I dropped off some mince pies to the Barnsley sorting office first thing this morning to thank everyone for all their hard work delivering our letters and parcels at this busy time of year.
The reality of broadband coverage here in Barnsley is that too often, it simply isn’t good enough.Lots of constituents have raised the issue of sub-standard broadband with me, and my survey revealed that 95% of residents in Barnsley East aren’t satisfied with their coverage. Over recent months, I’ve been campaigning for progress on this, meeting Superfast South Yorkshire; writing to the Government and broadband providers; and raising it in the House of Commons. As part of my campaign, I recently met with Superfast South Yorkshire in Cudworth, one of the areas across Barnsley they’ve been working on.I’ll keep pressing providers to do more to tackle this.
I was pleased to speak at the GMB celebration of diversity day.There was a good discussion on promoting equality in the workplace.
It was nice to be in Cudworth recently visiting Birkwood and Churchfield Primary Schools to present prizes in my Christmas card competition.
It was an honour to present the Stars of Hoyland and Rockingham Awards.A huge well done and thank you to all the amazing volunteers who do so much across our community.
Cudworth-born Dorothy Hyman is the only winner of Sports Personality of the Year not to receive a replica of the trophy after her win in 1963.I recently wrote to the BBC to ask them to rectify this, and I raised it in Parliament.You can watch my comments in Parliament here.I've also spoken to Toby Foster on BBC Radio Sheffield, and our campaign has been featured on other BBC coverage.You can listen to me speaking to Toby here, and you can watch the BBC video here.
The following appeared as my column in the Barnsley Chronicle on 7th December: Next week, MPs vote on the Government’s proposed deal on our exit from the European Union. I know this is one of the most important decisions I will make in Parliament. It could make the difference between maintaining rights and protections in our workplaces and everyday lives, or risking these being abandoned for those who need them most. It will determine whether local businesses can continue trading with suppliers and customers in the rest of Europe, or face rising costs and damaging uncertainty. And it will determine how we implement what people here in Barnsley voted for. Because, to be clear, the decision to leave the European Union is settled: in 2016 Barnsley and the UK as a whole voted for that. I know it won’t please everyone, but I firmly believe that decision must be respected. That’s why, for me, the debate is not about whether we leave the European Union, but how. In my role as a Member of Parliament, I’m pushing for a Brexit deal that works for people here in Barnsley. Unfortunately, the deal currently on the table just doesn’t do that. But as MPs, we have a lot of work to do to find a deal that does. So it is absolutely vital that the people I represent have the chance to raise their views on the remaining options with me. That’s why I’ve canvassed the opinions of local businesses to understand the effect on them, their customers and staff. And it’s why I’m conducting my own constituents’ survey which can be found on my website, so that residents can send me their thoughts and preferences. I encourage everyone to get in touch so that I can best represent you in the parliamentary process. On an issue of this importance, it’s only fair that everyone gets to have their say. I will continue to fight for a deal that respects the referendum and works for people here – not just next week, but for as long as it takes.
Proud to join the global campaign for a world without violence against women and girls.
There was an important debate in Parliament on affordable credit. I raised the debt charity Step Change's suggestion that 1.4m people were forced to turn to high cost credit for everyday bills last year. It's vital that, especially at this time of year, those already struggling with debt have affordable credit options.
Another defeat for the Government in their disastrous Brexit negotiations.Remarkable for the Government to be found in contempt of Parliament.In office but not in power.You can see more on this here.