 'PowerPark' project which provides solar generated power for recharging electric vehicles.

Dave Anderson, who is a member of the Parliamentary Energy Select Committee and the Regional Select Committee for the North East, said:

"We must all do what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and Tegrel and Romag are at the forefront of such technologies. Britain is taking a world lead in setting ambitious targets for carbon reduction and curbing road transport CO2 emissions is a key part of that. I am also glad that the North East is in the lead."

PowerPark aims to establish recharging points for electric cars in car parks at airports, rail stations, supermarkets, shopping centres, offices and other public buildings.

There are also plans to provide £20 million for charging points to develop a network of 'electric car cities' and an ultra-low carbon car demonstration project throughout the North East, which would enable motorists to drive a cutting-edge electric car as part of making greener motoring an everyday reality.

Working in collaboration, Tegrel and Romag, a Consett manufacturing company have secured a contract with OneNE, the regional development agency, to provide two PowerPark prototype units. The units are in place at Tegrel's head office in Blaydon-on-Tyne and the other is at Romag's head office at Leadgate, County Durham. Once testing is approved, PowerPark can be rolled out initially as part of the pilot programme in the North East and then throughout the rest of the UK.


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Justice for Miners Knee Sufferers

17 Apr 2009

Dave Anderson, Labour MP for Blaydon has welcomed the announcement that thousands of miners suffering from Osteoarthritis of the knee, commonly known as 'Miners' Knee' will now be able to claim help from the Government.

Dave, who is the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Coalfield Communities has been working with trade unions and their members and liaising with Ministers in order to get justice for those workers who have suffered these injuries as a result of their employment.

Dave said,

"I am really pleased that after years of campaigning the unions have seen a positive response from Government that recognises that this group of workers are entitled to compensation because of damage that happened to them at work that should have been avoided."

This announcement is important to miners at a time of the 25th anniversary of the start of the Miners' Strike.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, James Purnell confirmed that osteoarthritis of the knee would be added to the list of 'prescribed diseases' meaning that sufferers would now be able to apply for State compensation through the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

James Purnell, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said:

"It is right that this help should be available to coal miners who are suffering from this painful condition following years of hard work. This painful disease has made life very difficult for a large number of retired miners and forced others to end their working life earlier than planned so I am pleased that we are now in a position that we will be able to offer them valuable financial assistance."


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Remembering British heroes from the Holocaust

3 Apr 2009

British citizens who aided and rescued Jewish people and other minority groups during the Holocaust deserve formal recognition, says Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

The local MP supports a cross-party Commons motion backing the Holocaust Educational Trust's campaign to secure posthumous honours for British Heroes for the Holocaust, who risked their own lives and often the lives of their families to aid and rescue Jewish people and others minorities during the Holocaust.

Mr Anderson said:

"Giving formal recognition, even after their deaths, to these British humanitarian heroes is right in itself and a good way of making sure that the crimes of the Holocaust are not forgotten by new generations."

Holocaust Educational Trust Chief Executive, Karen Pollock, commented:

"We instigated this project a year ago to highlight the importance of formally recognising the bravery of those people who stood up, risking their lives and often the lives of their family to help others. The Holocaust Educational Trust continues to work towards seeking greater recognition for these individuals to ensure their brave acts are honoured and the atrocities of the Holocaust are never forgotten. I encourage everyone to sign the Trust's Petition to the Prime Minister at: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/UK-Rescuers/".

Text of cross-party EDM

Recognition For British Heroes Of The Holocaust
That this House salutes the courage of British citizens who aided and rescued Jewish people and other minority groups during the Holocaust at great personal risk to themselves and their families; notes that in the midst of the depravity and desperation of the Holocaust, which saw the very worst of mankind, these individuals exemplified the very best of humanity in the compassion, courage and bravery they showed in rescuing thousands from certain death; believes that just as the memory of those who suffered and perished in the Holocaust should never be forgotten, the memory of those who helped save so many lives should be remembered and honoured; lauds the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust in seeking to bring greater recognition to such individuals; further notes that many communities take great pride in honouring local heroes of the Holocaust such as Jane Haining in Dumfriesshire, June Ravenhall in Warwickshire and Major Frank Foley in Stourbridge; believes it to be inadequate that while many of these individuals have been recognised as Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Memorial authority, they have not been honoured or recognised by the British Government in their own lifetime; and calls on the Government to consider changing the statutes governing the honours system to allow the granting of posthumous honours and to consider ways in which appropriate recognition can be afforded to these individuals.

Petition to the Prime Minister

In May last year the Holocaust Educational Trust initiated a Petition to the Prime Minister on the 10 Downing Street website, calling for reform of the honours system to allow for British heroes of the Holocaust to be granted posthumous knighthoods. So far it carries over 1000 signatures. The petition can be found here: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/UK-Rescuers/ Its wording is as follows:

"May 7th 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Frank Foley, a British spy who used his role as passport control officer at the British Embassy in Berlin to rescue thousands of Jewish people from the Holocaust. While Frank Foley received a CMG for his service as a diplomat, and has been recognised as 'Righteous Amongst the Nations' at Yad Vashem Israel's Holocaust Museum, he was never formally honoured by the British nation during his lifetime for his actions. We therefore call on the Government to review the current statutes governing the honours system, so that the Honours Committee can consider awarding a posthumous knighthood to Frank Foley. We hope that this will open the way for the Honours Committee to consider recognition for other British heroes of the Holocaust, including Randolph Churchill, Sergeant Charles Coward, Jane Haining, Tommy Noble and Robert Smallbones, who risked and in some cases gave their own lives to save others. We further propose that these honours are awarded as a special exercise, so they do not reduce the numbers of deserving individuals who would normally receive recognition in the New Year's and Birthday honour's lists."

Holocaust Educational Trust

The Holocaust Educational Trust was established in 1988 to educate young people from every ethnic background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today. HET works in schools, universities and in the community to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust, providing teacher training, an outreach programme for schools, teaching aids and resource materials. HET regard one of their earliest achievements as ensuring the Holocaust formed part of the National Curriculum for History. HET continues to play a leading role in training teachers on how best to teach the Holocaust and in 2007, the Treasury pledged a three-year commitment to enable HET to administer a broad programme of teacher training.


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Blaydon MP hails G20 deal

2 Apr 2009

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson has applauded world leaders on concluding a "massive package of measures to restore confidence, growth, and jobs with an additional $1.1 trillion programme of support to help the world economy."

Mr Anderson said:

"I know that once you start talking about figures with loads of zeros it all seems academic and distant but the truth is that we have an unprecedented global crisis and I am glad that Gordon Brown has been able to pull all the threads together to secure a deal that affects us all in Britain and in Blaydon."

London Summit Outcomes:

The London Summit took place at a time when the world confronts the worst economic crisis since the Second World War. The London Summit aims were to bring together leaders of the world's major economies and key international institutions to take the collective action necessary to stabilise the world economy and secure recovery and jobs. Leaders faced an unprecedented range of challenges - of averting an even more severe downturn and restoring growth in the short term, while at the same time reshaping the financial system, preserving the world trading system, and laying the foundations for a sustainable recovery. Real action was agreed at the Summit, with Leaders agreeing on steps to:


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Blaydon MP to take QE laundry fight to Parliament

27 Mar 2009

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is to take the fight over the threat to the laundry at QE hospital to parliament and to the Health Minister Alan Johnson following a visit today to meet staff and managers at the hospital.

Mr Anderson said:

"Staff, union and managers are gutted by the suggestion that the service they offer to their own patients at QE as well as Newcastle and South Tyneside hospitals is sub-standard. Their service is open to scrutiny to national standards and there has never been any hint of problems with it. They cannot understand how the service can be done in Leicester and save nearly a million pounds unless the company seriously undermines the wages and conditions of those concerned and drives them well below agreed NHS standards."

Mr Anderson added;

"It's difficult to avoid the suspicion that the alternative company is promising lower costs as a loss leader in order to drive out competition and then possibly ramp up charges in the future. That company should, in any case, adhere to recognised wages and conditions. It's totally ludicrous too from an environmental viewpoint to cart laundry up and down the motorway to Leicester when there is a perfectly good local operation. I will table a Commons motion on Monday and seek an urgent meeting with the Health Secretary Alan Johnson who has already told me in the Commons that at face value, the switch seems rather strange, environmentally as well as financially."


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Dave Anderson urges investment in the well-being of children to benefit all

Dave with Nichola and Tina who are linked with the Action for Children Wrexham Young Carers Project.
Dave with Nichola and Tina who are linked with the Action for Children Wrexham Young Carers Project.
(Photo: Action for Children)
23 Mar 2009

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson has backed Action for Children’s call to invest in services to boost the happiness and well-being of children and intervene early to prevent problems from worsening.

Dave Anderson said:

"It was a privilege to attend the launch at the Commons of ‘Happiness Counts’, a major new research project that aims to reshape the way we invest in the future of society. They succeeded in winning cross-party support for their campaign to show that investing in services that develop happiness and well-being in children can bring social and economic benefits for children, young people, and society as a whole."

He added:

"It’s vital that we intervene early to prevent more serious problems from developing later in children’s lives, and importantly, that we recognise how children can help us to do this. It’s great that children are being consulted in this project, and I look forward to seeing its results."

Clare Tickell, Action for Children’s Chief Executive, says:

"We’re grateful to Dave Anderson MP for showing his support for ‘Happiness Counts’. It’s so critical that our knowledge of the benefits of early intervention is translated into policy to deliver real change that will benefit society at large. I’m pleased that Dave shares our recognition that listening to what children have to tell us is key to us truly succeeding in reshaping the way we invest in the future of our society."

Guests at the reception included celebrities Peter Davidson, Jon Culshaw, Helen Worth, and Alastair Stewart.

Action for Children is the new name for NCH, the children’s charity, one of the UK’s leading children’s charities, which was established in 1869. Action for Children works in partnership to run nearly 450 services for nearly 170,000 of the UK’s most vulnerable children, young people and their families. For further information visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk


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Blaydon MP organising Commons support for peace rallies in Northern Ireland

9 Mar 2009

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is taking the lead in organising parliamentarians in support of peace rallies across Northern Ireland protesting against attack on the Massereene Barracks in Antrim which has been claimed by the Real IRA.

Dave Anderson, who was once heavily involved with Northern Ireland trade unions and other groups, said:

"It’s excellent news that the non-sectarian trade union movement is taking the lead in organising vigils, with business organisations and churches, so that people can repudiate renegade republican terrorists. There’s no doubt that this vicious micro-minority has no popular support but they are still lethal. These rallies can help drive home their utter isolation and help the police to track them down. I am planning to get together a group of parliamentarians outside the Commons at 4pm on Wednesday to show that they share the revulsion of the vast majority of people in Ireland and Britain."


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Blaydon MP backs online service to help disabled children

4 Mar 2009

Local families with disabled children should make use of Family Fund Extra, a free-to-join online buying club that gives discounts on thousands of products and services, according to Blaydon MP, Dave Anderson.

Mr Anderson, who attended the Commons launch of the service this week, said:

"The government has invested £770 million to improve services for disabled children. Family Fund Extra will help local families with disabled children make their money go further."

The Family Fund national charity is behind the new website with online discounts between 5% to 25% from leading high street names.

Family Fund Extra also enables anyone to help disabled children while shopping online. Every time people click on other sites they give the Family Fund a small commission to help severely disabled children.

Visit www.familyfundextra.org.uk.


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Dave Anderson backs UK Pub Crisis Summit

27 Feb 2009

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is taking part this week in a UK Pub Crisis Summit at the Commons with ministers, brewers and the Campaign for Real Ale to discuss ways of saving Britain’s pubs.

Dave Anderson said:

"I am urging ministers to take action to help pubs at this tough time. We’ve already lost too many pubs and this leaves a big hole in many communities as well as the loss of jobs. We can afford neither losses and need to arrest the decline of the great British pub. I hope that this summit will help to do that. Many MPs from across the country will be there and I am sure we will convey the very strong feelings on this important issue."

The Ministers include Alan Campbell from the Home Office.

The meeting is on Tuesday


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MP’s warm welcome for new waste recycling plant and new jobs at Blaydon

19 Feb 2009

News that a brand new state of the art, waste recycling plant, Derwenthaugh Ecoparc, is being built at Blaydon has been warmly welcomed by local MP Dave Anderson.

Dave Anderson said:

"This will be one of the world’s largest steam autoclave recycling plants. The five acre site will treat thousands of tonnes of household rubbish a year. The new plant is also recruiting 51 permanent employees and there will also be around 20 temporary jobs in the first year. I am in touch with the operators and wish them the best. It is excellent news for the local economy and those who will be recruited.

"This is a tremendous example of the innovative work going on in our Region and the immense potential for providing green-collar jobs on the back of the need to cut our carbon footprint. This site uses state of the art engineering and technology to help us to clean up our act and deliver quality jobs with a long term future."

The plant will be operated by Graphite Resources. The company says that using steam to create temperatures up to 160C, technology at the £50m plant will sterilise household and non-hazardous business waste. It will be able to treat 320,000 of municipal solid and commercial wastes a year and divert more than 80% of input wastes from landfill.


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Dave Anderson backs campaign to get Britain building

12 Feb 2009

A new campaign to boost the UK’s beleaguered construction industry has been launched with the support of Blaydon MP Dave Anderson

Mr Anderson said:

"I am backing the ‘Get Britain Building’ which is urging the government to help the UK construction industry survive the recession. Its manifesto includes a plea to get banks lending to small businesses again, making our homes more energy efficient and cutting VAT to 5 per cent for property maintenance."

Mr Anderson added:

"This recession requires an active government prepared to intervene to make the market work properly for ordinary people and businesses. This important campaign deserves wide support."

Get Britain Building is a cross-party coalition of organisations from within the construction sector who are calling for the creation of a new business environment to help the UK construction industry thrive and prosper in these difficult times. Our campaign focuses on the need to help all those involved in the UK construction industry survive in the current economic downturn with an emphasis on minimising excessive control, regulation, and taxation.

www.getbritainbuilding.org


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MP encourages young people to take up free theatre tickets

Newcastle Theatre Royal
Newcastle Theatre Royal
10 Feb 2009

Young people are being encouraged to take up free tickets at local theatres by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson who said:

"The Arts Council has received government funding for a scheme to deliver free theatre tickets to people under 26 over the next two years. Give it a whirl and enjoy a night to remember at the theatre. There’s a wide variety of productions to see."

Free tickets are available at the Theatre Royal Newcastle, The Customs House, Sunderland Empire, Darlington Arts Centre, Darlington Civic Theatre and the Highlights Rural Touring Scheme. Tickets can be booked through the Night Less Ordinary website:

http://www.anightlessordinary.org.uk/


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Save the pub, says Blaydon MP

4 Feb 2009

A cross-party campaign to preserve and protect the British pub has been established in Parliament with the backing of Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

Dave Anderson, who took part in the launch of the group in the Commons, said:

"Nearly 40 pubs are closing every week and the number is rising. The British pub is an important part of our country’s history and heritage. Pubs are often a focus for community, social, sporting and charitable activities. They also provide a sociable and controlled drinking environment which encourages responsible drinking. We need to halt the closures and see what changes in laws, regulations and taxes could help this."

The All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group will work with the pub trade and pressure groups for such changes. The new group’s platform includes a plea to cut duties on beer and scrap planned rises as well as reform of the current system of tied pubs. The parliamentarians say that the tied system prevents some landlords from making a living and needlessly forces the closure of otherwise viable pubs.

Dave Anderson has also asked the Chancellor to investigate supermarkets which loss lead on alcohol and said that "artificially low prices in supermarkets are part of the reason why pubs are being driven out of business."


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Let Gateshead lead the way on free school meals, says Blaydon MP

22 Jan 2009

"Gateshead should be picked to take part in a £20 million two year pilot scheme for free school meals to help test how free school meals impact on the education and health of children,"

says local MP Dave Anderson.

The Blaydon MP added:

"I am a keen advocate of universal free school meals but accept that the idea should be road-tested. I hope that Gateshead is picked and once more we can help pioneer progressive change for all our pupils."


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