Press Releases

 
16/12/15 Dave Anderson MP hails victory and hope of more justice for armed forces personnel with mesothelioma
09/12/15 Dave Anderson joins unions in their concerns over jobs and safety in rail privatisation
23/11/15 How to avoid heating/eating choice and reduce energy bills
09/11/15 Cameron should urge Indian PM to save the elephants
09/11/15 MP backs shop workers suffering assault
30/10/15 Dave Anderson MP: new position promoting Anglo-Irish peace and trade
26/10/15 MP urges zero tolerance of attacks on fire-fighters in run up to Bonfire Night
20/10/15 Dave Anderson MP appeals for world war two veterans to claim their French medals
02/10/15 Local NHS turns deaf ear to the elderly
05/09/15 Call for government to act on World Duchenne Day
04/09/15 MP urges Council to act on refugee crisis
10/08/15 Impact of health cuts in the North-East
15/07/15 Eliminate illegal timber imports and boost domestic forestry
24/10/15 Blaydon Races inspiration and North East sports hero to be marked in the Commons
10/05/15 Blaydon MP backs blood bike boost
23/04/15 Blaydon's Labour candidate Dave Anderson backs local and better public services
21/04/15 Blaydon candidate Dave Anderson pledge on homelessness
13/04/15 Dave Anderson hails crackdown on tax dodgers
28/03/15 Dave Anderson pledge on rare diseases
26/03/15 Local MP slams drugs delays and substandard care
17/03/15 MP deplores continuing cuts in adult learning opportunities
13/03/15 Warnings about NHS privatisation coming true
12/03/15 Zero pay award for prison office staff a 'disgrace'
11/03/15 Call to shut Blaydon Quarry
08/03/15 Dave Anderson MP urges popular action against tax evaders
21/02/15 MP urges ministers to reinstate teachers' benefit
18/02/15 Prisoner rehabilitation heading for chaos
16/02/15 PM must come clean on legal bombshell and the NHS
26/01/15 Action to tackle widespread mental health issues
14/01/15 Dave sees PM to press case for DMD treatment
06/01/15 Small shops get big recognition

Return to Homepage Current Press Releases 2014

 

Dave Anderson MP hails victory and hope of more justice for armed forces personnel with mesothelioma

16 Dec 2015

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson has welcomed a victory for common sense concerning compensation for service personnel who contract mesothelioma while under orders in the armed forces.

He said:

"Many MPs have been urging the government to do the right thing and my Commons motion of last month outlined why in detail. My front bench colleague and North East MP Kevan Jones pursued this matter and today secured a so far partial climb down from the Minister. It means that the Veterans will in future be given the chance to take £140,000 lump sum or pension. It represents justice for them and shows that concerted action can make the difference."

He added:

"The problem is that the change is for future claimants and not retrospective. But the Minister has instigated a review which led to Kevan Jones withdrawing his amendment to allow the minister to work out how to turn his positive intent into practice. The Prime Minister has also said that no armed forces personnel should be treated differently from those in civvy street. I intend to hold him to that to get justice for those already identified as suffering from mesothelioma. But we have made a great start."

EDM MILITARY COVENANT FOR EX-SERVICE PERSONNEL WITH MESOTHELIOMA

Date tabled: 09.11.2015

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

Relevant extracts from Commons Hansard for 16 December.

New Clause 8 Review of compensation available to veterans suffering from mesothelioma

Within 12 months of the passing of this Act, the Secretary of State must commission a review of how former members of the armed forces who have contracted mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos in the course of their military service are compensated, and must lay the report of this review before both Houses of Parliament." - (Mr Kevan Jones.)

Mr Kevan Jones:

In 2014, the Government set up the diffuse mesothelioma payment scheme under the Mesothelioma Act 2014 to pay lump sum compensation to civilians who contracted mesothelioma in cases where former employers or insurance companies could not be traced. Under the Crown Proceedings (Armed Forces) Act 1987, many veterans are not covered by the scheme and so do not have the option to sue the MOD over this death sentence.

(Minister) Mark Lancaster:

As I said on 19 November during the Adjournment debate on compensation for our military veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we recognise that it is a devastating disease that changes the lives not only of the people who are diagnosed with it but of those who care about them: their families and loved ones.

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, and 40 years or more can often pass before it manifests itself and an individual is diagnosed, tragically with a short life expectancy thereafter. That is why it is so important to ensure that we provide the right support for those who are affected by the disease. We owe them all a debt of profound gratitude. I am therefore pleased to announce that any veteran who is diagnosed from mesothelioma from today will be offered a choice between receiving a lump sum of £140,000 and receiving the traditional war pension payments. It is currently proposed that the necessary legislative changes will come into force on 11 April 2016, but I am keen to consider options for bringing the date forward. Claimants choosing the option of a lump sum will continue to receive a monthly payment until the lump sum is paid. The Veterans Welfare Service will be on hand to help claimants to understand the new option.


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Dave Anderson joins unions in their concerns over jobs and safety in rail privatisation

9 Dec 2015

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"I share the real concerns of the rail unions about jobs and safety as the government brags about the Northern Powerhouse but gives national assets to the German state railways."

RMT warns of cuts to jobs and safety and profiteering on a massive scale as Government confirms that German state will take over Northern Rail and First Group retain Trans-Pennine.

General Secretary Mick Cash said,

"This widely-trailed announcement is no surprise but will still come as a bitter blow to rail users and rail staff across the North.

"Rather than all the garbage about the Northern Powerhouse this morning's announcement opens the door to years of cuts to staff and safety and to profiteering on an epic scale.

"RMT has waged a public fight against this carve up, engaging the public and local politicians, and that fight goes on. The battle for a publicly owned, people's railway will continue regardless of today's profit-driven fit up."


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How to avoid heating/eating choice and reduce energy bills

23 Nov 2015

Half of low income working households in the North East are struggling with energy costs, and many have been for more than a year, according to a leading Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"As the weather turns to the worse, research shows that two thirds of low paid people in the North East are worried about paying their energy bills. Once again, many face the choice between heating and eating. This could be worsened by tax credit cuts."

Dave Anderson added:

"But the Turn2us charity highlights that very few people know they could tell their energy supplier about the problem or ask for advice from charities such as Turn2us. Many have not yet checked if they are eligible for welfare payments or know that some energy suppliers have charitable trusts set up to help certain customers."

'Turn2us' No Cold Homes campaign wants more people unable to afford to heat their homes to use its free on-line service to see if they can receive support. For more information, visit www.turn2us.org.uk/NoColdHomes.

Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services - on-line, by phone and face to face through partners and volunteers.

The Turn2us website includes a Benefits Calculator to find out what welfare benefits and tax credits you could be entitled to, a Grants Search to find out if you might be eligible for support from over 3,000 charitable funds, and a range of information and resources to help people in financial hardship.

Turn2us can also provide direct financial assistance through a range of specific funds that are managed directly by the charity, including the Elizabeth Finn Fund which supports people from over 120 different professions.


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Cameron should urge Indian PM to save the elephants

9 Nov 2015

The British Prime Minister is being urged to persuade Indian Prime Minister Modi to take urgent action to protect thousands of baby elephants that are snatched from the wild, their assailants often killing their mothers, and then brutalised into submission so they can be used in tourism and logging.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who has tabled questions to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary to coincide with PM Modi's state visit to London this week, said:

"India is a vital trade and political partner and I wish the visit well. But old friends like India and the UK can and must speak candidly. The illegal capture of baby elephants and the brutal process of breaking their spirits - Pajan - is abhorrent. I understand that elephants are forced into pens and tethered so they cannot move, deprived of water, food and sleep, beaten with rods, chains or bullhooks and stabbed with knives and nails. Half of them die during Pajan.

"Many British tourists ride elephants on their holidays. I am sure that they will be as horrified as I am to hear how the elephants have been so cruelly beaten into submission for their enjoyment and the profits of ruthless traders. They will hate the barbarism of chaining these majestic creatures for many years on end. The traumatising of these elephants is a stain on a great country and I expect the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary to raise the issue with PM Modi, politely but forcefully."

Dave Anderson added:

"The Prime Minister promised at the election to help protect the Asian elephant. He has a great opportunity to carry out this pledge when the Indian prime minister arrives in London. Continued cruelty to elephants could become a major deterrent to tourists visiting India and the practice of Pajan, which is relatively new, should be banned."

The MP was first refused but finally persuaded the Commons authorities to allow him to table the following questions: Ordinary Written question to: Prime Minister for answer on 05 Nov 2015 12:00 AM

"Will the Prime Minister use the opportunity of the forthcoming visit of the Indian PM to raise with him the appalling suffering of elephants being trained to work in the tourism industry and will he make a statement?".

Ordinary Written question to: Foreign & Commonwealth Office for answer on 05 Nov 2015 12:00 AM

"Will the Foreign Secretary use the opportunity of the forthcoming visit of the Indian PM to raise with him the appalling suffering of elephants being trained to work in the tourism industry and will he make a statement?".


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MP backs shop workers suffering assault

Gateshead Metrocentre 9 Nov 2015

Dave has reacted strongly to an Usdaw report that 1 in 5 shop workers do not report assaults to their employer.

He says that shop workers should be treated with respect and dignity and should be secure enough to report assaults.

Dave said

"My constituency of Blaydon includes one of the biggest shopping malls in Europe. I give my total support to shop workers who suffer in silence. Enough is enough. Sadly while I'm concerned by these findings, I'm really not surprised by them because I realise that in tough times many workers keep their heads down when trouble of any kind occurs. Employers and we the shopping public should give our shop workers a very clear message that they have our fullest support in the work they do for us. The least they deserve is to be treated with respect and dignity and be secure enough to report any problems to their employer without fear of reprisal."

Shopworkers trade union leader John Hannett is very concerned that so many shopworkers are suffering in silence, as interim results of Usdaw's latest Freedom From Fear survey show that 22% of shopworkers did not report a violent attack by a customer to their employer.

Today is the start of Respect for Shopworkers Week when thousands of Usdaw activists are out campaigning in supermarkets and town centres, asking customers to keep their cool and respect shopworkers.

Also today Usdaw is releasing interim results of their annual survey of shopworkers, which shows a slight decline in the number of incidents of violence, threats and abuse, but the overall figures are still shockingly high.

Over half of shopworkers were verbally abused in the last year, with more than 10% on a weekly or daily basis, 3 in 10 were threatened with violence and over 2% were assaulted.

John Hannett - Usdaw General Secretary says:

"All too often shopworkers encounter violence, threats and abuse for simply doing their job. So it is very concerning that one in five do not report something as serious as a violent attack to their employer.

"Anecdotally we are told that sometimes staff don't feel it would make any difference if they do report incidents or that it's just a part of being in a front-line job, dealing with the public and the problems that sometimes throws up.

"My message to shopworkers is very clear, abuse is not a part of the job. We are talking to employers to ensure that reporting systems are easily accessible and will make a real difference to the protection. However it is really important that staff do tell their manager when they experience violence, threats or abuse. If they report it we can help sort it.

"This week our campaign stalls will highlight to shoppers the problems shopworkers can face, particularly during the festive season, a period when incidents of verbal abuse can increase dramatically. In the run up to Christmas, customers are stressed, stores are really busy and sometimes things can boil over. That's why we are asking shoppers to show respect for shopworkers and to 'keep your cool at Christmas'.

"There is the additional concern of Black Friday on 27 November. The last two years have seen unprecedented scenes of mayhem in some stores as bargain hunting turns into a frenzy. We have been talking to retailers about organising their events to maximise safety and security for staff and customers alike."


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Dave Anderson MP: new position promoting Anglo-Irish peace and trade

30 Oct 2015

A leading Tyneside MP has been appointed to one of the top jobs in an international parliamentary body that boosts peace and trade between Britain and Ireland.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson has been elected as the new Vice Chair of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) which brings together parliamentarians from Ireland and all parts of the UK as well as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Dave Anderson said:

"The Assembly plays a unique role in developing links between our islands. It has done much in over 25 years to overcome Northern Ireland's bloody conflict, which affected us all. The Assembly encouraged Northern Ireland unions and business to make their voices heard and has had candid discussions with prominent businessmen such as Ryanair's boss, Michael O'Leary.

"The key point is that MPs discuss in detail policies that improve the lives of all our citizens. Over the years they have come to better understand each other and have helped encourage people to see each other's countries as partners rather than foes. The Assembly examined the lessons of the First World War and the once neglected role of many Irish soldiers in the war. It will be looking at the lessons of the centenary of the Easter uprising next year. The principle is that we understand our history, warts and all, and provide political leadership to minimise our differences and develop cultural, political and commercial links that reduce the chance of needless conflict."

Dave Anderson added:

"Ireland is also a huge market for us and the only foreign country we share a border with. The relationship with Ireland is very warm - it was once frigid -and that has to be worked on to ensure that there are no misunderstandings and we can work out ways to encourage further trade and co-operation that can benefit companies in Blaydon and more widely in Britain."

The BIPA meets twice a year in Ireland and Britain, including once in Newcastle, and has several committees that look at areas of common interest. The Assembly meets next month in Cheltenham for a major plenary session.


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MP urges zero tolerance of attacks on fire-fighters in run up to Bonfire Night

Fire fighters in Tyne and Wear 26 Oct 2015

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson is backing local fire-fighters by helping amplify their urgent message via a Commons motion urging Zero tolerance on attacks on fire-fighters. The text follows.

ZERO TOLERANCE ON ATTACKS ON FIREFIGHTERS

Session: 2015-16 Date tabled: 26.10.2015 Primary sponsor: Anderson, David

Sponsors: Bottomley, Peter Shannon, Jim Kerevan, George Williams, Hywel Williams, Mark

That this House notes with regret the necessary and strong warning issued by the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) about prosecuting people who attack firefighters while they carry out their life saving work in the light of recent physical attacks; agrees with the TWFRS that attacks on crews not only hinder them from fulfilling their role to make our communities safe but also risk putting emergency equipment out of action which could be needed to save a life at any time, and not least around the time of bonfire night; welcomes their decision to employ CCTV on their vehicles and overt and covert methods to prevent such irresponsible and dangerous attacks; and urges the public to co-operate with the fire and rescue service and the police in encouraging zero tolerance of such behaviour against firefighters in the line of their duty to protect the community.

This follows a release by Tyne and Wear Fire Service which stated:

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) today sent out a warning of the consequences for people who attack firefighters while they carry out their life saving work.

Fire officers joined Northumbria Police in warning that anyone caught assaulting firefighters will be investigated and prosecuted.

The warning comes after youths threw bottles and other objects at firefighters tackling a fire in a wheelie bin at a skate park in Blakelaw, Newcastle, last Saturday night. One firefighter was struck five times by the missiles and suffered a minor injury.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer at TWFRS Chris Lowther said:

"We will not tolerate any verbal or physical attacks on our staff.

"Thankfully our firefighter was not seriously injured in the incident in Blakelaw but throwing objects at our crews clearly has the potential to cause serious harm. That is totally unacceptable and we will work with our partners in the police to ensure the people responsible are brought to justice.

"Attacks on crews not only hinder them from fulfilling their role to make our communities safe but also risk putting emergency equipment out of action which could be needed to save a life at any time.

"The safety of our firefighters is of primary importance, and whilst attacks on our staff are rare, we will do everything to protect our staff and have CCTV fitted to every fire appliance. We will use this evidence for prosecutions of anyone who targets our staff."

Northumbria Police Chief Inspector Steve Hails said:

"Firefighters are there to save lives and it's appalling that they should face being attacked while doing their job and trying to help the public.

"We won't put up with those that think it's acceptable to target fire fighters in this way and it's important they get the message that what they are doing is thoughtless, dangerous and could cost lives.

"I'd urge anyone involved in such behaviour to think twice about the consequences of their actions, they could end up hurting someone and if caught they could end up with a criminal record all because of something they probably see as a prank.

"As Bonfire Night approaches we will be increasing our patrols both covertly and overtly to catch those responsible for this type of behaviour in Newcastle and anyone who has information about who is involved in such activity should get in touch with police as soon as possible."


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Dave Anderson MP appeals for world war two veterans to claim their French medals

Former French President Sarkozy presenting medals to veterans in 2010
Former French President Sarkozy presenting medals to veterans in 2010
20 Oct 2015

A proposal that all D Day and French liberation veterans receive the prestigious Legion d'Honneur medal has been overwhelmed by demand.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who campaigns on veteran issues, said:

"Members of what is rightly 'the greatest generation' fought every inch to liberate France from the Nazis. They changed history and France is rightly pulling out the stops to recognise their valour."

Dave Anderson added:

"But the sheer volume of applications has overwhelmed the French system and a there is a backlog. The MOD has asked me to help identify local heroes who are in ill health and should move ahead in the queue. I can then ask the MOD to make it happen."

Veterans of their friends and families can contact Dave Anderson at 0191 414 2488 or dave.anderson.mp@parliament.uk or St Cuthbert's Community Hall, Shibdon Road, Blaydon NE21 5PT


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Local NHS turns deaf ear to the elderly

Elderly person with hearing loss 2 Oct 2015

News that a clinical commissioning group has decided to scrap providing hearing aids to elderly people with mild hearing problems has been condemned as "the thin end of the health rationing wedge" by a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who himself suffers from industrial deafness, said:

"The decision of the NHS in North Staffordshire to deny hearing aids for the first time to a group of people who need them to maintain their quality of life is a terrible sign of the times and sets a very dangerous precedent."

Dave Anderson added:

"If we fail to protest about this and reverse the decision, other NHS groups will get the green light to follow this example on this and on other health issues. Depriving people with hearing loss will increase their isolation and contribute to further ill-health, not least for many of the millions with dementia or depression. The initial savings are relatively small but could cost much more money in the long term and callously impact on people's quality of life. Campaigners and those who understand hearing loss are completely right in sounding the alarm bell on this and their warnings should be heard clearly by all NHS policy-makers.

The government has a duty to ensure that people in need receive vital services to which they have contributed in taxes on their hard work. Ministers cannot just wash their hands and when parliament returns I will do my utmost to make sure ministers are placed under pressure on this."


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Call for government to act on World Duchenne Day

5 Sep 2015

World Duchenne Day (7 Sept) is being marked by a cross-party push by MPs and campaigners to urge better support for families whose children have the life-limiting muscle-wasting condition.

Blaydon MP, Dave Anderson, who is Chair of the influential All Party Parliamentary Group for Muscular Dystrophy, said:

"We are using World Duchenne Day to send an urgent alarm to the government. The Muscular Dystrophy charity says that parents are being told that their children have Duchenne muscular dystrophy over the telephone. Let me be crystal clear. There is no cure for Duchenne and informing parents in this way causes massive and needless heartache."

Dave Anderson added:

"Campaigners and health professionals have long made it very plain that parents in this situation need psychological support and yet more than a third of families received no follow up emotional support. They need professional emotional support after the diagnosis of their child's condition as well as more information about professional helplines and support services."

Around 100 children are born every year with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which causes muscles to weaken and waste, leading to increasingly severe disability. The condition affects muscles used to move, meaning most children will use a wheelchair before the age of 12. It also affects the heart and vital breathing muscles; few of those born with the condition currently live to see their 30th birthday.

Pedro Fernandes' son Luca was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2013:

"Luca was just three years old. Utterly devastated, it was like a death sentence had been handed down for our son. We were left to spend long periods with no information, and we were in no state to chase for it. You make yourself strong for your child, you have no other choice. However, no family should go without emotional support like we did. There is nothing more to say, families need more support at diagnosis."

About Duchenne muscular dystrophy


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MP urges Council to act on refugee crisis

Syrian children in a refugee camp 4 Sep 2015

Dave is urging Gateshead Council to lead the way by offering safety to some Syrian refugees.

He says the public are angry at the government's poor response to the refugee crisis, and says we can't stand idly by while men, women and children are dying.

Dave said,

"I am urging Gateshead Council to set a good example by offering to provide a safe haven to 50 refugees fleeing the terror in Syria. This follows on from a huge outpouring of anger by local people at the government's inept handling of the crisis so far. I was asked by a constituent, Clara Warden to appeal to our council to act while the government flails in response to public pressure, although it has encouraged a reluctant Cameron to move a little. Hopefully, other councils could follow suit and these desperate people could find refuge in our welcoming towns and cities. We can't sit idly by while kids like three year old Alan Kurdi are dying unnecessarily."


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Impact of health cuts in the North-East

GP with patient 10 Aug 2015

Nurses warn that multi million pound cut to North East and Cumbria public health budgets will "make health inequalities worse"

The Royal College of Nursing in Northern region has criticised plans to cut £14.75m from the region's public health budget in January 2016, publishing new figures which show the sheer scale of the cuts to the former NHS budget, which has been transferred to local authorities.

Dave said,

"This shows the ineptitude of this government. They brag about maintaining NHS budgets while undermining the support services that councils and third sector bodies deliver. It is all too typical of the spin inherent in a government led by a man who trained as a PR professional. While Cameron spins, people suffer."

Chancellor George Osborne announced in June that £200m across England would be cut this year from local authority run public health budgets.

The North East and Cumbria have historically had higher public health funding in recognition of the greater health inequalities in the region. The Government's proposal for a blanket 6.2% reduction means that the North East and Cumbria are likely to be disproportionately disadvantaged by the cuts.

Public health budgets were transferred to local authorities from the NHS in April 2013. The UK Faculty of Public Health has said that services affected by the cutbacks could include school nursing and other child health services, suicide prevention and domestic violence prevention, drug and alcohol, sexual health, weight loss support, smoking cessation services and wider mental health provision including befriending services for older people.

RCN Northern Region spokesman Jake Turnbull said:

"By imposing these cuts on local government, Westminster is once again showing its complete disregard for the needs and the North and our most vulnerable citizens. National government keeps saying that they want to put prevention at the heart of health care but their actions tell a very different story. We are already seeing a number of cuts to local preventative health programmes. These cuts will make health inequalities worse. They are hitting the poor hardest.

"It is risible that they claim that they are protecting the NHS budget but at the same time passing on NHS services to local authorities, who are then forced to cut them, because they in turn have been hit by inequitable central government settlements. The whole point of preventative health is that it saves the NHS money by keeping people well and out of hospital. It's a false economy. By moving public health from the NHS to local authorities, the Chancellor has undertaken a sleight of hand to cover up for the fact that they have reneged on their commitment to protect the health budget."


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Eliminate illegal timber imports and boost domestic forestry

15 Jul 2015

Planting more trees to create a sustainable domestic forestry sector is crucial in tackling the scourge of illegal logging, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry said:

"It's great that illegal timber imports to the UK have halved but we need to entirely eliminate the market not least through a sustainable forestry and wood-processing sector that can supply our timber needs. I am urging the Government to boost this by enabling the sector to plant more trees now and in the future."

Dave Anderson added:

"Experts also estimate that this could deliver an additional 7000 jobs in deprived rural areas and cut the UK's annual greenhouse gases emissions."

Stuart Goodall, chief executive of Confor - a non-government organisation that promotes sustainable forestry and wood production - added:

"The need for increased levels of sustainable forestry and support for the wider forestry and wood processing sector has never been more important. The sector needs a secure long-term supply of timber, and woodlands need to be managed responsibly to protect them from climate change and pests/diseases."

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry is supported by Confor: promoting forestry and wood, which represents almost 2000 forestry and wood-using businesses across the UK.


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Blaydon Races inspiration and North East sports hero to be marked in the Commons

Harry Clasper 24 May 2015

The man who inspired the Blaydon Races, Harry Clasper, will be celebrated in Parliament on the 170th anniversary of he and his team taking the World Rowing Champions title and bringing it to the North East for the first time.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is tabling a Commons motion on Harry Clasper, said:

"The North East has generated many top sports superstars but Harry Clasper was the first and changed the face of his sport forever. My motion seeks to put that on the record and highlight the play about Harry coming to the North East by our playwright Ed Waugh. His new play 'Hadaway Harry,' celebrates the victory of Harry Clasper in June 1845."

Dave Anderson added:

"Charles Dickens praised the sensational victory of the Tyneside scullers who held their title for a quarter of a century in coxed fours, pairs or as individuals. But this wasn't just a personal triumph. Clasper's innovative boat design is still used.

The Blaydon Races was written for Harry and when he died in 1870, aged 58, more than 130,000 lined the streets of Newcastle to pay tribute to the 'greatest rower of his generation'".

As well as being a champion sculler, Dunston-born Harry trained and influenced Geordie world champions and designed the rowing craft seen today at the Olympics and the Oxbridge boat race.

Ed, who has co-written, with Trevor Wood, national and international hits like Dirty Dusting, Maggie's End and Waiting For Gateaux, explained:

"This is a brilliant story of a true working class hero.

"Harry was raised in Jarrow and later, as a Durham miner in Hetton le Hole, was involved in the Great Strike of 1831, before becoming a professional rower.

"Rowing, or aquatics as it was known in Victoria times, was the sport of the working class before football came along. Harry was known nationally and internationally as a champion and an innovator.

"Set against the background of the industrial revolution and the development of great cities like Newcastle, Harry's is a story of the underdog fighting against all the odds to become a world champion."

He added:

"The region can proudly boast sporting greats and world champions like Brendan Foster, Alan Shearer, Jackie Milburn, Steve Cram and Glenn McCrory but Harry Clasper was arguably the greatest of them all.

"Sadly being a working class athlete in the Victorian era, his story was never documented. This is a small contribution to once again celebrating the achievement of a Geordie sporting hero."

Hadaway Harry has been supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and South Tyneside Council.

It is visiting venues that have a resonance with Harry's life. All tickets on the tour cost only £10 and can be obtained as follows:

TOUR DATES

Marine Trust (Boathouse), South Shields
Monday, June 29 - 2.30pm/7.30pm
Tuesday, June 30 - 2.30pm/7.30pm
Wednesday, July 1 - 2.30pm/7.30pm
Tel (0191) 4247788

Gala Theatre, Durham (as part of the Durham Miners Gala programme)
Thursday, July 2 - 7.30pm
Friday, July 3 - 2.30pm/7.30pm
Tel 03000 266600

The Low Light, North Shields
Saturday, July 4 - 7.30pm
Sunday, July 5 - 2.30pm/7.30pm
Tel (0191) 2574506

MONDAY , JULY 6, NO PERFORMANCES

Discovery Museum, Newcastle
Tuesday, July 7 - 7.30pm
Wednesday, July 8- 2.30pm/7.30pm
Thursday, July 9 - 2.30pm/7.30pm
Tel (0191) 232 6789 or (0191) 2774100

Bede's World, Jarrow Friday, July 10 - 7.30pm
Saturday, July 11 - 2.30pm/7.30pm
Tel (0191) 4892106 or 4247788

Dave's EDM reads:

HARRY CLASPER

Session: 2015-16

Date tabled: 27.05.2015

That this House welcomes the production by North Eastern playwright Ed Waugh of the play 'Hadaway Harry', which celebrates the achievements of Harry Clasper and his team who became world rowing champions in June 1845; recognises that their great efforts enabled them to hold their position intermittently over the next 26 years in coxed fours, pairs or as individual scullers; is pleased that the play shows Harry Clasper's innovative boat design which is still used; notes that Charles Dickens recognised the achievements of the Tyneside scullers; wishes the play huge success; and hopes that it can be seen across our nation as a tribute to these heroes of sport.


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Blaydon MP backs blood bike boost

Volunteer with 'blood bike' 10 May 2015

An appeal for £25,000 for a charity that supplies motorcycles to deliver urgently needed blood products to hospitals in the North East has been launched.

Blaydon MP, Dave Anderson, said:

"Northumbria Blood Bikes does a valuable and free public service at all times and in all weathers in taking blood and blood products to the NHS but they need to buy and equip two used motorcycles. Their service would help save hundreds of lives."

Dave Anderson added:

"The charity has done wonders in the past two years in recruiting nearly 100 volunteers who have, often at the drop of a hat, couriered vital supplies to the NHS. But the bikes need replacing and they are urging the public to cast a vote for them via the Aviva community fund, which could finance a project that will save public money and people's lives."

The details are at https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/1859/


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Blaydon's Labour candidate Dave Anderson backs local and better public services

23 Apr 2015

A campaign asking all parties to pledge support for local and therefore better services has been endorsed by the Labour candidate for Blaydon.

Dave Anderson said:

"Vital public services help us live our lives, whoever we are but are failing us because they are so often outsourced to national companies, distant from the communities they are supposed to serve. Keep it Local is a sound cause because community-focused services give deliver best for the individual, the community and the taxpayer."

Dave Anderson added:

"Public services should be commissioned and delivered at a neighbourhood level rather than through large national companies. The campaign's research indicates that local organisations offer substantially better outcomes and value, because they know their communities, are flexible, and vastly more effective than standardised, one-size-fits-all services. Community-focused services could save millions of pounds that are wasted in a broken system which ties us up in red tape and repeat referrals instead of actually helping us. We should be treated as people, not numbers. If elected again, I will pursue this philosophy in parliament."


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Blaydon candidate Dave Anderson pledge on homelessness

Homeless people sleeping rough 21 Apr 2015

Labour's candidate for Blaydon, Dave Anderson has pledged his support to the No One Turned Away campaign run by the homelessness charity Crisis.

Dave Anderson said:

"Homelessness has soared in recent years, with 112,000 households asking their council last year for help and nearly 3,000 people sleeping rough on any one night, which is an increase of 55 per cent since 2010. But many single homeless people get turned away with little or no help because they are not considered a 'priority' under the law in England. Some are forced to sleep on the streets."

Dave Anderson added:

"Failing to intervene early can be devastating and trap people in homelessness for far longer. Homelessness is a traumatic experience for an individual's health and well-being, which are caused or exacerbated by rough sleeping. Homeless people are also 13 times more likely to be a victim of crime than the general public. Shockingly, the average age of death for a homeless person is just 47 - thirty years younger than the national average. No-one should be forced to sleep rough, especially if they have asked for help."


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Dave Anderson hails crackdown on tax dodgers

Ten pound notes 13 Apr 2015

"Millions of people are fed up to the back teeth with Conservative lenience on those who dodge their taxes to the tune of billions. They cannot stand the Tories tolerance of those who arrogantly think that only the little people pay taxes. We all benefit from public services which makes Britain a civilised and attractive country. We should all pay our fair whack in taxes. Labour's crackdown on tax dodgers is moral, popular and essential to economic recovery."

Dave Anderson, Labour candidate for Blaydon

The Labour manifesto commitment

Our first Finance Bill will close the tax loopholes that cost the Exchequer billions of pounds a year. We will introduce tougher penalties for those abusing the tax system, end unfair tax breaks used by hedge funds and others, and bear down on disguised employment. We will seek international agreement to make country-by-country reporting information publicly available, and we will act at home if agreement is not reached. British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies will be required to produce publicly available registries of the real owners of companies based there. We will carry out an immediate review into the culture and practices of HMRC so that everyone follows the same rules and we increase the rigour of the tax system. And we will abolish non-dom status so that all those who make the UK their home pay tax in the same way as the rest of us. It is by tackling tax avoidance in this concerted fashion that we can reduce the deficit and protect the family budgets of working people.


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Dave Anderson pledge on rare diseases

28 Mar 2015

Support for thousands of people affected by rare, genetic and undiagnosed conditions at some point in their lives has been pledged by a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is backing the national charity, Genetic Alliance UK's Pledge for Patients campaign, said:

"These conditions are often life-long, serious, and affect several parts of the body. Many involve steadily deteriorating health and quality of life as well as premature death. Many conditions are inherited and can affect other family members."

Dave Anderson added:

"Sadly, most cannot be cured or even treated. Diagnosis can be slow and care and support is therefore more difficult. The campaign seeks cross-party support to improve diagnosis and care for about 3.5 million people affected by such diseases. That's about 5,000 people in Blaydon and every other parliamentary constituency. The election campaign is a good moment for the campaign to gain wide support. I shall certainly do my best to promote it."


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Local MP slams drugs delays and substandard care

26 Mar 2015

A major cross-party inquiry has exposed the 'shambles' on access to new drugs for patients with devastating and life-limiting muscle-wasting conditions.

Dave Anderson, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Muscular Dystrophy and launched the inquiry's findings at the Commons, said:

"Too many families with rare conditions are not receiving the care they desperately need. Our five-month inquiry reveals that leading consultants say services are at breaking point. NHS reforms have delayed access to innovative new drugs, including those available in other European countries. People are experiencing respiratory failure and in some cases dying because of failures to fund vital respiratory equipment. Patients are going without specialist physiotherapy with irreversible and devastating effects."

Dave Anderson, who has lost several immediate family members to a muscle-wasting condition, met families in Parliament to hear their concerns, added:

"Our report highlights confusion over whether services are funded nationally or locally. Buck passing between the local and national NHS means patients are being forced to go without some services altogether. We were shocked to hear of the chaos that these reforms to the NHS have caused. We've had families of children with a severe muscle-wasting condition tell us that a treatment for their condition is available in Europe, but they can't access it due to an administrative shambles at NHS England. Others say they can't access basic respiratory equipment, such as cough assist machines, as no one in the NHS will take responsibility for funding it. These individuals are then experiencing respiratory failure, and in some tragic cases losing their lives."

"As someone who has lost too many family members already to these conditions, the Government and NHS England must take immediate steps to address this unacceptable situation. Not next week or the week after, but as a matter of urgency now. They must make clear the confusion these reforms have caused, and ensure that people get the care and treatment they need, when they need it."

Nic Bungay, Director of Campaigns, Care and Information at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:

"We greatly appreciate the leadership of Dave Anderson for this landmark report. This inquiry is a major step in the right direction, highlighting issues that need to be addressed urgently. We urge the Department of Health, NHS England and organisations named in the report's recommendations to take quick and effective action to speed up access to treatments and improve access to specialist care for people with muscle-wasting conditions."

The All Party Parliamentary Group of MPs and Peers is urging the Government and NHS England to:


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MP deplores continuing cuts in adult learning opportunities

`7 Mar 2015

Funding for many adult learning courses is set to be cut by up to 24% next year with a serious impact on the range and affordability of learning opportunities for up to 400,000 people, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is backing the college lecturers' union and lobbying the minister said:

"Such deep and damaging cuts have been imposed for many years. One estimate is that a million adult learners have been lost since 2010 and these changes will remove opportunities for many more. Many courses most at risk from the changes cater for those who missed out on qualifications at school, or for those who need short bursts of learning to get back into employment. There have already been reductions in the number of students aged 19 to 24 taking courses such as construction, engineering and in the creative arts as a result of recent cuts. These areas are crucial for economic growth, and it is vital that these courses are not lost."

Dave Anderson added:

"Starving Further Education of funds while ignoring tax evasion by HSBC says all you need to know about a government who simply don't get it and, frankly, don't care. This, as with most of the policies imposed on us in the last five years, will have the hardest impact on those most reliant on decent public services and least able to turn to well-heeled friends and family to help them to succeed. I certainly hope that the crisis in further education is well aired in the election."


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Warnings about NHS privatisation coming true

Nurse at work in the NHS 13 Mar 2015

News of a massive privatisation deal in the NHS is proof that the Tories are dogmatically committed to privatising the NHS, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, a former leader of the NHS Unison union, said:

"Some people were sceptical of claims about creeping privatisation but this transfer of NHS work to 11 private firms illustrates that this is where the Conservatives would take the NHS. Worse, some of the private companies have been in hot water because of poor care standards."

Dave Anderson added:

"Serious cuts in the NHS have created a backlog of patients waiting for care. The backlog created by these cuts is now to be filled by private companies. I really fear that this puts us on a slippery slope to a more privatised health service, which is far from what most people want or expect. If the Tories are elected I fear that they will proceed with greater speed and use the provisions of the new European-American trade pact to do so. They may protest but it is increasingly clear that they are bent on selling off our NHS to their cronies in the City."


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Zero pay award for prison office staff a 'disgrace'

12 Mar 2015

Prison officer association leadership are outraged at nil pay award for 80% of prison staff

Dave says this is a disgrace and says that Parliament should return to this issue as a matter of urgency.

Dave said,

"This is a disgrace. These men and women look after the most serious criminals in our society and they should not be treated in this off-hand manner. Parliament needs to voice its collective anger and insist that this issue is revisited urgently."

The initial reaction of the POA is one of outrage regarding a pay cut for the vast majority of their members. They say that POA members in 2014 have seen:

4000 assaults on prison staff. A 40% increase in serious assaults on staff.

The POA will now consider our response on this nil pay award for the difficult and dangerous and under resourced work that they do on behalf of society. They are reminded that their members in the NHS have successfully achieved concessions on pay with direct action. The Executive will convene an Emergency meeting on Monday, 16th March 2015. The POA NEC rules nothing in and nothing out.


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Call to shut Blaydon Quarry

Just a small part of the wiond blown rubbish around Blaydon Quarry 11 Mar 2015

The Blaydon Quarry landfill site is at the centre of a storm of local protest after recent high winds led to litter polluting residential areas and continuing concerns over the number of heavy lorries visiting the site, blocking local roads and persistent noxious smells.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"I am not surprised that local people feel the need to protest about Blaydon Quarry. The operation of this site has caused no end of nuisance and disturbance over recent years. My office and local councillors have been in almost constant dialogue with the Environment Agency and the Council to resolve the mismanagement of the site by the operator."

Dave Anderson added:

"The recent outbreak of litter and highways issues are just the latest in a catalogue of problems. Strong action by the authorities against the operator is now long overdue and I urge them to shut the site until effective measures are implemented to protect local communities and the environment. I also want the authorities to be given greater powers over landfill site operators. I am meeting officers from the Environment Agency, Gateshead Council and Northumbria Police on Thursday to review what action has been taken to ensure that Octagon Green Solutions take seriously their responsibilities."



Dave chairs the meeting on 12 March to discuss the rpoblem

Contact Cllr Paul Foy on 07786 126775 for more information.

Letters to Environment Agency and Gateshead Council

9 March 2015

Ms Marie Fallon
Area Manager Northumberland Durham and Tees
The Environment Agency
}North East Area Office

Dear Ms Fallon

I am writing on behalf of a significant number of constituents who have contacted me about the huge amount of litter that has been distributed in recent days from Blaydon Landfill site. There are thousands of items trapped in trees which is not only unsightly but is also likely to lead to permanent environmental damage given we are approaching the nesting season for birds.

In addition, contractors' lorries have also been witnessed using routes through neighbouring Greenside to access the site in a clear contravention of the conditions imposed by the local planning authority.

You will be aware that there have been for some years now ongoing issues with the operation of this site in my constituency, and I have to say that these most recent events do not fill me with confidence that the operator is taking its responsibilities towards residents, neighbouring communities or our precious environment in any way seriously.

In the circumstances I am forced to write to urge you in the strongest possible terms to take the necessary action, including immediate legal action, to force this company to cease operations forthwith.

I am aware that the Council and the Environment Agency have separate areas of responsibility here so I am writing to both the Council and the EA to press for action to be taken urgently.

2

9 March 2015

Jane Robinson Chief Executive Gateshead Council

Dear Jane

I am writing on behalf of a significant number of constituents who have contacted me about the huge amount of litter that has been distributed in recent days from Blaydon Landfill site. There are thousands of items trapped in trees which is not only unsightly but is also likely to lead to permanent environmental damage given we are approaching the nesting season for birds.

In addition, contractors' lorries have also been witnessed using routes through neighbouring Greenside to access the site in a clear contravention of the conditions imposed by the local planning authority.

You will be aware that there have been for some years now ongoing issues with the operation of this site in my constituency, and I have to say that these most recent events do not fill me with confidence that the operator is taking its responsibilities towards residents, neighbouring communities or our precious environment in any way seriously.

In the circumstances I am forced to write to urge you in the strongest possible terms to take the necessary action, including immediate legal action, to force this company to cease operations forthwith.

I am aware that the Council and the Environment Agency have separate areas of responsibility here so I am writing to both the Council and the EA to press for action to be taken urgently.


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Dave Anderson MP urges popular action against tax evaders

8 Mar 2015

Bankers at HSBC who allegedly collaborated with tax evaders have yet to have their collars felt by the prosecuting authorities according to a leading Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

"It beggars belief that HSBC still isn't facing criminal charges for aiding and abetting thousands of British citizens to evade paying their taxes. HMRC is also refusing to accept that its failed to protect the interests of taxpayers and launch a full investigation of the bank."

Dave Anderson added:

"I am not simply going to wait for them to do the right thing. I have joined thousands of other citizens in emailing the Serious Fraud Office urging them to prosecute any wrongdoers and demand they start investigating HSBC for criminal conduct. And I would encourage every other concerned citizen to do the same via

http://action.sumofus.org/a/sfo-complaints/?sub=taf"


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MP urges ministers to reinstate teachers' benefit

21 Feb 2015

Teachers have been accidentally denied a common employee benefit that could cost them £1300 a year, according to a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who is backing a Commons motion that seeks to overturn this unfair and apparently unintended rule, said:

"Teachers have been dropped from the list of those who can use salary sacrifice car schemes, which are one of the most popular and widely used employee benefits. Employees can buy a new, fully maintained and insured car through their salary, before tax and NI are paid, This allows for average annual savings of around £1300. They are also known as green car schemes because they are environmentally friendly. When teachers' wages are stagnating, this saving hugely helps teachers."

Dave Anderson added:

"Why should teachers in England and Wales be the only profession excluded from this employee benefit? Other benefits for teachers are listed but this one seems to have been left out by accident. It is surely easy for the government to do the right thing and reinstate it."


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Prisoner rehabilitation heading for chaos

Inside a prison 18 Feb 2015

Dave has called the government's forthcoming privatisation of probation services appalling.

This comes in the wake of probation officers' unions reporting that the plans to offer rehabilitation to prisoners on release from prison simply cannot be implemented due to staff shortages because the private providers cannot recruit enough staff.

Dave said,

"This is appalling and, sadly, so predictable. Throughout this whole sorry saga, trade unions and campaigners have warned that Chris Grayling's blinkered attitude to privatising probation at all costs would end up in just such a mess. It is yet another example of this government's ideological hatred of the public sector destroying vital public services and then expecting those remaining to cover up the errors of those in charge and those being paid handsomely by the public purse."

Unions representing probation staff say that Government plans to offer rehabilitation support to the estimated 45,000 prisoners released every year from short term sentences are in danger of failing to be delivered on time. The claim follows the receipt of information that a number of the providers of "Through the Gate" (TTG) support services are short of key staff just weeks away from the contractually required 1st May launch date.

In a letter to senior managers covering the Bedfordshire, Northampton, Cambridge and Hertfordshire Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC), one of 21 newly outsourced providers created under Justice Secretary Chris Grayling's Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) agenda, local Napo and Unison representatives have expressed their anger that, despite being under severe workload pressures and unfilled vacancies due to a recruitment moratorium imposed by the Ministry of Justice, their CRC has been asked by the private sector owner to release probation practitioners to undertake TTG work. It is understood that St Giles Trust, the charity contracted by Sodexo to provide the service, has so far failed to recruit sufficient staff.

The unions claim that it is untenable that the CRC has been asked to release approximately one seventh of its probation service officer (PSO) capacity, which they say would mean the temporary reallocation of approximately 600 probation service users for a six month period.

Napo General Secretary, Ian Lawrence said:

"We have now received reports from a number of newly outsourced CRCs in various parts of the probation network that hard pressed probation practitioners are being asked to fill the gaps. Our members are seriously concerned that this will leave existing clients, who are traditionally more likely to reoffend, without the requisite levels of supervision, which will expose the public to the risk of harm".

He added:

"This raises serious questions as to how contracts were awarded to some private suppliers who have apparently failed to put the necessary plans and resources in place to deliver this important service."

Napo has said that it intends to urgently raise its concerns about the situation with the Ministry of Justice and cross party politicians.


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PM must come clean on legal bombshell and the NHS

NHS logo 16 Feb 2015

The EU-US trade deal (TTIP) poses serious threats to the NHS including irreversible privatisation according to new legal advice given to the Unite union.

Commenting on this 'legal bombshell' Blaydon MP Dave Anderson said:

'I call on the Prime Minister to guarantee that the NHS is exempted from TTIP. I urge him to fully examine the legal case laid out here. Don't just rubbish it and say "They would say that, wouldn't they?". This is a serious legal examination of this critical agreement. The people of this country are determined that our NHS will not be offered up to private, foreign fat cats who have no understanding of the very ethos of our NHS. The Prime Minister must come clean on this.'

Unite legal advice shows that:

The advice is at: http://www.unitetheunion.org/uploaded/documents/FINAL%20Legal%20implications%20of%20TTIP%20for%20the%20NHS%2012%20Feb%20201511-21864.pdf


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Action to tackle widespread mental health issues

26 Jan 2015

More support for people who are suicidal, self-harming or in psychosis is being urged by a major national campaign.

Blaydon MP, Dave Anderson, who backs the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat agreed by ministers, councils, police and health leaders, said:

'This Concordat rightly says that people in mental health crisis should get the help they need and not fall through the cracks between different services, wherever they live.'

Dave Anderson added:

'This is one of those there but for the grace of God issues. A quarter of all people will experience a mental health problem of some sort, small to big, this year and many more will be affected through friends, family, work colleagues and others in their lives. I back Mind's campaign to improve crisis care to ensure good intentions are a reality for everyone trying to access crisis care.'

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:

'In a mental health crisis, your mind is at melting point. You may experience extreme anxiety, have suicidal thoughts or even a psychotic episode. It can happen to anyone. When you're in crisis you need compassion and understanding, no matter who you turn to for help - whether it's health and ambulance services, the police, social care or voluntary organisations.'

Mind has a confidential information and support line, Mind Infoline, available on 0300 123 3393 (lines open 9am - 6pm, Monday - Friday) www.mind.org.uk


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Dave sees PM to press case for DMD treatment

Archie Hill meeting PM David Cameron_credit Chris O'Donovan
Archie Hill meeting PM David Cameron
(Photo: Chris O'Donovan)
14 Jan 2015

The heart-rending cases of young boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a severe muscle wasting disease that causes early paralysis and short life expectancy, have been taken directly to the Prime Minister by a Tyneside MP.

Blaydon MP Dave Anderson, who chairs the all-party group on Muscular Dystrophy and has lost family members to the disease, raised the case in Prime Minister's Questions and then arranged for two boys and their parents to meet the PM at Downing Street.

He told the PM that:

"At 1 o'clock this afternoon a petition will be laid at No. 10 Downing street by parents and children who are suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It calls on the Prime Minister personally to get involved to get NHS England to stop a bureaucratic internal debate which is preventing the licensing of the drug Translarna, which can have an effect on young boys that means they do not have to go into a wheelchair before it is absolutely necessary. At the moment most of them are in a wheelchair before they reach their teens. Will the Prime Minister personally get involved and get this resolved as a matter of urgency?"

The PM replied:

"I will try to find time to see those parents today. I was looking at this issue last night and there was a child, who was about the same age as my son, pictured with his local football team, just as my son was. It made me think how vital it is to get these drugs through as quickly as we can. I know that there has been a debate on whether these drugs should be licensed quickly and on all the issues and problems. I will meet those parents, look at their petition and see what can be done."

Dave Anderson added:

"It is urgent that the drug is approved as a matter of urgency. There is a very limited amount of time for children like Archie. I very much hope that the Prime Minister can take urgent action now that it has been raised with him and he has met Archie and his parents."

Outside 10 Downing St, the PM met the parents and Dave Anderson. The PM expressed his personal commitment to move things forward and agreed to talk to the Health Secretary that afternoon to get progress.

Parents Louisa and Gary Hill, whose 9 year old son Archie has Duchenne, had told the PM that:

"In 2009 our world fell apart as we learned of Archie's diagnosis. The news hit us like a freight train as we grieved at the prospect of having to watch our beautiful son deteriorate. The idea of us one day losing our little boy is still something that we cannot come to terms with. I know that you will empathise with this feeling of helplessness and despair."

"This delay is potentially disastrous for Archie and others like him. Their muscles are constantly deteriorating and treatment is limited only to those who can still walk, so every day counts. Sufferers will miss out on the opportunity to receive treatment; simply because of a delay caused by a review of business processes; which seems ludicrously unjust."

The Hills have raised over £75,000 for research and last year were made ambassadors for the Duchenne Research Breakthrough Fund.

Robert Meadowcroft, Chief Executive of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, said:

"We welcome greatly appreciate Dave's support on this issue. Translarna is a long-awaited breakthrough. We must see an end to the delays in this drug reaching children who desperately need it. NHS administrative delays cannot lead to a situation in which even one child becomes ineligible for a drug that could have made a profound difference to their life, or even their future. We and families affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy will be demanding action on Wednesday, for the many children who cannot afford to wait."

The disease affects approximately 2500 in the UK, mainly boys, with around 100 new cases diagnosed each year.


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Small shops get big recognition

6 Jan 2015

Local small shops are being encouraged to enter a national competition find the most innovative and enterprising for the benefit of local people.

Blaydon MP, Dave Anderson said:

"We should never take our small shops for granted. They do so much to give us diverse high streets, bring communities together and create much-needed jobs."

Dave Anderson added:

"Small shops that are shortlisted will be invited to a Parliamentary Reception where the winner will be announced on the 25th February 2014. I hope that local businesses give it a whirl. They have nothing to lose and could boost their business profile."

Small shops can submit their application via www.bestsmallshops.uk setting out in 500 words why they are the best small shops including innovation, community engagement and entrepreneurial activity.


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Current Press Releases 2014



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