As featured in the Barnsley Chronicle on March 2nd, Stephanie's recent column focused on dementia. She wrote about the how people in Barnsley East are affected, what can be done to help those living with it, and the steps she is taking to make Barnsley East more dementia friendly. You can read her full comments here.
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on March 2nd, Stephanie has warned the Tories are ‘failing to protect the public’ after new figures revealed Government funding to South Yorkshire Police is to be cut for an eighth consecutive year. The news comes as police officer numbers nationwide fall to the lowest level in three decades., and the Labour Party are calling on the Government to properly fund the police with crime rocketing. New crime figures released last month showed the highest annual rise in police recorded crime since comparable records began in 2002. Since 2010 South Yorkshire Police has lost 480 officers, and 36 per cent of its PCSOs, meaning almost 600 fewer frontline staff. Commenting, Stephanie said: “Our police are at breaking point and the Tories prescription is yet more reckless funding cuts for our local force. The Government are failing in their duty to protect the public.” “With crime soaring and officer numbers dwindling, our local police force simply cannot afford more cuts.”
As featured in the Barnsley Gazette, Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport on February 28th, Stephanie is supporting a year-long programme of events organised by the UK Parliament to mark 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave all men and some women the vote for the first time. The Vote 100 programme includes a wide range of events and activities commemorating the women and men who fought to achieve electoral equality. The Representation of the People Act extended the right to vote to all men over 21 and the first women, making this one of the most important centenaries in British democratic history. Throughout the year there will be a major exhibition in Parliament – “Voice and Vote” – as well as an exciting programme of talks and tours in Parliament. There will also be a number of UK-wide events, such as EqualiTeas and UK Parliament Week 2018. The local MP is encouraging schools and community groups in Barnsley to get involved in debating and celebrating this important anniversary in our democracy. Commenting, Stephanie said: “It’s important we mark the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act which was an absolutely vital step towards the rights women have today. “The anniversary provides the opportunity for us reflect on how far we have come, thanks to the extreme bravery and sacrifice of the women who fought – and in some cases died – for equality. ““Whether it’s chatting about the issues over a cup of tea, or engaging with one of the many exciting events as part of this year’s UK Parliament Week, there are countless opportunities for schools and community groups across Barnsley to get involved in this key anniversary. “Despite the progress made since this Act, there’s still so much more we can do and I look forward to working with people across Barnsley to ensure we create an even more equal society.”
As featured in the Barnsley Chronicle on 16th February, Stephanie's recent column focused on the Taylor Review into employment. She wrote about how the Taylor Review's recommendations didn't go far enough in tackling issues with modern work, and about how the Government has failed to meet even the most basic of the review's recommendations.
As reported in the Barnsley Gazette, Stephanie got the chance to see local school children getting inspired by nature on 26th January when she paid a visit to the RSPB Old Moor nature reserve to see the reserve’s successful outdoor learning programme.Children from Goldthorpe primary School came to the reserve for a day with Old Moor’s expert team, discovering pond minibeasts and the habitat they live in. The children spent time in the habitats, where they followed the national curriculum-led sessions, learning about the wildlife and nature. The children were joined by Stephanie, who took the opportunity to discuss the important work the reserve is undertaking to protect the natural environment and wildlife, and how she can work alongside the reserve in future.Stephanie said: “It’s really important to get children active, with hands-on learning experiences in nature from a young age, as it has a positive impact on their physical health, emotional wellbeing and their education."
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 9th February, Stephanie has blamed the Government after she revealed results achieved in key subjects by students on free school meals in Barnsley have fallen drastically. The figures were obtained from the Government by Stephanie through a written parliamentary question.They show that since 2011, the percentage of students eligible for free school meals (FSM) achieving the expected grades at key stage 2 in English and Maths has substantially decreased. In 2011, the number of pupils on FSM achieving a Level 4 grade in English was 72 per cent, but this has fallen to just 50 per cent reaching the expected standard in 2010. Similarly, the 56 per cent of FSM-eligible pupils achieving the expected grade in Maths in 2017 is considerably lower than the 73 per cent who did so in 2011. After acquiring the figures, Stephanie is blaming the Government for the fall in standards as a result of consistent cuts to school budgets.Stephanie said: “Children on free school meals can be some of the most vulnerable in our community, and often struggle the most to get on in life. That’s why it’s absolutely vital they get the best start with a good education, but these figures show fewer of them are. With schools here in Barnsley already funded significantly less than other areas, savage cuts to budgets over the last seven years by this Tory Government have had a devastating effect on teaching. With schools under-resourced and under strain, it’s the children in our community who need help most who are suffering from these brutal cuts.”
As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport on 7th February and the Barnsley Chronicle on 16th February, Stephanie has written to the Government to demand answers after revealing statistics that showed her Barnsley East constituency’s broadband speed and connections are well below average. According to independent analysis undertaken by the House of Commons Library, Barnsley East trails the rest of the country when it comes to speed and access to vital broadband connections. The figures revealed, for instance, that average broadband speeds in Barnsley East are 20 per cent lower than the national average. Superfast availability is also lower than average, whilst there is 0 per cent availability of full fibre broadband in the constituency. Within Barnsley East, Hoyland Milton ward’s average internet speed of 21 Mbps puts it in the worst 10 per cent of wards in the UK, whilst Darfield, North East and Rockingham wards also reside in the worst 30 per cent for broadband speed in the country. Stephanie Peacock’s letter, addressed to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport raises the sub-standard quality of Barnsley East’s broadband access, and demands answers over the Government’s plans to address the constituency’s digital exclusion. She said: “Access to fast and reliable broadband is absolutely essential to the way of life for so many people and businesses in our community. “Sub-standard broadband risks stunting the growth of local businesses as they trail competitors elsewhere, and digital exclusion can be devastating for those who rely on the internet for necessities like arranging health appointments or applying for welfare payments. “But these figures show that our community is being left behind when it comes to access to broadband speeds and connectivity, with levels way below the national average. “I’ve written to the Government to demand answers on what steps they intend to take to prevent Barnsley East being held back by a lack of high quality broadband for any longer.”
As reported in the Barnsley Gazette and Barnsley News and Sport on 5th February, Stephanie has blamed the Government after she revealed results achieved in key subjects by students on free school meals in Barnsley have fallen drastically. The figures were obtained from the Government by the local MP by a written parliamentary question. They show that since 2011, the percentage of students eligible for free school meals (FSM) achieving the expected grades at key stage 2 in English and Maths has substantially decreased. In 2011, the number of pupils in Barnsley on FSM achieving a Level 4 grade in English was 72 per cent, but this has fallen to just 50 per cent reaching the expected standard. Similarly, the 56 per cent of FSM-eligible pupils achieving the expected grade in Maths in 2017 is considerably lower than the 73 per cent who did so in 2011. After acquiring the figures, Barnsley East’s MP is blaming the Government for the fall in standards as a result of consistent cuts to school budgets. She said: “It’s absolutely vital children eligible for free school meals get the best start with a good education, but these figures show fewer of them are. “With schools here in Barnsley already funded significantly less than other areas, savage cuts to budgets over the last seven years by this Tory Government have had a devastating effect on teaching. “With schools under-resourced and under strain, it’s the children in our community who need help most who are suffering from these brutal cuts.”
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 2nd February, Stephanie spoke recently at this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day event in Barnsley. The commemoration was held at Horizon Community College last Friday. It brought together local residents, schools, community groups, Mayor Cllr Jeff Ennis, Stephanie Peacock MP, and holocaust survivor Iby Knill, who shared her important story. Barnsley East’s MP used her opportunity to speak of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day theme – the power of words – and remarked on the importance of remembering the tragic events. Stephanie said: “It was an honour to speak at this year’s incredibly important Holocaust Memorial Day event here in Barnsley."
As featured in the Barnsley Chronicle on February 2nd, Stephanie used her column this week to discuss local pharmacies. She talked about her meeting a local pharmaceutical group, and the impact devastating cuts have had on our community pharmacies. You can read Stephanie's full column here.