Helen Goodman MP

Earlier this week, the Government finished its consultation on the future of food and farming after Brexit. I have responded to the consultation to express my severe concerns about potential damage to the Teesdale farming economy.

Leaving the EU has given the Government the opportunity to create new policies on agriculture, but these new proposals on trade and support payments could have serious impacts on tenant farmers and sheep hill-farmers in Teesdale.

Losing our domestic and EU markets is a real risk. Worryingly, the Government wants to import cheaper meat from New Zealand, Australia, and Latin America, which would threaten meat sales within the UK. With the EU as our biggest partner and our only customer for lamb, leaving the customs union will be catastrophic for exporting.

If the Government is successful in not replacing the EU’s direct payments to farmers, they will be paid according to how much produce they can offer. In reality, this means that tenant farmers will see an increase in rent prices or important work, like walling, will be neglected or abandoned.

Bad policies could mean that our farmers are facing irrecoverable losses within just 20 years.

Teesdale is a unique natural environment with excellent biodiversity and a flourishing farming community. I have responded to the consultation and I am putting the Government under pressure to protect our farmers and their livelihoods.

Customs union is critical for Teesdale farming

Earlier this week, the Government finished its consultation on the future of food and farming after Brexit. I have responded to the consultation to express my severe concerns about potential...

I recently wrote to Mike Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, about the worrying decision to remove a dedicated Sergeant from Shildon. This Government’s cuts to police budgets are forcing the removal of senior police officers from our streets.

Durham Constabulary have reduced the number of Sergeants in South Durham from three to just two. The Sergeant responsible for Shildon will now also cover Sedgefield, more than 12 miles away. This is absurd, and cannot make any financial or practical sense.

This is unfair to Shildon residents who were reassured that the Sergeant would not be withdrawn from the town and were not asked to consult on the decision with Durham Constabulary.

Sergeant Andy Boyd was instrumental in rebuilding Shildon’s confidence in Durham Constabulary, in particular it’s work to tackle drugs and anti-social behaviour. That work is now being undone now as residents are understandably worried about the risk of increasing crime.

Durham Constabulary have explained that Shildon will retain the same amount of police constables and police community support officers.

You can read Durham Constabulary’s response in the Northern Echo here.

Worrying removal of Shildon's dedicated police Sergeant

I recently wrote to Mike Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, about the worrying decision to remove a dedicated Sergeant from Shildon. This Government’s cuts to police budgets are forcing the...

Leaving the EU without a trade deal in place will cost us 16% of the North East economy and 200,000 jobs. Today I questioned the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union why he was not concerned about the impact that leaving the Customs Union will have on the North East economy.

Government ignores North East need for Customs Union post-Brexit

Leaving the EU without a trade deal in place will cost us 16% of the North East economy and 200,000 jobs. Today I questioned the Secretary of State for Exiting...

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