Bye, bye Boris
Boris Johnson has gone, sort of. After presiding over the worst period of scandal and sleaze in a generation, abandoning his cornerstone policy to Level Up and overseeing a pathetic response to the cost of living crisis, Boris Johnson has resigned as Prime Minister.
The problem is far bigger than one man though, there is a moral vacuum in the Conservative Party and their priorities are all wrong. Keir Starmer was right this week; the only solution now is to get rid of the whole lot of them. It is time that our country had a government that put the issues that matter most at the heart of everything they do. Only Labour will deliver that Government.
It was a great win in Wakefield for Labour. I was pleased to join other volunteers from Sheffield and across the country to campaign for Simon Lightwood and ensure we re-took the ‘red-wall’ seat. The people of Wakefield sent a clear message to the Government and put the Conservatives on notice.
ITM Factory Visit
This month I visited ITM Power, based in Sheffield, for a tour of their factory. They produce hydrogen fuel cells, and it was fascinating to learn about future innovation in the sector and the increasing use of hydrogen fuel cells. The factory works closely with local schools to encourage young people into highly-skilled jobs in this emergency sector.
Earlier this year, a constituent who is a veteran and member of the veterans association at Bailey Barracks in Meadowhead, contacted me to share their concern about a lift that had been broken since 2017 and that the MOD was refusing to repair. This was leaving some members unable to access events held in the upstairs function room. I was pleased to meet with Chris and Alan and will be working with them to raise their concerns with the MOD.
I joined Cllr George Lindars-Hammond in Hillsborough Park earlier this month to have a walk around and look at the new facilities and improvements. The park is a landmark site for people across Sheffield and the opening of a new café, bike track and improved paving means it has become even more of a destination.
New Playground for Ellesmere Park
Veolia’s Environmental Trust have awarded over £40,000 to install new play equipment in Ellesmere Park. The current playground is in a state of disrepair and is no longer safe for children to play on. This is great news to provide space for families and children to come together and play in a safe environment.
Bus Changes Across South Yorkshire
Changes to bus services across South Yorkshire are deeply disturbing and will leave people at a huge disadvantage. The 135, which connects Fox Hill to the city centre and Hillsborough, is having services reduced on evenings and weekends, and the 32/a will be scrapped completely. This service circles almost the entire constituency, connecting thousands of people to the city centre and most importantly the Northern General Hospital. This issue is compounded by cuts to services in October, which will see only four buses running across the whole of South Yorkshire after 10pm. I’ll be working alongside Labour MPs and Labour’s South Yorkshire Mayor to fight these cuts to vital services.
Prime Minister’s Questions – Human Rights Act
In June, I was selected to ask a question at PMQs. During this session, which was answered by the Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab. I raised my concerns about the plans to scrap the Human Rights Act. Victims of black cab rapist John Worboys were able to challenge the police’s failure to investigate his crimes only because of the Human Rights Act. The replacement Bill would not allow them to have done this. True to form for this Government, The Deputy Prime Minister failed to answer the question.
I was pleased to take part in a Westminster Hall debate this month on Wendy Williams’ Windrush Lessons Learned Review that was called by Kate Osamor MP. It was very powerful to hear colleagues talk about their constituents and their own family stories of relatives from the Windrush generation. The Government appear to have learnt nothing from the Windrush scandal and are forging ahead with a hostile environment policy. I called on the (then) Minister present to scrap this approach to policy making and to ensure that the lessons of the Windrush Scandal are properly learned and addressed.
Labour Friends of Yemen
Earlier this month I joined Labour Friends of Yemen’s Executive Committee to meet with Bambos Charalambous MP, Shadow Minister for the Middle East, to discuss the progress of peace talks and the ceasefire in Yemen. It was a positive meeting and the LFY team and I are working hard to build the profile of the group in Parliament.
Violence Against Women and Girls
I have held three meetings to discuss plans and projects in South Yorkshire aimed at reducing and eliminating violence against women and girls. These have all been positive discussions and I am looking forward to working more closely on this issue in the future.
SHADOW MINISTER FOR ROADS
During the latest session of Transport Questions I called out the Government for failing to deliver the number of public charging points we need. Their highest expectation is 300,000 delivered, however it is estimated that we will need 480,000 by 2030. The Government are shifting responsibility onto local councils who are already overstretched. The complete lack of a coherent strategy to deliver charging points is leaving us woefully unprepared to meet our 2030 target.
Zero Emission Buses Debate
I responded for the opposition during a Westminster Hall debate on Zero Emission Buses. It is vital that we rapidly increase the proportion of zero emission buses in use. However, as I pointed out in my speech this is part of a wider problem for our bus network, as we know all too well in South Yorkshire. The Government has presided over cuts to bus services and bus lanes, halved the promised funding for bus improvement, and they are failing to meet their own target of providing 4,000 zero-emission buses by the end of the Parliament.
I met with the Executive Director of Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), a road safety charity, to discuss what steps the Government need to take to improve the safety of all road users. They drew attention to the scrapping of government targets on road safety in 2010, which has still not been reintroduced.
National Highways Meeting
I was pleased to meet with the Chief Executive of National Highways to speak about the latest safety data on smart motorways and what further steps they are taking to improve safety on them and other aspects of the strategic road network.