Stephanie visits Barnsley Canister company exhibition

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 4th October, Stephanie recently visited Experience Barnsley’s exhibition on the Barnsley Canister Company.The exhibition, which ran from April to September, chronicled the history of the company from its beginnings as a First World War munitions company, to later becoming one of the leading exporters of tins around the world.Commenting, Stephanie said:“It was a pleasure to visit the exhibition on the Barnsley Canister Company.“This is another part of our area’s rich industrial heritage, and it’s great to see Experience Barnsley and Barnsley Council doing such important work in chronicling and preserving that heritage.”

Stephanie Continues Mineworkers Pension Campaign

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 4th October, Stephanie met with representatives from the National Union of Mineworkers recently, to continue the campaign on getting a fairer deal for retired miners in the Mineworkers Pension Scheme. The local MP has long campaigned on the issue, namely calling for a change to the surplus sharing arrangement of the Scheme amongst other alterations. Agreed in 1994, the surplus sharing element sees the Government entitled to 50 per cent of any surplus made by the Scheme. The agreement has seen the Government pocket over £4bn from the scheme since, all without paying in a single penny of their own. It was later revealed by the Government in response to a parliamentary question from local MP Peacock that the deal was agreed without expert actuarial advice on the arrangement. Along with regularly pressing the Government to make changes that would give more money to retired miners, the Barnsley MP has secured Parliamentary debates on the subject, met with Scheme trustees, and recently co-signed a letter to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Parliamentary Select Committee calling for an enquiry into the Scheme. Working alongside the NUM and parliamentary colleagues in other coalfield communities, Barnsley East’s MP is pushing for several changes to be made to the Scheme that would see bonus elements of the pension guaranteed, and the 50:50 sharing surplus arrangement reviewed in order to be shifted in favour of miners and their families. Commenting, Stephanie said: “In the same way that mining powered our community, our community powered a nation, and those who did so deserve nothing less than a fair arrangement that properly looks after them in later life. “But the Mineworkers Pension Scheme has for too long shifted money into the reserves of the Treasury instead of the pockets of the retired miners and their families who need it most. “I will continue to push the Government at every opportunity to amend the Scheme and finally acknowledge the contribution miners in Barnsley made to our country.”

Stephanie takes part in Pioneering Women's Football Match

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 4th October, Stephanie took part in the first ever 11-a-side game of the Women’s Parliamentary Football Club recently. Facing Lewes FC Women, the match brought together parliamentarians from all sides of the political divide in what in what was their first competitive effort on 11-a-side pitches. The game was won 4-2 by Lewes. Despite it being their first game of 11-a-side football, this isn’t the first time the Women’s Parliamentary Football Club have made headlines. Last year the Barnsley East MP received a ticking-off from House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, after playing football in the Commons chamber after-hours to promote the launch of the women’s team and sport for women.  Despite the controversy, the local MP maintains the club is a great way of bringing people together. Commenting, she said: “Football plays a huge role in our community, and whilst we often focus on the differences between clubs and fans the sport brings people together from amateur games on a Sunday morning to Saturday afternoons at Oakwell. “Whilst I won’t be running out for the Reds any time soon, it was great to have a kickabout with members from across the political spectrum and remind ourselves that even in these divided times we still all have more in common.”

Column: Arts and Creative Classes in Schools

In her Barnsley Chronicle column on 27th September, Stephanie wrote about the importance of creative subjects in schools such as art and drama, and the local success story of the brass band at Birkwood Primary School in Barnsley. You can read her full comments here.

Stephanie's comments on Austerity

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 27th September, Stephanie joined up with fellow Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis to comment on the continued austerity under the Tory Government. You can read their comments below:

Stephanie Heads out on Patrol

As reported in the Barnsley Gazette and Barnsley Chronicle on 27th September, took part in a police patrol this week to support Operation Sceptre – a South Yorkshire Police initiative to tackle knife crime.The initiative comes as part of a national week of police activity on the issue. It follows a new law which means that those who are given a second conviction for carrying a knife will be given an automatic custodial sentence.Stephanie met with DCI Paul Murphy, the South Yorkshire Police officer leading the operation in Barnsley this week, before going out on patrol with officers around the community as part of their efforts to combat knife crime.Commenting, Stephanie said:“Knife crime is a major problem, with young people in particular affected by this blight on our society.“Despite devastating cuts to police resources over the past decade, South Yorkshire Police are taking a proactive approach in tackling this issue and keeping our community safe.  “Taking part in the patrol with dedicated officers was a great opportunity to see first-hand the practical, hands on work our hard-working police are doing across Barnsley.”

Stephanie to train with RAF

As reported in the Barnsley Gazette and Barnsley Chronicle on September 20th, Stephanie is undertaking an official programme with the Royal Air Force as part of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS).The AFPS is a year-long course that gives parliamentarians the opportunity to learn more about the armed forces alongside service personnel in one of the branches of the military. This is the second such undertaking for the MP, who over the last year spent time with the army, visiting a range of locations across the country to participate in activities from live firing exercises to the army’s new physical entry examination. Following the success of her placements with the army, the local MP will now spend a number of days – mainly during Parliamentary recess time – in training with the RAF, spending time with frontline personnel, visiting bases, observing forces on deployment and at some point embedding with a unit for a longer period.Having already spent time at the Defence Academy at Shrivenham being familiarised with the workings of the military, the Barnsley East MP is hoping the time spent working alongside serving personnel will give her a greater insight into the RAF and wider armed forces.Commenting, Stephanie said:“As a proud supporter of our armed forces, it’s a privilege to continue my association with them as part of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme.“Following my time spent with the army, this year’s scheme will give me the opportunity to spend time with our fantastic RAF, and learn more about the crucial issues facing our armed forces and those serving in them.“I’m excited to get stuck in over the next year and observe first-hand the vital role our RAF plays in the UK’s defence.”

Stephanie addresses Grove Street Tree concerns

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 20th September, this week Stephanie helped constituents on Grove Street with issues surrounding the chopping down of trees which may be causing harm to local wildlife. You can read the full story below:

Stephanie Opens National Citizen Service Awards

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 20th September, Stephanie recently opened the National Citizen Service’s awards ceremony in Barnsley The National Citizen Service is a four-stage programme for 15 to 17 year olds, where they are taught a range of different skills and put together a social action project to implement in their community.The awards ceremony was held at the Metrodome to mark the end of the Citizen Service’s summer programme.Commenting, Stephanie said:“It was a real pleasure to open the National Citizen Service’s awards ceremony.“The National Citizen Service provides a fantastic opportunity for young people here in Barnsley to get involved and make a real difference in their community.“At a time when young people are unfairly caricatured as lazy or uncaring, I have to say that the young people I meet in our area are bright, engaged and committed to making a difference. “So it was great to be at the awards and to hear about the massive difference our brilliant young people have made in our community with their National Citizen Service social action projects.”  

Stephanie visits Wombwell Town FC

As reported in the Barnsley Gazette, Stephanie recently visited Wombwell Town FC.The club, based on Station Road, was formed in 2018.During her visit, Stephanie met with club President Andrew Scattergood and Chairman Carl Rose, had a tour of the club’s facilities, and chatted to Andrew and Carl about ways she can support the club with securing funding for renovations and improvements to their facilities.Commenting, Stephanie said:‘It was great to visit Wombwell Town FC, to see their facilities, and to hear from Andrew and Carl about how the club has gone from strength to strength since it was founded in 2018.‘I know just how important local sports clubs and facilities like this are in our community, so I’ll always support them in any way I can.‘So it was good to chat to Andrew and Carl about the club’s projects to renovate and improve their facilities, and ways I can support them in securing funding for their exciting plans to turn the club into a community hub in the heart of Wombwell.’