As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 7th June, Stephanie took part in a Parliamentary tug-of-war this week to raise money for the cancer support charity Macmillan. The contest took place after parliamentary business had ended for the day, and pitted a team of cross-party MPs against their counterparts in the House of Lords. The MP team, including Peacock and others from across the political parties, were successful, and take home the trophy until next year’s rematch. Macmillan’s annual event in Westminster brings politicians from across Parliament together to raise awareness of Macmillan and raise funds to support the work the cancer charity undertakes across the UK. Commenting, Stephanie said: “The annual Westminster tug-of-war is a great way of bringing parliamentarians together to help support a fantastic cause. “Although being a part of the event and taking home the trophy was lots of fun, the most important thing is to help Macmillan continue to do incredible work for people suffering with cancer in Barnsley and across the country.”
As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport and the Barnsley Chronicle on 7th June, Stephanie has held a meeting with Barnsley Council on the automation of work.The meeting was held with David Shepherd, Council Service Director for Regeneration, and Julia Burrows, Council Service Director for Public Health.During the meeting, attendees discussed the changing nature of work, the increasing role and influence of automation, and the possible impact of this in Barnsley.Commenting, Stephanie said:“It’s clear that the nature of work is changing at pace in the modern world.“Automation is causing some jobs to disappear entirely, and fundamentally changing the nature of others.“So I was pleased to meet with Barnsley Council to discuss these developments, and their possible impact here in Barnsley.“Our area has already seen massive changes in employment over the last 30 years, with the closure of the pits and the failure of governments to ensure that those jobs were replaced.“Now, with employment dramatically changing once again, it’s vital that the Government invests properly in our area, to ensure that we’re at the forefront of securing the jobs of the future here in Barnsley.”
As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport and Barnsley Chronicle on 31st May, Stephanie met with Sport England in Parliament recently to discuss opening up specialised funding for sports and recreation in coalfield areas like Barnsley. The discussions surrounded the national organisation’s ‘Community Asset Fund’, which will seek to deliver £2m for sports and recreation projects in former mining communities. The funding is part of Sport England’s aim to increase the health and physical activity in coalfield areas, and local MP Peacock is hoping plenty of that money finds its way to groups in Barnsley. She received a briefing from the organisation on how to increase the number of successful applications from Barnsley, and is now offering to help support local miners’ welfare clubs apply. Said Stephanie: “Barnsley, like so many other coalfield communities across the country, has too often in the past been left behind and ignored when it comes to funding from the Government for local sports and recreation projects. “The money delivered by Sport England could make a huge difference to organisations and miners’ welfare clubs in Barnsley, and the many people who use their facilities to keep active and healthy. “I’ll be reaching out to local groups and encouraging applications so as much of this money as possible can reach Barnsley, and I encourage any organisation thinking of applying to contact me for any help required.”
As featured in the Barnsley Chronicle education supplement on the 24th of May, Stephanie considered the proposal of T-Levels, and discussed the importance of the effective implementation of a technical qualification. You can read her full comments here.
In her Barnsley Chronicle column on 24th May, Stephanie wrote about the importance of effective probation services, and the failure of the Government's decision to part-privatise them. You can read her full comments here.
As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport and Barnsley Chronicle on 24th May, Stephanie recently visited Upperwood Primary Academy in Darfield. During her visit, Stephanie met with Alistair Budd, the Academy’s Principal, to discuss the work the Academy is doing in the local community. She also chatted to staff about the work they do, and met students on her tour of the school. She said afterwards: “I really enjoyed my visit. It was great to chat to Mr Budd about the work he’s doing and ways I can support him and the school in future, and it was a real pleasure to meet fantastic teachers and bright, engaged students on my walk round the school.”
As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport and the Barnsley Chronicle on 24th May, Stephanie recently visited the Forest Academy in Kendray. During her visit, Stephanie met with Sam Bailey, the Executive Principal, to discuss the work the school is doing, the challenges faced, and any ways in which the MP could help. Stephanie also had a walk round the school, and chatted to staff and students during lessons. She said: “It was great to visit the Forest Academy in Kendray. I had a productive meeting with Ms Bailey – we chatted about the challenges the academy is facing, and ways I can work with her in future, and I really enjoyed having a look round the school and chatting to lots of brilliant teachers and students.”
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle, leading Labour figures in Barnsley including Stephanie have written to Jeremy Corbyn warning any push from Labour for a second EU referendum could put the party’s future at stake.Barnsley East MP Stephanie, Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis and Sir Steve Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council, offered their support for Mr Corbyn’s ongoing negotiations to secure an exit deal but stated their objection to the prospect of a second referendum.The letter says reneging on assurances given and pursuing a second EU referendum ‘risks creating further irreparable division in society’ and could ‘disenfranchise millions’ of voters.“We do not support such a proposal and nor would the majority of our residents,” the letter says. “Along with the future of our democratic process, the future of our Labour Party is at stake. We simply cannot ignore and disregard the voice of traditional Labour voters who rely on our movement.“Instead we must reconnect with the working people for whom our party was formed to represent, and show the trust they have placed in us is not taken for granted.“Working to achieve a deal now is the way to do this, and to help unite those who voted on both sides of the referendum.”Stephanie, who resigned from her Labour front bench position after breaking party orders and voting against a second referendum on the UK’s exit from the EU, told the Chronicle: “In 2016 Barnsley voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU and a year later I was elected by the people of Barnsley East on a manifesto promise to respect this decision.“I have long been honest and clear that I feel a second referendum risks undermining this result and ignoring the clear message we received at the ballot box both locally and nationally to leave the EU.”The letter added: “As elected representatives of Barnsley we strongly believe that the decision made by our residents and by people across the UK on our membership of the European Union must be honoured.“The Labour Party’s manifesto pledge at the last general election to respect the result was a significant reason why so many people trusted us with their vote.“Ignoring this decision risks undermining the trust placed in us as elected representatives, and that is why we support your efforts in the ongoing negotiations with the government to secure a deal.”
As reported in the Yorkshire Post, the Barnsley Chronicle, Look North, Calendar News, and the BBC, Stephanie has spoken in Parliament this week on the role the failing probation services played in the tragic death of her constituent Jacqueline Wileman, before the Government announced a U-turn to end their decision to outsource these services. The Government's decision to part-privatise probation under then-Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has come under intense criticism, and Stephanie has continually raised in the House of Commons the results of this failed, ideologically driven move that has seen a vital service run in the interests of private profit over public safety. She has spoken of how one of the mean convicted of killing Jacqueline was under probation supervision at the time. Jacqueline's brother, Johnny Wood, has stated his belief that if the probation services had done their job his sister would still be alive. South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company is currently the responsibility of Sodexo services, a private company. It was recently rated as requrining improvement. On Thursday, in the face of failing standards and tragic incidents the Government announced they would reverse their changes, re-nationalise probation, and bring these services back in-house. Read more below.
In her Barnsley Chronicle column on 10th May, Stephanie wrote about social mobility, and the importance of making sure there are no limits on the aspirations of young people here in Barnsley. You can read her full comments here.