Column: Our NHS in Winter

As featured in the Barnsley Chronicle on 4th January, Stephanie wrote her recent column on the NHS over winter. She paid tribute to the staff in our local health services and Barnsley Hospital, but warned the Government against similar mistakes that led to last year's winter crisis.  You can read her full comments here.  

Column: Loneliness over Festicve Period

As featured in the Barnsley Chronicle on 21st December, Stephanie wrote her recent column on loneliness at Christmas, and the importance of reaching out to those who may have nobody.  You can read her full comments here.  

Stephanie's Campaign for Dorothy Hyman Succesful

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 21st December, Stephanie's campaign to get Dorothy Hyman her Sports Personality of the Year trophy was successful.  Dorothy won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in 1963, but never received her iconic camera trophy.  She was finally presented with it at this year's awards, after a campaigned launched by Stephanie. Commenting, she said: "I'm thrilled. It may have taken 55 years but we've got there in the end. "The fact that we had such a fantastic response to the campaign shows how the community still hold her close to their hearts and haven't forgotten her achievements and contribution."  

Stephanie's Visit to Army Base

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley Gazette on 21st December, Stephanie recently visited Salisbury Plain as part of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme.During her visit, Stephanie spent time with two regiments, 22nd Engineer Regiment and 19th Regiment Royal Artillery.Stephanie met Matthew Kaye from Darfield, who serves in the 22nd, speaking to him about representing Barnsley in the armed forces, and how rewarding it is to build a career in the army.Commenting, Stephanie said:“I’ve always been a proud supporter of our armed forces, so it’s been immensely rewarding to learn more about the British Army through the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme.“That’s why it was a real pleasure to visit 22nd Engineer Regiment and 19th Regiment Royal Artillery, and to meet my constituent Matthew Kaye, from Darfield.“It was great to speak to Matthew about his role in the armed forces and his journey from growing up in here in Barnsley to serving in our army.”

Stephanie Continues Broadband Fight

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 21st December, Stephanie is continuing to campaign for better broadband coverage here in Barnsley.Over recent months, Stephanie has 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.Stephanie recently met with Superfast South Yorkshire in Cudworth, one of the areas across Barnsley they’ve been working on.Commenting, Stephanie said:‘The reality of broadband coverage here in Barnsley is that too often, it simply isn’t good enough. “Sub-standard broadband can have a real and detrimental effect on people’s lives, given the importance of the internet today."

COLUMN: I Want to Hear From You on Brexit

As featured in the Barnsley Chronicle on 7th December, Stephanie wrote her recent column on Brexit, encouraging everybody to get in touch and let her know your views on the possible outcome. You can read her full comments here.

Universal Credit Error Hitting Barnsley Residents

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 7th December, Stephanie has slammed the Government's for a systematic error in their flagship Universal Credit policy that sees claimaints in Barnsley lose out on significant amounts of money they are entitled to. A problem with the housing cost contribution calculation has resulted in every claimaint in receipt of disability benefits being wrongly deducted £72 for every non-dependent living with them - up to as much as £144, or even £216 and £288. Whilst these erroneous deductions can eventually be overturned, it's not know how many aren't noticed by vulnerable claimaints are unlikely to know otherwise without specialist help. After raising the issue with Government Ministers back in February, the Government assured Stephanie a fix for this devastating systematic error was imminent. But nine months later, no fix has been provided, and vulnerable residents in Barnsley are still being affected. Commenting, Stephanie said:  “Vulnerable people in Barnsley are being forced into greater financial distress due to the wilful neglect of this Government and their disastrous Universal Credit policy. “Time and time again, people are subject to erroneous deductions of vital funds they’re entitled to and depend on due to a systematic error with the Universal Credit system – one that the Government has themselves acknowledged. “Yet nearly nine months after I raised this problem and was assured a fix was imminent, the Tory Government has yet to act and vulnerable claimants continue to suffer. "They must take urgent action to immediately address this error.”  

Dorothy Hyman Sports Personality of the Year Award

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 7th December, Stephanie is campaigning for local legend Dorothy Hyman to be awarded a proper replica trophy after failing to receive one when winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award back in 1963.  Commenting, Stephanie said: “Dorothy is an accomplished athlete, Olympic and Commonwealth medal winner, record holder, and Barnsley hero. “From her childhood in Cudworth to a national household name, Dorothy was rightly recognised for her achievements with the 1963 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. “But unlike other winners, she was not given a trophy to keep and instead asked to hand hers back. "I hope our campaign can redress this injustice, bring a trophy back to Barnsley, and give a true champion of our community the trophy she richly deserves.”  

Supporting Small Business Saturday

As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport and Barnsley Gazette on 3rd December, Stephanie recently supported Small Business Saturday in Barnsley. This annual event, held on the first Saturday of December each year, encourages people to back their local small businesses, and Stephanie said: “Small local businesses are the lifeblood of a community, particularly in tight knit communities like ours here in Barnsley. “That’s why I’m a passionate supporter of our local businesses, and on this Small Business Saturday, it was a pleasure to pop in to Worsbrough Mill for some flour, pick up a lovely Christmas wreath from Grimethorpe, and get my tea from Barnsley Market.”

Universal Credit Hitting North Hardest

The following appeared in The Mirror on 29th November: The north is bearing the brunt of Universal Credit according to Labour. The party said the government's decision to rollout the scheme to northern constituencies first has meant that double the number of benefits sanctions have been doled out in the north than in the south. Labour MP Stephanie Peacock said: “The north is bearing the brunt of a policy that the Tories have delayed imposing on their own constituencies.” Statistics compiled for Labour show the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber had 41.13% of all sanctions applied, with 194,564 northerners being hit. The House of Commons Library figures show more than double the proportion were hit than in the south. The government insist that overall the number of sanctions is falling. They say the statistics fail to take into account the gradual roll-out of Universal Credit to different regions since 2013 and argue that there is more up-to-date data available. Ms Peacock told the Mirror: “It is totally clear that the UC roll out has been nothing short of a disaster so far, and people in northern towns like Barnsley have paid the human price. “People who left are waiting weeks without payment and many of those sanctioned are found to have lost out unfairly. I’ve seen too many people driven to food banks, into debt or even on to the streets, as they struggle to pay the bills without the support they need. “It is long past time to halt the roll out entirely, and Ministers need to get the message. "The Prime Minister promised to govern for the whole country but the stark truth that her government punished, not protected, the people I represent.” MPs on the work and pensions committee have called for a review of the “pointlessly cruel” sanctions system which they say does not help claimants into work. Last year the Mirror revealed the Tories had delayed the rollout of the hated scheme to the constituencies of some of their party’s key figures including the Prime Minister and Chancellor. Analysis of government figures this week showed that more than half of appeals against sanctions were successful, but claimants were left out of pocket during the appeal process.