Press Releases 2012

21/12/12 New meningitis campaign
10/12/12 Dave urges all students to seize the Chance to be Chancellor
27/11/12 Dave Anderson on why businesses should back Veterans
20/11/12 Dave Anderson denounces irresponsible Home Secretary's ASBO aversion
19/11/12 Dave Anderson backs 20mph road campaign in Road Safety Week
18/11/12 People attacked at work have just a week to lodge compensation claims before the entitlement is cut
08/11/12 Dave Anderson condemns cruel cuts to criminal compensation
17/10/12 Major report on disability cuts and the Universal Credit
08/10/12 MP helps children celebrate school milk
02/10/12 MP backing the fight against breast cancer
26/09/12 Welcome for Metro truce
26/09/12 MP helps charity bring a safety buzz to MetroCentre
15/09/12 Dave Anderson MP on front-line police cuts in Northumbria
14/09/12 Dave Anderson MP urges further action on APD
14/09/12 Stay warm this winter, says Dave
10/09/12 Uniform rules under fire
06/09/12 Regiment victim of Scottish politics
17/07/12 Olympic troops deserve bonus
13/07/12 Celebrating success of local Headteacher
11/07/12 Dave Anderson urges action for those with Motor Neurone Disease
26/06/12 New classrooms welcomed
15/06/12 Marking Munich
17/05/12 Dave Anderson MP on the new NHS Check website
08/05/12 MP encourages people to take advantage of a free financial health check
01//05/12 MP slams "astonishing" Ofgem bonuses
27/04/12 Plug the Debt
11/04/12 Backing for manufacturing award
02/04/12 Working Tax credit
31/03/12 Support e-petition on Kurdish genocide
30/03/12 Upholding mining heritage
16/03/12 Beware bogus bag blaggers
14/03/12 Cash for helping people save energy
08/03/12 MP slams shortages at pharmacies
03/03/12 Who wants to be an engineer?
25/02/12 Needless bus cuts
29/01/12 The eyes have it
28/01/12 Get warm grants before they go!
26/01/12 PM errors at PMQs
19/01/12 Never again
18/01/12 Local primary schools urged to enter national IT competition

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New meningitis campaign

21 Dec 2012

A new campaign to highlight the impact of meningitis and boost changes for victims and their loved ones has been launched by a national charity that found that more than a third of bacterial meningitis victims are left with after-effects.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who has been made a Meningitis Champion for the charity, said:

"The Meningitis Trust has asked several MPs to be champions. Our task is to keep meningitis high on the political agenda, raise awareness of the dangers of the disease and to help support victims and their families. About 1700 children contract the disease each year and half a million people nationwide have had it."

Sue Davie, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Trust, said:

"We know that it's only together that we can make a difference and ensure our ambitious plans come to life, so our new army of Meningitis Champions have a key part to play. Meningitis changes lives. The Meningitis Trust changes futures, which is why our campaign is so crucial."

The Meningitis Trust helps to rebuild thousands of lives by providing free support for life through its tailored services and community support. Every year 20,000 people benefit from its commitment to fighting back against meningitis and the Trust is determined to reach out to the 500,000 people in the UK who have had meningitis, and those who continue to contract it, providing support however it is needed.

The Meningitis Trust is the oldest and largest meningitis organisation in the world, leading the way on getting support for people affected by meningitis. We work throughout the UK, with a network of staff based out in communities. Our aim is simple; to improve the lives of people affected by meningitis by providing free support and campaigning for change where it is needed. We have a range of tailor-made support services available to everyone affected. This support is for life.

We are the only organisation focused on supporting victims of meningitis in the UK. Because we are here, no-one has to suffer alone.

Our life-changing services include financial grants, community-based support, family days, counselling, art, play and music therapy, helpline, home and hospital visits and one-to-one support. These services are completely free and are available where, when and however they are needed.

For more information please visit, call our helpline on 0808 80 10 388, follow us on Twitter @MeningitisTrust or find us on Facebook at

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Dave urges all students to seize the Chance to be Chancellor

Digital challenge gives young people the opportunity to contribute to Youth Budget 2013

10 Dec 2012

Dave is supporting the launch of the 'Chance to be Chancellor' and is calling on all young people in Blaydon to take part. Organised by educational charity Citizenship Foundation in partnership with Aviva, Chance to be Chancellor is a part of 'Paying for It', an educational programme that provides a free range of resources to develop economic awareness amongst young people.

Chance to be Chancellor is open to all 14-18 year olds and Dave is urging students in Blaydon to get involved. The initiative challenges participants to grapple with issues that face the Chancellor ahead of the official Budget in mid-March 2013. Students are required to learn about, and share their opinions on, a selection of possible policies detailed on the Chance to be Chancellor website.

Students can also enter a national competition by creating a short video (max 90 seconds) arguing their choices with a chance to win an iPad. All entries will be collated to produce the 'Youth Budget', a report launched in anticipation of the official budget to give the voters of the future a platform for their views on important economic issues.

Speaking about the competition, Dave commented:

"Chance to be Chancellor is a fantastic way of bringing the current economic challenges into schools in Blaydon. It's also a great opportunity for students to have their say on what they think should be included in Budget 2013.

"I encourage as many students as possible in Blaydon to get involved and submit their ideas on how to tackle the current economic challenges; a particularly difficult challenge in the current climate. I wish all entrants the best of luck."

Deborah O'Malley, Community Affairs Manager, Aviva said:

"The 'Paying for It' programme continues to be popular with students, teachers and Aviva volunteers. Everyone enjoys the chance to learn new skills by sharing different perspectives on the economy and the world we live in. Both the teaching resources and Chance to be Chancellor act on the increasing appetite for financial education and improved economic literacy in schools. I am sure the young people involved will find it a valuable and enjoyable experience."

Andy Thornton, Chief Executive, Citizenship Foundation said:

"It's hugely empowering to let young people not yet old enough to vote to feed their views into the democratic process. This supports their learning and growth as equals in a fair society which they will one day inherit. Getting to have a say on Budget 2013 is a clear example of how citizenship education allows students to get under the skin of the big challenges of the day."

Chance to be Chancellor 2013 runs until Friday 15 February 2013 and details of how to enter can be found on

For further information please contact Robert Geddis at Citizenship Foundation - or 020 7566 4136.

About Paying for It

Paying for It was developed in 2007 by independent education charity Citizenship Foundation and Aviva to support and enrich teaching around economics and finance. The programme includes a website hosting a range of free lesson plans, teacher training and Chance to be Chancellor. Over the course of 2011, Aviva volunteers used specially tailored resources to work with small groups of young people on different topics such as transport, social welfare, health and housing.

To find out more about the Paying for It programme visit

About Aviva

Aviva is the UK's largest general insurer with a market share of around 15%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and small businesses. It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment products and one of the largest Financial Adviser (FA) providers. FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK.

Aviva's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at

About the Citizenship Foundation

The Citizenship Foundation is an independent charity (no.801360) which aims to empower individuals to engage in the wider community through education about the law, democracy and society. Founded in 1989, it focuses on developing young people's citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding. Its work includes resources, training, active learning programmes, community projects and research.

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Dave Anderson on why businesses should back Veterans

27 Nov 2012

Local companies should enlist in the Veterans Interview Programme to get Veterans back to work, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"The Veterans Interview Programme (VIP) scheme, which was devised by the last Labour Government, is now being introduced. It urges companies to voluntarily guarantee an interview for job seeking ex-Forces or other forms of increased employment support. "

Dave Anderson added:

"Big employers such as O2, Greggs, Centrica and John Lewis have signed up and Jobcentre Plus will encourage employers to participate. We owe a huge debt to those who have served their country and now find it difficult to re-enter the jobs market. They have invaluable experience and skills and could be a boon for many companies."

Labour's Shadow Defence Secretary Rt. Hon Jim Murphy MP said:

"The talents of those leaving the Services are a big asset to business, but we must raise awareness of their skills and increase access to employment. Labour is out of government but not out of power, and this is an important way of supporting those who have kept our country safe."

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Dave Anderson denounces irresponsible Home Secretary's ASBO aversion

A group of young people 20 Nov 2012

A sharp decline in ASBOs issued in Northumbria has highlighted a huge gap in the government's law and order policy according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"Anti-social crime and activity blight people's lives and undermine communities but the number of ASBOs issued in Northumbria in the last year has tumbled from 40 to 10. Sadly, this doesn't reflect improvements on the ground but is the result of the confusion created by Home Secretary Theresa May's irresponsible decision to go beyond ASBOs without coming up with any alternative in over two years.

The Labour politician added:

"It is the height of irresponsibility to leave local people and councils in the lurch. The only winners are louts. Mrs May should rethink her academic ASBO aversion."

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Dave Anderson backs 20mph road campaign in Road Safety Week

20 mph road sign 19 Nov 2012

Safer streets can best be secured by drivers slowing down to 20mph around homes, schools and shops and should become the norm in built-up areas, according to a new campaign launched in annual Road Safety Week.

Blaydon MP, who backs the Go 20 campaign organised by Brake, the road safety charity, said:

"Some nineteen adults and seven children are killed or seriously injured day in and day out. We need to get road accidents down so we can encourage more people to walk and cycle for their own health and to boost energy-saving transport."

Dave Anderson added:

"It is clear that lower speeds can slash deaths on the road and the campaign rightly suggests that drivers voluntarily curb their speed to 20mph. But councils can accelerate this by cutting the speed limit as is suggested by a major coalition of safety and health groups. Anyone can pledge their support for GO 20 and safer walking and cycling at"

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, says:

"We are delighted that Dave Anderson MP is getting behind the GO 20 campaign. Everyone should be able to walk and cycle in their community without fear or threat, and GO 20 is about defending that right. The 2012 Games helped us all realise the importance of being able to live active lifestyles. Critical to this is making our streets and communities safe places we can use and enjoy. Anyone who drives can help bring this about: pledge to GO 20 around homes, schools and shops, even where the limit's still 30: you'll be helping to protect people around you, and you'll hardly notice the difference to your journey. We're also calling on more authorities to recognise the benefits of 20mph limits, and the huge demand for safe walking and cycling, and GO 20."

Why GO 20:

Pedestrian and cyclist casualties

Every day in the UK, 19 adults and seven children are mowed down and killed or seriously hurt when on foot or bike.

In 2011 pedestrian deaths and serious injuries went up significantly, and for the first time in 17 years. Pedestrian deaths increased by 12%, while serious injuries increased by 5%. 466 people were killed on foot in 2011 and 5,654 were seriously injured. Of these victims, 31% (1,901) were children: 50 child pedestrians were killed in 2011 and 1,851 suffered serious injuries.

While cyclist deaths decreased by 2% in 2011, serious injuries increased by 16%. 109 cyclists were killed in 2011 and 3,132 suffered serious injuries. Of these victims, 16% (511) were children: 10 child cyclists were killed and 501 suffered serious injuries.[8]

Road Safety Week is an annual event co-ordinated by Brake, with support from headline sponsors Brain Injury Group and Specsavers. Find out more at

GO 20 is a partnership campaign being launched by Brake at the start of Road Safety Week 2012. The GO 20 coalition is made up of Brake, Living Streets, Sustrans, Campaign to Protect Rural England, the National Heart Forum and 20's Plenty for Us. Find out more at

Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week, and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road Safety Week is the UK's flagship event to promote safer road use, co-ordinated annually by the charity Brake and involving thousands of schools, communities and organisations across the country. Road Safety Week 2012 takes place 19-25 November, with support from headline sponsors Brain Injury Group and Specsavers, plus regional sponsors Woop young driver insurance, Bubblebum UK Ltd, Fleet Support Group and Leigh Day & Co Solicitors.

The Brain Injury Group is the UK's first national network of dedicated brain and head injury lawyers and expert specialists that provides a complete package of support for brain injured people and their families. If you have been affected by brain injury, you can find a local, specialist, skilled brain injury lawyer and other associated support services to help you

Good eyesight is imperative to road safety, which is why Specsavers has made a long-standing commitment to promoting the importance of clear vision behind the wheel, working alongside the national road safety charity Brake. The Specsavers Drive Safe road show tours events and town centres across the country with its specially designed trailer. Visitors to the trailer are invited to receive free vision and hearing screening, with experts on hand to answer any questions.

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People attacked at work have just a week to lodge compensation claims before the entitlement is cut

18 Nov 2012

Nurses and others who have been assaulted at work need to apply urgently for compensation before government cuts kick in, according to a Tyneside MP who used to represent nurses and other care workers.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said;

"The Royal College of Nursing has alerted me to a sneaky change in compensation arrangements. They tell me that the deadline for any such claims is Monday 26 November and that anyone who has been attacked at work should contact their union urgently as compensation can no longer be claimed after that date."

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Dave Anderson condemns cruel cuts to criminal compensation

Ambulance 8 Nov 2012

Cuts to compensation for over 90% of seriously injured victims of violent crime and for the families of murder victims are a major disgrace, according to a Tyneside MP who voted against them in the Commons.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme supports many thousands of victims each year. They receive relatively small payments to help tide them over given lost pay whilst they recover from their injuries. It is a lifeline for innocent victims."

Dave Anderson added:

"Furthermore, compensation would not be given to victims who suffer facial disfigurement, permanent speech impediment or multiple fractured ribs. Victims of dog attacks would no longer receive any compensation however serious their injuries. Even the most seriously injured face massively slashed payments and anyone who has been out of work in the three years before the attack - which includes a third of all the workforce - would not be eligible at all. This also extends to the dependants of murder victims."

"Savings in the Justice budget are needed but these are completely unacceptable and make a mockery of Conservative claims to put victims first. I reckon that this will affect at least one person each week in Blaydon. But we could all be victims and I shall do my utmost to reverse these cuts."

The shopworkers' union Usdaw have been campaigning against the cuts in compensation on behalf of many of their members who fall victim to violent robberies. Usdaw General Secretary John Hannett welcomed Dave Anderson MP's support,

"Thousands of shopworkers and other innocent victims of violent criminals desperately need the relatively small amounts that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme provides. Most who suffer serious injuries need to take considerable time off work to recover. We believe that seriously injured victims of violent crime have suffered enough and should not have to face possible deprivation and debt as well. The Government seem to want victims of crime to suffer financially as well as physically."

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Major report on disability cuts and the Universal Credit

17 Oct 2012

A major new inquiry exposes the danger that half a million disabled children and adults, already at the sharp end of life, will lose out under government plans to introduce the Universal Credit benefit system.

Tyneside MP Dave Anderson, who has welcomed the report from the well-known Paralympian, Baroness Grey-Thompson, said:

"Welfare reform needs to ensure that the disabled are properly protected. Slashing their benefits is most obscene when combined with massive tax breaks for the seriously wealthy and news that major companies such as Starbucks are contributing negligible amounts of tax to the national coffers. I would start by ensuring that such companies and the wealthy pay their dues."

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MP helps children celebrate school milk

Dave with children at Little Hearts 8 Oct 2012

Dave helped children at Little Hearts Pre-school celebrate World School Milk Day by handing out milk to the children.

Little Hearts Pre-school was one of thousands of schools across more than 30 countries which took part in celebrations dedicated to World School Milk Day on 26th September. The day encourages children to drink milk and aims to educate them about the benefits of milk.

Dave said,

"I was more than happy to visit the children at Little Hearts to celebrate World School Milk Day recently. Milk is an important source of nourishment for growing children."

In the UK, school milk is free for children in day-care or primary education under the age of five and subsidised for school children aged five to 11. Milk is delivered fresh and chilled to the classroom, distributed by children and consumed as a group.

This process aids children's social development, including responsibility, independence and manners. Children also benefit from the nutrients and vitamins in milk, which aids their health and physical development - while also helping to ensure their hydration and improved Little Hearts Pre-school promotes milk as it adds to their Healthy School Status which helps improve child health, raise pupil achievement, improve social inclusion and encourage closer working between health and education providers.

The school said:

"We offer milk as a drink for the children in our care as it's a fantastic way to support their health and development, it also enhances their concentration. Milk is a great snack time drink for our children"

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MP backing the fight against breast cancer

2 Oct 2012

The Breast Cancer Campaign's, wear it pink day is fast approaching and local people are being encouraged to take part in the award winning fund-raiser.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"Wear it pink is on Friday 26 October 2012 and is a good opportunity for people in schools, colleges and businesses to join the fight against Breast Cancer. This year's theme is superheroes which symbolises the fact that all those who wear it pink are superheroes - be they from people affected by breast cancer, scientists and all wear it pink participants. It's an important cause."

Dave Anderson added;

"Around 48,000 women and 340 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. The funds raised enable the Breast Cancer Campaign to fund research which will one day lead to a cure."

Breast Cancer Campaign is asking everyone to pull on something pink and donate £2, whether it's a superhero cape, pink socks or pink pants you wear over your tights, you can help the charity achieve its target of raising £2 million, so they can continue to fund ground-breaking research.

Join the hundreds of thousands of people who take part in wear it pink every year. With your help Breast Cancer Campaign can improve survival rates for the one in eight women who experience breast cancer during their lifetime.

To take part in the UK's original and best pink day visit and register to receive your free fund-raising pack now. Vanish is backing the fight against breast cancer for the third year running by raising an incredible £250,000 for wear it pink.

Breast Cancer Campaign aims to beat breast cancer by funding innovative world-class research to understand how breast cancer develops, leading to improved diagnosis, treatment, prevention and cure

The Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank, the UK's first ever national breast cancer tissue bank is a unique collaboration with four leading research institutions to create a vital resource of breast cancer tissue for researchers across the UK and Ireland. Visit

The charity currently funds 91 projects worth over £15.5 million in 35 locations across the UK and Ireland

·Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and accounts for nearly one in three of all cancers in women

In the UK, around 48,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year - that's 130 a day

·Visit or follow us onTwitter

For more media information please contact:

Claire Learner, Media Relations Manager


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Welcome for Metro truce

26 Sep 2012

The decision to suspend industrial action in the dispute between Metro cleaners and Churchills and for talks to take place has been welcomed by a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"I have been supporting the workforce in their valiant efforts to achieve a decent living wage. These dedicated workers are the public face of the Metro and they should be treated much better by their employer. I have been in discussions with the contractors, Nexus and the Metro operators to seek an urgent and satisfactory resolution. Churchills should acknowledge the union's decision as positive and use all their resources to seek a speedy return to normal working."

Dave Anderson added:

"This dispute is just one of several where former public servants who have been contracted out are seeing their terms and conditions undermined as companies put profits before people. It would be a sign of goodwill if Nexus, which acts on our behalf in providing public transport in the region, now agreed to reissue leisure travel passes to the cleaners to bring them in line with all other workers on the system. Failure to do so will only harden the view that lower paid workers are the ones that are unfairly left carrying the heaviest burden in this country."

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MP helps charity bring a safety buzz to MetroCentre

26 Sep 2012

This Electrical Fire Safety Week, Dave, the Electrical Safety Council and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service challenge locals to get clued up on electrical safety in the home

On Friday 28th September, the Metro Centre will literally be buzzing with activity as the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service test shoppers' nerve with a giant electrical challenge. A giant house shaped buzz wire and accompanying materials will help people learn how to reduce the risk of electrical house fires in their home. Shoppers will also be encouraged to play the ESC's Facebook game at Facebook/ElectricalSafetyCouncil and download the free 'Home Electrical Safety Check' ESC Smartphone app.

Local fire services will be on hand to spark shoppers' interest and help people learn how to keep their home and family safe.

Dave said,

"It's great news that the Electrical Safety Council has chosen Gateshead's Metro Centre to highlight Newcastle Electrical Fire Safety Week. It shows that fire knows no boundaries. Electrical based fires are a serious risk and it is vital that local people are fully aware of the risks. Sadly we are seeing cuts impacting on the ability of local fire and rescue services capacity to deliver fire safety messages as well as they have been able to in recent years so it is very welcome that the ESC has raised the profile of this deadly serious issue at this time."

Event details

· There will be prizes to be won as friends and families compete to reach the giant buzz wire finish line without losing their nerve

· The Electrical Safety Council and local fire services will be on hand to offer advice on how to protect homes from electrical fires

· Spot prizes will be distributed throughout the day

Phil Buckle, Electrical Safety Council spokesperson stated:

"Newcastle has a worryingly high level of electrical fires, so we hope the event will encourage people to get safety savvy next week and help prevent fires in their home."

For more information on all aspects of electrical safety visit the ESC website at

· The Electrical Safety Council is the UK charity dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents. People are severely misjudging the risks involved with electricity. At least one person dies each week from its everyday use, while 350,000 people are seriously injured annually[i].

· To check if you have fixed RCD protection, go to your consumer unit (fusebox) and have a look to see if there is a device with a push-button marked 'T' or 'Test', which means you are protected. If you do not have this, plug-in RCDs should be used, especially for equipment used outdoors. These are available for around £10 from a DIY or garden centre. For more information or to watch the instructional video on RCDs, visit

· To download the app from your iPhone, click on the App store button and search 'Home Electrical Safety Check'. Select the 'free' button, then 'install'. The app should appear on your desktop. Wait until the download is finished and 'Home Electrical Safety Check' app is ready to use.

· To download the app from your Android phone, go to the Android market and search for 'Home Electrical Safety Check'. Select the 'free' button then 'OK'. Wait until the download is finished and 'Home Electrical Safety Check' is ready to use

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Dave Anderson MP on front-line police cuts in Northumbria

Police Officers 15 Sep 2012

David Cameron's promise to protect front-line policing from his huge 20% cuts to our force have been exposed by the latest figures which show that that Northumbria has lost 251 officers in the last two years.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson commented:

"This 7% reduction in front line officers is no fault of the police who have no choice but to implement government cuts. They will be welcomed by those who wish to profit from crime though.

Dave Anderson added:

"I know that some savings were needed but we need to find new sources of revenues to reduce the social cost of these cuts. It's about time they backed off from attacking our dedicated public servants and started to hit bankers and the shady city dealers as well as joining other countries in imposing a Robin Hood Tax which could raise billions for good causes."

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Dave Anderson MP urges further action on APD

Aircraft at Newcastle 14 Sep 2012

Renewed efforts to oppose crippling air duties which harm UK holidaymakers, employment and economic growth are being backed by a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is one of nearly 100 MPs backing a Commons motion exposing the damage done by high Air Passenger Duties, said:

"I have been bombarded by constituents on this issue, quite understandably. The Treasury should face reality and urgently examine the negative impact of APD. It does great harm when a British family flying economy from the UK has to pay nearly 400% more in tax than an equivalent trip from another country in Europe that levies an air passenger tax."

Dave Anderson added:

"This tax deters normal people from flying abroad on their annual holiday. It also undermines jobs and growth because it acts as a disincentive for tourists to visit Britain. My hope is that thousands of people here in Blaydon will back this campaign."

The campaign has already won the backing of nearly 200,000 people throughout the UK in just 12 weeks, all of whom have sent the email to their local MP. Spokesman for A Fair Tax on Flying campaign, Luke Pollard (and Head of Public Affairs at ABTA - the Travel Association), said:

"We are delighted that MP David Anderson is backing this campaign. Higher and higher air passenger taxes make well-earned holidays more expensive and British goods and services more costly than our competitors. We would encourage as many people here in Blaydon to log on to to make their voices heard."

Air Passenger Duties:

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Stay warm this winter, says Dave

14 Sep 2012

Dave Anderson is backing a campaign by Consumer Focus, Citizens Advice, Age UK and National Children's Bureau on free heating help available for the poorest households from Warm Front.

Folk in Blaydon who are worried about their energy bills can find out if they are eligible for free heating and insulation improvements from Warm Front.

Consumer Focus says that around six million households across England plan to reduce heating their home this winter due to money worries. Around 425,400 of these households are in the North East.

Yet millions of pounds worth of help is being left unclaimed under Warm Front, the Government's scheme to help the poorest households in England to make homes warmer and cut energy bills.

The eligibility criteria for help under the WarmFront scheme is widening from 12 September. Even if someone has been turned down before they may be able to get help this year. The heating and insulation improvements from Warm Front could help thousands of households to stay warm and well and save up to £600 off their energy bills each year.

People can find out if they can get free help from Warm Front by calling 0800 316 2805 or by visiting their local Citizens Advice Bureau or Age UK.

Further information and an on-line application form are also available on

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Uniform rules under fire

Children in school uniforms 10 Sep 2012

Local schools are being urged to allow parents to shop around for school uniforms after research showed that restrictive rules are inflicting costs of about £52m a year on many hard-pressed parents.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"The Office of Fair Trading finds that families are being stung for 5-10 quid extra on jumpers and skirts because they are not allowed to shop around. In today's tough economic climate this just adds to the bills run up on childcare, trips and holidays over the summer."

"It would help a great deal if schools didn't insist on uniforms being bought from one shop and if they helped parents resell old uniforms to other parents."

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Regiment victim of Scottish politics

6 Sep 2012

News that disbanding the North East's Fusiliers regiment is a political tactic rather than based on military criteria should drive increased support for the campaign to stop the disbandment of the regime, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"It is one thing to disband a regiment when it fails to recruit enough people locally but another to do so for short-term political reasons - in this case an effort to undermine the Scottish independence campaign.

He added,

"I fear that the young men of our region may be forced to join Scottish Battalions to make the numbers up although the North-East alone recruits more than twice the number of soldiers per year than the whole of Scotland combined.

"This Saturday's public event at 2pm at Old Eldon Square will allow members of the public to support this important campaign, which has my full support."

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Olympic troops deserve bonus

Soldiers drafted in for Olympic security 17 Jul 2012

Dave has written to the Home Secretary asking for a bonus for service personnel drafted in for the Olympics.

In the wake of the G4S debacle, many soldiers, some fresh from combat duties overseas, will forego their summer leave with their families to fill the hole left by the private company G4S hired to provide security for the Games.

Dave received a letter from a constituent asking for just a little recognition for the troops involved, a cause with which Dave readily agrees and says it should at the expense of G4S.

Dave's letter reads:

Dear Secretary of State

Armed Forces and Police providing security at the Olympic Games

I have been contacted by my constituent Mr Charles Dawes of Crawcrook about the deployment of our Armed Forces and Police personnel to ensure the security of the Olympic Games following the failure of G4S to meet their contractual obligations in this key area.

Many of these personnel will have had their family holidays, or perhaps their leave prior to deployment on active duty overseas, cancelled in the interests of the security of the games, entirely due to the failure of G4S to meet their contractual obligations. Mr Dawes writes,

"it would be a nice gesture if someone actually thought to give some of the money that will be clawed back from the failure of G4S to these hard-working soldiers and police as an Olympic bonus. They don't have an option to strike or even to say I rather be on the leave that I'd already booked. No, they will turn up in good spirits and get on with the job we ask them to do ... maybe a little recognition in this way would be nice".

I have to say that I fully agree with Mr Dawes that the contribution which these staff are making to ensure the success and the safety of the Olympics must be recognised .That would most fittingly be funded from the penalties which will be imposed on G4S, which has completely failed in delivering the security staff so essential to making the London Olympics a success. I believe that a sum of £500 at the very minimum would be appropriate in these circumstances.

I urge you to agree with my constituent, to ensure that the dedication to duty of these staff is recognised in a practical and financial way and to see that this is funded from the penalties on G4S.

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Celebrating success of local Headteacher

13 Jul 2012

The achievements and career of Mrs Lynne Hudson, Headteacher at St. Agnes's School in Crawcrook have been marked by a Commons motion tabled by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

Dave Anderson, who yesterday presented a framed copy of the Commons motion to Mrs Hudson at a ceremony at the school, said:

"Lynne has brought excellent teaching to schools across Tyne and Wear throughout her career. She deserves commending for establishing links to European schools through the Comenius Project and the success of the school in receiving international and Artsmark Gold awards. She also secured an outstanding Ofsted report which recognised that the school's success was due to her outstanding leadership."

Dave Anderson added:

"It was a great pleasure to be able to help mark Lynne's many achievements which allowed the first rate provision at St Agnes's school to be an important part of the family of superb primary and secondary schools in Gateshead. We do too little to celebrate such people who give so much back to the local community and who will live forever in the hearts of her students."

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Dave Anderson urges action for those with Motor Neurone Disease

11 Jul 2012

The plight and priorities of people living with Motor Neurone Disease which kills five people a day should be recognised according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is backing the Motor Neurone Disease Association's Charter, said:

"This terminal disease can affect any adult at any age. There is no known cure. Half those diagnosed die within 14 months. But the condition is little understood and means many people with MND don't get the right care and support."

Dave Anderson added:

"The five-point charter sets out what good care looks like for people with MND and their carers. Everyone with this devastating disease should be supported to maximise their quality of life and die with dignity."

Liam Dwyer, a person living with MND and fronting this year's awareness campaign said:

"Many people with MND die without having the right care, not having a suitable wheelchair, not having the support to communicate. When living with MND, one month waiting for an assessment or a piece of equipment is like a year in most people's lives, especially as half of the people with MND die within 14 months of diagnosis."

The MND Charter, which has already received endorsements from the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) aims to ensure that people with MND and their carers have access to timely and appropriate information, care, services that allow them to maximise their quality of life and ensure they are treated with dignity.

Farah Nazeer, Direct of External Affairs, said:

"What matters most is that people with MND and their carers can access the right care, in the right place and at the right time. We need to ensure that the needs of people with MND and the priorities for good care as set out in our Charter are recognised and respected. We urge everyone to sign the Charter and show their support."

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New classrooms welcomed

Whickham School & Sports College 26 Jun 2012

Dave has welcomed the news that eight new classroom will be added to a local school.

Whickham School & Sports College has won a bid for cash from the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund to build the block.

Dave said,

"I strongly welcome the excellent news that Whickham School & Sports College has successfully won its bid for a new eight classroom teaching block from the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund and that this could be completed with a year. It's true that good schools need good staff and morale but decent facilities are also vital and this is a great, if long overdue, advance for the school."

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Marking Munich

Terrorist at the Munich Olympics in 1972 15 Jun 2012

The 40th anniversary of the Munich Olympics terrorist attack should be formally marked at this year's Olympic Games and with a minute's silence in the House of Commons, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is backing a cross-party Commons motion on the issue, said:

"The mass murder at Munich in September 1972 was a tragedy for the young Israeli athletes and an affront to the values and spirit of the Olympic movement."

The 1972 Olympics marked the first time Israeli athletes had taken part in the games since the Holocaust. On the morning of 5 September, a terrorist group Black September, stormed the apartment of Israeli athletes and coaches, armed with assault rifles and grenades. Two of the athletes and coaches were murdered, with the rest taken hostage. Following an unsuccessful rescue operation by German police, the terrorists executed the remaining hostages. In all, 11 Israeli hostages, one German police officer and five Palestinian terrorists were killed.

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Dave Anderson MP on the new NHS Check website

17 May 2012

A new "NHS Check" campaign to allow doctors, nurses and patients to expose the impact on front-line health services by free-market policies has been backed by a Tyneside MP and former care worker.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"This new initiative by the Opposition Leader puts the NHS at the centre of debate. It allows ordinary people to tell us what is going on so myself and other MPs can make sure that the damage being done to the NHS is exposed for all to see. The website is at"

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MP encourages people to take advantage of a free financial health check

8 May 2012

Local folk are being encouraged to take a free financial health check from a free and independent service that was established by government and is funded by a levy on the financial services industry

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said,

"The Money Advice Service helps people plan for their future. A few minutes now could save money later. There's no paper work and people will end up with an action plan fitting their circumstances. It's at"

Tony Hobman, Chief Executive of the Money Advice Service, said:

"We are grateful to Dave Anderson for raising awareness of the free services that the Money Advice Service offers. We can all enjoy life more if given the right money advice at the right time in the right way. We're not here to sell people anything and we won't charge anyone - we are here to help people take decisions about their money and plan for a better future for themselves and their families."

The Money Advice Service provides free, unbiased advice to help everyone across the UK make the most of their money. It provides information, tools and advice - online, over the phone and face-to-face to help people make money choices at key points throughout their lives, whatever their circumstances.

The Money Advice Service was set up by Government with cross-party support and is funded by the financial services industry. It is independent of both.

In addition to the general financial health check, the service also provides a pensions calculator, a baby costs calculator and many other tools at the same web address:

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MP slams "astonishing" Ofgem bonuses

Electricity bill 1 May 2012

A Tyneside MP has slammed the "toothless" energy regulator Ofgem for paying a million pounds in bonuses in the last two years, while millions of families are struggling with soaring energy bills.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"It's astonishing that this toothless tiger has given bonuses which exceed the typical annual household energy bill. They should get their house in order and tackle profiteering by the energy companies as a priority."

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Plug the Debt

27 Apr 2012

Winter energy bills are higher for many and nearly half of consumers plan to make cut-backs in order to afford their energy bills, according to new research from Consumer Focus which has joined with Citizens Advice in a campaign to help advise people falling behind with their energy bills.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is backing the Plug the Debt campaign, said:

"Such unexpectedly higher bills could push more people into debt with their energy supplier - particularly those on low fixed incomes, such as older people and families receiving benefits. The awareness campaign helps people know what to do and what their rights are when they fall behind on their energy bills."

Mike O'Connor, Chief Executive of Consumer Focus, said:

'With energy price cuts and less heating used because of the mild weather, most people will have expected their winter energy bill to be lower this year. So higher winter bills may come as a nasty shock that many customers simply can't afford. We'd urge anyone struggling to pay their bill to contact their energy firm and Citizen's Advice as soon as possible. The sooner you get in touch the less chance there is for debts to build and become harder to repay.'

Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice Chief Executive, said:

'High energy bills are stretching some household budgets to breaking point. If you are worried you can't afford to pay your bills and they are mounting up - don't suffer in silence. Speak to your energy supplier as they have a duty to make sure you are repaying what you can afford. Citizens Advice Bureaux can also help you to find out what help is out there to cut your bills and claim any benefits you could be entitled to.'

Consumer Focus and Citizens Advice suggest five top tips if people fall behind with their bills:

1. Always contact your energy firm as soon as you realise you might have trouble with paying. Debts will build-up and be harder to pay off the longer you leave them. Your supplier has a responsibility to help you if you have problems paying your bill.

2. Tell your energy supplier what you can afford to pay - they have to take this into account in agreeing repayments of the money you owe.

3. Ask your energy company, your local Citizens Advice Bureau or call the Home Heat Helpline 0800 33 66 99 to find out about other free energy help available. For example you could qualify for a discount off your bill or free insulation to help your home stop leaking heat and cut your bills.

4. Even if you are in debt you may still be able to switch to a cheaper deal with your current supplier, especially if you pay by cash, cheque or prepayment meter. If you pay by pre-payment meter and have less than £200 of debt you can also switch to a cheaper deal with another supplier.

5. Financial help is available which could make it easier to afford your bills - check you are receiving all of the benefits and tax credits you are entitled to by getting in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau or

Anyone who wants to find out more about getting help or advice through the 'Plug the Debt' campaign should or contact their local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Other advice and information

For impartial advice and information on energy issues get in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau or the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.

Information on how consumers can save money on their energy bills by switching payment type, tariff or supplier and insulating their home, is available on the DirectGov website energy advice pages. Helpful information can also be found on the Citizens Advice Big Energy Week web pages and advice guide. You can also find out online about the Energy Best Deal campaign that Citizens Advice runs with Ofgem and watch a series of short films on how to get the best deal.

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Backing for manufacturing award

11 Apr 2012

£20,000 worth of free consultancy is up for grabs in the quest to find the UK's top manufacturer in an awards programme organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers to identify and celebrate outstanding businesses.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is urging local businesses to get in involved in the free competition:

"We need more manufacturing as the backbone of our economy. This programme can help boost manufacturing locally and nationally. It's worth a punt and can help companies."

The deadline is 1 June and details are at

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Working Tax credit

2 Apr 2012

Couples with at least one dependent child can continue to claim working tax credit if one parent is working at least 16 hours a week and the other is entitled to carer's allowance, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who has been asked to publicise this exemption from new rules on working tax credits, said:

"The Contact a Family group is rightly anxious that people who fall into this category don't lose any payments. They suggest that people contact the Tax Credit Office on 0345 300 3900 before 6 May. Their own free helpline is 0808 808 3555 (weekdays 9.30 am - 5pm)."

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Support e-petition on Kurdish genocide

Kurdish fighters during the Iraq war 31 Mar 2012

Saddam Hussein's genocide against the Kurds of Iraq should be formally recognised by the UK Government which should persuade the United Nations to follow suit, according to a Tyneside MP and long-standing friend of the Kurds.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is an officer of the all-party Kurdistan group in Parliament, said:

"I know from my visits to Iraqi Kurdistan and my continuing connections with the Kurds that they are not a people who wish to live in the past. But UK and international recognition of the attempts to eliminate them as a people will do much to reassure them that they will never be abandoned again and allow them to build a much brighter future for themselves."

Dave Anderson added:

"I urge everyone to sign the e-petition. When it reaches more than 100,000 signatures this could trigger a proper debate in Parliament and encourage the UK Government to support this basic humanitarian issue. The Iraqi Kurds are staunchly pro-British and our trade, educational exchanges and other links are really taking off."

The e petition, which can only be signed by UK citizens and those resident here, is at

Text of e petition

"We urge the Government to recognise formally the Genocide against the people of Iraqi Kurdistan and to encourage the EU and UN to do likewise. This will enable Kurdish people, many in the UK, to achieve justice for their considerable loss. It would also enable Britain, the home of democracy and freedom, to send out a message of support for international conventions and human rights. The Genocide perpetrated over decades, known collectively as the Anfal, began with the arabisation of villages around Kirkuk in 1963. It involved the deportation and disappearances of Faylee Kurds in the1970s-80s, the murder of 8,000 male Barzanis in 1983, the use of chemical weapons in the late 1980s, most notably against Halabja, and finally the Anfal campaign of 1987-88. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people perished, families were torn apart, with continuing health problems, and 4,500 villages were destroyed between 1976 and 1988 undermining the potential of Iraqi Kurdistan's agricultural resources."

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Upholding mining heritage

30 Mar 2012

The mining heritage of Greenside is being celebrated this weekend when two "pit tubs" are officially unveiled in the village.

Gateshead Mayor Cllr Joe Mitchenson performed the dedication ceremony for one of the new installations on Friday in the George Cameron Park named after the local miners leader who lost his life in the Pit over 60 years ago.

The Miners Pit Tub marks those who worked at the Greenside Pit and their families

Twenty students and Greenside Primary School Headteacher Dawn Foster all of whom had grandparents and great grandparents who worked the pits will attended the ceremony in Victorian outfits.

Dave Anderson commented:

"Over the last decade there has been a revival of Greenside's Mining Heritage thanks to Banner Tales - the local Greenside Pit Banner Group and the work of local residents including the late Norman Armstrong and Jack Graham."

A second pit tub was unveiled on Saturday to commemorate the miners and their families and in recognition of the life of Norman Armstrong who sadly died in 2009. This dedication was made by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, himself a former pitman and a strong supporter of local heritage projects.

Jean Armstrong, Norman's widow said

"I am delighted that Norman's life and work in the local community has been recognised in such a fitting way. He was deeply proud of Greenside's mining heritage and would be delighted to know that there is a pit tub with his name."

Cllr Jack Graham said

"The pit has long gone, but the memories remain. Greenside is still a strong community village proud of its mining heritage. These tubs are a fitting tribute to all those who worked in Greenside Pit and their families."

On Saturday press and local residents are invited to the Greenside Social Club at noon on Saturday 31st March for the unveiling by Dave Anderson MP.

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Beware bogus bag blaggers

Charity bags in a van 16 Mar 2012

People leaving unwanted goods on their doorstep for charitable causes should take care in ensuring that the goods will reach genuine charity beneficiaries, according to the Bogus Bags campaign.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson has added his voice to the campaign:

"Sadly, some bogus operators are collecting goods under the false impression that they are for charitable causes when in fact they are just for profit. But some simple checks can put people's minds at rest and ensure that charities receive unwanted goods."

"Legitimate bags will clearly state what organisation(s) funds are being raised for and feature a registered charity number which can be checked at"

There should be a FRSB tick logo indicating that the charity is signed up to fund-raising regulation and to industry standards. See A collector would ensure there is a working landline telephone number on fund-raising materials for you to contact them on. But dodgy bags can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at

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Cash for helping people save energy

Fitting loft insulation 14 Mar 2012

Residents are being encouraged by a Tyneside MP to take advantage of a free energy efficiency offer, help a friend or a relative, and pocket £50 for their efforts.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is backing a British Gas initiative whereby people receive £50 for every person on qualifying benefits they refer to British Gas for free insulation. The money will be paid once the installation has been completed and there is no limit on the number of people they can refer.

Dave Anderson said:

"Free insulation can save hundreds of pounds each year and the referred customer will also be paid £50 once the installation is completed. Both the referrer and the customer receiving the insulation do not need to buy their gas or electricity from British Gas to qualify for the deal."

Loft insulation can save households up to £175 from their heating bills and cavity wall insulation can save up to £135. According to DECC, nearly half of Britain's homes do not have adequate basic insulation. Only 57% of Britain's lofts have been properly insulated and only 58% of cavity walls have been filled.

British Gas can be contacted on freephone 0800 975 1195. Calls must be made by the customer who is having the insulation installed and they should give the details of the person who referred them.

To qualify as a vulnerable customer eligible for the deal, the customer has to be in receipt of either the State Pension Credit or the Child Tax Credit with an income below £16,190 or one of the following income related benefits (Income Based Jobs Seekers Allowance, Income Support or Income Related Employment Support Allowance Credit) AND one of the following (parental responsibility for a child under five, Child Tax Credit including a disability, a Disabled Child Premium, A Disability Premium or a Pensioner Premium).

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MP slams shortages at pharmacies

8 Mar 2012

Drugs for cancer, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, depression, asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure are often in short supply at pharmacies, according to a campaigning Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is urging Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to "pull his finger out" and ensure that

"patients can access the medicines they are prescribed when they need them."

Dave Anderson is concerned by reports that 80% of pharmacists in the last year were unable to dispense items and that nearly half of those surveyed said they were aware of a patient whose health has suffered in the past year because of difficulties they had in getting a particular prescribed drug.

"I don't blame the Pharmacists who work very hard for all of us but it's just not on that people who are coping with a serious medical problem should go through this."

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Who wants to be an engineer?

3 Mar 2012

A cool million pound prize is available for the winner of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering whose judges include TV Science boffin Brian Cox.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"Good engineering and science can do so much to lift the burden of labour and make resources go further. Anyone who thinks that they know of an innovation that has benefited humanity can nominate."

The award was announced by all three party leaders, and supported by HM the Queen. Details of how to nominate and deadlines are at

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Needless bus cuts

Bus in Gateshead 25 Feb 2012

A revelation from a Commons Select Committee that the Department for Transport handed back more than half a billion pounds to the Treasury means that one in five local bus services were needlessly axed, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"The decision to cut the same amount from support for buses across England last year led to young people being unable to carry on with education or training. Staying on rates are down at 60% of further education colleges and some of those who stay are missing meals so they can afford the fare. Now we find out that the cut could have been avoided. It's both shambolic and unjust."

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The eyes have it

29 Jan 2012

Nearly two million people have sight loss and this could double within a generation as the population ages but regular eye tests could prevent blindness for many, according to a Tyneside MP

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"Eye tests aren't just about checking the health of your eyes but can also detect other health issues such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Debilitating eye conditions such as glaucoma are treatable and sight loss can be prevented if they are detected early enough. I would urge local folk to have eye tests regularly."

Free NHS sight tests are available to people 60 and over, all children under 16 and those on low incomes.

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Get warm grants before they go!

Fitting loft insulation 28 Jan 2012

Local people should take advantage of unused funds in the Government's Warm Front energy scheme to help make their homes warmer and cut their energy bills this winter, according to Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

Mr Anderson said:

"Consumer Focus advises me that millions of funding could go unclaimed unless eligible constituents use the Warm Front scheme. This money could help thousands of households struggling with high energy bills to cut their costs by a potential £650 per year. The grants are open to people on certain income-related benefits, living in poorly insulated homes or without a working central heating system. Claims have to be made by the end of March when funding will dry up."

Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus, said:

"The poorest pensioners and families will have been hit particularly hard by high energy prices. Many are living in cold homes, which could put their health at risk. It is very disappointing that people who need Warm Front help to make their homes warmer and cheaper to heat are likely to miss out. We'd urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible to put in a claim. This help is free and can make a big difference in affording your energy bills and keeping warm and well."

People can apply for the scheme on-line, by post, or by phone on 0800 316 6004 (or textphone 0800 072 0156),Monday to Friday 8.00 am to 6.00 p.m. and Saturday 9.00 am to 5.00 p.m.

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PM errors at PMQs

The Prime Minister David Cameron during PMQs 26 Jan 2012

The PM is neither born to rule nor fit to rule judging by his answers in Prime Minister's Questions this week, as has been forensically outlined by the Opposition Leader. The PM said that

"There are more people in work today than there were at the time of the last election".

In fact, the most recent employment figures from the Office for National Statistics show that total employment between May-July 2010 and September-November 2011 fell by 26,000.

He said that the Merlin agreement

"actually led to an increase in bank lending last year".

In fact, the latest Trends in Lending report from the Bank of England, published last Friday, said that

"the stock of lending to SMEs contracted between end-April and end-November 2011".

He spoke of

"the real shame... that there are so many millions of children who live in households where nobody works and indeed that number doubled under the previous government".

In fact, according to the Office for National Statistics, the number of children living in workless households fell by 372,000 between April-June 1997 and April-June 2010.

He said that Labour Government was planning to cut benefits to disabled children but according to page 28 of the Department for Work and Pensions' own impact assessment on the introduction of universal credit, his policy of mirroring for disabled children the current adult eligibility for Disability Living Allowance means that the rate paid to those disabled children who do not qualify for the highest rate of the DLA care component

"would be less than now (£26.75 instead of £53.84)".

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Never again

Dave signing a Book of Commitment in the Commons
Dave signing a Book of Commitment in the Commons
19 Jan 2012

Events to mark the Holocaust are taking place around the country in the run-up to Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday 27 January.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who this week signed a Book of Commitment in the Commons, said:

"It will be 67 years to the day since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi concentration and extermination camp and site of the largest mass murder in history. The obscenity of the Holocaust against Jews and others is seared into my mind as I grew up in its immediate shadow. But it obviously fades for later generations and remembering that bigotry and persecution led to the murder of six million people is essential for making sure such things never happen again."

Mr Anderson added:

"I also want to join many others in paying tribute to the extraordinary men and women who survived the Holocaust and went on to educate young people about what their experience through the Holocaust Educational Trust's Outreach programme. They lived through sheer hell and their recollections remain vital to all of us today. I encourage all constituents to mark the day and to commit to 'speaking up and speaking out' against prejudice today."

Thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. This year, people will also be encouraged to take a stand against racism and prejudice today - and to speak out against hatred wherever they encounter it.

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said:

"We are proud that Dave Anderson is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day this year. It is vitally important that we both remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust - as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge all forms of bigotry."

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Local primary schools urged to enter national IT competition

18 Jan 2012

Local primary school students aged 9 to 11 are being encouraged to enter a national Make IT Happy competition and net thousands for the winning school and regional finalists with an awards ceremony in Parliament.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who has written to all local schools, said,

"The prestigious competition highlights how primary schools can make a positive impact for themselves and others. This year's theme of "Make IT Healthy" is about pupils using IT to improve their own physical, mental or emotional health or help others to do the same."

Mr Anderson added,

"The competition allows young people to use their imagination, creativity and technology skills and show how IT can make a real difference."

The competition is run by the Parliamentary Internet Communications and Technology Forum and e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology. It is backed by more than 60 MPs.

The judges are looking for entries that demonstrate innovative ways in which pupils have used technology to improve health. Projects could include planning a school vegetable garden on-line, using technology to reach out to older or disabled people or building relationships across national or international boundaries.

The closing date for entries is April 8, 2012. For further information and details of how to enter, visit the website at

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