This week’s Chronicle column

The dwindling number of blood donors has long been a concern of mine. I was therefore very pleased to see a campaign launched this week that aimed to encourage people to give blood.

On Tuesday the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHS BT), along with a number of donor organisations, launched their global ‘Missing Type’ campaign. Organisations, places and individuals across the world are being encouraged to remove a’s, o’s and b’s – the letters that make up blood types – from their names/signs to highlight the lack of blood donors.

I definitely think this is a timely campaign as there has been a considerable dip in the number of donors in the last ten years. This of course is very concerning as many people rely on blood donations; and I personally know a number of constituents, including my eldest son, who have been the beneficiaries of blood transfusions.

The demand for blood donors needs to be brought to people’s attentions as a matter of urgency and the awareness raised by this campaign will go a long way in doing that. Last year’s national campaign was a huge success with 30,000 people registering in the first 10 days of campaigning. This year’s campaign will inevitably reach more people and really pays tribute to the effort put in by everybody involved.

We need blood donors now more than ever. That is why I am urging as many of my constituents as possible to get involved with the campaign and to start saving lives by registering to give blood today at Blood.co.uk.

I was very pleased to see Tata’s recent announcement that they would be investing heavily in the Shotton plant. I know this news will be welcomed by a number of constituents who can now be confident that Shotton steel works has a future.

A lot of hard work has gone in to securing this investment but there is still more to be done. Uncertainty remains in the steel industry as a whole and we must continue to work towards the best possible outcome.

The protection of the British Steel Pension Scheme must be a priority. A number of constituents rely on the BSPS and the sooner a solution can be reached that will safeguard these pensions, but also support the future of Tata Steel’s UK operation, the better.