Click on picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Jun-Jul 2017 number 95
Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Jun-Jul 2017 number 95 Click on picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Jun-Jul 2017 number 95 Read more
Read Sharon's latest Sunderland Echo column below or on the Sunderland Echo's website.
Last week, Parliament continued to debate the Queen’s Speech and the thin legislative programme announced by the Government. It had been my intention to speak in the debates, but after hours of waiting, I was unfortunately not called.
What follows is a brief version of what I was going to say if given the chance.
The Queen’s Speech ignored what the people had voted for at the General Election, which was: for an end to austerity and a change to the status quo with better investment in their communities and the public services they rely upon. This was not forthcoming.
That is why it was slap in the face when Theresa May gave Northern Ireland an additional £1 billion in funding just to save her own political skin. It is estimated that the money offered to the DUP in just two years is more than the North East was offered over 30 years as part of our then devolution deal.
That’s why in my speech, I was hoping to make some points about what the Government could do to invest in the North East, especially here in Sunderland.
First off, and one that I think is incredibly important, is the Tyne and Wear Metro.
This has been a long-standing campaign of mine, and something I know constituents care passionately about, and £1 billion would have been more than enough to not only refurbish the current line but extend it too, including finally to Washington, with money left over for my second idea which is a materials catapult.
I have talked about this in my columns before and raised during the Budget debates earlier this year. I made the point then, and make the point now, that investing in this catapult would not only invest in Nissan’s supply chain but would help to create the 21st century economy we need, based on high-skilled jobs for local people.
Investment should not be done to cling on to power, but must be done where it is most needed and if Northern Ireland is to get more investment, then the North East should surely be next in line. As ever, I will push the Government to do just that and not fail our region as it has done for the last seven years.
Read Sharon's latest Sunderland Echo column below or on the Sunderland Echo's website. Last week, Parliament continued to debate the Queen’s Speech and the thin legislative programme announced by the...
Sharon has again pledged to fight the Tory cuts to school budgets in the new Parliament, following analysis of the Tories’ manifesto plans for schools.
Analysis by the IFS shows that schools in Washington and Sunderland West face significant cuts over the next five years if the Tories go ahead with the implementation of their manifesto commitments on school funding.
The National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) have used these figures to calculate that pupils in Washington and Sunderland West will on average have their funding cut by -£409 or by –9%, which equates to -£150,873 cut on average for each school in Washington and Sunderland West.
In reaction to this, the School Cuts campaign website has created a new petition to put pressure on the new Tory Government to rethink their approach to education. The petition can be found here: https://schoolcuts.nationbuilder.com/post_ge_petition
Before the 2017 General Election, Sharon secured a debate in Parliament on school cuts in the North East. Yet, the concerns from parents and teachers raised by MPs during the debate were ignored by the Minister who responded to the debate.
Sharon also campaigned on the issue of school cuts during the General Election and visited many school gates where parents highlighted their concerns with the future of their children’s schools, and committed to take these concerns with her back to Parliament.
Following the General Election, and the analysis of IFS figures, Sharon has pledged to fight against these cuts in Parliament, and said:
“The education of our children and young people has always been an important issue which I have dedicated much of my time as a Member of Parliament doing, and now that I have been re-elected, I will continue doing so to ensure the next generation has better opportunities than the last.
“Sadly, we are not seeing this promise and instead find a complete mismanagement engulfing our education system under the Tories, ranging from a failure to address the real-term cuts to school budgets, the increasing class sizes, subjects being dropped from the school curriculum and a serious recruitment and retention crisis within the teaching profession.
“Instead of further heads-in-the-sand complacency from the Tories, we need action that does not damage the future prospects of children in our country, including here in Washington and Sunderland West. I hope as many of my constituents will join me in fighting these cuts and sign this petition: https://schoolcuts.nationbuilder.com/post_ge_petition”
Sharon has again pledged to fight the Tory cuts to school budgets in the new Parliament, following analysis of the Tories’ manifesto plans for schools. Analysis by the IFS shows...
Ahead of Armed Forces Day on the 24th June, Sharon has called on the Government to give our Armed Forces a better deal.
Labour believes there should be a better deal for hardworking men and women who serve in the Regulars and the Reserves, as well as service families and those in the wider Forces community, especially on better pay, better housing and better support for veterans.
Labour would address these three key issues by:
- Scrapping the public sector pay cap and allow the Armed Forces Pay Review Body to make recommendations on pay rises without any restrictions;
- Ensure access to high standard Service Family Accommodation at a reasonable cost, drive up standards and take action where private companies have failed to deliver;
- Introduce measures to support veterans transitioning back into civilian life, by encouraging local businesses and community groups to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant, launch the Homes Fit for Heroes initiative which will offer free home insulation for disabled veterans, roll out the Veteran’s Interview Programme which helps to guarantee an interview for ex-service personnel
- Introduce an Armed Forces (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill to outlaw discrimination against or abuse of members of the Armed Forces.
“Armed Forces Day is an important day to support our Forces, from serving personnel to veterans and their families, and recognise the important contribution these men and women make to defend our country.
“It is wonderful that for over the last 10 years we have had a day dedicated to recognising the hard work and bravery of the forces community, along with other occasions such as Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day, but this does not mean we cannot offer support the whole year round.
“That is why it is important to ensure our brave men and women get a good deal on pay, welfare, housing and services that recognises their sacrifices to defend our country. Nothing will be enough to thank them for everything they do, but we can ensure we do everything we can to repay them.”
Nia Griffith MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Defence said:
“Our servicemen and women stand up for us every day, it’s especially important that we stand up for them on Armed Forces Day.
“Satisfaction with Service life has dropped every year since 2009 and the number of personnel leaving the Forces is worryingly high. It’s time the Tories show our personnel they are valued and invest in them. The Government needs to get a grip of this problem and take action now.”
- Armed Forces Day is held the last Saturday of June every year to celebrate the work of our Armed Forces and their families, more information here: https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/
Ahead of Armed Forces Day on the 24th June, Sharon has called on the Government to give our Armed Forces a better deal. Labour believes there should be a better...
Read Sharon's latest Sunderland Echo column below or on the Sunderland Echo's website.
PLEASE NOTE: This piece was also submitted before the tragic scenes seen at Grenfell Tower in West London.
Firstly, it was an honour to be re-elected to continue as the Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West last Thursday.
This General Election was one that nobody wanted - apart from Theresa May – or needed, yet I feel she may have wished she had said no for an eighth time when she came down from Snowdonia back in April.
Whilst Labour lost the election nationally, it can be said that Labour presented a manifesto of hope and opportunity, which was well received by the general public, compared to the dire manifesto by Theresa May – which one Tory MP described as poisonous - and was clearly rejected by the public.
We cannot be complacent following this election result, and it is important that we recognise we have a long way yet to go before we can form a Labour Government again.
What was clear is that the Prime Minister’s empty slogans failed to engage with the general public who rejected the Tories on polling day thus scuppering May’s plans to have a thumping majority to do whatever she liked.
Election night was one of shocks. From Labour holding its traditional heartlands, to snatching a seat from the former Liberal Democrat Leader, Nick Clegg, and even taking seats such as Kensington and Chelsea and Canterbury; seats we have never held before.
Yet, the main thing that has come out of this election is the omnishambles of Theresa May.
At the time of writing this column, the Prime Minister is failing to negotiate a coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party – a hard-right political party in Northern Ireland – and has delayed the Queen’s Speech as she cannot form a majority to pass it. And this is the woman who asked the public to trust her with the Brexit negotiations.
It’s the typical troupe after a General Election to say we are in interesting times, but right now it couldn’t be more true. Whatever the case or outcomes of the next few weeks, I will be working hard every day to represent the people of Washington and Sunderland West to my fullest.
Read Sharon's latest Sunderland Echo column below or on the Sunderland Echo's website. PLEASE NOTE: This piece was also submitted before the tragic scenes seen at Grenfell Tower in West...
Sharon has again backed the Royal Life Saving Society’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign in a bid to prevent summer tragedies.
Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for children in the UK, with the latest stats showing that in the last five years, 48 children aged nine and under had drowned, with 147 young people aged 10 – 19 having lost their life due to drowning.
Annually, around 400 people accidentally drown and summer months pose a particularly high-risk as people escape the warmer weather to cool off. Last year, 85 people drowned in July and August alone.
Drowning Prevention Week, run by the Royal Life Saving Society, aims to ensure everyone knows how to have fun and stay safe near water. This year’s campaign runs from 16 – 26 June and will see leisure centres, schools, businesses and youth groups utilising RLSS’s UK’s water safety resources in their communities.
To find out how to stay safe around water this summer, contact your local leisure centre to see if they are running an event, or visit the RLSS UK’s website www.rlss.org.uk to access their water safety advice.
“Here in our local area, we have all too often heard about young people drowning, especially during the summer months. That’s why it is important to back national campaigns like the RLSS UK’s Drowning Prevention Week and encourage activity in our local area.
“Raising awareness of the dangers of drowning is crucial to reducing the numbers of deaths we see every year, but also it is just as important to be pushing for an improvement in life-saving skills for everyone, especially children and young people during their school years.
“I hope as many people as possible will get involved in RLSS UK’s campaign this year and get involved locally at events across our area, and remember to stay safe as the weather heats up.”
Drowning Prevention Week also aims to raise money for the RLSS UK’s wider drowning prevention work, which includes providing support for families affected by drowning or near drowning. Donate now by texting DPRW17 and an amount to 70070.
Sharon has again backed the Royal Life Saving Society’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign in a bid to prevent summer tragedies. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for children...
Read Sharon's latest column for the Sunderland Echo - published on the Echo's website before Parliament was dissolved.
This will be my last Echo column before the General Election campaign begins.
Since the last General Election, my columns have ranged from issues that have concerned my constituents when they have contacted me, including animal welfare and the future of our schools, to the more obscure like recycling unwanted electronics and electrical goods.
It has been wonderful to engage with you through my columns, and I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them.
One issue that often comes up often in my columns is Brexit – especially now that the Prime Minister has made Brexit the issue of this General Election.
Here in Sunderland we voted to leave, and that must be respected. I have done that by voting to trigger Article 50 in Parliament, but also engaging with my constituents through my public consultation meetings and questionnaires from earlier this year.
Brexit is one of the biggest economic, diplomatic and political issues facing our country. That is why it has been important to listen to you and ensure I can push for the best Brexit deal possible for our area. This has included working to ensure that our economy is as robust as possible as we leave the EU.
We can’t predict what will happen when we leave the EU – it is too unpredictable – but I have worked hard in Parliament to guarantee that our economic potential here in the North East, especially here in Sunderland, is unlocked, and we see much-needed economic growth in our region; something we have been long awaiting.
During the debates on the last Budget, I pushed the Government to direct innovation funding to the North East through a materials funding pot, which would boost production of steel, plastics, ceramics and other materials used in manufacturing in our region. This would have a direct benefit for our automotive sector.
This investment would have the potential to boost jobs and growth in our region by supporting Nissan’s supply chain with a much-needed investment injection.
This funding would not only allow the creation of new engineering and manufacturing jobs here in the North East, but also space to develop new products, the capacity to build products here in our country currently built in other countries and most importantly drive economic growth as we leave the EU.
Brexit has given us the capacity to look at things differently, especially our economy, and it is important we do this to ensure that we get a good deal for our area. We must ensure Brexit works for us all.
Read Sharon's latest column for the Sunderland Echo - published on the Echo's website before Parliament was dissolved. This will be my last Echo column before the General Election campaign...
Now that Theresa May has called a snap General Election and Parliament has approved its dissolution, there will now be an election on 8th June, therefore it is important to register to vote.
It only takes a few minutes to register to vote, and all you need is the details of where you are currently living and your National Insurance Number to complete the application form.
To register to vote, you can follow this link here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
The deadline for registering to vote is 22nd May – so don’t miss out on the chance to have your voice heard about how the country will be governed for the next five years!
If you won’t be around on Election Day to go to the polling station, you can register for a postal ballot, by checking the box marked: “Yes, send me a postal ballot application” during the application process. A form will be sent out to you, via post or email, and you must return it by the 23rd May.
Sharon Hodgson, Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate for Washington and Sunderland West, said:
“Theresa May has called a snap General Election, and this has the potential to catch many people out from denying them the chance to have their voices heard, because they are not registered to vote or will be away on Election Day so can’t make it along to the polling station.
“That is why it is important to register to vote as soon as possible, so that your voice can be heard and you can contribute to shaping how the country is governed for the next five years.
“It is a quick and easy process which can be done in a matter of minutes, so I hope as many people in Washington and Sunderland West will register to vote as soon as they can so that they don’t miss out on what will be a crucial General Election for them and their families.”
Now that Theresa May has called a snap General Election and Parliament has approved its dissolution, there will now be an election on 8th June, therefore it is important to register to vote....
Dear voters of Washington and Sunderland West,
During my 12 years as a Member of Parliament, I have stood up for local people in our area by holding firstly the last Labour Government and more recently the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition and the current Tory Government to account, as both a backbencher and a Shadow Minister. I travel down to Westminster every week to do this and to push for changes that will benefit our community and the North East as a whole.
I hope to continue doing so and hope that I can count on your support in my re-election to continue to represent Washington and Sunderland West in Parliament.
Theresa May has laid down the gauntlet and has made this General Election about Brexit and about weakening scrutiny of her and her Party in Parliament, by wrongly claiming other political parties are trying to block Brexit from happening, when in actual fact, what we are doing is simply our democratic duty in holding this Government to account. This is a completely false accusation, as three-quarters of MPs and two-thirds of the House of Lords voted in favour of triggering Article 50 back in March and respected the will of the people.
This is all about her wanting a bigger majority to push through her right-wing ideological agenda of austerity for the UK.
Labour under Jeremy Corbyn has a plan when it comes to Brexit and we will be making our case clear in the coming weeks about what our future relationship with the European Union will look like, but this General Election must also be about not letting the Tories go unchallenged on other important issues.
Our alternative case set out by Jeremy over the last few days and weeks shows a clear difference in our vision for Britain. We don’t have to endure continued Tory rule, which has seen a combination of failed economic growth for regions such as our own and deep and damaging cuts to our welfare state and public services, such as schools, our NHS and local government.
Labour have always been about standing up for working people, and Labour will use this General Election to prove this to be true and ensure we see a Labour Government elected on 8th June, that will put the people of Washington and Sunderland West first.
I hope I can count on your vote on the 8th June.
Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate for Washington and Sunderland West
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Dear voters of Washington and Sunderland West, During my 12 years as a Member of Parliament, I have stood up for local people in our area by holding firstly the...
Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Mar-Apr 2017 number 94
Click on picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Mar-Apr 2017 number 94
Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Mar-Apr 2017 number 94 Click on picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Mar-Apr 2017 number 94 Read more