New call for more help for victims of asbestos in Barrow

Twenty years after the UK banned asbestos, the government's being asked to give more help to people with the cancers caused by it.

Scanner of lung showing pleural plaques
BSIP/UIG/Getty Images

Barrow has the highest number of asbestos-related conditions for men in the UK, because the substance was widely-used at the shipyard and steelworks.

Graham Dring, who chairs the Asbestos Victims Support Groups’ Forum says the dangers were known in the 1960s and action should have been taken sooner...

Many of the people we see today with mesothelioma were exposed in that period after 1960.

Graham Dring

We believe that if the government at the time and subsequent governments had taken action to ban asbestos, we wouldn't see the levels of mesothelioma that we see today."

Graham Dring

Man diagnosed with asbestos cancer appeals to former colleagues

A Middlesbrough man diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer is appealing for help from his former colleagues about how he may have come to develop the disease.

Gary during his time as a club steward
Gary Peckover

Gary Peckover, 79, developed symptoms including shortness of breath and lethargy in September 2018 and tests confirmed he had mesothelioma - a cancer of the lining of the lungs associated with asbestos exposure.

The grandfather is working with Irwin Mitchell solicitors to investigate his illness and they are now looking to hear from people who worked or trained with him between 1966 and 1979.

They are particularly keen to speak to anyone who trained with Gary during his time at Billingham Technical College between 1966 and 1967 or worked with him at:

  • Smiths Dock South Bank yard around 1955 to 1956 when he worked there as a “Tank Rat” in bottoms of ships under construction and later in 1966 to 1968 and 1972 to 1973 when he worked there as a welder
  • Swan Hunters Ship Builders at the Haverton Hill ship yard in about 1975
  • William Press at the ICI Wilton site in 1975 and 1976;
  • Capper Pipe Services at the ICI Wilton site from 1976 to 1979

Asbestos discovery shuts birth centre

A birthing centre has been temporarily closed after builders found asbestos in "non-public areas" on the site.

Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital

Chorley and South Ribble Hospital's Birth Centre was closed on Monday after the material was found in "plant rooms and service voids", Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust said.

A spokeswoman said it did not "pose any risk" to patients, visitors or staff.

Deputy Chief Executive Paul Havey said the asbestos was "contained, sealed and being appropriately managed".

Eight out of ten schools could contain asbestos

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Tom Dare

More than 80% of council-run schools in Birmingham could contain asbestos, it has been revealed.

A Freedom of Information Request (FoI) to Birmingham City Council revealed that 161 schools of the 192 schools it is responsible for have the potential to contain asbestos.

But council bosses said that was the case for any building constructed before the year 2000.

Birmingham Council House

The material was banned in 1999 but it was regularly used in construction until this date, including for some schools built between the 1950s and 1980s.

The Health and Safety Executive says that, if properly managed, asbestos presents a “very low risk” to people in school buildings.

Responding to the figures, shadow cabinet member for Education, Councillor Ken Wood, said there was no need for "undue concern".

“The important thing is that the council, or the responsible academy trust are carrying out regular checks and that particular care is taken during any works that are carried out," he said.

Academies and other schools not maintained by the city council were not included in the figures.