Stephanie Comments on Bullying Exclusions

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 9th August, Stephanie has commented on the news that exclusions for bullying have increased over the last year in Barnsley's schools. In response to news that exclusions for bullying have increased by 18 per cent in Barnsley, Stephanie commented: “No child should be forced to endure bullying at school, which can have devastating consequences on both their health and educational attainment. “Schools should take appropriate action against bullying, and exclusions should be reserved as a last resort where other alternatives have been exhausted.”

Stephanie Put Through Paces with Army

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 9th August, Stephanie has been put through her paces at a British Army training camp as part of her membership in the Armed Forces Parliament Scheme. Following the commencement of Parliament’s summer recess, the Barnsley East MP spent a few days working alongside the army at the British Forces’ Cyprus base. The trip was part of the armed forces scheme, which gives parliamentarians the chance to learn more about the armed forces, and see up-close how they operate. During her trip, Stephanie took part in several weapons training exercises, seeing first-hand how the infantry train with a range of military equipment and weaponry. Along with British service personnel, the local MP met with UN delegations, to gain a greater understanding of the UK’s role as part of international security efforts. Stephanie was also tested by the army’s new physical fitness trials, which set the in-service physical standards for those serving in the infantry. Compared to previous base fitness tests, the new gender-free standards seek to replicate real-world requirements that are likely to be undertaken by service personnel, including casualty extraction from military vehicles. Aside from the physical rigours of the visit undertaken by the Barnsley MP, she also met Darfield’s Corporal Robert Lee, serving as an engineer with RAF No1 Air Control Centre, British Forces Cyprus. Commenting, Stephanie said: “The visit was a fantastic opportunity to see first-hand how our forces operate abroad, and how they maintain the high standards they are known for around the world. “It was a real bonus to meet my constituent Robert who grew up on the same street that I live on in Darfield – our whole community can be proud of him and others that dedicate their lives to keeping us safe. “I want to thank the British Army and Corporal Lee for hosting me in Cyprus and allowing me to spend time training alongside them.” “The Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme has given me the chance to work closely with our army this year and has provided an invaluable insight into the work they do – I’ll continue my support for our incredible armed forces in the future.”

Stephanie Meets with Road Safety Charity to Continue Campaign

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on August 9th, Stephanie has met with the road safety charity Brake to continue her campaign to increase the maximum sentence for those found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. The meeting took place in Parliament and gave the MP the chance to discuss how she can work alongside the charity to push the Government to make the changes. Peacock’s campaign comes after the tragic death of Brierley resident Jacqueline Wileman, who was killed in 2017 by four men driving a stolen HGV lorry. Working with Jacqueline’s family and brother Johnny Wood, the MP secured a commitment from the Government to increase the maximum sentences that can be handed out to those found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving, following the sentences given to those responsible for Jacqueline’s death. The MP recently coordinated a Parliamentary meeting between the now-Justice Secretary Robert Buckland MP and Johnny. However, despite reaffirming their pledge to increasing maximum sentences, the Secretary of State was unable to provide any date to do so. Following the meeting, press reports emerged over the Government’s intention to increase sentences, and the Barnsley MP has written to the Justice Secretary to confirm the Government’s pledge to do so. ar Peacock has subsequently met with the road safety charity, and committed to working alongside them to continue pressing the Government to make changes to the sentencing regulations. Commenting, she said: “Following the tragic death of Jacqueline Wileman, her family have bravely campaigned to increase the maximum sentencing for those convicted of causing death by dangerous driving. “The Government have committed to do so, but continue to drag their feet in bringing forward the necessary legislation required to make the changes. “Following my meeting with Brake, I’ll work alongside them and continue to push the Government to increase the sentences and provide justice for Jackie and her family.”

Stephanie presses Government on dangerous driving sentences

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 2nd August, Stephanie has questioned the Government in Parliament on maximum sentences for causing death by dangerous driving.Currently, the maximum sentence is 14 years.Stephanie has been working with the family of her constituent Jacqueline Wileman, who sadly lost her life when she was hit by a stolen lorry in Brierley last year, to campaign for the maximum sentence to be raised to life.Stephanie recently organised a meeting between Jacqueline’s family and Justice Minister Robert Buckland, who has now been promoted to the Cabinet as the Secretary of State for Justice.Following the recent change of Prime Minister, Stephanie questioned the Government on when it will bring forward legislation to enact these changes, first promised nearly two years ago.Media reports following her question in Parliament suggested the Government have listened and will act.Commenting, Stephanie said:‘The Government promised nearly two years ago that they would raise the maximum sentence for death by dangerous driving from 14 years to life.‘I will keep pushing the Government to act until they do.’

Stephanie presses Government to protect pensioners

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 2nd August, Stephanie has challenged the Government in the House of Commons on take up of Pension Credit, changes to TV licences, and the affect this is having on pensioners here in Barnsley.Introduced by the last Labour Government, Pension Credit is a Government top up which is provided in two parts, Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.The former is income-related, and tops up weekly income to £167.25 for single people or £255.25 for couples, while the latter is an additional payment for those with savings for retirement, such as a pension.Nationally, 40% of eligible individuals do not claim Pension Credit.In Barnsley East constituency, 7350 households are claimants, and in 4108 of these households, the main claimant is over 75.In Parliament, Stephanie highlighted the unfairness of a system where 40% of pensioners are not claiming something to which they are entitled, at the same time as more than 4000 pensioners in Barnsley East are set to lose their free TV licences.Commenting, Stephanie said:‘This Government’s approach to Pension Credit and TV licences highlights yet again just how little the Tories care about pensioners here in Barnsley and around the country.‘That’s why I challenged the Government in Parliament, and will keep putting pressure on them to protect pensioners in Barnsley who worked so hard for our area and for our country, and deserve a fair deal in their retirement.’

Column: summer holiday challenges

In her Barnsley Chronicle column on 2nd August, Stephanie wrote about the challenges families face over the school holidays, from the cost of school uniform to food poverty. You can read her full comments here.

Alzheimer's Society exhibition

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 26th July, Stephanie joined the Alzheimer’s Society photography exhibition in Parliament recently to showcase the human cost of the dementia care crisis. The photo exhibition, 'Dementia Care: The Crisis Behind Closed Doors', depicts the human cost of a care system that the charity claims is unfair, unsustainable and in urgent need of reform up and down the country. At the exhibition, Stephanie met with people affected by dementia to hear about how the dementia crisis has affected them and their families.  Alzheimer’s Society is calling for a Dementia Fund in the upcoming Spending Review to end the dementia penalty, bringing fairness into the system and improving quality of care. Responding to the Alzheimer’s Society event, Stephanie said: “I am proud to stand with people affected by dementia and make the case for more funding for dementia care in the upcoming spending review. “One million people will have dementia by 2021 and it is vital that we are able to deliver high quality dementia care to everyone that needs it."

Column: Defence Spending Inequality

In her Barnsley Chronicle column on 19th July, Stephanie wrote about levels of defence spending, and how where investment is made is also important. You can read her full comments here.

Stephanie's Donation to BSARCS

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 19th July, Stephanie visited the Barnsley Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Services (BSARCS) to donate to hand over a cheque over over £1,600. The money was raised by the Barnsley East MP in the London Marathon for the local charity which provides specialist services for people affected by sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, and any kind of sexual violence. Commenting, Stephanie said: “BSARCS is a local organisation that does vital work supporting vulnerable people in Barnsley. “The specialist services they deliver are crucial to helping people affected by sexual violence of any kind, and hopefully the money raised will help them continue to make a huge difference in our community. “I want to thank all the people in Barnsley who sponsored me, and I’ll continue to support the fantastic BSARCS in any way I can.”  

Barnsley Academy Breakfast Awards

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 12th July, Stephanie recently spoke at the Barnsley Academy celebratory breakfast.The yearly event, held to celebrate the achievements of the Academy’s outstanding students, was also attended by local councillors Wayne Johnson and John Clarke, and the South Yorkshire Police Commander for Barnsley, Scott Green.During her speech, Stephanie congratulated the students on their success, spoke about the importance of hard work in achieving your goals, and spoke about the real difference young people here in Barnsley can make in their communities.Commenting, Stephanie said:“It was a real pleasure to attend the Barnsley Academy celebratory breakfast.“It was great to meet so many talented, dedicated young people, and to hear about their outstanding achievements at Barnsley Academy over the last year.“We’re so fortunate that, here in Barnsley, we have so many brilliant, hard working young people who are keen to make a difference in their community, and I can’t wait to see what they achieve in future.”