I enjoyed taking part in the NUT hustings in Elsecar yesterday evening as a former teacher and NUT member.We were fortunate enough to be joined by a number of teachers and education workers, and discussed a range of issues including grammar schools, falling teacher numbers, educational maintenance allowance, and free schools meals amongst other things.I put forward Labour's case for our education system: to reverse damaging cuts and prevent the £3bn more expected under the Tories, to listen to schools and provide them with the funds they so desperately need, reduce rising class sizes, and increase teacher retention by tackling workloads and giving them the pay and support they deserve.This was in stark contrast to UKIP's pledge to join the Tories and establish grammar schools across the country; an expensive and selective vanity project that would leave far too many of Barnsley East's children behind.I was pleased to be able to discuss these issues with local teachers. If elected I will fight hard to ensure that every child in Barnsley East is given the best chance to succeed at school.
If elected as your MP for Barnsley East, I'll fight for a better deal for our pensioners. The Tories launched an assault on pensions in their election manifesto, and revealed their plans to break previous pension promises that could hit over 17,000 elderly people in Barnsley East. Continue reading
People naturally want to feel safe and secure in their homes and when they're out and about in the area, and our local police forces are vital to this. But frequently I'm hearing concerns that Government cuts to our police services are making it harder and harder for the police to tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour. Continue reading
Today I was joined in Barnsley East by Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner. She joined me to help highlight the bad deal schools and children in Barnsley East are getting as a result of the Government's mismanagement of the education system. Continue reading
It was great to meet with the chair of Barnsley Hospitals Trust this week. The state of the NHS has been brought up by lots of people on the doorstep. Barnsley has a wonderful hospital but the doctors and nurses there are stretched to the limit with reduced budgets and stretched staffing levels. If elected, I will fight for properly funded public services including for our NHS and a care service that looks after our elderly when they most need it.