Challenging the Government on transport spending

Public spending on transport has fallen by £18 per person here in Yorkshire in the last year, while rising by £90 in the same period in London. This means more than three times as much money is spent on transport in London as in Yorkshire. This is completely unacceptable – it’s time this Government got a grip and properly funded transport in the north:

Attending the APPG on Modern Slavery

I stopped by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Modern Slavery recently, to continue our vital Parliamentary work in tackling this abhorrent practice.

Road Safety Week

I visited the Brake charity in Parliament and discussed the recent Road Safety Week. Particularly important for those on two wheels who are some of the most vulnerable on our roads. Read more here.  

Challenging the Government on the NHS pay deal

The Government’s new NHS pay deal follows years of a public sector pay cap, but has resulted in one of my constituents now taking home even less money each month.This is as unacceptable as the Government’s shoddy response the first time I raised this injustice.You can watch my full comments on this here.

Visiting Worsbrough Bank End Primary School and High View Primary Learning Centre

It was lots of fun visiting Worsbrough Bank End Primary School​ and High View Primary Learning Centre today to present prizes in my Christmas card competition.A big well done!

Visiting Jump and West Meadows Primary Schools

I visited Jump & West Meadows Primary Schools to present pupils awards for taking part in my Christmas card competition.It was lovely to hear the West Meadows School song in assembly too!

Announcing the winner from my Christmas card competition

It was fantastic visit to Hoyland Springwood Primary​ where I announced the winner of my Christmas card competition.I will be visiting all the schools that took part over the next few weeks. It was great to present Kelan with his prize, and a copy of the card that will be sent out across Barnsley and Westminster, as well as the second and third prize winners from the school.Such a fabulous design and a deserving winner.

Launching the Domestic Violence Charter in Parliament

It was incredibly moving to chair the launch of the GMB Union Domestic Violence Charter in the House of Commons today. It's particularly important given yesterday was the International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women, but offences have increased almost a quarter this year. We heard from members about their own experiences and just how important a work place policy can be. #WorkToStopDA  

Visiting Owd Martha's Yard

It was lovely to pop in and see Owd Martha’s Yard in Hoyland.Allan and Denise showed me all the hard work they and the other community volunteers have been doing to transform the area.

Column: tackling poverty

The following appeared as my column in the Barnsley Chronicle on 23rd November:With the sugar and firework-fuelled celebrations of Halloween and Bonfire Night over, we move on to a particularly exciting part of the year for many.But as we reach winter and the temperatures drop, there are some in our community for whom this festive season isn’t quite as welcome.The long, cold nights present a real difficulty for those struggling to make ends meet, forced to choose between heating and eating.Because after an exceptional decline under the last Labour government, the rise of people living in poverty since 2010 is unprecedented.Nowhere is this more stark than in the case of child poverty.Here in Barnsley, 6000 children – nearly a third – are growing up in poverty, as our community bears the brunt of nearly a decade of cuts.And poorly insulated, low quality and energy inefficient housing along with spiralling energy costs and stagnating wages have left up to four million people up and down the country living in fuel poverty – including nearly 4400 households in Barnsley East.The causes of this scourge are many.A lack of affordable housing, stagnating wages, precarious and low paid work without long-term security, rising rents, cuts to benefits, and the roll-out of the Universal Credit system which has pushed many people into desperation.Add in the unprecedented financial strain placed on local authorities like our own through cuts, the safety net many would usually depend on to help get them back on track has been slashed.Poverty is the true face of nearly a decade-long obsession with austerity by this Government.And as the temperature gets colder, there will be too many people here in Barnsley for whom the choice between heating their home and putting food on their plates is a stark reality.It’s about time this Government took action to urgently address this national scandal by tackling the root causes of poverty, and immediately set about rebuilding the vital safety nets that help out the most vulnerable people in our community when they need it most.