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Westminster News
A briefing from Rt Hon JOHN McFALL MP for West Dunbartonshire
                                          APRIL 2006
                                                     And it calls on companies to remove
• Joy as Erskine Bridge tolls                        asbestos from their office blocks and other
  are scrapped ...                                   buildings in order to cut down, or cut out
                                                     completely, the risk to people working for
• Pathways to Work pilot                             them. It maintains that more assistance and
                                                     information should be made available to
  project starts here in April                       patients suffering from Mesothelioma.

• Sir Bob Geldof joins MP’s                          Asbestos was banned in 1989, yet was
                                                     widely used during a 30-year period to 1980
  campaign for greater aid                           in building materials as a thermal insulator for
  cash scrutiny                                      walls, flooring, ceilings, insulation, roofing,
                                                     fireproofing and automotive products. It is still
• Veterans Day planned for                           in the fabric of many houses, shops, offices
                                                     and factory buildings.
  June this year ...

MP campaigns against
‘silent killer’ disease
West Dunbartonshire MP John McFall is
urging constituents to join him on a major
campaign to focus public attention on the
dangers of asbestos in the workplace -- and
to support people suffering from diseases
associated with it.

Mesothelioma is a malignant disease, which
results mainly from exposure to asbestos.            At the International Asbestos Conference to
The MP urged local people to sign up to the          mark Mesothelioma Day at Clydebank Town
British    Lung      Foundation’s    Action          Hall in West Dunbartonshire are Her
                                                     Excellency Dr Lindiwie Mabuza, High
Mesothelioma Charter, which he took to
                                                     Commissioner, Republic of South Africa
Downing Street in February and presented to          (centre), Rt Hon John McFall MP, Bob Dickie,
Prime Minister Tony Blair.                           chairman, Clydebank Asbestos Group,
                                                     Provost Alistair Macdonald, West
This happened on the day the biggest ever            Dunbartonshire Council, Frank Maguire,
anti-asbestos public meeting in the UK took          Solicitor Advocate, Des McNulty MSP,
place at Clydebank Town Hall. The                    Councillor Andy White, leader West
conference, attended by South Africa High            Dunbartonshire Council, Dr Jeremy Steele,
Commissioner Dr Lindiwe Mabuza was called            Consultant, St Bartholomew’s Hospital
to mark Mesothelioma Day.                            London and chairman of Mesothelioma UK.

                                                     John McFall said: “Asbestos is a big issue in
The charter calls for the government to
                                                     this constituency, mainly because it was used
seriously acknowledge the problems being
                                                     in shipbuilding and construction in which
faced by sufferers of asbestos and to help
                                                     thousands of local people were employed.
them and their relatives. Its aim is to ensure
                                                     Clydebank has the largest concentration of
that industry realises the damage asbestos
                                                     asbestos related illnesses in the country.”
can do to the people they employ.
                                                                 (Continued on page 2)
                                                 1
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            (Continued from page 1)                   Foundation’s campaign against all asbestos-
                                                      related diseases.
 “The issue of asbestos related illnesses is
very important to acknowledge. This petition          He and other MPs showed their support for
gives the chance for the people to voice their        the Action Mesothelioma campaign by
collective concerns to make a difference. In          presenting a patient charter, which had been
2003, around 2000 people died due to                  signed by 14,294 people, to 10 Downing
Mesothelioma. The figure is expected to               Street on Monday – the first Action
become greater and to peak between 2011               Mesothelioma Day.
and 2015. I hope that local people will join
with me in signing the charter so that we can         The MP flew down to London just hours after
endeavour to make a difference. Someone               being one of the main speakers at the largest
dies every five hours from mesothelioma in            ever National Asbestos Conference, attended
the UK. We need to commit ourselves to                by 400 delegates, in Clydebank Town Hall.
fighting this illness.”
                                                      The presentation of the Charter to the Prime
In addition to this campaign, Mr McFall has           Minister marks the launch of the Action
also signed an Early Day Motion in the House          Mesothelioma campaign – a year long
of Commons which welcomes the work being              initiative to raise awareness about this rare
done by the Queen’s Bench of the High Court           and aggressive form of lung cancer caused
in dealing with asbestos-related issues. It           by exposure to asbestos.
calls on the Lord Chancellor not to scrap the
current procedure for dealing with asbestos           Mr McFall said: “The Action Mesothelioma
cases and not to replace it with something            patient charter calls for faster diagnosis,
less effective.                                       better treatment and care services, more
                                                      funding for research and measures to prevent
MPs 15,000 signature                                  future asbestos exposure. The rising number
petition to Downing Street                            of deaths from the condition is linked to the
                                                      use of asbestos in the building industry up
for justice on mesolethioma                           until the mid 1980’s. The time between
                                                      exposure to asbestos and developing
                                                      mesothelioma can range from 15 to 60 years,
                                                      with death coming within two years of
                                                      diagnosis.”

                                                      According to new research* by the British
                                                      Lung Foundation, only 13% of people in the
                                                      UK are aware of the disease and only 7% are
                                                      aware that survival from diagnosis can be
                                                      less than six months.

                                                      The increasing number of people carrying out
                                                      DIY and home improvements has also
 West Dunbartonshire MP John McFall and               sparked fears that people could be exposing
  other parliamentarians petition the Prime           themselves to asbestos, which was widely
Minister at 10 Downing Street in the campaign         used as a building material in homes,
    for better treatment for the victims of
          asbestos-related illnesses.
                                                      schools, hospitals and other buildings
                                                      constructed between the 1950s and 198’s.
It’s not just former shipyard and construction
workers who are under threat from lung                John McFall MP said: “I am delighted to be
disease linked with asbestos, it was revealed         supporting the British Lung Foundation’s
this week.                                            Action Mesothelioma Campaign. This cruel
                                                      disease kills one person every five hours in
DIY enthusiasts who become involved in the            the UK and this figure is set to peak over the
renovation of old properties are also at risk         next decade. This campaign is vital to raise
from the “silent killer” illnesses which take a       awareness of the condition and also the
life every five hours.                                potential danger that people could face, from
                                                      asbestos in their homes, when undertaking
West Dunbartonshire MP John McFall has                DIY projects. I hope that the Government will
thrown his weight behind the British Lung                         (Continued on page 3)
                                                  2
                                                3
          (Continued from page 2)                      3. support of a suitably qualified nurse
                                                          and other Multi Disciplinary Team
look closely at the Mesothelioma Charter and              members throughout their illness
do all they can to address the issues it               4. be considered for the best possible
raises.”                                                  treatments available with the support
                                                          and input of a Multi Disciplinary Team
Dame Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive of              5. have up-to-date advice on benefits
the British Lung Foundation said: “We are                 and help in applying for them, and
very pleased that John McFall MP is involved              receive prompt payment of benefits
in this campaign. This deadly lung cancer              6. have legal advice and guidance from
destroys the lives of its victims and their               a firm of solicitors experienced in
families.                                                 mesothelioma claims
                                                       7. guidance on end of life decisions and
                                                          care at home
                                                       8. provision of a consistent nationwide
                                                          service from coroners using a clear
                                                          and open process with a maximum
                                                          case length of three months.

                                                    And call upon the Government to:

                                                       9. have mesothelioma made a national
                                                           priority by the Cancer Tsar
                                                       10. fund good quality research, alongside
                                                           other       national    bodies,    on
                                                           mesothelioma with a view to
                                                           improving diagnosis, treatment and
  The Clydebank Asbestos Group banner at                   outcomes for patients
           Clydebank Town Hall.                        11. support the production of clinical
                                                           Guidelines on the best practice of
The time between diagnosis and death is                    diagnosis and management of
short and in the vast majority of cases,                   mesothelioma
people suffer a tortured and agonising death.          12. ensure the Health and Safety
We want to encourage more interest in                      Executive vigorously enforce existing
mesothelioma and warn people about the                     regulations on asbestos
precautions they can take to avoid exposure
to asbestos in their homes. By supporting our       And call upon all employers to:
campaign Mr McFall will help us to raise the
profile of the condition and move it up the            13. prevent future exposure to asbestos
Government’s agenda.”                                     by    providing    a  safe    working
                                                          environment with all necessary
Anyone who wants more information about                   equipment to protect employees.
the British Lung Foundation, or Action                 14. work with unions and individuals to
Mesothelioma should visit www.lunguk.org or               ensure enforcement of current
call the BLF Helpline on 08458 50 50 20.                  regulations     to   safeguard     all
                                                          employees.
The Action Mesothelioma Charter reads as               15. identify all asbestos in their
follows:                                                  properties and organise its safe
                                                          removal where practical or necessary
Mesothelioma Charter                                      when work is being carried out.

Mesothelioma patients and their families            Mesothelioma is a malignant lung disease
have a right to:                                    which results mainly from exposure to
                                                    asbestos. Someone dies every five hours
   1. a speedy and accurate diagnosis,              from mesothelioma in the UK.
      supported by a Multi Disciplinary
      Team discussion.                              Watch the local press for details
   2. good quality information from a variety
      of sources available in different media
                                                        of your MP’s surgeries
      and languages                                   or telephone 01389 734214
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                                                               Greenock will save up to £300 a year. That is a lot
                                                               of money in anyone’s book.

                                                               “The lifting of the tolls should encourage new
                                                               businesses to set up in West Dunbartonshire. The
                                                               fact that the tolls were there was a disincentive to
                                                               people setting up workplaces on this side of the
                                                               river. The very fact of having to pay every time
                                                               they went to the airport or wherever they were
                                                               connecting with on the other side of the bridge
  John McFall MP pictured at Erskine Bridge                    was always a stumbling block for business
with First Minister Jack McConnell, local MSPs                 location here.
Jackie Baillie and Des McNulty and Councillor
                  Andy White.                                  “The new toll free Erskine Bridge will help to cut
                                                               down on traffic congestion between this area and
MP welcomes abolition of                                       Glasgow, where the Kingston Bridge and the
                                                               Clyde Tunnel have been overstretched by
tolls on Erskine Bridge                                        motorists and heavy vehicle drivers using them
                                                               and being unwilling to meet the toll charges for the
West Dunbartonshire MP John McFall has                         alternative route across the bridge at Old
welcomed the announcement that the tolls on the                Kilpatrick and Erskine.”
Erskine Bridge are being abolished on March 31 --
34 years after the bridge was officially opened to
replace the Erskine Ferry.
                                                               Tribute to Rose Dorman,
He said: “Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire
                                                               founder of Dalmuir Credit
politicians     campaigned       vigorously
successfully during the 1960s to have the bridge
                                                   and
                                                               Union
built and there can be no question that since it               The Rt Hon John McFall MP this week paid tribute to
was opened by Princess Anne in 1971 it has                     Rose Dorman, founder of the Dalmuir Credit Union,
brought tremendous benefits to both communities.               Clydebank, and West Dunbartonshire, who has died
However, the imposition of tolls took the icing off            and whose funeral will take place at St Stephen’s RC
their victory cake, and the money aspect has been              Church, Dalmuir, on Friday.
an obstacle to its being used to its full potential.
                                                               Mr McFall said: “I was deeply saddened to learn this
                                                               week of Rose Dorman’s death, although I knew she
“There has been an ongoing campaign since the
                                                               had been seriously ill for some time.
day and hour the bridge was opened to have
these tolls abolished, and I was very much part of             “Rose was one of the patients I visited at St Margaret’s
that, but it is only in recent years that the free tolls       Hospice on Christmas Day and she was in good spirits
message has been making the impact it merited.                 that day, talking even at that time about the importance
                                                               of the role of credit unions. I wish to express my sincere
“I was with First Minister Jack McConnell and my               condolences to her family and friends.
West Dunbartonshire constituency colleagues,
Jackie Baillie MSP and Des McNulty MSP, when
he visited the bridge in November. He had been to
the opening of new workshops in Clydebank.

“We all took that opportunity, along with local
council leader Andy White, to lobby for free tolls
yet again, and it was clear from Mr McConnell’s
reaction that our message was well received and
understood. We were making an impact.

“This is a red letter day for West Dunbartonshire,
for the people of Clydebank, Dumbarton and the
Vale. It will mean they will be able to cross the
bridge free of charge to use the airport and for
shopping trips and hospital visits. People working             Rose Dorman (centre) pictured with her sons
in Renfrewshire, who have to travel back and                    and daughters after receiving the MBE from
forward every day to Paisley or Renfrew or                     Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace
                                                                in 1998. Photograph: West Dunbartonshire
 Watch the local press for details                                  Council, Clydebank Central Library.
     of your MP’s surgeries
   or telephone 01389 734214                                                    (Continued on page 5)


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                (Continued from page 4)                         Council of Credit Unions presented her with a
                                                                Distinguished Service Award. In 2003 she was
 “Rose was a great woman, who was always helpful                nominated by my now retired predecessor, Tony
and approachable and she thoroughly deserves the                Worthington MP, as his Unsung Heroine for Clydebank.
prominent place she holds in the rich tapestry of the           She deserved that honour and also all the other praise
history of the great town of Clydebank. She was                 and compliments which have come her way during so
internationally recognised as a pioneer in the credit           many years of devoted public service.”
union movement. She did so much for the town and for            Live Aid legend joins MP in
the people who live here, and she will be sadly missed.
                                                                support of new move to combat
“The remarkable changes that are taking place, and
have taken place, in Clydebank over the past 25 years           international poverty
have removed once and for all the reliance on heavy
industry, like the shipyards and Singer, to which people
had become accustomed for more than a century.
“Local people have sought new outlets for their skills
and talents, and the social structure and physical
environment of Clydebank has changed markedly.
When times got bad in the late Seventies, many
Bankies needed help and encouragement as
unemployment rates soared, reaching figures
unsurpassed since the Depression years of the 1930s.
“Many people were poor, and mental illness grew to
unprecedented levels. Debt became a major issue,
which created an enormous headache for local
voluntary organisations such as the Clydebank Citizens           John McFall MP pictured in London with Live Aid
Advice Bureau, which was founded in the 1940s.                               legend Sir Bob Geldof.
“It was then that Rose and like-minded others stepped
in to found the Dalmuir Credit Union, the first in              West Dunbartonshire MP John McFall joined Live
Scotland. Its aim was to counter the scourge of debt            Aid legend Sir Bob Geldof to drum up support for
and to help people to save and to manage their money            parliamentary scrutiny of how international aid
better.                                                         cash is spent.
“Rose worked hard and was hugely dedicated. Hers                Mr McFall says he is “delighted” that the private
was an unselfish giving of time and commitment. It was          member’s bill on international development, which
selfless action by someone who really cared about the
                                                                has been tabled by the Rt. Hon. Tom Clarke, the
community in which she had been born and brought up.
                                                                MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, will
It was work done for and on behalf of the community,
                                                                now go to committee stage after successfully
and it was part of a huge rise in grass roots activism in
                                                                being voted through its second reading. The bill
Clydebank.
                                                                has been gaining support from numerous charities
“It is testimony to the example shown by Rose Dorman,           and from the Department for International
and the many good people like her, that today, in 2006,         Development.      MPs are rallying round and
Clydebank can boast over 400 voluntary organisations,           megastar Sir Bob Geldof is one of a number of big
assisting in the rejuvenation and regeneration of the           names to have thrown their weight behind it.
town.
                                                                He said: “We need to know what is happening
“The work Rose Dorman did and the leadership she                with all these promises and with money that is
showed is legendary. It was fitting that she was                flowing. We need to know where it is being spent,
awarded the MBE, and she was justifiably proud when             how much of it has been delivered, and if it is
she went to Buckingham Palace with her sons, Sean               working.”
and Martin, and daughters, Ruth and Celene, to receive
her medal from Her Majesty the Queen in July, 1998.             Mr McFall said: “The proposed legislation calls for
                                                                a detailed report on international development
“Rose was a true Bankie, born and bred. She was born
                                                                assistance, which will scrutinise spending, policy
and brought up in Napier Street and worked in the
Singer sewing machine factory as a young woman.
                                                                intent and the impact of aid. It will include an
She was much admired for the commonsense she
                                                                evaluation of the quantity and the quality of the aid
showed and the good advice she gave.
                                                                given and its effectiveness. It will stipulate that this
                                                                report must be placed annually before parliament
“Rose was a committed Christian, devoted to her faith           itself. The Bill enshrines the target of spending
and her family, and to her many friends and                     0.7% of GNI, which is the objective for UK Official
neighbours. In 1977, she founded the Dalmuir Credit             Development Assistance (ODA) in legislation for
Union, now one of the largest community-based unions            the very first time. It will provide a constructive
in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Its fame goes                framework of legislation that will assist public
before it and the example it gave was followed and              understanding of what the Government is trying to
adopted across the British Isles.                               achieve.”
“Rose was, in 1990, chosen as Clydebank Citizen of
the Year. Ten years later, in the year 2000, the World                         (Continued on page 6)

                                                            5
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             (Continued from page 5)                          •   Energy suppliers have agreed to install loft
                                                                  and cavity wall insulation free for Pension
Mr McFall said: “My colleague Tom Clarke is                       Credit recipients who don’t have it, and will
delighted with the tremendous backing and                         also provide insulation at a discount for all
support he has so far received from MPs from all                  other pensioners; and
political parties, and also NGOs including Oxfam,
UNICEF, Tearfund, CAFOD, SCIAF and the                        •   Winter Fuel Payments will remain at their
World Development Movement.                                       current level of £200 for all households with
                                                                  someone age 60 or over, rising to £300 for
                                                                  those who are aged 80 and over, for the
                                                                  duration of this Parliament. Over 11 million
                                                                  people in the UK will benefit from a WFP this
                                                                  winter.

                                                              The Warm Deal programme has so far insulated
                                                              thousands of Scottish homes. But there are still
                                                              pensioners who have no central heating and
                                                              many more without insulation.

                                                              John McFall MP said: “The energy savings
                                                              announced by Chancellor Gordon Brown are so
                                                              great that no pensioner household should be
                                                              without insulation and no pensioner should be
John McFall MP pictured on a fact finding mission
             to Ghana last summer.                            without help to install central heating. And after
                                                              many years it is time to complete the insulation
“And I am pleased that we are increasing our aid              and installation of central heating for their homes.”
contribution to help the poorest in the world. The
British people are far more interested in -- and              Applying for Pension Credit is easy – you simply
more motivated towards -- helping the world’s                 call the application line on freephone 0800 99
poor than perhaps was the case 30 years ago.                  1234, which is there to help people through their
This Bill is one more step in the fight to combat             application and answer queries. It takes about 20
poverty.”                                                     minutes. People can ask for a paper application
                                                              form to be sent to them if they prefer.
The bill will now proceed to a parliamentary
committee which will look at the bill closely and             Those who are not on Pension Credit and aged
have a thorough debate over the issue to make                 over 60 are still entitled to:
sure that all aspects have been covered
thoroughly.                                                   •   a discount of £300 on central heating systems
                                                                  if you do not have central heating
                                                              •   discounted loft and cavity wall insulation
West Dunbartonshire                                           •   Winter Fuel Payments of £200 for all
pensioners urged to                                               households with someone age 60 or over
                                                                  rising to £300 for those who are aged 80 and
keep their homes warm                                             over for the duration of this Parliament.
                                                              Jackie Baillie MSP said: “People should be
John McFall MP and Jackie Baillie MSP have                    applying for the Scottish Executive’s Warm Deal
sent out a joint warning that it is vitally                   scheme if they find their heating bills are going
important for pensioners to keep themselves                   through the roof. Or if they have draughty doors,
warm in their homes.                                          rattling windows and big, empty roof spaces.
                                                              These are all ways that heat could be escaping
As bitterly cold weather, sleet, wind and rain                from your home – and needlessly costing you
swept across West Dunbartonshire, John and                    money.
Jackie said the Westminster government and the
Scottish Executive’s package of support to help               “People may be worried about how they will pay
pensioners beat the winter blues included:                    for bill-saving insulation improvements, especially
                                                              if they are on benefit or a low income.”
•   An additional £300 million over the next three
                                                              Jackie said the Eaga Partnership – delivering
    years across the UK for the Warm Deal
                                                              warmer homes in Scotland - work on behalf of the
    programme, which will not only be able to
                                                              Scottish Executive to provide insulation grants of
    offer pensioner households on Pension Credit
                                                              up to £500. Details are available from the helpline
    free installation of central heating, but will also
                                                              number on 0800 072 0150, minicom number is
    offer all other pensioner households without
                                                              0800 072 0156. Calls are free unless you are
    central heating £300 towards the costs of
                                                              calling from abroad or from a mobile phone.
    installing it;

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                                                       7


MP urges local people
to take kidney tests
West Dunbartonshire MP John McFall MP is
backing renewed efforts to increase the early
identification of chronic kidney disease. His
support comes as GPs prepare to step up
efforts to test the kidney function of people
who may be at risk.

He signed up after dropping in to a kidney function
testing session organised by the All Party
Parliamentary Kidney Group in conjunction with
the National Kidney Federation.                            First Minister Jack McConnell with Eleanor
                                                           McAllister, of Clydebank Rebuilt, and John McFall
                                                           MP. Back row (left to right) are Alan Robertson,
                                                           Clydebank Rebuilt, Dave Anderson, Scottish
                                                           Enterprise Dunbartonshire, Des McNulty MSP, Clr
                                                           Andy White and Tim Huntingford, of West
                                                           Dunbartonshire Council.

                                                           First Minister officially opens
                                                           new Clydebank workshops
                                                           Scotland’s First Minister Jack McConnell has
                                                           officially opened a new purpose-built complex of
                                                           21 starter business workshops in Clydebank’s
                                                           John Knox Street.

                                                           The John Knox Street workshops complex has
                                                           been developed at a cost of £1.8 million by
 John McFall MP undertakes the kidney test.                Clydebank Re-built, the pathfinder urban
                                                           regeneration company, in partnership with West
After rolling up his sleeve to have the test taken,        Dunbartonshire Council, Scottish Enterprise
John said: “I wanted to have my kidney function            Dunbartonshire, the Scottish Executive and the
tested because I know that catching kidney                 European Regional Development Fund.
disease early can prevent further damage being
done to this vital organ.                                  The complex, just off Glasgow Road near the
                                                           Clydebank town centre and the future Queens
“GPs can now offer a simple and effective test for         Quays developments, in the former John Brown
kidney function. This has the potential to make a          shipyard, offers start-up businesses or expanding
major difference to the treatment of kidney                small    businesses       modern    self-contained
disease, preventing many patients progressing to           workshop spaces ranging in size from 44 to 177
the stage where they need dialysis or transplant.”         square metres.

                                                           “This is a major initiative by Clydebank Re-built to
He added that the National Kidney Federation
                                                           provide the right kind of facilities for new and
does “superb work in raising awareness about the
                                                           developing small businesses right in the heart of
importance of knowing your kidney function. I
                                                           Clydebank”, said John McFall MP, chair of
hope that, following this event, many of my
                                                           Clydebank Re-built. “We estimate that the John
colleagues will sit up and take note of the need to
                                                           Knox Street workshops will provide about 80 jobs,
improve services for people with kidney disease
                                                           many of them new to Clydebank”.
still further.
                                                           Council Leader Andy White said: “It is the first
“I would urge people in West Dunbartonshire to             business space development in Clydebank for ten
ask about kidney function testing when they next           years and underlines our commitment to put
visit their GP, particularly if they have high blood       Clydebank firmly on the map as a place to
pressure or diabetes.”                                     develop business and create new jobs."

                                                           The John Street workshops were designed by
Watch the local press for details                          award-winning architects, Gordon Murray and
                                                           Alan Dunlop and the builders were Luddon
    of your MP’s surgeries                                 Construction. Letting Agents for the workshops is
  or telephone 01389 734214                                James Barr.

                                                       7
                                                       8
MP disappointed
with court ruling
on asbestos
West Dunbartonshire MP John McFall has
expressed “bitter disappointment” that thousands
of workers exposed to asbestos by their
employers’ negligence have lost the right to claim
compensation.

These are workers who have developed pleural
plaques, one of the less serious asbestos-related
conditions, and who will be affected by a decision                      Working with asbestos
taken in the Court of Appeal.
                                                           Mr McFall said he was at one with lawyers and
The Appeal Court overturned a High Court                   trade unions acting for claimants, who expressed
decision in a group of test case challenges that is        their disappointment at the Court’s decision.
being watched closely because of the implications
for thousands of similar claims.                           Mr McFall said: “People diagnosed with pleural
                                                           plaques have to live with the fear produced by the
Mr McFall said: “This decision is a bitter                 knowledge they could develop a terminal cancer,
disappointment. Asbestos is a big issue in this            such as mesothelioma, and that having this
constituency, mainly because this material was             hanging over them means they will never know
used in shipbuilding and construction in which             whether they have a normal life expectancy."
thousands of local people were employed.
Clydebank has the largest concentration of                 Derek Simpson, general secretary of the trade
asbestos related illnesses in the country due to           union Amicus, told the Financial Times: "This
the shipbuilding industry.                                 judgment is dreadful and harms many of our
                                                           members who have been exposed in their working
“If the decision stands, which I hope it doesn’t, it       lives to asbestos. We believe that people with
could mean asbestos sufferers, many of them                pleural plaques should be compensated and we
local people, losing out on compensation claims            will fight on."
that could end up totalling millions of pounds over
the next few decades.”                                     Lord Phillips said that because of the "difficult
                                                           issues of principle" and the very large number of
He added: “I am pleased however that the Appeal            claims involved, the court would take the rare step
Court has recognised that this is not a matter that        of granting permission for a further appeal to the
is in any way straight-forward and that it has taken       House of Lords. In the meantime, thousands of
the unusual step of allowing a further appeal. This        similar compensation claims in the pipeline are
allows the opportunity for the legal battle to             expected to be stayed. The legal battle over
continue.”                                                 pleural plaques began some years ago when
                                                           insurance companies baulked at compensating
A report in the Financial Times said that according        people. Although it had been standard practice to
to the Association of British Insurers, about              provide compensation in the past, insurers
£1.4bn has been paid out in respect of pleural             brought the test case challenges.
plaque claims since the 1970s. As with other
asbestos-related conditions, these types of claim          They claimed there was now better medical
have been mounting recently and are expected to            understanding of asbestos-related conditions.
peak in the 2010-2015 period.                              They argued that pleural plaques did not have any
                                                           symptoms and did not have an impact on the lives
The Court of Appeal, which included Lord Phillips,         of people who developed them. Claimants'
the lord chief justice, ruled that pleural plaques -       lawyers argued that pleural plaques did amount to
scars on the lungs that indicate asbestos                  evidence of damage and that victims usually
exposure - do not amount to a compensatable                suffered anxiety - sometimes very serious -
injury, nor does the penetration of the lungs by           because of the asbestos cancer risk.
asbestos fibres.
                                                           In the High Court, Mr Justice Holland took the
Insurers welcomed the ruling. Steve Thomas,                view that the plaques themselves did not give rise
technical claims manager at Zurich, one of the             to a cause of action. What did was the penetration
insurers involved in the test cases, was quoted as         of the lungs by asbestos fibres, coupled with the
saying: "The judgment draws a clear line under             risk that this would give rise to disease and the
the issue of whether pleural plaques should be             anxiety created. He allowed compensation to go
compensatable. The insurance industry exists to            ahead, but scaled back the typical levels.
compensate people who have suffered an injury."                           (Continued on page 9)



                                                       8
                                                      9
             (Continued from page 8)

Lord Phillips and Lord Justice Longmore rejected
this analysis. "We do not consider that the
presence of those fibres, as demonstrated by
pleural plaques, is any more capable than the
existence of the plaques themselves, of founding
a cause of action," they said.

They also said that there were policy reasons why
it was undesirable that pleural plaques should
give rise to damages actions. These, they said,
included the danger that "claims managers, who
make a business out of litigation, will encourage
workers who have been exposed to asbestos to
have CT scans", to see whether they might have
grounds for a claim. "Such a practice will tend to
create stress and anxiety where none exists," they
said. But the third judge, the Scottish judge, Lady
Justice Smith, took an entirely different approach,
finding that the tissue change represented by the
plaques did amount to an injury. "I would also hold
that pleural plaques are a disease," she added.
                                                                           John McFall MP
MP spins the
Wheel of Life                                             Dr Lesley Walker, Director of Cancer Information
                                                          at Cancer Research UK, said: “Our Reduce the
Local MP John McFall indulged in a touch of               Risk campaign highlights five important ways you
“spin” as he helped promote a Cancer Research             can lower your cancer risk including stopping
UK drive to highlight ways in which cancer can be         smoking, staying in shape, eating and drinking
prevented through changes to lifestyle.                   healthily, being Sunsmart and reporting anything
                                                          unusual to your doctor.
The West Dunbartonshire MP played the Wheel of
Life at a special healthy living day at the Houses        “Stopping smoking is the most important thing
of Parliament. The event helped launch the                people can do to reduce their cancer risk, which is
second year of Cancer Research UK’s Reduce                why Cancer Research UK is calling on all MPs to
the Risk campaign to MPs. Reduce the Risk aims            vote for legislation to end smoking in all
to raise awareness of the avoidable risks of              workplaces when the Health Bill is debated in
cancer and the importance of early detection.             February.

The Wheel of Life is a fun way to find out about          “Regular exposure to second hand smoke
the risks and benefits of different behaviours such       increases your risk of lung cancer by 25 per cent
as eating healthily, smoking or sunbathing.               and contributes to a wide range of serious
Players are awarded points based on where the             diseases. Workers in pubs and private members’
wheel stops. For example, you can lose 500                clubs deserve the same right to protection from
points for being a heavy smoker but win back 200          second hand smoke as everyone else.”
for swapping your pie for a healthy alternative.
                                                          One of the biggest known preventable causes of
                                                          cancer in non-smokers is obesity, and Cancer
                                                          Research UK has joined forces with the charity
                                                          Weight Concern to develop Ten Top Tips – a set
                                                          of weight management guidelines that can be
                                                          incorporated into everyday routines without radical
                                                          lifestyle   change.     The     scientifically-based
                                                          programme involves adopting 10 simple steps and
                                                          using a weekly checklist to monitor progress and
                                                          help reinforce the new habits.

                                                          Speaking at the event, supported by the on-site
                                                          gym and refreshment department of the Houses
                                                          of Parliament, John McFall MP said: “Half of all
                                                          cancers could be prevented by lifestyle changes
                                                          so it is in our own interests that we each do all we
Healthy eating is on the menu at Loch Lomond              can to reduce our risk.
              Shores in Balloch.                                          (Continued on page 10)

                                                      9
                                                       10
             (Continued from page 9)
                                                            10) Don’t forget your 5 a day
The Ten Top Tips programme is a great way to                Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a
lose weight and keep it off. Many of us make                day (400g in total).
resolutions to lose weight and get fit for summer;
Ten Top Tips can help you make that a reality.”

The tips themselves are as follows:

1) Keep to your meal routine
Try to eat at roughly the same times each day,
whether this is two or five times a day.

2) Go reduced fat
Choose reduced fat versions of foods such as
dairy products, spreads and salad dressings
where you can. Use them sparingly as some can
still be high in fat.

3) Walk off the weight                                        Fair Trade brings fresh fruit and veg to the
Walk 10,000 steps (equivalent to 60-90 minutes                   Farmers’ Market at Lomond Shores.
moderate activity) each day. You can use a
pedometer to help count the steps. You can                  For more information on Cancer Research UK’s
break-up your walking throughout the day.                   Reduce      the     Risk   campaign,     visit
                                                            www.reducetherisk.org.uk
4) Pack a healthy snack
If you snack, choose a healthy option such as               Treasury chairman accuses
fresh fruit or low calorie yogurts instead of
chocolate or crisps.
                                                            Industry, OFT and Government
                                                            departments of “passing the
                                                            buck” on ATM charges
                                                            Treasury Select Committee chairman John McFall
                                                            MP has accused the Office of Fair Trading, the
                                                            banking industry and individual government
                                                            departments of “passing the buck” on the issue of
                                                            cash machines which charge customers for their
                                                            services.

                                                            Mr McFall said they should be engaging in “a
                                                            serious and systematic analysis” of the impact of
                                                            the rapid increase in the number of these
5) Look at the labels                                       machines -- and on the general availability of free
Be careful about food claims. Check the fat and             ATMs in areas that are socially disadvantaged.
sugar content on food labels when shopping and
preparing food.                                             He said: “Unless the cash machine industry
                                                            engages with us and collectively tries to secure
6) Caution with your portions                               further improvements in transparency, they will
Don’t heap food on your plate (except                       give the impression to the public that they are
vegetables). Think twice before having second               happy to make money out of a veil of secrecy
helpings.                                                   surrounding cash machine charges.”

7) Up on your feet                                          Mr McFall said it was “essential” that the industry
Break up your sitting time.      Stand up for ten           provides consumers with clear information to
minutes out of every hour.                                  enable them to make an informed choice about
                                                            whether to use a charging cash machine.
8) Think about your drinks
Choose      water     or    sugar-free     squashes.        He added: “When I go to a petrol station, I see a
Unsweetened fruit juice is high in natural sugar so         clear sign in large numbers showing the price per
limit it to 1 glass per day (200ml/ 1/3 pint).              litre. The question we were asking is why can
Alcohol is high in calories. Try to limit the amount        there not be a similar high standard of
you drink.                                                  transparency for cash machine charges.”

9) Focus on your food                                       Mr McFall said that at the outset of the TSC
Slow down. Don’t eat on the go or while watching            inquiry, the LINK company rules required that all
TV. Eat at a table if possible.                                            (Continued on page 11)
                                                       10
                                                      11

            (Continued from page 10)

 cash machines that charge had to carry a sign
that was clearly visible to cardholders before a
card was inserted, stating that “This machine may
charge you for Link cash withdrawals”.

However, witnesses had described the warning on
machines as “vague, bland and non-specific,” and
the committee thought that a notice that a cash
machine “may” charge was “disingenuous” and
did little to inform consumers.

The consumer magazine Which? told the
committee that “some operators appear to be                        Consumers can access cash at
either disregarding or flouting the LINK guidelines                   ATMs across the world.
by displaying warnings in a way that makes it
difficult for consumers to spot.”                          Committee concluded that this practice should not
                                                           be permitted on any machine that levies a
“They found cash machines displaying warnings              surcharge to the consumer.
in tiny print, on hard to read backgrounds and at
knee height,” said Mr McFall.                              The chairman said: “Many witnesses thought that
                                                           it would be useful if consumers could see at a
The committee concluded that “poor standards of            glance whether a machine was free-to-use or
transparency surrounding ATM charges were                  would levy a charge.
detrimental to consumers in that they result in
charges being incurred unnecessarily and make              “It has been suggested by Nationwide and HBOS
the practice of shopping around to find the                that this could take the form of red signs for
cheapest cash machine difficult.”                          charging machines and green signs for free
                                                           machines. While attracting support from some
Steps had now been taken by LINK to improve                major banks, this proposal was rejected by the
matters, said the chairman, during - “and some             majority of LINK members.”
might say because of” - the committee’s inquiry.
                                                           Meanwhile, the number of charging machines has
The committee had received assurances from                 grown rapidly in recent years. In December 2005,
LINK that in future all cash machines that charge          there were 24,823 charging cash machines. This
will:                                                      was 43% of the total number of cash machines in
                                                           the UK and over 64% of the cash machines that
    •   Have an initial on-screen message that             are not located in bank branches.
        shows the amount of the charge. For
        example “This machine will charge up to            While the expansion of charging machines
        £1.50”.                                            resulted in cash machines in previously un-served
                                                           locations, in some cases free machines were
    •   Have external signage on the cash                  being forced out of sites and replaced with
        machine itself that says – “This machine           charging machines.
        will charge you for LINK cash
        withdrawals.” The sign must be within the          Major high street banks have sold free machines
        normal eye-line close to the ATM screen            to the charging operators. HBOS sold 816 non-
        with a minimum font size of 14 point.              branch machines to Cardpoint, and Abbey sold 50
                                                           machines to Moneybox.
    •   Where there is signage away from a
        surcharging ATM that directs towards its           Information from the Cardpoint annual report
        presence the sign must include the words           indicates that over 300 of the machines sold by
        “This machine will charge you for LINK             HBOS have now been converted from free to
        cash withdrawals”                                  charging. The Committee noted that “If other [high
                                                           street banks] follow suit, there could be
Mr McFall said the committee welcomed the new              conversion of a large number of free ATMs to
improvements to transparency agreed by LINK                charging and significantly lower access to free
but was disappointed that five members of LINK             cash withdrawals for many consumers.”
voted against the new requirements. The
Committee also identified a number of areas in             Mr McFall said: “The evidence we received
which further progress would be needed.                    indicated that the dynamics of the market will
                                                           continue to lead to some conversion of free
Many charging machines prominently advertise               machines to charging machines.
the ability to make “free” balance enquiries. The                       (Continued on page 12)

                                                      11
                                                      12

            (Continued from page 11)
                                                           MP says tax credits are
                                                           helping local families
“We are concerned that away from existing
branches, free access to cash withdrawals could            More than 8,300 families in West
decline as banks sell or close their existing              Dunbartonshire are benefiting from tax
network and the remaining machines become                  credits, local MP John McFall has revealed.
concentrated in fewer locations.
                                                           The local MP, who supports this Government
The committee concluded that this will lead to             initiative, stated this week that it means that a
public policy concerns if areas of the country are         family with two children on half average earnings
left without adequate access to free cash                  (£15,400) is receiving £4,200 a year (£82 a week)
withdrawals, particularly if this exacerbates              – “Most people would agree that this is extremely
existing financial exclusion, and we have asked            good news.”
the Government to monitor the situation closely to
ensure a fair and competitive market.”                     From April this year, a family with one child
                                                           earning less than £50,000 a year (that’s about 80
It emerged during the inquiry in evidence from             per cent of local families) will receive £28 a week,
LINK that for 2005 as a whole, 500 machines                while families in the poorest 30 per cent will
converted from free to surcharging, whereas 210            receive £62 a week.
converted from surcharging to free.
                                                           John McFall said: “Families are now much better
A request to LINK for a list of the 500 locations          off as a result of the initiatives which have now
where a free machine had been replaced with a              been put in place.
charging machine was not met – “I would have
assumed that this information was readily
available and that the Treasury was monitoring it
closely to ensure that there was not a substantive
reduction in the available of free cash
withdrawals, particularly in low-income areas.
Unfortunately I was wrong,” said the chairman.

He added: “Only on Monday evening this week
LINK managed to send us a sample of 200
locations which were free but now have a
surcharging ATM.

“However, we need to be cautious with drawing
conclusions from such a small sample, particularly                          John McFall MP
given the unreliability of the LINK database.”
                                                           “This tax credits system, together with a large
He said the sample revealed that:
                                                           increase in child benefit, means that a family with
                                                           two children gets nearly £40 a week.
    •   For 25% the nearest free cash machine
        was over 1km away.                                 “From April this year, the start of the new tax
                                                           year, families with two children will get up to
    •   For 15% the nearest free cash machine
                                                           £240 a week to help with childcare.
        was over 2km away.
                                                           “By giving extra support for children and
    •   Around 13% were in Postcodes where the             childcare, tax credits are helping to make work
        Treasury   considers      there   to be            pay for families in West Dunbartonshire.
        concentrated financial exclusion.
                                                           “With more help going to those who need it most,
Mr McFall said: “Having inquired in depth into this        it would now appear that the Government is well
whole matter, it seems that the industry, the OFT          on its way to achieving its stated intention of
and the individual government departments are
                                                           eradicating throughout the UK the scandal of child
passing the buck, rather than engaging in a
                                                           poverty for good.”
serious and systematic analysis of the issue.”

Following a debate in Westminster Hall,
                                                           Watch the local press for details
Government finance minister Ivan Lewis agreed to             of your MP’s surgeries or
a summit on this issue with John McFall and all               telephone 01389 734214
the other parties involved.




                                                      12
                                                           13
                                                                Scottish Afternoon at Dalreoch
                                                                Primary School
                                                                Pupils at Dalreoch Primary School in Castlehill,
                                                                Dumbarton, have taken part in a successful
                                                                Scottish Afternoon of events.

                                                                West Dunbartonshire MP John McFall dropped in
                                                                at the school to give the pupils some
                                                                encouragement.
Nurses thank MP                      for     voting
                                                                Head teacher Mrs Susan Cowan took Mr McFall
against smoking                                                 around the classrooms to meet the school’s 120
                                                                pupils personally and to view for himself the
The Royal College of Nursing have written to                    tremendous work they had put in to their
West Dunbartonshire MP John McFall thanking                     magnificent celebration of all things Scottish.
him for voting in favour of the e legislation against
smoking which went through the House of                         Saltires, kilts, artwork and Scottish Country
Commons.                                                        dancing, together with computer learning projects,
                                                                are being used to give pupils an insight into their
RCN General Secretary, Dr Beverly Malone sent
                                                                Scottish heritage and history.
this message to the local MP: “The vote is a great
result for public health. The proposal in the
original bill to exempt premises serving food went
against both compelling scientific evidence and
widespread public support for a total ban.

“The RCN has long campaigned for a total ban on
smoking in enclosed public places. Second-hand                  The pupils are well used to seeing vibrant artwork
smoke has already taken a terrible toll on workers              on their campus, where two David Donaldson
from the hospitality industry – causing around one              murals were incorporated in the design when the
death a week. Today marks an important first step               school was built by the old Dunbarton County
towards protection for both the hospitality worker              Council Education Committee in 1954. Historic
and the general public from the dangers of                      Scotland has been showing interest in this work.
second-hand smoke.”
                                                                Mr McFall, who also met staff members Marjorie
MPs voted by a huge margin to ban smoking from                  Smith, Susan Somerville and Rosemary Lawson,
all pubs and private members' clubs in England.                 said: “The displays for the Scottish Afternoon,
Similar legislation will apply in Scotland from                 made by the pupils themselves, encouraged by
March this year. Northern Ireland is set to follow              their teachers, are impressive.
suit next April and smoking is already banned in
the Irish Republic.                                             “The pupils gave me an impromptu display of their
                                                                dancing, recited poetry and showed me a thing or
Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said the change
                                                                two on the computer. I wished them well with their
in England, expected to take effect in summer
                                                                exceptionally impressive project.”
2007, would "save thousands of people's lives".

Ministers gave a free vote amid fears Labour MPs
could rebel against plans to exempt clubs and
pubs not serving food.

The Commons decided by a margin of 200 to
impose a ban on smoking in all enclosed public
spaces. The Health Bill gives the Welsh Assembly
the right to decide for itself whether to implement
a ban it has already twice approved in principle.

John McFall said: “I'm absolutely delighted. This is
really a historic day for public health. It is going to
save       thousands       of     people's       lives."
Elspeth Lee, of Cancer Research UK, said: "This
is really going to affect generations to come and
make the nation a lot healthier."                                  John McFall MP with teacher Rosemary
                                                                Lawson and pupils learning computer skills at
The government predicts an estimated 600,000
                                                                         Dalreoch Primary School.
people will give up smoking as a result of the law
change.
                                                           13
                                                  14
                                                       Green light for Pathways pilot to
                                                       go ahead here
                                                       Work and Pensions Minister Margaret Hodge has
                                                       written to local MP John McFall confirming that
                                                       the whole of West Dunbartonshire will be covered
                                                       by the Government’s successful Pathways to
                                                       Work initiative from April this year.

                                                       The West Dunbartonshire MP says that the
                                                       Jobcentre Plus offices in Alexandria, Dumbarton
                                                       and Clydebank, which were recently part of a
                                                       district boundary change process in that service,
                                                       will be among the offices involved in Pathways to
                                                       Work.
 Dalreoch pupils with John McFall MP, head
 teacher Mrs Susan Cowan and deputy head               He added that the key advantage of this
              Marjorie Smith.                          reorganisation is that people on incapacity
                                                       benefits in West Dunbartonshire will have access
                                                       to our established Pathways provision.

                                                       And that they will benefit from the enormous
                                                       amount of expertise that the current Renfrewshire,
                                                       Inverclyde and Argyll and Bute pilot has
                                                       developed in combining employment and health
                                                       support since it began in October 2003.




Dalreoch PS infant class with John McFall MP,
 head teacher Mrs Susan Cowan and teacher
           Mrs Susan Somerville.
                                                       The MP said the current pilot had helped into work
                                                       over 3,600 people who were previously on
                                                       incapacity benefits.

                                                       And he added that the results from the first phase
                                                       of Pathways to Work pilots have been “extremely
                                                       encouraging”. In total, to October 2005, they have
                                                       achieved nearly 21,400 recorded job entries –
                                                       roughly double those recoded before the pilots.

                                                       Mr McFall said there has been an eight percent
                                                       increase in the people leaving the benefit by the
                                                       six month point of their claim, and there has been
                                                       no evidence of return to benefits.

                                                       The number of people claiming incapacity benefits
 John McFall MP and Dalreoch head teacher              in pilot areas continues to fall, he added.
    Mrs Susan Cowan look at the David
Donaldson mural in the foyer of the Castlehill,        The Government’s intention was to building on
           Dumbarton, school.                          this was currently expanding Pathways more
                                                       widely. By October this year, Pathways provision
Watch the local press for details                      will be available to one third of all people on
                                                       incapacity benefit.
    of your MP’s surgeries
  or telephone 01389 734214                            John McFall said: “This is vital support       at
                                                       Jobcentre Plus centres for people who want to get
                                                       off incapacity benefit and get back to work.”

                                                  14
                                                       15
                                                            person’s chance of survival, and having a
                                                            defibrillator close to hand can further increase
Local MP proves good in                                     their chances. Some years ago, the Heartstart
Heartstart emergency                                        campaign in Dunbartonshire won a national award
                                                            for the work they did in equipping ambulances
John McFall took a short time out from the House            which were then based at Vale of Leven Hospital.
of Commons in January to support a British Heart            They want MPs to assist with increasing the
Foundation (BHF) drive to train people in                   number of defibrillators in the community and
emergency life-saving skills.                               encourage their own constituents to learn these
                                                            crucial Heartstart skills.
He learned first hand how to save a life, taking
part in a full Heartstart UK Training session from          John is a member of the all-party Parliamentary
the BHF Heartstart UK manager, Colin Elding,                Group for Heart Diseases. He said: “When
including using a manikin to learn vital                    someone suffers a cardiac arrest, their chances of
resuscitation skills.                                       survival drop by up to 14 per cent for every minute
                                                            that passes where no basic life support is applied,
                                                            so a speedy response is crucial.

                                                            “That is why schemes like the BHF Heartstart UK
                                                            programme and the National Defibrillator
                                                            Programme are so important – they save lives.”

                                                            To find out more about a Heartstart scheme in
                                                            West Dunbartonshire and how to register, visit
                                                            www.bhf.org.uk/heartstart

                                                            MP backs plans for Veterans Day
                                                            in West Dunbartonshire




  John McFall on Heartstart training course
        at the House of Commons.

Seven out of ten cardiac arrests occur outside              Ex-Service personnel and others who took part in
hospital, and currently in the UK only a small              the two World Wars and various other conflicts will
percentage of the people who suffer heart attacks           be invited to participate in a national Veterans Day
survive. Heartstart UK, co-ordinated by the BHF,            on June 27 every year.
teaches members of the public what to do in a life-
threatening emergency. Spreading knowledge of               Local MP John McFall this week received a note
these skills is a core part of the BHF effort to            from Veterans’ Minister Don Touhig briefing him
reduce deaths from heart and circulatory disease,           on the proposals.
which is still the UK’s biggest killer.
                                                            And he spelt out the key messages:
The training event was designed to get MPs on
board to help encourage people across the UK to                     We owe our freedoms to the ex-
find out about the Heartstart UK courses in their                   servicemen and women who have fought
area. The BHF also asked MPs to support the                         to defend our country, our way of life, and
siting of life-saving saving defibrillators in their                our values.
local community, and the expansion of the
network of volunteers able to use the equipment                     June 27, Veterans Day, will be a special
to reach patients in rural areas.                                   opportunity each year to thank veterans
                                                                    for their contribution to our life in the UK
Peter Hollins, Director General of the BHF, said:                   today.
“Performing basic life support can double a                                 (Continued on page 16)

                                                       15
                                                       16
                                                            Mr McFall said that Veterans Day is not intended
                                                            to replace or detract from the important
                                                            remembrance services held in November every
                                                            year – “Instead, it has a different emphasis. We
                                                            have made this distinction clear by putting them
                                                            six months apart.        Armistice Services are
                                                            occasions for commemoration; Veterans Day
                                                            focuses more on celebration and raising
                                                            awareness of what Veterans do now.
                                                            Remembrance services are a solemn opportunity
                                                            to remember the sacrifices made by so many in
                                                            defence of our country in previous wars. Veterans
                                                            Day is more of a celebration of the contributions
                                                            veterans make, young and old, to our society,
                                                            businesses, organisations and communities.”
   Veteran Tom Wilson (centre) received his                 The MP said he had given his support to
 Veterans Badge on his 90th birthday from MP                measures which led to the appointment of the first
   John McFall at one of a number of church                 Minister for Veterans to take up ex-servicemen
   services, parades and street parties which               and women’s issues. He is pleased that the
  took place throughout the summer to mark                  Veterans Agency now gives advice and support
 the 60th anniversary of the end of World War               and provides a dedicated hotline for ex-service
                     Two.                                   personnel, and that the UK Armed Forces lapel
            (Continued from page 15)                        badge, which is proving very popular, has been
                                                            introduced and taken up widely across the
        It will be a day to focus on veterans of all        constituency. Veterans Minister Don Touhig said:
        ages, to celebrate and raise public                 “Many ex-Service organisations, councils, schools
        awareness of their achievements and                 and TA and Cadet Centres are being approached
        their contribution to society.                      by their MPs and asked to take part in Veterans
                                                            Day.”
        A great many veterans are young and
        active, now using the skills, discipline and
        leadership qualities they learned in the
        Armed Forces to the benefit of their
        civilian employers and the wider
        community. We will also seek to highlight
        the support and advice available to
        veterans from official and voluntary
        sources and the role of ex-Service
        organisations.

        Veterans Day will also offer opportunities
        to recognise the people currently serving
        in the Armed Forces.                                 Clydebank Royal Navy veteran Harry Kielty
                                                            and his wife Cathie. He was presented with his
John McFall said: “The intention is that young and                 Vets’ badge by John McFall MP.
old will be involved in the first Veterans Day
celebrations. An inaugural event will be held in
central London to mark the occasion. Celebrations           CONTACT INFORMATION
will give special recognition to people who won
the Victoria Cross and George Cross. At the same                   RT HON JOHN McFALL MP
time, the Government is keen that every year
Veterans Day should be a genuinely UK-wide                          125 COLLEGE STREET
occasion and local communities here in West                         DUMBARTON G82 1NH
Dunbartonshire as elsewhere will be encouraged                     WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE
to arrange their own events.”
                                                            Tel: 01389 734214
He added: “The reason for the date, June 27, is
that it falls between VE and VJ Day. The summer             Fax: 01389 761498
date builds on Veterans Awareness Week last                 e-mail: john.mcfall@blueyonder.co.uk
year and the very successful 60th anniversary               Website: www.johnmcfall.com
commemorations for the end of the Second World
War. The date is linked to 150th anniversary of                  Published by John McFall MP, funded from his
the Victoria Cross and the 50th anniversary of the                 parliamentary allowances and printed by
Victoria Cross/George Cross Association.”                                   Milton Press, Clydebank




                                                       16

				
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