A look back at 2022
Happy New Year to residents across Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough. This month’s Community Update looks backs at some of the highlights of 2022.
A Turbulent Year
2022 has been another unprecedented year in politics. A year which saw the Tory Government descend into chaos, with three Prime Ministers, five Chancellors and a revolving door for ministers. The shortest PM in history set out an ideological budget that sent the economy into turmoil and has caused consequences for people across the country for years to come. At the same time as all this chaos, Labour set out our plans for a greener, fairer Britain.
At the start of the year we saw the invasion of Ukraine, a brutal war that still wages on. Parliamentarians across the political divide joined forces to offer our unwavering support for the Ukrainian people and condemnation of Russia’s invasion.
At home, the Cost of Living crisis has caused many households to feel extreme pressure on their finances. While there are global factors, there is no denying that the Tory chaos and 12 years of financial mismanagement has caused this crisis. People are struggling on an unprecedented level and there is a complete lack of leadership from the Government.
We have also seen our NHS reach breaking point and the stories from patients and staff towards the end of the year are heartbreaking and infuriating. The NHS is our nation’s greatest asset, we cannot and must not let the Conservatives systematically destroy it in favour of privatisation.
Protecting Student Choice
I have been a long supporter of the campaign to retain BTECs. Earlier in the year I heard from local colleges and student organisations who are all clear that BTECs improve access to further education and are particularly beneficial to young Black, Asian and minority ethnic people and adult learners in achieving Level 3 qualifications.
During May’s Education Questions, I called on the Government to retain this qualification and to protect student choice.
Libraries APPG Meeting with Ukrainian Culture Minister
I was pleased to welcome Oleksandr Tkachenko, the Ukrainian Minister for Culture and Information, to a meeting of the APPG on Libraries and Information in April. She spoke about the importance of stocking Ukrainian books in UK libraries and there were discussions about twinning libraries.
Shadow Minister for Roads
Since being appointed as Labour’s Shadow Roads Minister at the start of 2022 I have worked hard to hold the Government to account.
I’ve built relationships with stakeholders such as Cycling UK, the Road Haulage Association, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, and many more. I’ve listened to their concerns and their plans for the future.
I’ve called the Government out on a number of issues including:
- their appalling record at tackling potholes, including the then Minister whose own county was labelled the pothole capital of Britain,
- the rollout of electric vehicle infrastructure, a vital step in our move towards more electric vehicles on our roads,
- poor communication around important changes to the highway code to make pedestrians and cyclists safer,
- the underfunding of active travel schemes that would make walking and cycling safer.
Cash for Kids – Thank you!
A huge thank you to everyone who supported Cash for Kids South Yorkshire & Derbyshire, thanks to the amazing generosity of people across South Yorkshire they ensured 18,000 children received a gift this year!
I’m immensely proud to be an Ambassador for Cash for Kids and the fantastic work they do throughout the year.
COVID restrictions in recent years made it difficult to get out and meet with constituents and local organisations face-to-face. As those restrictions eased, this year I really enjoyed getting out to meet residents, speak with local charities and businesses, meet students in schools and people in their resident groups. A few highlights include opening the Yorkshire Natural History Museum in Hillsborough and Premier League Kicks 15th Anniversary event organised by Sheffield Wednesday Community Team at Concord.
Labour Friends of Yemen
I’m proud to Chair Labour Friends of Yemen, an organisation that works to raise the profile of the war and humanitarian disaster in Yemen. This year we held two successful meetings, in Sheffield and in Parliament, where people from around the country discussed the ongoing situation in Yemen and steps the organisation can take in the future.
Over 2022, my team and I have opened 4,727 new cases, helping people with their issues and concerns.