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.”
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:
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.”
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.’
In her Barnsley Chronicle column on 30th August, Stephanie wrote about the hollow words from the Prime Minister on helping forgotten towns like Barnsley, and the real offer the Tories have for communities like ours. You can read her full comments here.
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 16th August, Stephanie has commented on the proposed changes to bus timetables in Barnsley that are set to take effect from September. Commenting, she said: “Buses are a lifeline for people in communities like Barnsley, and changes to services can have a profound impact on the lives of residents. “Reductions and redirections can leave people isolated, unable to attend appointments, get to the shops, or faced with the choice of using expensive alternatives to go about their lives. “As I’ve stated in Parliament, bus services should be operated with the needs of passengers in mind, not profit, and the impact of these amendments will provide further evidence to the Sheffield City Region review currently underway as to whether private bus companies are best placed to manage services.”
In her Barnsley Chronicle column on 16th August, Stephanie wrote about the impact of cuts to children's services in Barnsley. You can read her full comments here.
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 23rd August, Stephanie has called for action on affordable housing, after new analysis shows at the current rate of building it will take 130 years to house all 1.1m people on council housing waiting lists. Analysis undertaken by the Labour Party shows that over the last three years for which there are figures, an average of 2,123 council homes have been build, whilst 6,374 homes for social rent have been built. That’s a total average of 8,497 affordable homes being built a year. Yet there are 1,114,477 households on local authorities’ waiting lists. 1,114,477 divided by 8,497 equates to 131 years to house everyone on council waiting lists at the current rate of building. Just 6,434 homes have been built this year by the Conservative Government, compared to 33,491 in the last year of the Labour Government. And in Barnsley, with nearly 4,000 households on the council housing waiting list, local MP Peacock has called on the Government to address the housing shortage when Parliament returns following its summer recess. Commenting, she said: “After the best part of a decade of austerity imposed on our town and local authority, the Conservative Government urgently needs to address the affordable housing crisis it has created. “As demand rises, it is unacceptable that communities like ours are losing affordable homes when they have never been so badly needed. “The Tories need to get to grips with this housing crisis, and Labour has a ready-made plan: stop the conversion of social homes into more expensive housing, build a million low-cost homes, and develop the infrastructure like new schools and roads needed to support the changes.”
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 23rd August, Stephanie has launched her summer survey this week, to give residents the opportunity to tell her what issues matter to them. The survey gives residents of the local MP’s constituency the chance to communicate with her on problems they might be facing and their priorities for the community. Commenting, Stephanie said: “I’ve seen first-hand the effects of nearly a decade of austerity under this Government as I’ve been out across Barnsley, meeting residents, community groups, charities, businesses, and our emergency services. “I know people feel strongly about these issues, want to have their say on the decisions that affect them, and tell me exactly what they think. “So I’ve launched my summer survey which will give people the chance to do just that. “Direct communication between constituents and their MP isn’t just a vital part of our democracy, it’s also the best way for me to give Barnsley a voice in Westminster and represent our community there. “I hope as many residents of Barnsley East as possible take part.”
As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle on 23rd August, Stephanie has criticised the Government after new figures show London will receive over seven times more transport funding per person than Yorkshire and the Humber. The figures were revealed by the Institute for Public Policy Research North think tank in their 2019 ‘Transport Investment in the Northern Powerhouse’ report. According to the report, London is set to receive £3,636 per person on transport spending from 2018/19 onwards. This compares to £1,247 across the North. However, the figures are even more stark when compared to Yorkshire and the Humber, who will receive just £511 per person in the same period. This means that planned transport spending on London is 7.1 times more per capita than on Yorkshire and the Humber. These spending plans are on top of the vastly disproportionate historic spending, where over the last decade London has received two and half times more public transport spending per person than the North. In their report, the think tank concluded that “despite five years of the Northern Powerhouse agenda, the government continue to underinvest in northern transport infrastructure”. Commenting on the figures, local MP Peacock has slammed the Government over the continued disparity in spending: “Further confirmation of the Government’s neglect of transport in the North will come as no surprise to residents in Barnsley who are all too familiar with our region’s creaking and dilapidated transport systems. “From commuting on antiquated trains that belong in museums, to seeing local bus routes cut and cancelled, people in Barnsley and across our region have put up with underinvestment in transport for too long. “Platitudes about the Northern Powerhouse project from the Tories won’t cut it any longer – people in Barnsley need proper transport funding on a par with London and leafy shires in the south.”