Debate on flooding in South Yorkshire

Later today I am leading a debate on flooding in South Yorkshire.Please get in touch with my office at to share your stories of the November Floods.We need more investment in our flood defences and recovery now.

Signing the Holocaust Educational Trust's Book of Commitment

We should never forget the horrors of the Holocaust.I signed the Book of Commitment in memory of the six million victims who lost their lives.We must stand up to antisemitism and hatred in all its forms.

Questioning the Government on the Domestic Abuse Bill

The Government must bring back the Domestic Abuse Bill with a provision to stop spouses convicted of violence against their partners from claiming money in divorce proceedings.Gloria De Piero campaigned to end this injustice and we’ll keep pushing the Government for action.It’s vital the survivors of domestic abuse are given the resources they need to escape safely and recover. The bill, which was put on hold due to the election, is an important step towards giving survivors the support they deserve.I recently questioned the Government on this in Parliament - you can watch my question here.

Meeting with the Community First Credit Union

It was good to meet with Gary, CEO of the Community First Credit Union in Wombwell.We discussed the work the Union does and the challenges they face – find out more about their work on their website:

Visiting Oakhill Primary Academy

It was lovely to visit Oakhill Primary Academy in Stairfoot.Good to meet with the headteacher Mrs McCarthy, and thanks to Heidi and Lilly for the tour!

Column: our NHS

The following appeared as my column in the Barnsley Chronicle on 24th January:This winter I saw first-hand how hard the staff at Barnsley Hospital work. From the kindness of the paramedics that took my mum to A&E to the compassion and dedication of the staff on Ward 33. I am incredibly thankful to everyone who helped my family in our time of need. I am very happy to say she is doing just fine now.My mum worked in the NHS as a nurse for forty years. The value of a health service that is free at the point of use has been ingrained in me since I was a child. I am proud to be a member of the party that created it.We have had nearly a decade of huge underinvestment and chronic cuts to our National Health Service.In December Barnsley Hospital missed its accident and emergency target. More than 1,700 people waited more than four hours to be seen in the hospital’s causality unit. Of the 9,202 people who visited the A&E department, only 80.7% were seen within four hours. This is vastly lower than the target of 95%. These statistics are a clear indication that levels of investment and health policies of this Government are not working.Over the last ten years public health services have been slashed, social care has been savaged and the capital budgets of our hospitals have been cut. Tory ministers, including the Prime Minister, have refused to apologise to, or even acknowledge, those that have been left in hospital corridors and floors waiting to be seen.There are more pressures on the hospital system than ever before, from the winter crisis to bed shortages. At the same time there is a clear growing demand on NHS services.More needs to be done to ensure that the future needs of patients can be met.Our NHS needs long term investment. Without sufficient amounts of capital funding NHS Trusts cannot invest in the staff, equipment and technology that keep hospitals running.I will continue to push for more government funding so that the tireless staff at our hospital are supported. So patients can be admitted safety to a hospital beds in the safe knowledge that they will receive world-class care.

Pressing the Government to buy British steel

Our steel industry is struggling across the country with recent news that our local steelworks is to lose 280 jobs.I called on the Government to do more to support the industry and buy British.You can watch my question here.

Crime in Hoyland

Following a spike in crime and anti-social behaviour in Hoyland over the last year, I’ve been working with your local Hoyland and Rockingham councillors and South Yorkshire Police to try to address residents’ concerns and ensure that there is a permanent police presence in the area.I’m really pleased that as a result of these discussions, from 24th February there will be a new Neighbourhood Policing Team covering Hoyland, Rockingham, Wombwell and Darfield.This new team will initially be based at Goldthorpe Police Station, but as soon as necessary repairs and renovations are carried out, the team will be based at Hoyland Police Station.This is a really positive step forward for residents not just in Hoyland and Rockingham, but in Wombwell and Darfield as well, ensuring a permanent police presence at the centre of these communities.I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to make this progress, but I appreciate that residents are still facing significant problems with crime and anti-social behaviour.If residents would like to raise any concerns about ongoing crime or anti-social behaviour, or if they have any questions they’d like to raise about the new Policing Team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, and I’ll do whatever I can to help.

Joining the Shadow Cabinet Office team

I’m pleased to join Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Office team as the Junior Shadow Minister, responsible for the Office of Veterans & Government Procurement.   I asked my first question from the despatch box today on the need for an independent review on political advertising.You can watch my question here.

Visiting Hoyland Common and Birdwell Primary schools

It was lovely to pop into Hoyland Common Primary School and Birdwell Primary recently.Presented some belated Christmas card competition certificates!Well done on all the brilliant entries.