I’m proud to support the Breast Cancer Now campaign to ensure that by 2050, everyone who’s diagnosed with breast cancer survives.I popped in to their recent parliamentary drop-in, and this Friday I’ll be holding a Barnsley East coffee morning to raise awareness and funds. This is such an important cause, and it would be great to see you there - for details on location and time, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office on 01226 743483.
Brilliant to see the Barnsley Spitfire today! Big well done to everyone at Barnsley Museums. My Grandad used to work on them when he served in the RAF during WW2. We must never forget those who gave so much for our freedoms today.
It was an honour to switch on the Diwali lights in Barnsley. Thank you to everyone at the Gujarat Association of Barnsley and the Indian Welfare Association for their organisation and hospitality. At the start of the Festival of Lights - a happy and peaceful Diwali to all those celebrating.
I was pleased to visit the fantastic new art installation on the site of the old railway station in Stairfoot with Councillor Wayne Johnson and Denise and Robert Stendall.Thanks to volunteers from the Stairfoot Station Heritage Park group for their important work recording our area’s rich industrial heritage. The group was founded in 2017 with the aim of establishing a historical record of Stairfoot. You can find out more about the group’s work on their website: http://stairfootstation.co.uk/
It was lovely to visit St Helen’s Catholic Primary School in Hoyland recently.Great to chat to headteacher Mrs Wray and meet staff and students on our walk round the school.St Helen’s are collecting stickers for Aldi sports funding - if you have any spare feel free to drop them in!
I’ve spent the day at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire as part of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, learning about the training, communications and mountain rescue operations that take place there.Looking forward to learning more about the Royal Air Force in the year ahead.
I'm pleased to receive confirmation from Barclays that their Hoyland branch will remain open for at least the next two years.Local branches such as this are so important, and I'll keep pushing for these vital services to be maintained in Hoyland and across Barnsley East.
In the last year, just 2% of reported rapes resulted in a conviction.In Parliament I raised this shocking statistic, and concerns that the recommendations in the Henriques Report would push this unacceptable figure even lower: https://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/henriques-report-concern-at-recommendations-on-anonymity-and-belief/You can watch my comments in Parliament here.
It was great to meet Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, along with colleagues from across Yorkshire, as we continue to push for an ambitious One Yorkshire devolution deal.
The following appeared as my column in the Barnsley Chronicle on 11th October: The sizeable protests to push for greater action in tackling climate change have been on the news again recently, not least as blockades take place down in Westminster. They follow a recent international ‘day of action’, that last month saw people around the world take part in mass demonstrations to raise the issue of environmental change. From Munich to Mexico City, New York to New Delhi, and Brisbane to Barnsley, millions of people, young and old, came together to show their willing for action to prevent the devastating consequences of climate change. Outside our town hall people from our community did the same, and I’m delighted to see our local council agrees that urgent action needs to be taken. They have declared a climate emergency, and set in place their strategy to make Barnsley carbon neutral. And we need action at every level. From making small and simple changes in our own lives, to changes made with help from the council, and wholesale transformations by the Government, the climate crisis can only be prevented by treating it as that: a crisis. There’s no time for tinkering around the edges, or ploughing ahead with ill-advised alternatives such as fracking that ignore local community needs. Because the environment isn’t just the green, natural spaces we see around us that desperately need preserving. It’s the basis of what we eat and drink, our economy and livelihoods, and the ecosystems that keep the natural world around us functioning. Increasing temperatures can lead to droughts and food shortages, for instance. Rising sea levels threaten global coastal communities and may force mass migrations. Ultimately, our lives and the environment around us are inescapably linked. So I implore everyone to do what they can to make their own lives that bit more environmentally friendly. Whether it’s making that extra effort to recycle, cycling or walking on those short journeys that don’t really need a car, or supporting local businesses that use homegrown produce to cut down on air miles and our carbon footprint. Let’s do our bit in Barnsley, and I’ll keep pushing the Government in Westminster to make the necessary changes across the country. Because at this crisis point, faced with the real prospect of an irredeemably damaged environment that could widen social and economic inequality and hit vulnerable people hardest, the cost of not acting now is simply too high.