I’ve had the absolute honour of being your MP and representing, undoubtedly, the best constituency in the country for eight years this month, and this has given me cause to reflect on my time as your MP.
There was never any other constituency I could represent, other than Sheffield Heeley. In my opinion we have the best people, community groups, businesses and of course volunteers. We’re lucky to be surrounded by great parks and open spaces. Our community really is a beautiful place to live and work.
I came into politics as the youngest Labour MP in Parliament and during that time I’ve worked in so many areas, from Police, Northern Ireland and at present, as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport. I’ve loved all the roles I’ve held, but transport is so important right now. I can see, daily, the impact our poor transport infrastructure has on our communities, how people struggle to get to work, medical appointments and leisure activities. It shouldn’t be such a struggle and once Labour are in government, we’ll give leaders the powers and resources to set fares, routes and ensure that transport is run for passengers.
I’m proud of many things that I’ve achieved in Parliament, but one of the standout moments for me involves my work and the continued fight to protect women and girls from violence. In this I would include my work with Sammy Woodhouse, a survivor of the Rotherham child exploitation scandal.
Together, we introduced a Bill in Parliament which removed the automatic parental right of men who fathered a child through rape, and we established an inquiry into the treatment of abuse victims in the family courts.
Within the constituency, I’m proud to have supported and helped thousands of people with issues that have been affecting their life, anything from antisocial behaviour and crime, housing repairs, passport applications and school places.
But one of the main issues that I’ve championed since 2015 is the abysmal Specialist Educational and Disabilities Needs provision across the constituency and country. Thousands of parents and carers each year have to fight tooth and nail to get their child the help and support they need, and on many occasions to get them in the right school setting for them.
I’ve seen first-hand the work that teachers, teaching assistants and education staff put into giving all children the support they need, but eight years on, and thanks to the Tory government, funding and resources for this sector of education still isn’t sufficient. I’ll continue to fight for this.
There are so many other things that I’m proud of across the constituency including supporting businesses during the Covid pandemic, helping people with the cost-of-living crisis, championing the many community groups across the constituency and fighting for residents on all fronts.
I’ll continue to work hard for you all and fighting for the things that matter to you.