Press Releases 2013

20/12/13 Take care of your mobiles and tablets this Christmas
10/12/13 Blaydon beer special guest at the bar of the House of Commons this week
26/11/13 Dave Anderson MP backs campaign to get local school children talking and learning about money
22/11/13 Defending workers' hard won rights
19/11/13 Dave Anderson backs Birkheads event to raise money for Philippines victims this weekend
06/11/13 Dave Anderson presents certificates in prison
25/10/13 Time for Vince Cable to apologise to shopworkers
16/10/13 MP Backs Teachers' Strike
26/09/13 Dave Anderson: urges local people to check their risk of Type 2 Diabetes
30/08/13 Rethink the universal credit programme
16/08/13 Dave Anderson MP concern about poorer pupils missing out on holidays
12/08/13 Dave Anderson MP urges increased pressure to keep East Coast Main Line in public hands
06/08/13 Dave Anderson MP urges businesses to appeal and get a second opinion on vital bank loans
02/08/13 Keep the NHS public and national
19/07/13 Dave Anderson urges action on breast cancer in older women
10/07/13 Dave Anderson MP exposes scandal of zero-hours contracts
04/07/13 Progress towards Veterans' Courts in the UK after ministerial meeting
01/07/13 High time Orgreave trumped up charges were revealed
26/06/13 Charity's battle with locals over plans for derelict site
24/06/13 Duchene Muscular Dystrophy event at the Commons
21/06/13 New drive to abolish air passenger duty and boost economy
28/05/13 Dave Anderson MP on stopping plan to charge for visits to Doctors
16/05/13 MP hails opportunities for free skills training
08/05/13 Dave Anderson urges support for Action on Stroke month
08/05/13 Learning lessons from American vets in the North-East
07/05/13 Dave Anderson MP urges teachers to support My Money Week
23/04/13 Dave Anderson deplores double whammy of welfare and spending cuts in North-East
12/04/13 Dave Anderson plea to protect rural workers
02/04/13 Dave Anderson MP urges urgent defence of the minimum wage
25/03/13 Dave Anderson seeks truth over Shrewsbury pickets including Ricky Tomlinson
11/03/13 Dave Anderson slams clueless government over bedroom tax
11/03/13 Emergency MOD services denied pension rights
08/03/13 Backing for new meningitis vaccine
05/02/13 Dave Anderson MP rounds on ministers over hidden story of women losing from pensions reform
01/02/13 Tyneside MP flexes muscles in support of patients' concerns over shocking gaps in care
25/01/13 Dave Anderson hails major advance for Robin Hood Tax

Return to Homepage Current Press Releases 2012


Take care of your mobiles and tablets this Christmas

Mobile phone user 20 Dec 2013

People are being urged to keep an eye on their mobile phones in the festive season when many people let down their guard and are more vulnerable to thieves keen to grab increasingly expensive electronic devices.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"Today's mobile phones are often worth hundreds and costly to replace but organised gangs can also very quickly run up high bills of hundreds or even thousands of pounds on stolen phones."

Dave Anderson added:

"This 'bill shock' could make an already expensive Christmas bill even worse. People who fall victim to thieves need to take urgent action to stop themselves being landed with large bills. They need to report the theft to their phone provider immediately to avoid liability. Longer term, the phone providers need to be forced to cap a customer's liability when their mobile phone is lost or stolen."

The regulator Ofcom has published a consumer guide with useful tips on how to keep a mobile phone safe and help protect against unauthorised use.

Top tips include:

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Blaydon beer special guest at the bar of the House of Commons this week

Alistair Lawrence with Dave sampling 'Blaydon Brick'. 10 Dec 2013

A Blaydon beer named after one of the town's most famous MPs will be on the lips of legislators this week at the House of Commons.

The beer, Blaydon Brick, produced by the newly formed Firebrick Brewery, is behind the bar of the Commons as part of a regular rotation of guest beers from across the country.

The beer uses the nickname of Joseph Cowen MP who was known as the "Blaydon Brick" because he would turn up in a cloth cap and never lost his accent.

Alistair Lawrence with Dave sampling 'Blaydon Brick'. The beer also pays homage to the industrial heritage of Blaydon and the men who give their name to the Cowen road where the company is located.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who will today pull the first pint at the Strangers' Bar in the Commons, said:

"Many ales get a spotlight in the Commons watering hole and this time provides a good opportunity to alert drinkers to what is one of the finest beers from our region and in the whole country. I hope that this helps boost the Brewery and the local economy at the same time. The Brewery is fairly new and a great success story for Blaydon. It has massively expanded in just a few months and could do much to put Blaydon on the map. Besides, it's a very fine real ale."

Firebrick Brewery was started at the beginning of this year by Alistair Lawrence when he was made redundant from Northumbria University.

Alistair Lawrence said:

"I'd been running sports facilities for 25 years and headed the operational input for the £32m investment in sports facilities at Northumbria. At the time of the redundancy, for my own interest, I had already taken a start-up brewing course at Brewlab in Sunderland, so decided to make a go of it. Having Blaydon Brick at the bar of the Commons should increase demand for the beer locally and help our business as part of the local economy."

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Dave Anderson MP backs campaign to get local school children talking and learning about money

27 Nov 2013

Local schools should encourage their pupils to talk and learn about money as part of a charity's new campaign to help improve the financial capability of young people, according to a Tyneside MP.

Every primary and secondary school in Blaydon has been sent free Get Money Smart posters and teaching materials by national charity pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group)

The charity's Get Money Smart posters - for children aged up to seven, 11, 14 and 16 - are designed to encourage classroom discussions about things children can do to learn more about money and personal finance. Ideas for different ages include checking your change, estimating the cost of a weekly shop, comparing mobile phone tariffs and planning and budgeting for a trip.

Schools in Blaydon are being encouraged to hold discussions with their pupils over four key points proposed on the posters - with the fifth being left up to each class to decide. Ideas for the 5th activity can then be shared with other classes across the country on Twitter using the #5thingstodo hashtag.

Dave Anderson MP, who backs the initiative, said:

"Years of campaigning by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People, pfeg and's Martin Lewis have resulted in the decision that financial education will be taught in secondary schools as part of the National Curriculum from September 2014. It's better that pupils learn these things at school rather than being bewildered and ripped off when they leave."

Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of pfeg said:

"We are thrilled to have the support of Dave Anderson MP for this free new scheme for primary and secondary schools in Blaydon. I hope all local schools will seize the opportunity to use their Get Money Smart posters to bring money to life in the classroom. This is a crucial topic that every young person should learn. Getting pupils talking about money and the financial decisions they will face in the future is a great way to start."

The campaign has been made possible through a personal donation to pfeg from's Martin Lewis, which has enabled the charity to send free copies of the Get Money Smart posters and teaching resources to primary and secondary schools in the Blaydon area and across the country.

pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group) is the UK's leading financial education charity pfeg provides free support, resources and expert consultancy to help schools plan and teach financial capability. Its mission is to ensure that all young people leaving school are equipped with the confidence, skills and knowledge they need in financial matters to take part fully in society.

pfeg works with teachers, government, consumer bodies and financial industry representatives to assist schools in delivering personal finance education to the highest possible standards - making sure that children and young people are able to understand money and make informed choices which will guarantee them security and economic well-being in the long-term.

pfeg won a Charity Times Award in 2012 for it's What Money Means partnership with HSBC and was named Educational Charity of the Year at the Charity Awards in June 2010

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Defending workers' hard won rights

Peoples Assembly logo 22 Nov 2013

Dave has backed a letter of leading lights in the trade union and Labour movement which seeks to defend trades unions from government attacks.

The People's Assembly has launched a new statement in today's Guardian in defence of our trade unions following recent attacks from the government and is asking everyone to sign this statement, share on Facebook and twitter and forward to colleagues, friends, family etc.

The statement reads:

"The government's announcement of an inquiry into trade union tactics is further proof of its determination to undermine the right to protest against its austerity programme.

"David Cameron's speech at the recent Lord Mayor's banquet has revealed the government is determined that there will be no end to austerity.

"The trade union's customary right to strike and the right to protest are fundamental liberties that have already been significantly restricted by anti-union laws and other legislation. This inquiry is a new Tory-Lib Dem assault on the unions, demonstrated by the fact that the appointed chairman is the former QC for British Airways who led the attack on Unite the Union during the previous dispute between Unite and BA in 2011.

"As millions of people face falling real wages, unemployment, part time or casualised low paid work, and the rapid destruction or privatisation of the welfare state they stand in need of trade union organisation and the right to protest more than ever.

"We pledge ourselves to resist this attack. The right to protest is a fundamental civil liberty. The right to join an effective trade union is the product of generations of working class resistance. We have no intention of relinquishing it to a Government with no interests in the needs of working people."

Dave said,

"People today have taken the rights won by unions for granted and forget the struggle it took to win those rights. The government seems determined to turn the clock back and take away hard won workers' rights, and this needs to be resisted by every legal means possible."

The initial signatories of the letter include Len McCluskey, Unite the Union, Mark Serwotka, Public and Commercial Services Union, Christine Blower, National Union of Teachers, Michelle Stanistreet, National Union of Journalists, Manuel Cortes, Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, Billy Hayes, Communication Workers Union, Matt Wrack, Firebrigades Union, Mick Whelan, Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, Ian Lawrence, NAPO, Tony Benn, Maxine Peake, Actress, Sam Fairbairn, Secretary, The People's Assembly, Steve Turner, Unite the Union & Chair, The People's Assembly, Romayne Phoenix, Co-chair, The People's Assembly, Owen Jones, Journalist & The People's Assembly, Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnell MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Murad Qureshi, London Assembly Member, Cllr Rania Khan, Mark Steel, Comedian, Francesca Martinez, Comedian, Roger Lloyd Pack, Actor, Carolyn Jones, Institute of Employment Rights, Andrew Murray, Unite the Union, Dave Smith, Blacklist Support Group, Kevin Courtney, NUT Deputy General Secretary, Zita Holborne, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition, Kate Hudson, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Lee Jasper, Black Activists Rising Against Cuts, Aaron Keily, Black Students Officer, NUS, Alex Kenny, NUT national executive, John Rees, Counterfire, Paul Mackney, former General Secretary, UCU, Salma Yaqoob, James Meadway, Senior Economist, New Economics Foundation, John Hilary, War on Want, Rob Griffiths, Communist Party of Britain, Hilary Wainwright, Red Pepper, Andrew Burgin, Left Unity, Roy Bailey, singer / songwriter, Mark Barratt, Occupy campaigner, Clare Solomon, former president, ULU, Fred Le-Plat, Socialist Resistance.

You can add your support by signing the statement at

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Dave Anderson backs Birkheads event to raise money for Philippines victims this weekend

Birkhead Secret Garden 19 Nov 2013

British generosity and compassion for the victims of the typhoons in the Philippines will be on display at a special fundraising event at the Birkheads Secret Gardens and Nursery near Sunniside in Gateshead this weekend and local folk are being urged to participate.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who will open the event at 11am on Saturday 23rd November, said:

"The owners Christine and Mike Liddle have decided to re-open the gardens and coffee shop for the special event on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-3pm to raise money for the victims of the typhoon. They will be serving coffee and tea plus traybakes together with a raffle and a few other surprises. It is absolutely about making money to help the victims but local people can enjoy themselves and see the gardens in autumn, at a time when its normally closed. I urge everyone to pop into Birkheads at some time this weekend."

Christine and Mike Liddle added:

"Come along and do what northern folk do best, helping others - every penny taken for two days will go to the Philippine Disaster Appeal Fund."

The website is at

Update Update: After the success of the Philippines fund-raising event, Dave has publicly thanked and placed on record the generosity of Christine and Mike Liddle, the owners of Birkheads Secret Gardens.

He has tabled a Commons motion congratulating them on raising a substantial amount of money and commending their actions to be emulated elsewhere.

The full Early Day Motion reads:

Session: 2013-14
Date tabled: 27.11.2013
Primary sponsor: Anderson, David
That this House salutes the initiative of Christine and Mike Liddle, the owners of Birkheads Secret Gardens and Nursery near Sunniside in Gateshead in opening their gardens and coffee shop recently for a special fundraising event for the victims of the typhoons in the Philippines; congratulates them on raising a substantial amount of money for the Philippines' disaster appeal fund; and believes that this fine example of British generosity and compassion should be emulated elsewhere.

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Dave Anderson presents certificates in prison

6 Nov 2013

A leading Tyneside MP is going to Northumberland prison next week - to present certificates to veteran soldiers.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is a Patron of the Forward Assist veterans' charity, said:

"A small group of former soldiers have found it difficult to readjust to life on civvy street and find themselves on the wrong side of the law. We should do more to prevent this happening in the first place. But for those who do go to prison, there is the Veterans in Custody Peer Mentor Course and I am very glad to be presenting the certificates to those who have completed the course."

Dave Anderson added:

"We rightly salute our fallen heroes on Sunday but should not forget that we ask these men and women to do abnormal things on our behalf and some find it difficult to make the adjustment back into civvy street without real difficulties. It is our responsibility to give them all the help we can in resolving those problems. This is not about excusing bad behaviour but understanding and addressing it wherever possible."

Tony Wright of Forward Assist added:

"Our tailor-made scheme is unique and innovative. The aim of the mentor training course is to help prison staff in the early identification of veterans in the criminal justice system and ensuring they get the necessary advice and support. Such veterans have long been a hidden population and left to fend for themselves. This project will go a long way to reduce the risk of reoffending for veterans when they return to live in the community as they will be aware of the support that is available to them."

After the presentation, there will be discussions with those about to be released about employment and the role of the Royal British Legion.

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Time for Vince Cable to apologise to shopworkers

25 Oct 2013

Business Secretary Vince Cable should personally apologise to former Woolworths and Ethel Austin workers for further delaying their compensation and leaving them unsure if they will ever receive anything.

The call comes from the shopworkers' union and has been backed by Tyneside MP Dave Anderson who said:

"The Employment Appeal Tribunal gave permission for the appeal and ordered that the union's legal costs on behalf of their members are paid by the government because of their failure to attend the original appeal hearing."

The Blaydon MP Dave Anderson added:

"In these circumstances, the Usdaw leader John Hannett is perfectly right to say that these workers were treated unfairly right from the very start by being excluded from the redundancy consultation, because they worked in a store of less than 20 employees. They were further wronged by being denied access to compensation and now face another delay in getting the award they deserve.

John Hannett said:

"These were mass redundancy situations because the businesses were closing down. It is no fault of the individual employee how small the store was that they worked in and we contest it is wrong for this loophole to be used to deny employees the justice they deserve.

"The Government should concentrate on encouraging administrators to focus on keeping businesses open, not supporting their failure to properly consult with workers, as required under the law.

"I hope that all parties will work to get the matter resolved as quickly as possible to the benefit of former Woolworths and Ethel Austin staff."

In January 2012 Usdaw won compensation worth nearly £70 million for 25,000 former employees of both companies, but around 1,200 former employees of Ethel Austin and 3,200 former employees of Woolworths were denied compensation because they worked in stores with fewer than 20 staff.

The decision to deny compensation to staff who worked in smaller shops was based on the interpretation of UK law, and it was greeted with outrage by former employees, customers, politicians and sections of the media. Usdaw fought the clear injustice of this decision.

In May 2013 Usdaw won a landmark legal case at the Employment Appeal Tribunal that should have seen around 4,400 ex-Woolworths and Ethel Austin staff share over £5 million compensation.

The decision overturned the previous ruling that saw shopworkers employed in stores with fewer than 20 staff denied a pay out when the Administrators failed to consult with the staff's representatives, which they are obliged to do when a business goes into administration. This ruling will meant that the affected staff at Woolworths will be entitled to up to eight weeks pay and at Ethel Austin up to 12 weeks pay.

An employer proposing to make collective redundancies is required to consult in advance with representatives of the affected employees and the consultation must be completed before any notices of dismissal are issued. A complaint of failure to consult may be made to an employment tribunal and if upheld, the tribunal can make a Protective Award. Before this ruling the interpretation of UK law was that the obligation to consult was limited to situations where 20 or more employees are to be made redundant at one establishment within a 90-day period. In the Ethel Austin and Woolworths cases, each store or workplace was regarded as a separate 'establishment'.

Between 10 February 2010 and 11 April 2010, administrators MCR closed Ethel Austin's Head Office and Distribution Centre in Knowsley and 186 stores located throughout the country. In November 2011, Usdaw won a Protective Award for its members after an Employment Tribunal found that MCR had failed in its statutory duty to consult with Usdaw before making the redundancies. The Tribunal limited the award, which was worth eight weeks pay, to workplaces where 20 or more redundancies were made. As a result, only staff who worked at the company's Head Office and Distribution Centre and one store in Edgware, London actually received the award.

Woolworths went into administration on 27 November 2008 and by early January 2009 the administrators Deloitte had closed all of Woolworths stores, offices and distribution centres and made nearly 30,000 people redundant. In January 2012, Usdaw won a Protective Award for over 24,000 former employees of Woolworths after an Employment Tribunal found that Deloitte had failed in its statutory duty to consult with Usdaw before making the redundancies.

Once again the award, worth eight weeks pay, was limited to workplaces where 20 or more redundancies were made. As a result, around 3,200 employees who worked in 180 of Woolworths 814 stores were denied compensation.

Usdaw successfully appealed the decision of both Employment Tribunals to limit the awards to workplaces where 20 or more redundancies were made and the two cases were subsequently combined as they concern the same point of law. BIS did not attend or give evidence to the appeal, even though they were named as correspondents along with the administrators. Only after the appeal ruling was announced did BIS engage and they decided to appeal the appeal ruling. The transcript of proceedings, judgement and directions hearing can be found at:

Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 432,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.

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MP Backs Teachers' Strike

16 Oct 2013 Empty school classroom

Dave Anderson MP has come out in support of the strike action being taken by teachers in the NUT and NASUWT across the North East on Thursday. The two largest teaching unions who together represent 9 out of 10 teachers in England and Wales are in dispute with the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, over changes to their national pay and conditions.

The Blaydon MP will attend a rally organised jointly by the unions in Durham, which will be addressed by Chris Keates, the head of the NASUWT.

Mr Anderson said,

"The teachers have my full support in their action. No-one goes on strike for no reason. I don't want to see schools closed. But let's be absolutely clear who is responsible for this dispute. The Secretary of State personally declared war on teachers and is refusing to enter into any meaningful negotiations with the professional bodies and so responsibility for school closures falls at his door.

"This Tory/Lib Dem government are undermining our education system motivated by the ideological claptrap of Michael Gove. They have reduced staff morale in schools to an all time low which is bad news for our children's education. The number of unqualified teachers in our classrooms is extremely worrying. The parents I speak to want their children taught by fully qualified teachers who aren't working excessive hours and are being paid properly. If teachers' take home pay and pensions are to be reduced further then we need to see a valuation of the pensions scheme released for public scrutiny. This is a matter of transparency and justice.

"I am calling on Michael Gove to meet with the unions and look seriously at their concerns and proposals. It is his intransigence that has led to Thursday's action and it is time he ended his one-man battle against teachers and start putting the education of our children first. He couldn't have been more wrong when he called teachers 'the enemies of promise'.

"If we want the best possible teachers in the classroom we must start valuing the work they do. This dispute is not about personal gain for teachers. It is essentially about protecting the future education of our children. Education cuts don't heal easily and we have now reached a critical point."

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Dave Anderson: urges local people to check their risk of Type 2 Diabetes

26 Sep 2013

Seven million people in the UK are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes which can lead to amputation, blindness and stroke but they can take action to prevent it according to a new campaign by the Diabetes UK campaign.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"This is one of the most preventable diseases and I am joining diabetes campaigners in urging local people to take action to see if they are at risk."

Dave Anderson added:

"Type 2 diabetes can have a devastating impact on both the people affected and their families. Yet many are at high risk or already have it but don't know it. It is important that these people get assessed so that they can get the treatment and support to reduce risk or manage the condition. People should make themselves aware of the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes and have a risk assessment if any factors apply to them. It is one of the best things you can do for your health and for your family."

The campaign will also raise awareness of the risk factors of the condition - being over 40 (or over 25 if you are from a South Asian background); being overweight or having a close family member with diabetes - and is urging people to take a risk assessment if any of these risk factors apply to them. People can do this on-line (, by visiting a pharmacy or their GP. Those at high risk can then be given information about how to reduce their risk as up to 80% of cases of Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented through healthy lifestyle changes.

The campaign aims to identify some of the estimated 850,000 people with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes. If the condition is not diagnosed early, or is left untreated, it is more likely to lead to devastating complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and amputation.

Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said:

"Diabetes is one of the greatest health challenges that we face. There are 7 million people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes and the rise of the condition is leading to early deaths and devastating health complications and heartache to families.

"Despite this many people do not know what the key risk factors are and so are unaware if they are at high risk. We really want to reach these people so that they understand their personal risk of developing the condition and can be supported to reduce their risk as in most cases it is possible to delay or prevent the onset of the condition by making healthy lifestyle changes.

"Diabetes can lead to devastating complications and shatters lives and families so it's really essential that people get checked and this is why I'm delighted that Dave Anderson has added his voice to this call."

Diabetes UK:

  1. Diabetes UK is the leading UK charity that cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes. For more information on all aspects of diabetes and access to Diabetes UK activities and services, visit
  2. In the UK, there are around 3.8 million people who have diabetes. There are 3 million people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and around 850,000 more who have Type 2 diabetes but don't know they have it because they haven't been diagnosed. As many as 7 million people are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and if current trends continue, an estimated 5 million people will have diabetes by 2025.
  3. Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age in the UK and is a major cause of lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.
  4. People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin. About 10 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it's not to do with being overweight and it isn't currently preventable. It usually affects children or young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly. Type 1 diabetes is treated by daily insulin doses - taken either by injections or via an insulin pump - a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
  5. People with Type 2 diabetes don't produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn't work properly (known as insulin resistance). 85 to 90 per cent of people with diabetes have Type 2. They might get Type 2 diabetes because of their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. It starts gradually, usually later in life, and it can be years before they realise they have it. Type 2 diabetes is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity. In addition, tablets and/or insulin can be required.

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Rethink the universal credit programme

30 Aug 2013

Looming criticism of the Government's £2 billion universal credit scheme by the public spending watchdog, the National Audit Office should sound alarm bells and prompt a radical rethink, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"I understand that this respected and independent body will expose serious hitches with the programme, which aims to integrate six welfare benefits into one credit affecting more than 8 million people. Yet again, the technology doesn't seem fit for purpose."

Dave Anderson added:

"Given that Citizens Advice says that many people claiming universal credit will need substantial help to fill out application forms online, I am urging the Government to think again and not rush into a change that could do massive damage. We have been here before with ambitious schemes that just don't work in practice. Vulnerable, weak and disabled people who rely on benefits to survive have been punished enough by this heartless government which will now compound that disaster through incompetence. It's time to stop the poor being forced to carry the can for the failures of global capitalism."

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Dave Anderson MP concern about poorer pupils missing out on holidays

16 Aug 2013

Children from poorer families are missing out on relaxing and character-building holidays with their parents thanks to a needless lack of flexibility in allowing time off from school, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"I totally accept the need for children to keep up a good school attendance but society should also understand that holidays abroad or elsewhere in the UK are also valuable in building character, acquiring new experiences, having a break from the routine and relaxing. The problem is that the cost of holidays shoots up in school holidays and I am worried that many poorer parents and children just don't get the break they need."

Dave Anderson added:

"Head teachers will have less leeway to permit holidays in school time thanks to new Government restrictions which begin next month. I fear that this will adversely affect many families who cannot afford the cost of a holiday in school holidays. I suggest that children with a good attendance record should be allowed the opportunity to enjoy quality time with their parents on an annual holiday of up to 10 days. I fear that good parents may be criminalised for wanting to enjoy an affordable annual family holiday. I also worry that holiday businesses will be harmed. I have given my support to an e petition which seeks to reverse these changes and urge people to join me by signing it at"

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Dave Anderson MP urges increased pressure to keep East Coast Main Line in public hands

East Coast train in Co. Durham 12 Aug 2013

Public and parliamentary pressure to stop government proceeding with plans to impose a private sector train operator on the East Coast Main Line railway could be increased if people in the North East take a few seconds to sign an e petition, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is urging people to support the national petition proposed by an Edinburgh resident, said:

"The petition rightly says that the current government-owned company generates millions to the taxpayer, high levels of customer satisfaction with a popular loyalty rewards scheme and high staff morale. Needless change is unnecessary and disruptive, and will not benefit customers, staff or the taxpayer."

Dave Anderson added:

"The petition rightly says this is not an argument about public versus private rail operation, but a plea that a successful but relatively young company should be allowed to continue its job, so that passengers and staff do not have to face further upheaval. I ask people to back the e petition at"

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Dave Anderson MP urges businesses to appeal and get a second opinion on vital bank loans

6 Aug 2013

Small and medium sized businesses declined finance by their banks could get a second opinion under an official appeals process that needs to be used much more, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is encouraging businesses with a turnover of up to £25 million to give the new system a try:

"The lifeblood of the economy is through the jobs created by small and medium sized companies but many are turned down for loans. But few of them seem to know that they have the right to appeal and may then win credit, assuming that their business plan is sound. 40% of those who have used the new appeal system have succeeded."

The appeals process is supported by banks including RBS, Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays and Santander. The appeal is handled by a staff member who wasn't party to the original rejection. The whole process is independently reviewed. Further details are at

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Keep the NHS public and national

Doctor with patient 2 Aug 2013

Local people are being urged to back a national campaign to keep the NHS public and national.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"Jeremy Hunt's plan to force local doctors to open up almost all NHS services to private companies breaks government promises and breaks the basis of the NHS. We have often seen how the entry of private companies doesn't end well for patients."

The former care worker added:

"If enough people sign the 38 Degrees petition, it can push the issue up the agenda and put pressure on Jeremy Hunt to think again before it is too late."

The petition is at

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Dave Anderson urges action on breast cancer in older women

19 Jul 2013

Preventable deaths from Breast Cancer will increase among older women without action to boost awareness of symptoms, spread screening and treat women according to health not age, according to a new cross-party report.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who supports the report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer, said:

"The report is backed by the leading breast cancer charities and broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray DBE and needs to spur new action. It's a great thing that people are living longer but that means that breast cancer can find new victims. One problem is that too many older women don't know the symptoms and this leads to late diagnosis and lower survival rates. Breast awareness needs to be improved amongst older women."

Dave Anderson added:

"Breast cancer screening should be extended to 79 in line with increased life-expectancy. We also shouldn't assume that treatment is ruled out on the grounds of age alone. Many older people keep good health for longer and can undergo cancer treatments once thought to be too aggressive."

Dame Jenni Murray, DBE, journalist, broadcaster and author, has provided the foreword to the report, and adds:

"We cannot and must not ignore the experiences of older women with breast cancer. More than half of the women dying from breast cancer across the country are over 70. Research and the media have shown us that barriers in gaining access to the same treatments and support services available to younger breast cancer patients are happening in England today. I welcome the APPGBC's report as it presents us with an opportunity to take action and improve the situation for older breast cancer patients, which is urgently needed."

The risk of breast cancer increases with age and currently more than 340,000 women aged 65 and over are living with this disease in the UK. With an ageing population this number is expected to hit 1.2 million by 2040.

The full report includes nine final recommendations and is available to download via

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Dave Anderson MP exposes scandal of zero-hours contracts

Pay packet 10 Jul 2013

"The Government is taking people from secure and well-paid jobs in the public sector to jobs where absolutely no respect is shown for their life through zero-hours contracts", according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who spoke in a Commons debate initiated by North East MP Julie Elliott, told MPs that he had met a group of home care workers on zero-hours contracts who "do not get paid for time spent travelling between houses, have no pension rights, no travel and pay for the phone calls when they ring in to say each client is okay and that they must do training in their own time."

Dave Anderson added:

"Such contracts leave employees without guaranteed hours and without a minimum income. A small minority may choose these contracts but the vast majority don't because they cannot plan their weekly finances, get a mortgage, or arrange childcare."

Official figures show that the use of zero-hours contracts in the UK has trebled since 2006 but that the real number is much higher. Tens of thousands of NHS staff, including thousands of nurses and midwives, are held on zero hours contracts, including about 300,000 social care workers.

Dave in the House

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Progress towards Veterans' Courts in the UK after ministerial meeting

4 Jul 2013

A successful American model for helping veterans who have broken the law in civvy street could be on its way to the UK.

Veterans' Treatment Courts which monitor and support veterans in planned rehabilitation programmes have been championed by Tyneside MP Dave Anderson and the Forward Assist organisation since they saw the scheme in action in Newcastle's sister city, Little Rock in Arkansas earlier this year.

Dave Anderson took former Newcastle Council leader Lord Beecham, Conservative MP Oliver Colville and Lord Ramsbotham, the former Chief Inspector of Prisons, to a meeting with Justice Minister Damian Green.

Dave Anderson said:

"The Minister agreed to work with us and asked for evidence and offered direct access to his officials in working out how to advance this idea. It was a very business-like meeting and I am hopeful that such an obviously useful idea can be adopted here. The American experience shows that it can eliminate reoffending and save huge amounts of public money. We owe it to those service men and women who find it difficult to readjust to civilian life and fall through the cracks to prevent them getting lost in the criminal justice system. A little upfront investment can do the trick. Keeping people out of jail is a huge financial gain for society "

Tony Wright of Forward Assist added:

"Adapting US Veterans' Treatment Courts would go a long way to assist those who have served their country but lost their way when making the transition from soldier to citizen."

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High time Orgreave trumped up charges were revealed

Miners and police clash at Orgreave 1 Jul 2013

A campaign for an independent public enquiry into the policing at the Orgreave Coke works during the 1984-85 Miners' Strike is gathering steam.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, a former miner himself who was at Orgreave and saw police tactics first hand, backs the campaign:

"Nearly 100 miners were arrested on one day and later charged with unlawful assembly or riot. Riot then could have resulted in a life sentence. The charges were discredited and dropped but no one has been disciplined and no one has apologised for these trumped up charges."

Dave Anderson added:

"An Independent Police Complaints Commission inquiry was launched last year after a BBC programme suggested that police officers had lied under oath, and had colluded to obscure the truth about events at Orgreave. But I am not convinced that the Commission has the powers or resources to conduct a robust examination of events. Only an independent public enquiry can reveal the truth about the policing of Orgreave. I ask people to support the e petition at which could then trigger a Commons debate and allow us to get to the bottom of this open sore in our public life."

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Charity's battle with locals over plans for derelict site

26 Jun 2013

Families have flooded an on-line petition in a bid to block a new homeless centre on Tyneside.

More than 250 people have logged on to the "Stop Emmaus Blaydon" website which was posted on-line.

Led by mum-of-two Sonia Kulkarnia, who lives in nearby Pavillion with husband, Arun, a business development manager, the petition aims to stop the Emmaus charity, working with Four Housing Group, building the centre at the disused council salt store on Derwenthaugh Road.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, said:

"I have been contacted by local residents who have concerns about the proposed Emmaus development at the former salt store in Blaydon and I have made representation on their behalf to Gateshead Council as the landowner.

"The council have insisted a full public consultation is conducted by Emmaus and Four Housing Group before any further decision can be taken. I will continue to work with local people to ensure their wishes are fully considered throughout this process.

"To that end I am pleased that local resident representatives will be invited to have an input as to the form of consultation that will be carried out."

Charity chiefs face opposition over the multi-million pound project to help those who have fallen on hard times.

Gateshead Council officials were forced to scrap plans for an Emmaus shelter in 2009 following an outcry when the derelict Dunston Hill Primary School was earmarked for the development.

However during a behind closed-doors meeting in April they agreed the "peppercorn sale" of the council's disused salt store to the charity.

Talks are due next week and Sue Wilson, the charity's chief executive, said the centre would house "low risk" homeless people and boost the local economy and community.

But local residents claim the site is unsuitable and fear problems.

On the petition Mick Lowry, from Blaydon, said:

"I note that the intended occupants of the building are those who are deemed 'low risk'. This concerns me. I would like to know what is meant by low risk; low risk of what? Looking at the glory stories on the Emmaus web site does not fill me with hope for a bright future for the area.

"Some people in difficult situations do make a fresh start and go on to live happy settled lives but I know many do not. I am concerned those of us living close by will be expected to live with the fallout of when things go wrong."

Sue Wilson, chairwoman of Emmaus Gateshead, said they were considering a site and would be consulting residents to take feedback into account when preparing a planning application.

She said:

"Emmaus communities offer a home and meaningful employment to local people who have found themselves homeless. "As well as helping them to move on successfully into homes and jobs, the scheme will also create employment opportunities for members of the wider community."

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Duchene Muscular Dystrophy event at the Commons

24 Jun 2013

Blaydon MP champions boys with Deteriorative Muscle Condition as they head to Westminster to speak about their aspirations and demand support

On Wednesday 26th June, 15 young people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a deteriorative muscle wasting condition affecting mainly boys, will be heading to the Houses of Parliament to meet their MPs at an afternoon tea event hosted by Dave Anderson MP for Blaydon. All of the young people aged between 14 - 19 years, who are now in wheelchairs, have written to their MPs to invite them to the event, where they intend to talk about their aspirations for the future and the challenges they think they will face in trying to achieve them. The young people are part of Action Duchenne's Lottery-funded Transition to Adulthood Programme called 'Takin' Charge' which is helping those with Duchenne think about the future and develop important skills through an exciting programme involving workshops and an on-line e-portfolio. The group have been learning new skills such as martial arts and film animation as well as developing their ability to use IT and social media.

Until recently, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy has denied all young people living with it the chance to reach adulthood and the average age of death was late teens. However, now with the correct care and medical management through the use of steroids, cardiac management, spinal surgery and night time ventilation, these young people are living into their late twenties, thirties and beyond.

'These are exciting times' said Dr Janet Hoskin, Manager of the Takin' Charge Project. 'Research is now showing that If young people with Duchenne are given good care and medical support they should be able to look forward to adulthood. This means they need to develop the skills to make good career choices and to live as independent adults.'

Wayne and Vicky Ebanks and their two sons who have Duchenne , Aaron aged 16 years and Jack aged 14 who are part of the 'Takin Charge Project', will be travelling to Westminster from Birmingham to attend this event.

Wayne said,

'Our aim for attending the Houses of Parliament and meeting with our MPs is to advise them to what challenges we as parents have to face and try to overcome. This in turn would hopefully spur our MPs to push for change to improve all our boys' futures.'

His wife Vicki added:

'We are thankful to Action Duchenne and the Takin' Charge Project as they have given our boys the necessary tools to look towards their future and tackle any challenges that arise. It has also opened up a vast network of families who are all having to face the same challenges enabling us all to lend support and advice to each other.'

Aaron, aged 16 said:

'We both are grateful to the Takin' Charge Project as we have made some new friends and gained new skills that we can use now and in the future. I have benefited from doing 'Person Centred Planning', which has meant that now my teachers, Connections and other support services can take me seriously about my future . The plan has enabled me to map out my aspirations and call together all the relevant people that I need to help me achieve my goals. '

Jack aged 14 said

'Going to Parliament to meet our MPs will give us a chance to air our concerns and question why when we have a lifelong battle with our condition we have to fight for the resources that we require to help us get on in life, aren't we not being punished enough without a constant battle with the support services?'

Dave Anderson MP for Blaydon said:

'Duchenne is a particularly pernicious disease which robs young boys of their childhood and young men of their lives. We all owe it to them to do everything that we can to find ways to conquer this disease and, until we do, we must do all in our power to improve the lives of those struck by it and their families and cares. Today's event is a part of that ongoing campaign.'

About Action Duchenne

Established in 2001 Action Duchenne aims to support and promote innovative research into a cure and effective medicines for Duchenne/Becker Muscular Dystrophy. The charity, which is led by Duchenne families, aims to: pump-prime innovative research; promote awareness of the condition; to improve care services, and provide access to a range of educational and support/development programmes for people living with Duchenne at every stage of the condition. This is achieved by working in partnership with government agencies, NHS and care organisations, other charities, academic, scientific and research groups, and biotech companies world-wide.

Action Duchenne is actively campaigning for best practice in care for Duchenne based on the publication of an international consensus document in Lancet Neurology in Jan/Feb 2010. The published article was the product of an extensive review by 84 international experts in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy diagnosis and care, and was supported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the US. It provides an expert guide to recommendations on the multidisciplinary care that should be available to all individuals with Duchenne. Several Duchenne patient organisations including Action Duchenne and the TREAT-NMD network have helped to produce a 'Guide for Families', based on the original academic article, which is written in language accessible to all without a medical background.

Since 2003 Action Duchenne has provided £4m for research projects and partnerships. The charity has worked with the MDEX consortium, Department of Health, and the Medical Research Council to deliver new clinical trials for Duchenne drugs. In addition, it has been instrumental in developing projects with biotech companies both in the UK and US including key projects with AVI Biopharma and Summit.

In 2005 Action Duchenne launched the DMD Patient Registry, a national database that holds gene information of people living with Duchenne that is used to speed up the recruitment of patients for clinical trials. For more information please visit:

In 2008 Action Duchenne launched the Include Duchenne project in partnership with Decipha. This programme addresses the learning and behaviour needs of those living with Duchenne. In 2011 Include Duchenne won the National Lottery Award for Best Education Project for Decipha. For more information please visit:

In 2010 the National Advocacy Council was launched to spearhead the lobby for government funding for research into Duchenne and to improve access to Standards of Care.

In 2011 Action Duchenne won a 5 year lottery bid to run a 'Transition to Adulthood Project' called 'Takin' Charge' . This project aims to empower young people with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy so that they can prepare for the future through developing skills to understand their condition better, to speak up for themselves more, to develop their social lives and to think about and plan for further study or workplace learning.

Patrons of Action Duchenne include: actress Helena Bonham-Carter, cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber, journalist & broadcaster Martin Bashir and radio broadcaster & media trainer Susan Bookbinder. In addition, Richard Goodman, one of Great Britain's leading young athletes is an Ambassador for Action Duchenne.

For more information please visit:

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New drive to abolish air passenger duty and boost economy

Aircraft taxiing at Newcastle Airport 21 Jun 2013

Abolishing the controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD), the second highest in the world, would add billions of pounds of commerce and thousands of jobs to the beleaguered British economy, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who backs the new Fair Tax on Flying campaign, said:

"We really need to get a grip on this once and for all. It's very clear that the APD is damaging businesses and economic growth. It makes the UK less competitive than our European neighbours and drives up the cost of family holidays."

Dave Anderson added:

"I'm asking all local businesses and people to bring home to the Treasury just how damaging this is. People can sign a petition at or write to me and I will convey their concerns to the Treasury."

According to the PwC consultancy, the GDP boost to the UK economy from abolition would amount to at least £16 billion in the first three years and result in almost 60,000 extra jobs over the longer term.

In May 2013, the Transport Select Committee said that a fully costed study of how far Air Passenger Duty impacts on the UK economy should be undertaken, and if this provides clear evidence that the duty causes harm to the economy or government revenue, it should be significantly reduced or abolished.

200,000 people wrote to their local MP in 2012 calling for the Treasury to undertake a review into the economic impacts of APD.

PwC research published in Feb 2013 found that abolition of APD would result a) in a significant increase in the UK's Gross Domestic Product and b) would increase the revenues to the Treasury from other taxes as a result of this increased economic stimulus - in other words abolition would actually pay for itself.

The overall APD tax take increased significantly on 1st April 2012 (after the Government implemented an 8% APD increase) with an increase once again from 1st April 2013. Further rises are planned to take effect from 1st April 2014.

APD raised £2.8bn in 2012/13. The Office for Budget Responsibility says that APD revenue is projected to be £3.8bn in 2017/18.

A Comres poll (Oct 2012) found that four out of five people want to see Air Passenger Duty cut or frozen. The results come from ComRes research of more than 2,000 people showing that 82% of the public want changes to APD.

Over 100 MPs have publicly backed calls for a Treasury-led economic impact assessment of APD - many of them by supporting EDM 174 in the 2012-13 Parliamentary Session, "Air Passenger Duty".

An International Air Transport Association report (Dec 2011) said that "European carriers are by far in the most challenging position. Higher passenger taxes and weak home market economies have limited profitability in Europe."

By the Department for Transport's own figures, aviation taxes exceed the sector's environmental costs by over half a billion pounds every year.

Many European countries including Belgium, Holland and Denmark have abandoned their aviation taxes, due to the negative effects on their economies. In the longer-term, analysis shows that the UK economy will forego £750m of wealth and 18,000 jobs due to the recent rises in APD (November 2010), with around half the extra revenue raised offset by tax revenue losses in the wider economy (source Oxera, 2009)

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Dave Anderson MP on stopping plan to charge for visits to Doctors

A patient sees his GP. 28 May 2013

A new plan being floated by the Conservatives to cap visits to Doctors before charging for them should be shot down urgently, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"The government is clearly flying a kite with this controversial policy to see if it flies and may go ahead if there is a shrug of the shoulders on the part of public opinion. My fear is that it will severely disadvantage people who have a sickly child or long-term health condition, which could be any of us."

Dave Anderson added:

"I think it's fair to explore how new technology could reduce the number of visits without compromising the quality of care on offer but I support the Chair of the Royal College of GPs who has said that these proposals were obviously written by someone who has never been unwell, or has never met people who work in the health service."

The campaigning MP is urging people to back an urgent petition telling health minister Jeremy Hunt to rule out limiting our access to NHS GPs:

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MP hails opportunities for free skills training

16 May 2013

Local food and grocery businesses are being encouraged to back a new industry campaign to support young unemployed people.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who supports the Feeding Britain's Future initiative, said:

"This allows thousands of unemployed young people from across the country to go into farms, factories and stores for free skills training. They are looking for local businesses to sign up so that hundreds of youngsters can reap the benefits."

During September businesses across the industry's supply chain will open their doors to provide free skills training such as CV workshops and interview role-plays for thousands of people. Some of the UK's largest firms are already signed up to take part.

Last year 70 businesses participated, in 700 locations covering every region in the UK. In 2012 the campaign provided 10,000 skills training opportunities with 98% of participants saying they felt more confident applying for a job. Working in partnership with Jobcentre Plus the national campaign unites the entire food and grocery industry in an effort to tackle youth unemployment.

Joanne Denney-Finch OBE, Chief Executive of the Institute of Grocer Distribution (IGD), said:

"The food and grocery industry is Britain's largest private sector employer, accounting for one in seven of all jobs, employing 3.7m people. It is an industry in which it's possible to start from the bottom and get to the very top - even with very few qualifications.

"For the month of September we want as many companies and organisations as possible to offer some pre-employment training. Even if you can just provide one session lasting a couple of hours and providing a few hints and tips on interviews, or a CV workshop - it all counts."

If young unemployed people are interested in Feeding Britain's Future, they should ask at their local Jobcentre Plus. Businesses interested in taking part can find out more at

Businesses interested in taking part should visit:

IGD is the leading source of information and best practice on the consumer goods industry world-wide. It aims to inspire positive action through information. IGD offers unparalleled understanding and insight, developed from extensive research programmes on global business issues and an ongoing dialogue with shoppers.

The grocery industry is the leading employer in the UK. It provides more than 3.7m jobs - that's 14% of UK employment, or one in every seven jobs. There are more than 400,000 businesses in the UK food chain from start-ups to some of the largest global enterprises. 55% of employers will expand their training and development budget between now and 2020. In farming alone, there are around 316,000 farm businesses in the UK, providing 531,000 workforce jobs. Two-thirds of all new jobs are created by firms employing fewer than 100 people.

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Dave Anderson urges support for Action on Stroke month

FAST logo to aid stroke sufferers 8 May 2013

Action on Stroke Month will unite hundreds of individuals, health professionals, hospitals, companies and celebrities in efforts to save lives and encourage support for stroke survivors and families.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"Strokes can kill in seconds or ruin lives for years with about 3,000 people suffering strokes week in and week out. It is the main cause of adult disability."

The Stroke Association and supporters are organising over 150 awareness events across the UK. To find out more or join in the activities and events during Action on Stroke Month, visit

Jon Barrick, Chief Executive of the Stroke Association said:

"Stroke leaves survivors and families shocked, shaken and anxious as their lives are often irreversibly changed in an instant. There are over one million stroke survivors living in the UK and with an ageing population this figure is only set to increase. Action on Stroke Month is about reaching out to everyone affected by stroke and letting them know we're here for you."

The Stroke Association offers a range of services for stroke survivors to support them in their life after stroke which can be accessed through the Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100.

The Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and we're leading a community of people to change the world for people affected by stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at

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Learning lessons from American vets in the North-East

8 May 2013

A host of senior city mayors, business and civic leaders from Arkansas are in the North East this week as part of a programme to boost support for British and American soldiers from trauma problems after military service.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who last year visited the Arkansas capital, Little Rock which is the sister city of Newcastle, said:

"These leading Americans are in the region as part of a joint effort to apply lessons from US treatment of veterans to the UK. One example we could follow is what they call Vets' courts which stop military veterans needlessly getting stuck in the criminal justice system by providing better ways of dealing with their issues."

Dave Anderson added:

"We expect our soldiers to make the ultimate sacrifice for our security and should do much more to help them cope with the psychological problems some of them have. We can pool American and British experiences for the better. I am very grateful to Ammar Mirza of the Asian Business Connections for helping us organise this important seminar."

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Dave Anderson MP urges teachers to support My Money Week

Money 7 May 2013

Primary and secondary pupils should learn more about how best to handle their finances, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is backing My Money Week from 3 to 9 June, said:

"Our schools prepare our young people for life very well in most things but they are on own when it comes to understanding personal finances. I urge teachers to take a look at how they could use My Money Week at their school. Teachers can pre-order their free packs at"

Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group), said:

"We are absolutely delighted to have the support of Dave Anderson MP in promoting My Money Week this year, and I hope all schools in Blaydon will seize the opportunity to take part through our free activity pack, advice and support."

My Money Week 2013 will also raise awareness of Barclays' flagship UK community programme, Barclays Money Skills, and provide opportunities for Barclays employees to share their financial expertise and skills with young people in teacher-led My Money Week activities in local schools. In addition, this year will see extra resources targeted towards disadvantaged young people in both the school environment and the wider community."

Ashok Vaswani, CEO UK and Retail Business Banking at Barclays, said:

"It has never been more important for young people, particularly those who are vulnerable, to be able to access the support they need to learn about money. Having sound financial skills and being confident in managing money is critical to everyday living and achieving future goals."

Since the first My Money Week in 2009, more than three million young people have been helped to understand more about money and personal finance through focused activities in schools. In 2012 around 500,000 young people took part in My Money Week activities, with 99 percent of teachers reporting an increase in skills and knowledge and 91 percent of teachers reporting a shift in students' attitudes towards money.

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Dave Anderson deplores double whammy of welfare and spending cuts in North-East

23 Apr 2013

Most deprived communities get a raw deal thanks to the double whammy of cuts in both public spending and also in tax credits and benefits, according to a leading Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"The North East is once more the worst hit area with cuts of £566 per head compared to £292 in the South East."

The figure for Gateshead is £557 for every man, woman and child and is composed of £350 lost through welfare changes and £207 lost in public spending cuts.

Dave Anderson added;

"The Government is anxious to con people into believing that it is only so-called shirkers who suffer but, in fact, two-thirds of those affected by cuts to tax credits and benefits are in work. This whole shirkers spin is meant to disguise the massive hand out to the richest people in society who benefit from the cut in the top rate of tax while everyone else, in work or on benefits, is being hit for six."

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Dave Anderson plea to protect rural workers

12 Apr 2013

A Tyneside MP is urging people to defend the body that sets minimum pay and conditions for farm workers ahead of a crucial vote in the Commons on Tuesday

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"The Agricultural Wages Board has done good work for decades but is up for abolition on Tuesday, despite massive opposition. The change will impact on about 150,000 agricultural workers and many more in associated rural industries."

The MP added:

"The country's rural communities are fragile with low wages as the norm which is made worse by high transport and housing costs. Abolishing the wages board will make working and living in the countryside impossible for low waged workers, and it will tug much needed money out of the rural economy. The wages board makes it easier for employers too who would then get sucked into damaging disputes. The move to abolish the board is presented as tidying up red tape but will be a bitter and needless blow. It should be conserved for the sake of our rural economy."

People can protest at

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Dave Anderson MP urges urgent defence of the minimum wage

A pay packet 2 Apr 2013

News that the national minimum wage could be frozen or even cut has been slammed by a Tyneside MP who played a role in establishing it in the first place.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"It was always clear that the Conservatives only reluctantly accepted the minimum wage and I well recall a senior Tory source saying that they wouldn't scrap it but allow it to wither on the vine so it just melted away."

The campaigning MP added:

"Working people have been asked to carry the can too far for the failure of global capitalism. This is the time to say 'this far and no further.' As one of the few working people to give evidence to the original Low Pay Commission and as a former President of the union that did more than any other to see a century old dream become a reality, I am a passionate supporter of the minimum wage. It has lifted many out of poverty and any attempt to reduce it should be vigorously resisted."

The MP is asking people to back an urgent petition urging the Government to drop this plan, and promise to protect the minimum wage. It can be found at

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Dave Anderson seeks truth over Shrewsbury pickets including Ricky Tomlinson

25 Mar 2013

The lesson of recent years is that the truth heals however difficult it can be for some, according to Tyneside MP Dave Anderson who is backing a new campaign to establish the truth of the fate in 1972 of the Shrewsbury pickets, including the actor Ricky Tomlinson.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, himself a former senior union leader, said:

"Back in 1972, building workers held their first ever national strike for decent pay and for health and safety at work. Five months after the strike ended, 24 trade union members were charged with offences allegedly arising from picketing in Shrewsbury in September 1972. They included individuals who were convicted of conspiracy and sentenced to imprisonment. Government files relating to the strike have been withheld from the now open National Archives even though more than 30 years have passed."

Dave Anderson, who is backing an e petition on the subject, added:

"The Government should release all Cabinet minutes, documents, discussion papers, civil service notes, reports and telephone records produced from 1972 to 1976 by Government departments, agencies and prosecuting authorities relating to the strike, the building workers' unions, the arrested pickets, prosecutions and appeals, plus other relevant material."

Dave Anderson commented:

"We have established the truth about Bloody Sunday in 1972 and are beginning to unravel what happened at Hillsborough in 1989. It beggars belief that we cannot do the same for the Shrewsbury pickets all these years later. A truth hidden is a scab that keeps itching and undermines confidence in the law today."

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Dave Anderson slams clueless government over bedroom tax

We oppose the bedroom tax 11 Mar 2013

"The Government has no clue how many unpaid carers will be affected by the bedroom tax in cases where a partner's disability requires a separate bedroom,"
according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson tabled a Commons question to solicit this vital information but the Minister merely replied that "the information is not available."

Dave Anderson said:

"This is astonishing. You'd think that ministers would make such decisions on the basis of evidence given the cruel impact the bedroom tax will have on many vulnerable people."

Steve Cowen Chief Officer at Gateshead Carers Association says:

"I am stunned that the Government has no idea how big an impact this proposal will have on the lives of carers. Every day Gateshead Carers are contacted by carers who are facing the devastating impact of the "Bedroom Tax" proposals. Carers often struggle to cope financially due to the limited resources they receive and this proposal will added another unnecessary pressure. Carers are the glue that holds the health and social care system together, and yet the Government are treating them as an irrelevance."

The text of the Written Question

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of unpaid carers who will be affected by the underoccupancy rules where a partner's disability requires a separate bedroom. [143712]

Steve Webb: The information is not available.

See also...

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Emergency MOD services denied pension rights

11 Mar 2013

Police, fire and rescue service personnel who work for the Ministry of Defence should be given the same rights to receive their pension at 60 as all others who work for the fire and police services, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is backing an e petition urging such equality, said:

"A Pensions Bill before Parliament exempts fire and service workers from seeing their retirement age rising with state pension age. But those who work for the MOD have been left out, apparently in an oversight, and should be added back in. All such workers deserve the lower age given the specific trials and tribulations of their work in protecting us. It should be a relatively easy thing to have equality between them, if there is a political will to do so."

The MP is backing an e-petition on the issue which can be signed at

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Backing for new meningitis vaccine

Beat it Now logo 8 Mar 2013

Dave backs the campaign by Meningitis UK to have the newly licensed vaccination for Meningitis B included in the NHS childhood immunisation programme.

The new vaccine, called Bexsero, is a landmark medical advance and holds out the prospect of saving thousands of lives, especially children under five years old, who are most at risk from the disease.

Meningitis B is the most common form of meningitis in the UK, and one of the deadliest. Each year, an average of 1,870 people are affected by the disease. One in 10 people who contract Meningitis B will die, and one in three will be left with life-altering after-effects, such as limb loss or brain damage.

It has taken twenty years for the new vaccine to be developed by pharmaceutical company Novartis, not least because there are many different strains of the Meningitis B bacteria. However, we now have a vaccine that should protect against 73 per cent of the bacteria strains that cause the disease in the UK.

The 'Beat it Now' campaign seeks to secure the widest support to encourage the Government to urgently introduce the vaccine into the routine Childhood Immunisation Schedule. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is due to make its recommendation on the vaccine in June 2013 and should be in no doubt about the strength of feeling on the matter.

See where you can read the personal stories shared by those who have been affected by Meningitis.

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Dave Anderson MP rounds on ministers over hidden story of women losing from pensions reform

Women losing out on pensions 5 Feb 2013

Six hundred women in Blaydon who were born in 1952 and 1953 will miss out on the new single tier pension because they retire in 2017 before recently announced pension reforms come into effect but their male counterparts will qualify, according to research from the Commons Library.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"This is shocking for those involved and totally contradicts Government promises to be transparent about who will lose. This is the second time the Government has been rumbled in trying to hide the truth about their pensions reforms. The original attack on these people's living standards is bad enough but the cover up compounds things."

Women born between April 1952 and July 1953 will retire before 2017 and will not be eligible for the single tier pension. For example, a woman born in October 1952 will retire at age 63 in 2015. This means that she will draw the basic weekly pension of £107.45 (in today's prices) when she retires.

However, men born in the same period are due to retire in 2017, and so will be eligible for the new single-tier rate.

House of Commons Library research shows that 430,000 women born between April 1952 and July 1953 could lose out in this way.

This could mean that women draw a state pension income of around £1,900 a year (£36.55 a week) less than a man of the same age. The exact difference will depend on the number of contributions each woman has made, and whether she receives means-tested benefits or not.

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Tyneside MP flexes muscles in support of patients' concerns over shocking gaps in care

1 Feb 2013

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is leading parliamentary support for patients with devastating muscle-wasting conditions in their fight for specialist services, which would change lives and save the NHS money.

Dave Anderson, who chairs a cross-party group of MPs and Peers on muscular dystrophy, has tabled a Commons motion urging the NHS to implement care and support guidelines and for the new NHS Commissioning Board to support nationwide networks to cut costly emergency admissions.

The Commons motion welcomes the State of the Nation report published by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign which highlights how some regional NHS groups have put up barriers and caused delays to improving services for people with muscle wasting conditions. It also fears that specialist health professionals might be restricted by NHS geographical boundaries in providing care and support. Coupled with this is unease that GPs will have more control over planning local services.

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's report showed that:

Commenting on the report, Dave Anderson MP said:

"I was shocked to read the findings of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's Patient Survey. I am concerned that too many patients and families affected by muscle-wasting conditions are receiving poorly co-ordinated care which can not only result in unnecessary use of NHS resources but can also have serious implications for a patient's life expectancy and quality of life."

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's Director of Campaigns, Care and Information, Nic Bungay, said:

"We are delighted that Dave Anderson MP is leading the campaign in Parliament for much-needed improvements in care and support. He continues to be an influential voice in ensuring that the Government and the NHS take action to address the concerns of people with muscle-wasting conditions.

"There is pressing need for the NHS to act now for people with rare conditions such as muscular dystrophy, especially for those who cannot afford to wait years to feel the benefit. The upcoming reforms present a real opportunity to radically overhaul services for patients and families affected by rare conditions, develop a more equitable, effective and ultimately a better service."

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is now calling for:

For more information about the work of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign please visit or contact Emma Warren, Press Officer, on 020 7803 4844, mobile: 07894915689 or email:

Muscular dystrophy

More than 70,000 children and adults in the UK have muscular dystrophy or a related neuromuscular condition. A further 350,000 people are affected indirectly as family, friends or carers.

Muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions cause muscles to waste and weaken over time making it increasingly hard for those affected to do even the simplest of tasks. The conditions don't just affect the muscles in the arms and legs, but may also affect the heart and respiratory muscles. There are no treatments or cures.

Muscular Dystrophy Campaign

Our work has five main focuses:

Early Day Motion 992 Muscular Dystrophy Campaign National Patient Survey: tabled by Dave Anderson MP:

That this House welcomes the publication of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign's 2013 National Patient Survey report State of the Nation which finds that patients with rare diseases are being put at serious risk of misdiagnosis, and fatal cardiac and respiratory problems are going unmonitored; notes the report's findings revealing major delays in receiving vital check-ups owing to a complete inconsistency in NHS care and support for people with muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions; is concerned that this can lead to costly unplanned admissions to hospital which could be avoided; acknowledges the findings of the audit of unplanned emergency admissions led by Professor Michael Hanna; further notes the need for the lead for neuromuscular services to continue in post after April 2013; calls on the Government to ensure that the NHS Commissioning Board implements new NHS guidelines contained in service specification for neuromuscular services; and further calls on the NHS Commissioning Board to support the development of operational delivery networks for neuromuscular services with a view towards reducing costly unplanned emergency admissions.

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Dave Anderson hails major advance for Robin Hood Tax

25 Jan 2013

News that the Robin Hood Tax campaign has made a major breakthrough in persuading the European Union to allow a financial transaction tax to make the banks pay for the financial crisis they created has been hailed by Blaydon MP Dave Anderson.

The campaigning MP said:

"This vindicates a once small minority of people who stood their ground and upped the ante to force a major shift in governments and public opinion. I first began calling for this tax at a major demonstration in Seattle at the end of the last century. I then sat down a few years back with the head of what was then a small cause and suggested it had to go beyond the usual small-scale left-wing campaigning and go big. They then recruited the film-maker Richard Curtis, who gave us Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral and other classic British movies and helped organise the Make Poverty History campaign. He and others put together an alliance of unions, churches, green groups whose launch in the Commons was chaired by me and which captured the public mood and imagination in Britain and throughout Europe."

He added:

"It has now succeeded in persuading the European Union that 11 European countries - including the biggest economies of Germany and France - can set up a tax that could raise an incredible £30 billion every year from one of the richest sectors of the economy. The next step is to put the money raised to fight climate change and support the people hit hardest by the financial crisis. It's also about time Britain got on board and made the bankers finally pay their fair share to get this country back on track."

The MP commented that:

"I'm so glad to have played a small role in a major historical change. It illustrates that change is always possible if you have an idea that is credible and you do the hard work of winning support."

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