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MP calls for greater awareness of Mesothelioma as Government cuts Health and Safety budgets

MP calls for greater awareness of Mesothelioma as Government cuts Health and Safety budgets

Today, Toby Perkins called for a greater awareness of asbestos related illnesses, a campaign echoed by union leaders and asbestos campaigners, and slammed the Government after plans were announced to cut the Health and Safety Executive budget by 35%. Mr. Perkins, Labour Member of Parliament for Chesterfield, speaking at the Action Mesothelioma Day rally in New Square, highlighted the fantastic work of the Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team (DAST) and urged the Government to re-think its decision to halt the ‘Hidden Killer’ campaign across the UK.

With over 2,400 Mesothelioma cases diagnosed in 2008 nationwide, with almost all those diagnosed passing away within a twelve month period, this disease has become one of the most deadly asbestos related illnesses. With asbestos predicted to be in 90% of all public buildings, including schools and hospitals, Mr. Perkins emphasized the importance of the former Labour Government’s decision to massively improve the condition of school and college buildings through the Building Schools for the Future programme, but also the importance of ensuring that asbestos is disposed of safely and without causing harm to employees.

Many supporters of DAST, several of whom had lost loved ones to asbestos related diseases, sponsored a message leaf on the ‘Reflection and Celebration of Life’ tree before the speeches ended with a pause for those lost led by Reverend Harold Dobbin.

After the event Mr. Perkins said:-

“Cuts of 35% to the Health and Safety Executive will inevitably undo a lot of the fantastic work done by organizations such as DAST in raising the awareness of asbestos related illnesses such as Mesothelioma. This disease has killed thousands of working men and women over decades, with the vast majority of those people being completely unaware of the dangers of asbestos at the time. That’s why I was delighted to speak at this event, and to meet so many friends and families who have lost loved ones, and who fear cuts to the HSE will be counter-productive in the fight against asbestos and its hugely damaging long term affects”.

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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