MP invites Ministers to Hartlepool to discuss nuclear power station, transport and hospital services
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill urged ministers to act on Hartlepool’s loss of A&E, transport issues and green industry potential in his first speech of the new Parliament.
Mr Hill extended an invitation to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to visit the town to talk to people about accident and emergency provision which was removed from the University Hospital of Hartlepool in 2011.
He also urged Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who recently visited the site for a new £10million Horden rail station, to listen to users’ issues around capacity on the line.
Mr Hill also expressed a wish for Mr Shapps to work with the Tees Valley Combined Authority on regulating buses and bringing them back into public ownership.
And he asked to meet with Andrea Leadsom to discuss the future of Hartlepool’s nuclear power station, due to be decommissioned in 2024, and the potential of the area for new green industries.
Referring to A&E provision, Mr Hill said: “One more thing on my wish list is for the Secretary of State for Health to come to Hartlepool and talk to local people about why we lost our A&E.
“A number of Members today have spoken about threats to their own A&Es and hospitals. Sadly, we lost our A&E 10 years ago, and we would like it back, please.”
Campaigners are due to march from Seaton Carew to the hospital on Sunday, March 15, as part of calls to hospital chiefs to reinstate services that have been lost.
On the issue of greener industry, Mr Hill said the Government should look at Hartlepool and wider Tees Valley to build on its offshore oil and gas technologies and steel and chemical manufacturing heritage.
He said: “In the Tees valley and Hartlepool, we stand at the cutting edge of the green industrial revolution.
”We have the potential and the desire to reshape our industrial landscape, revitalise jobs and embrace the future, but we also need to protect the low-carbon industries already in the mix.
“It is as essential to refocus our traditional offshore industries on to the creation of green technologies such as wind farm production as it is to replace our low-carbon nuclear power stations with new nuclear being brought to Hartlepool.”
Mr Hill said he would work ‘night and day’ to deliver Labour’s 2019 manifesto pledge to continue the country’s nuclear programme as an essential aid to a low-carbon energy future.
“I therefore ask the Minister to meet me to discuss the future of the industry and the future of Hartlepool nuclear power station,” he said.