Contact your MP and Councillors...

As our campaign has gathered momentum we have had support from our two local MPs: Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields) and Kate Osborne (Jarrow). We have had support from some local councillors and we thank them very much indeed. Most councillors are sincere and dedicated people, but many are not proactive in fighting to save our health services. 8 years and 1 month into our campaign, it is still helpful to give our local representatives reasons to make fighting for our health services a regular part of their work.

Please prioritise writing to your local councillors. There is some basic guidance further down the page on what to write to help you get started, as well as links to a reliable, free and trusted web service called Write To Them - designed to help people contact their representatives. The South Tyneside Council website also makes it easy for you to find out who your councillors are. For your convenience, the current list of wards and councillors in South Tyneside is below (last updated May 2023):

WardCouncillors
Beacon and Bents David Francis 
Green Party
   Sarah McKeown 
Green Party
   Sue Stonehouse 
Green Party
Bede Stephen Dean 
Labour Party
   Margaret Peacock 
Labour Party
   Keith Roberts 
Independent
Biddick and All Saints Katharine Maxwell 
Labour Party
   Rachael Milne 
Green Party
   Anne Walsh 
Labour Party
Boldon Colliery Joanne Bell 
Labour Party
   Fay Cunningham 
Labour Party
   Alison Strike 
Labour Party
Cleadon and East Boldon Shirley Ford 
Green Party
   Ian Forster 
Conservative Party
   David Herbert 
Green Party
Cleadon Park Alexander Donaldson 
Labour Party
   James Foreman 
Labour Party
   Susan Traynor 
Labour Party
Fellgate and Hedworth Audrey Huntley 
Labour Party
   Geraldine Kilgour 
Labour Party
   Jay Potts 
Labour Party
Harton Michael Clare 
Labour Party
   Pat Hay 
Labour Party
   Neil Maxwell 
Labour Party
Hebburn North Adam Ellison 
Labour Party
   Liz McHugh 
Labour Party
   Richard Porthouse 
Labour Party
Hebburn South Angela Lamonte 
Labour Party
   John McCabe 
Labour Party
   Shane Smith 
Labour Party
Horsley Hill Ruth Berkley 
Labour Party
   Eileen Leask 
Labour Party
   Mark Walsh 
Labour Party
Monkton Paul Dean 
Labour Party
   Joan Keegan 
Labour Party
   Margaret Meling 
Labour Party
Primrose David Kennedy 
Independent
   Paul Milburn 
Independent
   John Robertson 
Independent
Simonside and Rekendyke Edward Malcolm 
Labour Party
   Lynne Proudlock 
Labour Party
   Judith Taylor 
Labour Party
West Park Peter Bristow 
Green Party
   Andrew Guy 
Green Party
   Jim Yare 
Green Party
Westoe Ann Best 
Labour Party
   Paul Brenen 
Independent
   Glenn Thompson 
Independent
Whitburn and Marsden Jane Carter 
Labour Party
   Tracey Dixon 
Labour Party
   Joyce Welsh 
Labour Party
Whiteleas Ken Dawes 
Labour Party
   Ernest Gibson 
Labour Party
   Doreen Purvis 
Labour Party

We also encourage you to talk to your councillors in person if you can, most of them hold regular surgeries. If surgery times are not shown on the council website, then all you need to do is to send your councillors an email asking for their surgery times.

It does make a difference!

Some of the health service changes at a local level can't proceed without the backing of local councils. So in addition to representing you, councillors have various roles within the council. Some sit on committees, such as the Joint Health Scrutiny Committee, which on the 9th of March 2018, acted in the interests of the people of South Tyneside and Sunderland and referred the downgrading of our acute services (in phase-1 of the Path to Excellence) to the Secretary of State for Health. This also coincided with the start of a legal challenge that our campaign has mounted against the validity of the phase-1 consultation process.

In May 2019 Ken Bremner (CEO of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust) announced that the Trust is seeking £50-million in funding from our local councils (£35-million from South Tyneside Council and £15-million from Sunderland Council) in order to finance the capital transformation of phase-2 of the “Path to Excellence”. Our councils should not be involved with financing -- or supporting in any way -- the “Path to Excellence” programme of cuts and closures to vital acute hospital services. Where a similar situation arose in West London, the Ealing and Hammersmith Council refused to support “Shaping a Healthier Future”, thereby halting that programme of cuts and closures.

When you raise your concerns about the closure of our health services with your councillors, and if you personalise those concerns (perhaps by explaining how difficult it will be for you to travel outside of South Tyneside for treatment), you give some power to their elbow. Remember that councillors are ordinary people. They may not be aware of just how harmful and difficult to undo the loss of these services will be, and like many people they may not understand the complex structural changes transforming the nature of health care in England.

Things are changing faster than ever for our health services. Sustainability and Transformation Plans are moving towards Accountable Care Organisations (a concept imported from the United States), which will make it easier to hand control of health services within each footprint to multinational health insurance corporations. Ask your MP and Councillors what they know about STPs and ACOs.

Please personalise your message as it will have more of an impact. Your message does not need to be long, just a few sentences is fine. The following is a list of key points that you might like to include and edit:

  • Dear Councillor ...
  • The merger between South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust and City Hospitals Sunderland is part of a plan to drastically reduce hospital services throughout South Tyneside.
  • South Tyneside Hospital is facing the loss of acute stroke (which was in fact closed 'temporarily' ahead of the so called consultation), 24/7 children's services and maternity services.
  • Local Trust and CCG executives plan to move all acute services to Sunderland, which will mean that South Tyneside Hospital A&E will become non-viable.
  • Everyone needing acute health care will have to travel to Sunderland.
  • I strongly oppose South Tyneside Council being involved in financing, or supporting in any way, the downgrading and loss of vital emergency services, acute services and hospital beds at South Tyneside Hospital. Doing so will embroil the council in the plans to downgrade the hospital and effectively split local councillors from the people they represent.
  • I am concerned about the whole direction in which the NHS is being taken. It is being deliberately and systematically wrecked by fragmentation into purchasers and providers, cut backs and privatisation.
  • Please use your position [in parliament / as an elected representative] to safeguard the future of South Tyneside Hospital and its acute emergency services.

The link below will take you to a free service designed to help people write to their public representatives. Entering your postcode will enable the service to find your MP or Councillors:

Enter your postcode below:
 Write to MP
 Write to Cllrs