As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport, Stephanie signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment in Parliament this week. The local MP pledged her commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day, honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust and paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people today. Holocaust Memorial Day is marked annually on 27th January, the anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘Torn from Home’. After signing the Book of Commitment, Stephanie commented: “Holocaust Memorial Day is an important opportunity for people from Barnsley and across the country to reflect on the tragic events of the Holocaust. “As the Holocaust moves from living history, it becomes ever more important that we take the time to remember the victims and also pay tribute to the survivors. “I would encourage everyone to show their support for such an important day.”
As featured in the Barnsley Chronicle on 18th January, Stephanie wrote her recent column on the recent spate of crime experienced across Barnsley, and the efforts both she and South Yorkshire Police are making to tackle it. She also discussed the huge impact Government cuts have had on our local police services, and how this impacts crime on our streets. You can read her full comments here.
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 18th January, Stephanie recently took part in a digital surgery.The surgery, a thirty minute Q&A with students from Barnsley College, was organised by the Politics Project.The Politics Project aims to provide education on our democracy to teachers, students and politicians, and, through its digital surgeries, connects politicians with local students.Commenting, Stephanie said:‘It’s always a pleasure to chat to local students, to hear their views, and to discuss my role and the current political situation with them.‘So it was great to take part in this Digital Surgery with students from Barnsley College, and I’m pleased so many of our own people are engaged with politics, how it impacts their communities, and how they can get involved and make a difference.’
As reported in the Barnsley Gazette and Barnsley Chronicle on 18th January, Stephanie recently visited the Barnsley Churches Drop-in group in Barnsley town centre.The group runs drop-in sessions three times a week to support those who are facing complex situations like addiction and homelessness, and the MP had the opportunity to spend time with clients there and hear about their use of the project’s services.The group also provides a hot meal and hot and cold drinks, as well as clothing and sleeping bags.During her visit, Stephanie made a donation, met some of the group’s volunteers, and chatted to some of those who use the service regularly.Commenting, Stephanie said:‘I was humbled to meet such passionate, dedicated and committed volunteers who are making a real difference in our community here in Barnsley, and to chat to some of those who visit the drop-in regularly.‘Groups such as this have become all too necessary in recent years, and I was pleased to be able to support them, even if only in a small way, through making a donation.’
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 18th January, Stephanie has pledged to support sexual violence and abuse services after a report revealed the financial cost of sexual violence against women and girls was nearly £40,000 over the last year. The local MP attended the Parliamentary launch of a report into the ‘Funding and Commissioning of Sexual Violence and Abuse Services’, produced by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual Violence. The report describes a sector struggling to keep up with increasing demand and the financial toll sexual violence takes, revealing that violence against women and girls in Barnsley East cost £36,403,619 in 2017. It also outlined that specialist sexual violence and abuse services are facing serious challenges to maintain sustainability, with demand for Rape Crisis services rising 17% on last year but funding has not increased in kind. The report recommended a statutory right of access to specialist services for survivors; long-term sustainable funding for those services; the introduction of minimum levels of specialist services per head of the population and a Victim’s offer that outlines the available services in each region. Commenting on the report, Stephanie said: “I was shocked to find that the cost of violence against women and girls in my constituency is over £36,000 in a year. That is nothing compared to the personal cost to victims and survivors. “Specialist sexual violence and abuse services provide victims with the crucial support they need to become survivors the Government should make a transformative effort to put the needs of victims and survivors at the heart of government policy.”
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 18th January, Stephanie evealed that fire services in South Yorkshire face a £4 million black hole in their budget over the next three years due to government funding cuts and new costs imposed by the Treasury. An internal assessment warns that this will lead to a “reduction in level and quality of services provided to citizens, residents, businesses and partners across South Yorkshire”. The information, provided in a report for the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority and revealed to the Barnsley East MP following a Freedom of Information request, lays bare the scale of the crisis facing firefighters in South Yorkshire due to the government cuts, and new costs imposed by the treasury. The document makes clear that homes and businesses may be at risk because of the resulting deficit. In the document, service chiefs admit that they will be unable to balance the budget in 2020-2021 and 2021-22 because of further cuts, increased costs and “uncertainty” caused by the government, causing a total gap of £4.3m over the two years. They warn this is likely to have a direct impact on their level of fire protection and emergency response, concluding that “the majority of savings required will now have to come from reducing fire cover” with “increased risk to residents, citizens, businesses and partners of South Yorkshire”. Commenting on the revelation, Stephanie said: “After the tragedy of Grenfell, fire prevention and cover should be a top priority for the government but this report show clearly that local people will be put at risk unless Ministers get their act together and provide South Yorkshire fire service with the resources they need to do their job. "Our hardworking firefighters have been doing their best against years of austerity, but there’s only so much they can do. With the Tory government imposing a double whammy of further cuts and new costs on our fire service, we could hit crisis point in the next few years. I will urgently raise these concerns in the Commons and fight for the money we need for local homes and businesses to be protected.”
As featured in the Barnsley Chronicle on 18th January, Stephanie's explanation for voting against Theresa May's Brexit deal was provided. You can read her full comments below.
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle, Stephanie is seeking action on behalf of a constituent who lost her life savings of over £150,000 to an investment company. You can read more below.
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle, Stephanie recently met with Barnsley Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Services.The charity, based in Barnsley town centre, offers a range of support to survivors of sexual abuse and violence, including counselling and wellbeing services as well as online text and email services.Stephanie met the charity to discuss their work and ways she can support them in delivering support services in future.Commenting, Stephanie said:“Barnsley Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Service do an amazing job supporting women, men and young people whose lives have been affected by rape and any form of sexual abuse. “The support they provide is absolutely crucial in helping local people to begin to recover from trauma, and I will do all I can to support them.”
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle, Stephanie has joined the Dogs Trust in callIing for the government to take urgent action to end the cruel practice of puppy smuggling. The call comes following the MP’s recent meeting with the charity in Parliament, where the terrible conditions in which puppies are transported across Central and Eastern Europe to be sold to unsuspecting buyers in the UK were laid bare. The Dogs Trust described the journey from Lithuania to Great Britain to provide an insight into the conditions puppies are forced to endure. Dogs Trust has been investigating this problem since 2014 with its reports revealing shocking evidence of the Pet Travel Scheme being exploited by illegal puppy importers. Stephanie Peacock MP said: “Dogs Trust has unveiled a horrendous trade that has been growing over the past few years, and now have the opportunity to make a positive change to stop this practice. “I’ve been shocked by the findings of all four of the reports and am proud to support the case to bring an end to puppy smuggling with the introduction of tighter controls and the need for much stronger penalties to deter this horrific crime.”