It’s been another busy month both across the constituency and in Parliament.
We heard the great news this month that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori were finally released and returned to their family and friends. It certainty has been a long wait for their families.
We also saw that Sheffield Magistrates’ Court were forced to close, delaying trials, due to several leaks and the roof collapsing. The government has failed to invest in the justice system and once again its victims that will be paying the price.
I’ve also been out across the constituency speaking to residents who are worried about the cost-of-living crisis and how they will manage their rising bills. There more on this in the newsletter.
Road safety across Sheffield Heeley
Working with South Yorkshire Police, they conducted a speeding operation on Rushdale Road and Valley Road in Meersbrook. I have been contacted by many people about issues on these roads and I’m pleased that the Police are now monitoring the situation.
I have also been working with Meadowhead School to get a pelican crossing installed on Dyche Lane. This month a student was seriously injured after being knocked down by a car. This is the second serious incident in six months.
I know that there are many areas across the constituency where speeding is an issue and I’m encouraging everyone to report all incidents to 101 or online via: https://smartcontact.southyorkshire.police.uk/
Woodlands Primary receive ‘Good’ Ofsted rating
It certainly has been a long and hard road for Woodlands Primary school, but I’m so pleased that their hard work has paid off, and in the recent Ofsted inspection, they received a ‘Good’ rating in all areas.
This really is a testament to all the hardwork of the teachers, children and parents. Well done to all!
Cost of living crisis
Next month households will see their energy bills rise by more than £600 and it’s estimated petrol prices could rise by more than £400. This is a crisis that millions across the country will face, and the government are missing in action.
Although the Chancellor did take action of fuel duty and cut the price of a litre of fuel by 5p, he did nothing to help people with rising energy bills. This was the Chancellor opportunity to sow that he’s on the side of people – he failed to do this!
Educational disadvantage gap
It was shocking to learn that more than 35.2% of young people in the constituency are classed as disadvantaged compared to a national figure of 24.1% and more than 16.9% of young people are in long-term poverty, compared to 9.4% nationally.
These figures are proof that over the last 12 years, the Tories have done nothing to level up inequalities within society, especially when it come to our educational system.
Return of Lowedges Festival
Some great news for the constituency as it’s been confirmed that the Lowedges Festival will return again this year, after a two year break due to Covid.
The festival is a great family day out which is run completely by volunteers. The festival is still fund raising in the hope of adding even more events this year. If you can donate anything then visit: www.lowedgesfestival.co.uk
War in Ukraine
You won’t have failed to see the atrocities that are taking place in Ukraine, where millions of people are being displaced as they are forced to flee their homes and lives.
This is an illegal invasion of Ukraine by the Putin regime and is a grave attack not just on the Ukrainian people but on sovereignty, democracy, freedom and the rule of law.
Labour fully supports providing military assistance to Ukraine, in addition to all possible political, economic and practical support. We are resolutely committed to the security of our NATO allies.
I’ve been contacted by residents who want to do all they can to support those fleeing this war, so I opened my office to receive donations, which were then sent to the Polish border. I was overwhelmed with the generosity of people and want to thank everyone who donated.
The government have now also opened their Homes for Ukraine scheme. Phase one allows an individual, charity or organisation to sponsor a named Ukrainian to stay with them in their home.
Bus and Rail fare hikes
Bus and rail fares have risen almost twice as fast as wages and this month the Tories announced another brutal price hike for passengers.
Rail fares rose by 3.8% which is a nightmare for millions of passengers. We also saw in South Yorkshire that bus fares rose by 5%.
People are already facing soaring bills and now they are facing of hundreds of pounds extra on their commute. At a time when it’s all the more important to encourage people to travel by public transport, the government should be doing everything in its power to make public transport more affordable and accessible.
The Labour party have conducted new research that suggests that families have been hit by an annual rise in petrol prices of more than £400.
People are seeing a rise to the cost of food, heating, a rise in inflation and real terms drop in wages, and we’re calling on the government to stop the planned hike in National Insurance.
We are putting people first and have a plan to help households through the crisis with up to £600 cut off energy bills. This would be funded by a one-off windfall tax on the booming profits of oil and gas producers.
The Chancellor’s Spring Budget was his and his government’s opportunity to help people with their rising energy bills. He could have provided the help many needed with their bills. Instead, he chose not to do this. He provided no further support for disabled people, those on low incomes, vulnerable or pensioners.
Rather than standing with people, his government will push more and more children and pensioners into poverty.
This month we heard the appalling and shocking news that, via a pre-recorded video message, 800 P&O seafarers and Officers were sacked, without notice. This is a scandalous betrayal of those workers who kept this country stocked during the pandemic.
I have been standing shoulder to shoulder with those who have been sacked. I met one married couple who have now both lost their jobs. They have a four-year-old child and have no idea how they will feed themselves and pay their bills next month. This couple had worked for P&O for 14 years.
Labour forced an emergency vote in Parliament on this issue demanding that P&O reinstate the workforce, calling on the government to take tough action to force the company to think again and outlaw fire and rehire, strengthening workers’ rights so this can never happen again.
The Tories response to these important calls – they didn’t even turn up.