It was great to pop in to Parkside Care Home and Valley Park Care Centre in Wombwell - lovely to chat to residents and staff of both homes.
It was great to pop down to the Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre in Cudworth and see how successful their new astroturf pitches have been for local teams.And it was lovely to receive the Grassroots Champion award as part of the FA’s #FootballFootprint campaign to celebrate investment in grassroots football.
I visited Ladbrokes in Wombwell, we talked about the new £2 limit for FOBTs and responsible gambling - if you have any concerns you can call 0808 8020 133. I placed a charity bet on the Grand National - any winnings if Rock the Kasbah does well will go to the brilliant Barnsley Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Services, which I recently ran the London half marathon for: https://www.gofundme.com/trhqyr
I met with Johnny Wood today to discuss the tragic death of his sister Jacqueline. She was killed by four known criminals who had stolen a lorry and recklessly drove it through Brierley, nearly killing two others and destroying a house. Johnny is rightly calling for tougher sentences for death by dangerous driving. I will be asking the government to remove the 14 year maximum sentence. You can hear more about it here on Radio Sheffield.
Real pleasure to visit High View Primary - great to chat to Year 6 about the House of Commons and my role as their MP.
The historic Black Bull Pub building is almost demolished, I recently spoke of it in a Parliamentary debate on pubs.It’s important we do what we can to maintain these community and economic hubs.You can watch my comments here.
Government Ministers should listen to the loud and clear voices in Barnsley: fracking is not welcome here.You can watch my comments in Parliament here.
The following appeared as my column in the Barnsley Chronicle on 29th March: There are so many challenges facing our community and indeed country at the moment, some of which we are all well aware of. But one that I fear has not been spoken about enough is the crisis in our social care sector. Because since 2010, over £6bn has been cut from adult social care budgets. On top of devastating cuts to local authority budgets, the Local Government Association is warning the funding gap between what’s available and what is needed could reach £3.5bn by 2025. According to a recent report, here in Barnsley our council commits the largest share of its overall spending to social care, at around 62 per cent. I’m delighted our local authority takes so seriously the needs of vulnerable people who depend on our social care sector, but with council budgets slashed this should not need to be provided at the expense of other services that are subsequently reduced. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for this Government. Aside from these devastating cuts to social care budgets that have stripped service provision to the bone, they continue to delay in bringing forward their social care ‘green paper’ in Parliament. This is a consultation document that would allow people both inside Parliament and outside to have their say on social care proposals. It would allow social care professionals and experts to let the Government know just how much the sector and vulnerable people are suffering, and what changes are desperately needed. It was promised in the Government’s 2017 election manifesto, and we were told it would be with us by that summer. Yet in Spring 2019, we are still waiting. And this just isn’t good enough. Because behind the numbers, figures, and budgets, are the real stories of those who are suffering and need proper help. There are the real instances of the emotional and financial stress being placed on carers in a sector under strain at every level. And amidst the political turmoil elsewhere across the country, these are the people we cannot forget about. We cannot keep waiting; it’s time we take the urgent action necessary to provide the social care sector with the resources and support it needs.
It’s simply not fair that survivors of child sexual exploitation should have to disclose convictions linked to the abuse they suffered, yet the Government refuses to act to ensure that’s no longer the case.What’s more, under this Government’s cuts since 2010, South Yorkshire Police have lost nearly 600 officers and half of their vulnerable people unit that supports the brave survivors of child sexual exploitation who have experienced the most horrific abuse, making it so much harder to bring perpetrators of CSE to justice.I questioned the Government on this in Parliament - you can watch my comments here.
The Chancellor’s announcement to provide sanitary products in secondary schools is welcome but needs to go further.To tackle period poverty sanitary products should be provided wherever they’re needed, including the workplace.You can watch my question on this in Parliament here.