Sharon Hodgson MP

Working hard for Washington and Sunderland West.

News Highlights

You can read Sharon's latest Sunderland Echo Column below or on the Sunderland Echo website

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It has been just over a week since the Prime Minister addressed the nation and placed limitations on when people can leave the house.

As a reminder, people are only allowed to leave their home for the following purposes:

- Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;

- One form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk or cycle – alone or with members of your household;

- Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and

- Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

The Covid-19 pandemic is an uncertain time for everyone. People are anxious about their health, their finances and their jobs. We all have a part to play in not spreading the virus, ensuring our NHS is not overwhelmed and enabling the most vulnerable in society to be protected for at least 12 weeks.

I was therefore alarmed to receive so many emails from my constituents who have been told by their employer that they must still go to work, despite not being classed under the latest guidelines from the Government as a “key worker” or working for an “essential business”.

Due to the large volume of constituents who have written to me about this, I have published an open letter to non-essential businesses that are still operating in my constituency.

I ask them to consider 5 things:

1) Can the work be done from home?

2) Is the business operation absolutely necessary, is it classed as an “essential business”?

3) Is it contributing towards the national effort to slow the spread of Covid-19?

4) Does the business support the NHS in the response to Covid-19, or any of the critical sectors as outlined by the Government?

5) What is worth more: the health of employees and their family, or the short-term financial gain from continued business operations?

We all have a part to play in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and that includes businesses.

I know that the guidance from the Government in the majority of areas, not just on businesses, lacks clear clarification.

That is why I have written to the Government to ask for clarification on a number of issues on behalf of constituents including guidance for non-essential businesses, people employed by agencies and those on zero hours contracts.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way all of us live our lives, but I will continue to represent the constituents of Washington and Sunderland West and help them in any way that I am able to as the local MP. If any of my constituents have any concerns or require any assistance, then please do contact me on Sharon.hodgson.mp@parliament.uk with your full name and postal address.

Sunderland Echo Website >

You can view Sharon's open letter to businesses here >

ECHO COLUMN: Government must be clear on its guidelines to employers

You can read Sharon's latest Sunderland Echo Column below or on the Sunderland Echo website It has been just over a week since the Prime Minister addressed the nation and...

Today (Friday 27th March 2020) Sharon has published an open letter to businesses in Washington and Sunderland West that are still open, despite the Prime Minister’s guidance that people should stay home and only go to work if it is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

This comes after many of Sharon’s constituents wrote to her to tell her that, although they were not considered a key worker, their employer was still making them go into work.

Where people are working in essential industries, there are concerns that workers are not always being kept 2 metres apart as per the Government’s guidance.

Sharon urges businesses to seriously consider if their role is contributing to the slowing down the spread of the coronavirus and to put the health of their employees first.

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You can view the letter by clicking on the image above.

If any of Sharon’s constituents are concerned about anything, at work or in general, then they are invited to email Sharon.hodgson.mp@parliament.uk with further details giving their full name and postal address

Sharon writes an open letter to businesses in Washington and Sunderland West open during Covid-19

Today (Friday 27th March 2020) Sharon has published an open letter to businesses in Washington and Sunderland West that are still open, despite the Prime Minister’s guidance that people should...

Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington & Sunderland West and Shadow Minister for Public Health has today written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson regarding Nissan UK's decision to suspend work at the plant in Sunderland.

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Click on image to download letter

Sharon Hodgson MP writes to Prime Minister regarding Nissan UK

Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington & Sunderland West and Shadow Minister for Public Health has today written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson regarding Nissan UK's decision to suspend... Read more

You can read Sharon's Echo Column on the Sunderland Echo website or below.

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Many of you will be rightly concerned about the outbreak of Covid-19.

First and foremost, my thoughts are with the loved ones of those who have sadly died and with those who have contracted the virus.

As always, the NHS workforce has demonstrated its determination to provide the best possible care at such a difficult time. I pay tribute to all health staff, as well as the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor who have shown exceptional leadership throughout this outbreak.

Public health and safety must be the priority and I believe that the Government are taking necessary steps, based on scientific and medical advice, to contain and delay the spreading of the virus.

As worrying as Covid-19 is, what it has highlighted is the inequalities in our society.

People working in the gig economy, on zero hour contracts or in insecure work, are in a difficult position if they’re told to self-isolate: do they follow the advice, and lose out on the wages they need to make ends meet, or do they ignore the advice and potentially contribute to the spreading of the virus?

No one should have to make the decision between their health and hardship, yet 2 million workers in the UK are ineligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

The Prime Minister announced that the three-day wait for SSP would be scrapped for patients with Covid-19, but the Government has not yet brought anything forward on this.

Even so, trying to live on £94.25 a week, which is about a quarter of the national minimum wage, or having to wait 5 weeks for Universal Credit, will only exacerbate the existing inequalities, and could vastly compromise the nation’s attempts to contain the virus if people choose to work, instead of self-isolating, due to the need to pay their bills and eat.

The Government’s inaction to improve these inequalities in our society will not only continue to hurt the poorest and most vulnerable; in turn, the rest of society will also suffer.

If this outbreak teaches us anything, it should be to tackle inequalities across our society and bridge the gap between the least and most well-off.

If you or your family are concerned that you have Covid-19, then please do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 and speak to someone. NHS 111 also has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do. Use this service if you think you might have coronavirus if; in the last 14 days you’ve been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus or you’ve been in close contact with someone with coronavirus.

Sunderland Echo website >

ECHO COLUMN: Covid-19 has highlighted the inequalities in our society

You can read Sharon's Echo Column on the Sunderland Echo website or below. Many of you will be rightly concerned about the outbreak of Covid-19. First and foremost, my thoughts...

Sharon has received a response from Luke Hall MP, Minister for Local Government and Homelessness at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government following her request for the planning application for a gasification plant in Hillthorn Park to be recovered by the Secretary of State.  This request has been rejected by the Minister.

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You can read the letter by clicking on the image above 

 

The planning appeal process for the gasification plant is currently adjourned until June.

Sharon continues to oppose the planning application.

You can read Sharon's request here > 

You can read Sharon's work on this issue here > 

Sharon receives a response regarding the recovery appeal request

Sharon has received a response from Luke Hall MP, Minister for Local Government and Homelessness at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government following her request for the planning...

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Feb-Mar 2020 number 125

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Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Feb-Mar 2020 number 125

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Feb-Mar 2020 number 125

Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Feb-Mar 2020 number 125   Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Feb-Mar 2020 number 125 Read more

Sharon Hodgson MP encourages constituents to prepare for power cuts by registering with Northern Powergrid’s Priority Services Register

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Image copyright Northern Powergrid, 2020.

Sharon encourages vulnerable constituents to prepare for power cuts

Sharon Hodgson MP encourages constituents to prepare for power cuts by registering with Northern Powergrid’s Priority Services Register Image copyright Northern Powergrid, 2020. Read more

Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West, is to hold a public meeting on Saturday 7th March on noise and air pollution.

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The meeting, which is part of Sharon’s series of public meetings, will be held at the Oxclose and District Young People’s Project, Dunlin Drive, Ayton, Washington NE38 0EB on Saturday 7 March, 2020 at 1.30pm – 3pm.

The meeting is open to all constituents, but will focus on the noise and air pollution from the A1(M) and problems with litter on highway verges and slip roads and the impact this has on the area and the wider environment. There will be time for other issues to be discussed too.  

If you, your family or friends are able to attend the meeting, then please do email sharon.hodgson.mp@parliament.uk

If constituents have a specific issue they would like future meetings to focus on, then please do email my office.

ENDS

Sharon to hold public meeting on noise and air pollution

Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West, is to hold a public meeting on Saturday 7th March on noise and air pollution. The meeting, which is part... Read more

On Wednesday 26th February, Sharon received a response from the Government to the petition she presented on 21st January about the gasification plant at Hillthorn Park. 

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You can read Sharon's speech and petition here >

You can read the Government response below:

Observations from Minister for Housing (Christopher Pincher):

The application referred to is now the subject of a planning appeal to the Secretary of State. The appeal inquiry opened on 18th February 2020 and it was attended by approximately 250 people. Before any evidence was heard, the main parties submitted an application to the Inspector to adjourn the inquiry to allow time for confidential commercial negotiations to take place the outcome of which was expected to be the withdrawal of the appeal. The request was endorsed by all objectors and by the MP who was present. The Inspector found the application represented exceptional circumstances and agreed to the request. The inquiry will resume on 18th June 2020 if the negotiations falter and the appeal is not withdrawn before then.

The Planning Inspectorate has received a request from Sharon Hodgson MP that the appeal be recovered by the Secretary of State on the grounds that it conflicts with national policies on important matters and raises significant questions regarding the interpretation of those policies for RDF-based gasification plants. The Secretary of State will consider and respond to this request as soon as possible.

Whilst the Government recognises the opposition to the planning application/appeal, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the eventual decision as to do so could prejudice the Inspector’s, or Secretary of State’s (if the appeal were to be recovered), consideration of the appeal prior to having heard and then considered all the evidence, both for and against the proposal.

You can read Sharon's work on this issue here

Government responds to petition on Gasification Plant

On Wednesday 26th February, Sharon received a response from the Government to the petition she presented on 21st January about the gasification plant at Hillthorn Park.  You can read Sharon's...

The Planning Inspector ruled today (18th February 2020) at the Stadium of Light, that the appeal inquiry for a gasification plant to be built in Hillthorn Park has been adjourned until June.

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Sharon Hodgson MP, who opposes the building of a gasification plant, said at the appeal inquiry:

"This is great news for my constituents who do not want this gasification plant built.

"Over the last three years, constituents have contacted me over concerns about public health, climate change, road congestion and the impact on the local landscape.

"That is why I was pleased to support the calls for an adjournment as this could lead to our ultimate goal: no gasification plant being built at Hillthorn Park. However, any deal that is made must be transparent and put in the public domain for scrutiny.

"This would not have happened today without the community spirit and determination from residents, campaigners and Councillors. The little people have stood up to the big guys and won. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in the campaign to oppose the building of a gasification plant in Washington."

ENDS

You can read Sharon's work on this issue here > Sharon Hodgson MP - Rolton Kilbride, Washington planning appeal

Update on the gasification plant appeal inquiry

The Planning Inspector ruled today (18th February 2020) at the Stadium of Light, that the appeal inquiry for a gasification plant to be built in Hillthorn Park has been adjourned...

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