Column: Modern Slavery

As featured in the Barnsley Chronicle on 13th September, Stephanie wrote her recent column the scourge of Modern Slavery and what must be done to tackle it. In particular, she paid tribute to local Northern College's dedicated course that provides education and learning for survivors of modern slavery. You can read her full comments here.  

Constituency Boundary Proposal Comments

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 13th September, Stephanie commented on the proposed constituency boundary changes that would see the current Barnsley East and Barnsley Central constituencies affected.  Commenting on the changes, Stephanie said: “The new boundary proposals will dilute Barnsley’s currently unified voice in Parliament at a time when it’s needed most.“In breaking up Barnsley borough from Barnsley East and Barnsley Central, the proposed boundaries will instead split Barnsley’s representation thinly across a number of constituencies with few or no existing ties.“Any changes should take into consideration our community’s ability to represent itself forcefully in Westminster.”  

Stephanie Visits Barnsley Brick Exhibition

As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport and the Barnsley Chronicle on 13th September, Stephanie recently visited the Barnsley Brick Project exhibition at the Experience Barnsley museum. This exhibition chronicles the history of the Barnsley brick manufacturing industry, and the local brickworks which provided the bricks to construct many local buildings. The exhibition also contains a display of contemporary ‘art bricks’, which focus on 21st century Barnsley. Commenting, Stephanie said: “It was a pleasure to pop in to the Barnsley Brick Project exhibition, and to see the work being done to remember Barnsley’s often-forgotten brick making industry. “It’s so important that we honour Barnsley’s industrial history and also celebrate our area as it is today, so it was great to see the exhibition’s combination of commemorating the past, and celebrating the present through the contemporary ‘art bricks.’’

Stephanie Challenges Government on Carillion Apprentices

As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport and the Barnsley Chronicle on 13th September, Stephanie recently questioned the Government during Education Questions in the House of Commons. Stephanie’s question focused on the recent news that 341 former Carillion apprentices have been made redundant, and she urged the Government to take urgent action to ensure that all former Carillion apprentices are provided with alternative placements as soon as possible. Commenting, Stephanie said: “It is simply not good enough that 341 former Carillion apprentices have been made redundant. “As someone who employs a living wage apprentice in my office, I know that apprentices are often young, are just starting out on a career path, and have to work exceptionally hard to achieve their qualification. “I feel it is grossly unfair that 341 apprentices should be made redundant, with their careers and future prospects severely affected due to the incompetence of corporate bosses and political mismanagement of the situation by Government ministers. “That’s why I’m calling on the Government to take urgent action on this matter, to reverse the decision to make the apprentices redundant, and to ensure that all Carillion apprentices are provided with an alternative placement as soon as possible.”  

Stephanie welcomes one-year cancer survival statistics

As reported in the Barnsley Gazette, Stephanie has welcomed local figures that show an increase in the rate of one-year cancer survival in Barnsley.Latest figures from NHS England show that one-year cancer survival rates have grown by 0.9 per cent in Barnsley East.Macmillan’s research has shown by 2020 nearly one in two will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime; however, cancer survival rates in the UK are still among the worst in Europe because many people are diagnosed too late when their cancer is advanced.Stephanie is pushing for greater recognition of early diagnosis to give people the best chance of living better and fuller lives after diagnosis.Commenting, Stephanie said: "I’m delighted to see the progress made locally in one-year cancer survival rates, which have grown by 0.9 per cent in my constituency. "These increases are a real testament to the hard-work of local cancer services and our fantastic NHS staff. "But it’s clear we still have more to do, and I’ll continue to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis to help ensure more people not only survive cancer, but are able to live better lives after a diagnosis."

Column: exam results and life chances

As featured in the Barnsley Chronicle on 17th August, Stephanie wrote her recent column on exam results and social mobility. She wrote about how students from Barnsley will find it more difficult to get on in life compared to their counterparts elsewhere in the country, and how she'll continue to demand urgent action from the Government until every young person here in Barnsley has a proper opportunity to aspire, achieve, and succeed in life. You can read her full comments here.

Stephanie visits National Citizen Service

As reported in the Barnsley Gazette, Stephanie recently visited the National Citizen Service.The National Citizen Service, launched in 2011, is a three phase course which is open to 15 to 17 year olds.The young people involved are taught a range of life skills, and plan a social action project which could make a difference in their communities.Stephanie attended an event where the young people on the Barnsley programme were putting the finishing touches to their projects.Commenting, Stephanie said:“I know what a difference brilliant young people can make in their local communities, and this National Citizen Service provides an opportunity for them to do so.”“It was great to pay a visit to the service here in Barnsley and see the social action projects being put together by our young people – these could make a real difference in our area.”

Stephanie backs campaign to save free local cash points

As reported in the Barnsley Gazette, Stephanie is backing the campaign to save free local cash machines.Many ATMs in Barnsley and across the UK provide free withdrawals for people to access their own money. These free-to-use cash machines are funded through a levy on banks, set by the network body LINK, but on July 1st the first of four rounds of cuts to the funding for free to use ATMs was put into action. Since this cut was announced five months ago 300 ATMs have closed per month with rural areas being more greatly impacted than urban centres. ATM providers have warned that the cut in funding goes too far too fast with the industry body ATIMA saying as many as 30,000 ATMs could be lost by 2030, that is 40% of the UK’s network. The local MP is backing a campaign to save cash machines in Barnsley, and ensure local residents still have free and easy access to their money. Commenting, Stephanie said: “Whilst we are slowly moving towards a cashless society, a demand for free cash points still exists and I strongly believe that people shouldn’t have to pay for the privilege of accessing their own money. “These cuts risk isolating people who require cash machines to acquire their money for payments, or charging them unacceptable amounts to do so.  “The impact of these cuts should be reviewed to ensure our cash points are saved for those who need them.”

Stephanie questions Health Secretary

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 3rd August, Stephanie recently questioned the Health Secretary on access to services for those living with dementia.Stephanie recently met with the 'What's Life Like' group, which is made up of people living with dementia in the Barnsley area.At that meeting, Stephanie spoke to the group about their concerns around their condition, including stigma, diagnosis and quality of care.The questions Stephanie asked the Health Secretary were based on the concerns raised in that meeting.Commenting, Stephanie said:'As Alzheimer's Society states, it's so important that we all work to build a society which is inclusive for those living with dementia.'It's clear that there's still much more to do to build an inclusive society, and it's so important that those living with dementia have their voices heard.'I'm pleased that I was able to give voice to my constituents' concerns in Parliament, and I'll continue to work so that everyone living with dementia can feel a part of, not apart from, society.'

Stephanie launches 'Is Plastic Fantastic' campaign

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 3rd August, Stephanie recently launched her 'Is Plastic Fantastic' campaign in partnership with schools in Barnsley East.The campaign, a holiday project for local students, aims to educate on the dangers of single-use plastic.It promotes the use of environmentally friendly alternatives, from jute bags replacing carrier bags, to reusable straws and cups.Commenting, Stephanie said:“Since I was elected to represent Barnsley East, I’ve made it a priority to visit our fantastic family of local schools.“Whenever I visit them, I’m impressed by how engaged and conscious a lot of young people are when it comes to our environment – it was those children and the work being done in our schools that inspired this idea.“As a former teacher, I know how helpful a project in the summer holidays can be, and I hope this is something all the family can get involved in to learn together about how we can better protect our beautiful local environment here in Barnsley.”