Sunderland MP’s disappointment over Government’s reaction to cable concerns

Sharon Hodgson MP

Sharon Hodgson MP

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WASHINGTON and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson has told of her disappointment after the Government ruled out action to tackle fake cables.

Mrs Hodgson raised the issue during a debate in Parliament saying installing cables which do not meet safety standards, was a massive fire risk.

The MP also attributed part of the decline of British cable manufacturers to the increased distribution of low quality and often counterfeit cables from overseas, which undercuts British-made products.

Mrs Hodgson called the Westminster Hall Debate after visiting Washington’s Prysmian factory, which manufactures high-tech cabling for the energy and telecoms sector.

As well as undermining British industry, faulty cabling can cost lives or ruin properties if they catch fire.

The Wearside MP called upon the Government to introduce new legislation and better enforcement methods with the aim of reducing the amount of sub-standard cable on the market, including quality checks on all cable imports, third–party certification of all cable used in public buildings, and sanctions for those found to be installing unsafe and non-certified cables.

Minister for Business and Enterprise Michael Fallon MP insisted he took the concerns seriously, but was not prepared to take any action at the present time.

He did, however, agree to enter into written communication with the MP on the issue.

Speaking after the debate, Mrs Hodgson said: “Even though the Minister’s general response was disappointing, I am encouraged that this crucial issue is now at least on the Department’s radar.

“Cable manufacturing supports more than 100 jobs in Washington, and the Government should be doing all it can to support those jobs by ensuring that British manufacturers are competing on a level playing field with their rivals abroad, and not being undercut by low-quality products.

“I hope that through further correspondence and cooperation with the Minister, we can make progress on making all of our buildings safer, particularly public buildings.”

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