This month we've seen the Government's failure on policing further highlighted by the Met Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick, arguing that funding cuts have led to the rise in violent crime. In Sheffield, I've presented Records of Achievement at Meadowhead School, and begun the push for better transport for Greenhill, Lowedges, Batemoor and Jordanthorpe.
I’ve met with Sheffield’s Clinical Commissioning Group and Meadowgreen Surgery to discuss plans to move sites to Jordanthorpe.
I know from the conversations I’ve had with residents that this is a source of serious concern, particularly with regard to travel for older patients and those with mobility issues.
The surgery make the case that there is insufficient space for the 16 consulting rooms they need to accommodate all their patients and no possibility to expand their existing sites. The Jordanthorpe surgery is purpose-built and could provide a much better service for patients.
However, in order to make the move workable for local residents, there must be better public transport links.
The current M17 bus does not run until 10am and will not be adequate. I have written to South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to ensure they take urgent action to improve this; please sign my petition here to add your support.
I am still keen to hear further what current patients of Meadowgreen think of the issue and can of course make sure these thoughts are heard.
In the mean time I would strongly encourage you to attend the public meeting on June 28th, and to complete the consultation document asking for your thoughts. You can find this at www.meadowheadgrouppractice.co.uk.
If you have any other comments, questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
I've joined Parliamentary colleagues from across Sheffield in calling for proper funding for our city's schools, after The Star revealed Sheffield's schools are among the most underfunded in the country.
While the Government wastes £50 million on its grammar schools vanity project, I regularly visit schools in Sheffield where teachers are having to bring in stationery for the pupils to use.
Schools have already cut back everything they’re able to; the vast majority of their budgets are staff and so cuts to schools means only one thing – we’ll lose dedicated teachers and teaching assistants.
Meadowhead School held their Record of Achievement ceremony this month and I was delighted to be invited to speak and hand out some awards. I told them that it doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you want to do now, that I certainly didn’t know I was going to be an MP five years ago, let alone 15 years ago when I was waiting to do my GCSEs, and that they should make interesting mistakes, work hard, be courageous and support each other when they make mistakes.
The pupils can be extremely proud of themselves for getting through their GCSEs and whatever they go on to do next, I wish them every possible success.
Amber Rudd's resignation as Home Secretary has brought no change in the fortunes of our police, who continue to suffer after years of Government cuts.
This month Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has said she is "sure" budget cuts have contributed to the recent rise in violent crime, as the Met has fallen below 30,000 officers.
The cuts to police budgets have hit crime rates across the country, with violent crime increasing well beyond what can be attributed to changes in recording. Britain is now a global leader in robbery, with a 10% year on year increase.
Despite the rise in crime, we've seen the number of people being charged fall - evidence that it's not just on the front lines that cuts are hitting home. The police are trying their best, but without adequate resources there's little they can do.
I questioned the Government on the horrific situation at the Gazan border following sickening reports from Gaza that dozens of Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured. Israeli forces must be held accountable for this outrageous attack on peaceful protestors. We need an urgent independent UN-led investigation into these grave violations of international law.
This response to Palestinian protests coincides with a shrinking of the space for valid criticism of the Israeli government and its human rights record. When I was in Palestine earlier this year, I met with Human Rights Watch who are now facing deportation from Israel.
The UK has a unique responsibility to support a peace process in the Middle East and must seek to tackle the root causes of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and impress upon Israel the need to end the blockade. I also led a debate on the humanitarian situation in Gaza in Westminster Hall.
Last week Theresa May finally agreed to the demands made by survivors of and those bereaved by the fire at Grenfell Tower last June, and announced that a panel of experts would sit alongside Martin Moore-Bick for phase 2 of the Grenfell Inquiry, as well as pledging £400m to remove and replace dangerous cladding. On Monday we debated the issue in Westminster Hall, after 150,000 members of the public signed a petition calling for the change.
There are still questions that remain to be answered however, including why the experts will only sit during phase 2 of the enquiry, and why the other demands in the petition, including that legal representatives of survivors and families be able to review evidence from the start, have not been met.
For the Inquiry to be effective it must have the confidence of survivors and families of those killed in this tragedy – I hope the Prime Minister is able to reflect on these points and swiftly address them so that all those affected by Grenfell can feel that justice is being served.
Thanks to everyone who turned out for the well-attended CAFOD Share the Journey rally this month, bringing attention to the need for Governments the world over to support international agreements on refugees coming before the United Nations later this year. I’m honoured to have been invited to speak on this serious matter, and I’m glad CAFOD have committed to helping protect the vulnerable and raise awareness with events like this.
Reuniting families who’ve been separated by war and persecution is so important for helping people rebuild their lives together after deeply traumatic events.
The Government must meet its obligations to refugees by campaigning for these goals at the UN later in the year – we can’t stand by and watch families be torn apart through no fault of their own.
Thanks to everyone at Sheffield ME & Fibromyalgia Group for organising this month's Millions Missing Sheffield event, to raise awareness and call for good quality research and treatment for those whose lives have been limited by ME.
Particularly moving were the shoes brought along by those with ME detailing how the condition has affected their lives - with examples from all sorts of people across our city. For more information on ME and the MillionsMissing campaign, check out their website.
Recently I visited Remedi, a project established in 1996 which works to rehabilitate young adults at all stages of the criminal justice system, particularly those facing multiple types of disadvantage in their lives, and which works across the country. They’ve recently expanded into restorative justice work with victims of crime.
They have worked with inmates at Doncaster prison over 10 months and seen remarkable success rates – only a handful of the 80 they worked with have been recalled to prison, compared to generally very high recall rates for 18-25 year olds. They’re now rolling out the lessons from this to Barnsley and Rotherham.
We discussed the importance of taking a holistic approach to individuals they work with, and to recognise that they often have multiple complex needs – that offenders can be victims as well. I’m glad that there’s recognition that young people are a group with unique requirements from the criminal justice system, and that Labour PCCs such as those in the West Midlands and Leicestershire have begun developing distinct approaches for criminal justice for 18-25s.
For me, there’s lots of work to be done on access to mental health services, on trauma-informed policing and on cracking down on the numbers of exclusions in schools. Government needs to create the right environment for young people to live, learn and work and at the moment they’ve been deprived of a lot of the support and services they need to do just that.
I was delighted to speak to the NAYJ conference about Labour's approach to youth justice, including the importance of early intervention to prevent children and young people falling into repeated involvement with the criminal justice system. Early intervention will make it more likely that we can set young people on a positive path. I also made clear that under my watch there will be no return to arbitrary policing targets.
I told them Labour understands the need for a major expansion of mental health services for both children and adults, and that we have to take an approach that recognises the damage childhood experiences, including trauma, can cause.
The Government have unveiled funding of £1.6m to help fracking applications through the planning process, in a disgraceful undermining of local democracy.
The changes will allow fracking companies to ride roughshod over local communities and their concerns. This is not the first time we've seen fracking companies act this way -INEOS completely ignored the local public inquiry in North East Derbyshire and went straight to the Secretary of State.
A consultation will be published this summer and I will publicise it as soon as it is released - I highly recommend filling it out.
These applications will have lasting consequences for communities, so they should have a full say in them.
Carers' Week will be taking place from June 11-17, and I'm asking people who haven't yet to sign my petition calling for free travel for young carers in Sheffield.
There are around 7,000 such young people who work hard to look after their loved ones, and it's time we helped them in return.
I and my colleagues Paul Blomfield MP and Gill Furniss MP have written to Sheffield City Council to object to renewing the license for Spearmint Rhino.
The Council has made good progress towards equality with a gender-balanced cabinet, strong female leadership and the establishment of the Women’s Hub to tackle sexual violence and exploitation, among other issues. We hope that they take this positive reputation into account when deciding on this application.
After years of spirited campaigning, the Government has finally agreed to cap the stakes on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals at £2 per play.
Many bookies' shops massively exploit vulnerable people through machines that are allegedly more addictive than crack cocaine.
This is an important step, but we need more support for our high streets and to see more diverse offerings, not just rows of betting shops.