Emma is a champion for the town and proudly represents the issues and causes that matter most to her constituents.
Saving South Tyneside Hospital:
The people of South Shields deserve access to high-quality hospital provision in their town. That is why Emma continues to fight for hospital services to remain in South Shields.
Crippling cuts to the NHS, inflicted by the Conservative Government, have left care bosses unable to fund localised hospital care, with a disastrous plan to merge South Tyneside and Sunderland Hospitals. Taking vital services away from the local area is not only counter-intuitive, but it is a decision Emma believes puts South Shields residents at risk.
That is why in May 2018, Emma raised this issue in Westminster to the Prime Minister: “Despite a groundswell of opposition from public, staff and clinicians, this Government are actively supporting the removal of vital services from South Tyneside Hospital. Will the Prime Minister tell the 149,000 people who rely on our hospital why?”
In June 2021, Emma presented a petition on behalf of 44,000 South Shields constituents who denounced the downgrading of the hospital and demanded the Government stop any plans to close acute services at the hospital and safeguard its A+E.
Alongside numerous interventions in the House, Emma has regularly attended demonstrations, raised the issue of maternity provision stemming from the downgrade and committed to fighting relentlessly for healthcare rights in South Shields, as she aims to find a conclusion that is safe for her constituents.
Emma has consistently sought to address the causes of food poverty and take the Government to task over lack of support for our region’s most vulnerable.
Emma co-founded the award-winning Feeding Britain charity in 2015 to connect charities, community groups, schools, local authorities, social enterprises and others who come together to take joint action on hunger and its root causes and regularly works with our local Feeding Britain network to support school holiday provisions.
In August this year Emma led a Westminster Hall debate about the urgent need to extend Free School Meals, especially in the face of a cost-of-living crisis.
Emma presented a School Breakfast Bill to Parliament back in 2020 that would have reached 1.9 million hungry children. Over 30,000 people signed a petition in support of the Bill, and over 70 Members across the House backed it, including the Chair of the Education Committee Robert Halfon. Unfortunately, due to covid disruption time ran out for the Bill but it’s not something she will give up on.
During the pandemic Emma helped local charities get food to those in the community who needed it and last year instigated the creation of a Food Bus here in South Tyneside, which when up and running will help even more people access to nutritional food and support.
Emma currently sits on the Levelling Up and Regeneration Public Bill Committee, which scrutinises the Governments levelling up proposals.
As part of her work on the Committee, Emma has tabled amendments that force the Government to incorporate action on food poverty and insecurity, to ensure the Government reports on industrial investment and the creation of manufacturing jobs in areas with high rates of poverty, unemployment or economic inactivity.
Emma has continually campaigned to support funding bids from South Shields -including freeport status, transport funding and town centre regeneration funding to move South Tyneside College to our town centre – and will continue to do so.
Emma endeavours to hold the Government to account over their often hollow “Levelling Up” promises, and ensure that South Shields gets the investment it sorely deserves.
Emma has worked with constituents and local groups on the issue of sewage dumping on Whitburn beach for many years, alongside raising it in Parliament on multiple occasions.
In 2013, a ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union stated that the UK Government needed to rectify the sewage problem at the Whitburn end of Seaburn beach within five years. Yet we’re still waiting for action.
In November of 2021, Emma led an important debate in Parliament on the issue, and over the years has been in contact with EU, DEFRA Ministers, Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency in efforts to rectify the problem.
South Shields, like many other coastal towns across the country, takes pride in ensuring our beaches demonstrate the highest environmental standards to make it a place for everyone to enjoy.
Emma will continue to press for the water companies to pay for the upgrades required to our local sewage infrastructure.
You. Emma is committed to putting South Shields first.
Emma feels strongly that her link with the community is the most important part of her role as an MP. She is committed to working across all corners of her constituency to support community groups, schools and institutions, and to speak to residents about the issues that matter most to them.