This month Parliament has been in recess so I've had been hard at work helping constituents in Sheffield. Parliament starts sitting again this week, and I'm looking forward to continuing the work I've done over summer holding the Government to account over the state of our police. Plus, there'll be lots of time spent dealing with Brexit and the Government's Great Repeal Bill. To get my newsletter send to your inbox each month, sign up here.
Last month I helped launch the Coffee With A Copper drop-in sessions at my office on Chesterfield Road. The local policing team are really keen to keep in touch with the community so they'll be back on September 7th - and on the first Thursday of every month - to listen to any concerns or questions you might have. Please feel free to drop by and have a drink and a chat.
Last month I uncovered figures showing a shocking rise in the number of mental health related calls to the Police, as a result of stretched NHS services and a lack of mental health provision. From July 2016 to July 2017 the Met Police alone received 115,000 mental health related calls, an increase of a third on 2011-12. Not only does this stretch police resources thinner, it means vulnerable people being handled by untrained officers instead of medical professionals and not getting the care they need.
Following complaints from the Woodthorpe area about its general upkeep, I met with local Councillors (for Richmond Ward), Acis, Streets Ahead and the Council for a walkabout. I’ve noticed the ongoing problems of litter, grass not being cut, vandalism to street signs and the obvious state of the roads and the pavements. The area is in the middle of Streets Ahead work and has disrupted the general grass-cutting, as well as causing some problems on the pavements and verges.
ACIS, as landlord for some of the property in the area, are currently running a ‘Best Garden’ competition and all residents should have had a letter inviting them to participate. They also run a garden pledge scheme for anyone really struggling to maintain their garden, though this is currently very oversubscribed.
I've been campaigning locally and nationally about the issue of off-road motorbikes, mopeds and quad bikes being used for anti-social behaviour across Sheffield, and last month went out with South Yorkshire Police's Off-Road Bikes team to see the work they're doing in tackling the problem
While they're doing the best they can, South Yorkshire Police need proper resources and commitment from the Government to help them tackle this issue - join me in calling for action by signing this petition.
I also went out with the Met Police tackling moped-enabled crime in London, and wrote about my experiences here.
Anyone who’s had to travel from Sheffield to Manchester by rail won’t have failed to notice the slow service and shameful overcrowding. It isn’t as though there isn’t demand for a fast and comfortable service between two of Britain’s biggest cities, but journey times have come down by just one minute since 1962. So I’ve been staggered to hear of the Government’s U-turn on electrifying the Transpennine and Midland Main Lines.
Electrification would have cut journey times to Manchester from 51 to 30 minutes, to Leeds from 40 to 30 minutes and also cut a quarter of an hour off travel to London. It’s not just about comfort and convenience, but the boost to our economy that electrification would bring – 850,000 jobs for the North over the next 30 years.
This effective abandonment of Crossrail for the North shows how empty the Government’s transport plans are. The diesel bi-mode trains they’re trying to push won’t deliver anything like the improvements in speed, pollution and long-term costs that real electrification would bring.
Electrification would benefit not just Sheffield and the other cities served by Crossrail for the North, but that increased prosperity would spread to the rest of the county as well.
So many women who were born in the 1950s have worked hard all their lives and paid into the system. In return for that it's only fair that they should receive the pension they've been promised over that time.
It is completely outrageous that changes to the pension age have been made at the last minute and that some of these women have been plunged into poverty through absolutely no fault of their own.
Short-changed pensioners, alongside the Labour Party have criticised the Government time and time again for their actions and repeatedly voted against this change.
Unfortunately, the Government is so far refusing to budge against the hundreds of MPs and tens of thousands of campaigners who have called for a change.
But we are not going to let the pressure drop. So I was pleased to attend the first meeting after the June election of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on State Pension Inequality for Women, and to be elected Vice Chair of the group.
Thanks to everyone who came along to this year's Lowedges Festival. It was great to be able to see so many people and the organisers can be really proud of such a high turnout. I also joined in with a really successful street stall talking to people in particular about the campaign on off-road bikes.
Volunteers gather at Heeley Green Co-op on the first Saturday of every month to take part in a community litter pick, and this month I was pleased to join them. Efforts like this are great for keeping in touch with the community, and if you'd like to get involved you can find more details here.
This October my office team and I are taking constituents on a guided tour of Parliament. It's a unique day out, and if you'd like to book a place please get in touch with my office on 0114 250 8113, or email email@example.com.
I recently had a great opportunity to go the Hallam Hubs to talk to young people from across Sheffield who are taking part in the National Citizen Service scheme, helping them get involved in social action to change the world.
We talk about young people being disengaged, and there’s still lots of work to do. But when it comes down to discussing the issues that affect our country they share the same concerns and aspirations as other people, and are really keen to get involved.
It was a real honour to be able to join Police Now's soon-to-be graduates looking to join the Police. We'll be welcoming some of them to South Yorkshire soon.
I've been contacted by the South Yorkshire ECO Stars Fleet Recognition scheme, which helps companies operating vehicles to save money, fuel and emissions. They work with companies of any size and can make a real change in vehicle efficiency. If you work for a firm using vehicles regularly, see if they can help.
I've recently been involved with the case of a constituent who had been charged excessive interest fees from a catalogue shopping company which did not match up with the interest rates stated on their promotional material.
The constituent was helped by the debt advisor at The Link and the case has now been resolved but I was concerned to hear that the catalogue company was targeting vulnerable individuals and particularly people with poor credit history.
If you've been involved with companies advertising through catalogues sent through the mail I'd like to hear about your experiences.
As usual casework has continued to be busy and this month there's sadly been a lot of contact on different types of crime. If you're a constituent with any problems you'd like help with, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woodseats Library Reopening – After a two year redevelopment the new Woodseats Library and Doctors' Surgery will be opening on Monday, September 4th.
Cycle September – Cycle September is a free competition to see which workplaces can get the most staff riding to work. It’s running throughout the whole month and you can register your workplace here – plus win some prizes!
Heritage Open Day – On Saturday September 9th there's a Heritage Open Day at Herdings Community and Heritage Centre, featuring music, face painting and refreshments. See here for more details.
Get in Touch
If you have any comments, questions or have a problem you think I might be able to help with, give my office a call on 0114 250 8113 or email me.