Question to the leader of Sunderland City Council at full council Wednesday 27th of January 2020

“The need for increases in basic street cleaning services, in areas like Barmston, is plain to see but can the leader assure me that he will work with Gentoo, where necessary, to create and implement a strategy to support the hidden issues for the residents of Barmston with, for example, better mental health provision for those afflicted by cuts in services, a fall in living standards and less jobs and life opportunities?”


“I can indeed provide the assurance to Mr Laws in relation to working with Gentoo to deliver a partnership approach to the issues which impact on their tenants and our residents. Whilst Gentoo can obviously expand and offer their own comment, I can say they have worked closely with us in relation to our community COVID-19 response. They are also supportive in delivering our community wealth agenda, as one of our most prominent anchored institutions in the city, a key partner in the SARA project and I could go on. I am familiar with the local issues in Barmston and as I am sure Mr Laws is aware, the issues he raises will affect many residents and communities across the city. This council will do all we can and work with every partner in the best interest of residents to address the issues and inequalities we are undoubtedly facing.”

As well as submitting this question to the Leader of Sunderland City Council, I also contacted the Chief Executive of Gentoo, Nigel Wilson, to ask him to meet with me to discuss the issues in Barmston. I am delighted that he has agreed to meet me in April and from there I can update residents further about my work on their behalf.

If you live in Harraton, Barmston, Fatfield, Teal Farm, Mount Pleasant or Barmston Court vote Sean Laws and Labour & Co-operative Party on Thursday 6th of May to unlock Washington’s potential.
I pledge to be a Community Co-operator
I pledge to be a Community Co-operator
Washington has been my home for almost 30 years and along with my family I still live in Harraton. I was educated at Our Lady Queen of Peace primary school and then St. Roberts including 6th form. My career has taken me from bar management to sales and sales management to now working as an organiser for University and College Union based at Durham Universtity. My role with UCU is to facilitate the effective running of the union branch so that it is well placed to support members, a valuable skill set for a councillor. By using these skills to aid the effective running of our council then it will be well placed to support residents.

Together we can unlock Washington’s potential as a great place to live and work.
This is how:
  • Personal Accountability – I am involved in our community, for example, through both Harraton and Fatfield residents’ associations, I have this website, a Facebook page I will regularly publish my activities on and will put out quarterly communications so that residents know that I am working for them. I am always happy to be questioned and challenged on what I am doing and what my plans are.
  • Local approach – I am not standing for election to carry on as normal. Washington deserves focus and investment and whilst I am pleased that is starting to happen, I will always put Washington and its residents at the heart of everything I do.
  • Leadership Accountability – I will always push our leadership to be better. I understand that residents feel our council has not performed well enough in the past but I am pleased to see that the leadership is listening and adapting. As your councillor I will ask the difficult questions and ensure that our council leadership is properly scrutinised because with scrutiny comes accountability and improvement.
Unlock Washington’s potential, Vote Sean Laws and Labour & Co-operative Party on the 6th of May.

I fully support the return of ship building to the River Wear. I support reinstating the Pallion shipyard with all of the potential benefits to Washington including quality jobs 🚢

Getting to know Sean

What book impacted you the most?

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is one of the great books of all time in my opinion, everyone should read it. I also recently finished reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn which is the first of a trilogy, I had to stop half way through the first time I read it as it was blowing my mind!

Red, white or Rose?

Red but I would prefer a Guinness in the pub though!

Why did you decide to stand for election?

I love Washington and I love living here but I believe that we need more focus and more investment. I have so many ideas of what I would love to see happen in Washington and I absolutely believe that I can make them a reality.

When did you last go on holiday and where?

In 2018 I went to Gdansk in Poland but that was actually for a conference. I was born in Belfast so I go over to Ireland whenever I can. The last time I was on an actual holiday must have been about 5 years ago in the south of France.

If you could pick between being invisible and being able to fly, which would it be and why?

For some reason I keep dreaming about flying so I would have to say that. I’m sure Freud would have something to say about it.

What was the last gift you gave/received?

A pair of slippers with memory foam in them. They didn’t fit my dad so he gave them to me. It’s the thought that counts!

Sometimes you've just got to roll your sleeves up (or wear a sleeveless shirt) and get things done!

Question to the leader of Sunderland City Council at full council Wednesday 18th of November 2020

“Could the leader please advise of what plans are in place following the budget for future investment in both services and infrastructure in Washington?”


“The Council does not set its overall revenue and capital budgets on a geographical basis, as many of our services cover the whole City. This includes key activities such as education, the environment, regeneration and social care. However, some specific revenue and capital projects that are benefiting the Washington area this financial year include:

  • Neighbourhood fund allocation of £449,000 for 2020/21;
  • Community Chest allocation of £50,000 for 2020/21;
  • Neighbourhood Investment Plan Capital funding of £500,000 for the Washington area;
  • International Innovation Centre (currently being used as the Nightingale Centre) – scheme budget of £18m;
  • International Advance Manufacturing Park (IAMP) – scheme budget £102m);
  • Recently opened Washington Football Hub – scheme budget of around £5m;
  • A1231 Bridge Maintenance works – scheme budget £0.7m;
  • Hillthorn Business Park – investment of over £60m by Legal & General.These projects are alongside other general capital maintenance works programmes in the area supporting highways, bridges and schools.”
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