Stephanie Challenges Government on Homelessness Scandal

As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport and Barnsley Chronicle on January 4th, Stephanie challenged the Government on  statistics that show over 120 people are homeless in Barnsley. Questioning the Government in the House of Commons, she also pushed for greater funds for local authorities like BMBC to tackle rising homelessness. According to the housing charity Shelter, there are around 320,000 people recorded as homeless in Britain – a rise of 13,000 on the previous year and the equivalent to 36 people becoming homeless every day. Recent figures show that deaths of homeless persons have increased by nearly a quarter over the last five years, with over 600 homeless people dying in England and Wales last year The numbers follow the news that a homeless person died recently feet away from the entrance to Parliament in Westminster tube station – the second to do so this year. Questioning the Government Minister overseeing housing in the House of Commons, the Barnsley MP stated society where a man can die on the steps of Parliament because he does not have a roof over his head is not one that should be accepted. Stephanie went on: “The rise of homelessness over recent years is a national scandal and shames us all. “In a country as rich as ours homelessness is not inevitable and nobody should be forced to live rough without a roof over their head, yet since 2010 the numbers of people doing so has more than doubled because of decisions made by this disastrous Tory government. “We should urgently set about addressing the root causes of homelessness, and instead of further cuts this Government should make funds available for local councils to properly help those in need.  

Stephanie Raises Schools Rating Delay

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 4th January, Stephanie questioned the Government in the House of Commons on their proposed Schools Health Rating system that was proposed back in 2016. You can read her comments below. 

Stephanie pushes for protection against workplace harassment

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 4th January, Stephanie pushed the Government for greater action to tackle workplace sexual harassment in Parliament recently. The move follows the Government’s announcement of a new code of practice to prevent harassment in the workplace, something the Barnsley MP says falls short of what’s required. The code of practice was revealed recently in an attempt to make employers understand their responsibility to protect staff from harassment in the workplace. However, the Fawcett Society charity has voiced concerns that the code does not go far enough in addressing the issue. Echoing these concerns in the House of Commons, the Barnsley East MP pushed the Government to include a formal duty on employers to prevent harassment, without which she claims the code will have little practical impact. Commenting, Stephanie said: “Any move to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace is a welcome step, but unfortunately the Government’s long-awaited Code of Practice does not go far enough. “Along with charities like the Fawcett Society, I raised concerns in the House of Commons that without a formal requirement on employers to prevent harassment, many women in Barnsley and across the UK will be left to simply deal with the problem of sexual harassment on their own. “I hope the Government listens to these concerns and produces regulations that will genuinely help people in the workplace in Barnsley.”

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.”