Welcome to August’s edition of the members newsletter. It’s certainly has been a busy few months both for my in Parliament and within the constituency.
This month young people up and down the country and within our communities received their A-Level and GCSE results. It has been such a tough year for these young people and their families (as it has been for many others) and I’m immensely proud of them all and the resilience and dedication they have shown. Thanks also go to all the teachers and support staff who have supported our young people and I’m sure are enjoying a well-earned break, before start of a new school term.
We also saw the ending of all lockdown restrictions but cases of Covid across our communities still remain high. I’d urge you all to still proceed with caution and although the government have ended restrictions, it is up to us all to look after ourselves and each other. If we are to learn to live with this virus then we must protect ourselves as much as possible – this includes continuing to wear mask on public transport and in crowded indoor venues, washing your hands regularly and isolating if you test positive for Covid. I’m also encouraging you to have your vaccination, if you’ve not already done so.
As we return to parliament next week the focus will be on Afghanistan, economic recovery after covid, the Tories’ plans for NHS reform, dealing with the consequences of the Brexit deal including for Northern Ireland and the massive shortage of workers we’ve experienced over the summer.
Norfolk Park Surgery
Great news for the residents and community of Norfolk Park as people power prevailed and together with local councillors, we collectively managed to save Norfolk Park GP surgery from closure.
The tragic death of Mohammed Munib Majeedi
I and my fellow Sheffield MP’s have been pressing the Home Office for answers as to how the tragic death of Mohammed Munib Majeedi could have occurred and asked for an urgent independent investigation into his death.
I have been out across our communities to see for myself the issues you have been raising about community safety and have been speaking to many residents to understand what the issues are and what the possible solutions might be.
I’ve also been out with South Yorkshire Police and their off-road bike team to see the issues for myself. I want to hear directly from you about this issue, to have your say complete my Community Safety Survey
I’ve been visiting some of the fantastic groups and activities that have been held for young people in our communities this Summer.
The Holiday Activity and Food programme provides young people with the opportunity to take part in fun and educational activities, plus nutritious food and food education.
I visited an energetic kickboxing and self-defence session at Heeley City Farm. Took part in a game of bulldog with kids and coaches from Sheffield United Football club, and I was in awe of their Makaton workshop and saw young people being inspired by science in Manor Lodge.
It was great to see kids interacting with one another again and really enjoying the activities that have been put on for them in partnership with schools, volunteer organisations, physical activity providers and cultural organisations.
This really is our community at its best.
Delivery drivers and workers’ rights for all
I met with a number of Deliveroo and Just Eat delivery drivers this month to back their campaign to secure workers’ rights for all.
Situation in Afghanistan
I was in the House of Commons for the recall debate and was horrified by the lack of leadership by this Tory government and their failure to prepare for this crisis.
Women’s Aid conference in Belfast
I was proud to attend and support the Women’s Aid conference in Belfast. I spoke at the conference alongside a number of key policy makers including the current and incoming heads of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.
At the conference I said that Northern Ireland must adopt a comprehensive strategy to tackle the rise in domestic violence as domestic abuse callouts continue to rise. Since the start of lockdown in March 2020, nine women have been killed in a domestic setting in Northern Ireland.
They also agreed to look at a more holistic approach to dealing with all aspects of domestic abuse and how the government can best assist those agencies working on the ground.
I acknowledged that the UK government had completely failed to keep women safe and called on the Stormont Executive to deliver a comprehensive strategy to tackle the growing violence against women and girls. This government should step up to the plate and take serious action rather than endless words.
I had the privilege to meet with the families of the Ballymurphy massacre who have fought a long and brave campaign for the truth for their loved ones and I reiterated my concerns over the Tories Troubles legacy proposals.
The Ballymurphy massacre occurred 50 years ago this month and the families of the victims, including the 10 that I met, are still searching for the truth and justice.
In July the government confirmed it plans to bring forward legislation banning all pre-1998 prosecutions and this would apply to military veterans as well as ex-paramilitaries.
When I met with victims from across Northern Ireland, they were unanimous in their opposition to the plans. I told them that we need to see a change of heart and a proposal that’s committed to the rule of law and finding truth and justice for victims.