People in my area know that there have been a series of problems with our local NHS services, therefore I would like to highlight an event the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will be hosting for local people to express their views.
There will be a listening event held by the CQC on Monday 14th July where the public can ask questions and get information about local NHS services. The CQC will be carrying out inspections on the Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust as well as the GPs in the Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group, and wish to hear about experiences regarding the care and service that they provide.
For those who wish to attend, the event will be held at 6:30pm on Monday 14th July, at the York House Hotel, 10 Drury Lane, Wakefield, Yorkshire, WF1 2TE.
All the information about the event, as well as information on how to share your views with the CQC can be found here: http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/north-west-ambulance-service-greater-preston-gps-and-lancashire-teaching-hospital-nhs
I do not necessarily endorse anything the CQC say in this meeting, but I think it is important that local people have their voices heard on local services. If you have a specific issue with our local healthcare services, do get in touch with my office; we will be happy to help.
People in my area know that there have been a series of problems with our local NHS services, therefore I would like to highlight an event the Care Quality Commission...
Some readers will clearly remember June 1984 and the violent scenes portrayed on our television screens of what became known as the “Battle of Orgreave”. Subsequent reports and the release of Government papers 30 years on have shown the extent to which the State were waging war on the miners, who were in a bitter dispute with the NCB to save their industry and community. The BBC images of Orgreave shown that evening in our homes was a complete distortion of what really happened on that hot and sunny day in South Yorkshire. What the BBC failed to do was transmit the correct sequence of events showing miners being attacked, in a style tantamount to military tactics, by the Police. Many miners, including a number in our area, were injured that day, violently assaulted and then arrested for rioting!
What followed was the collapse of the attempted prosecution of 95 miners on riot charges, following allegedly fabricated accounts and statements given by the police officers who were there that day. The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign has done much to highlight what happened that day and bring to the fore the campaign for recognition that miners were wrongly served that day by a Police force we would expect to act with integrity and fairness at all time.
Recently, in a BBC report, a former police officer who served with the Hertfordshire force, admitted that he was told what to put in his statement after he arrested a miner during the Orgreave confrontation. "I've never before or since, while I've been a police officer, been involved where effectively chunks of a statement were dictated. They weren't my words," he said.
No one has ever been held accountable for this chaos which left some miners permanently injured by the brutality of the assaults upon them. Truth and justice must prevail.
Labour MPs in Parliament are urging ministers to release all information about Government-police communications at this time with a proper investigation.
Over a year ago, following a documentary about Orgreave, South Yorkshire Police referred themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). 18 months later the IPCC still haven’t made a decision whether to investigate or not. I am now calling for the IPCC to get on with an investigation. If the IPCC won’t or can’t investigate, Labour MPs will call on the government to set up an independent investigation.
We are all the more aware now that we do not have a system for promptly and properly investigating police conduct. We need reform. The IPCC’s failure to deal with the referral over Orgreave shows why it needs to be replaced. That is why Labour would replace the IPCC with a tougher new Police Standards Authority, which would be able to launch its own investigations without the need for referrals from police forces.
Some readers will clearly remember June 1984 and the violent scenes portrayed on our television screens of what became known as the “Battle of Orgreave”. Subsequent reports and the release...
Please note that my constituency office is moving to Moorthorpe railway station on July the 1st 2014
My current office on Highfield Road in Hemsworth is no longer suitable to meet the needs of an increasing number of constituents who come to see me seeking help.
The new office is more accessible by car and by public transport for the majority of constituents and will be open to the public Monday to Friday, 9.30 am until 4 pm.
We will be based at: Ground Floor, Moorthorpe Railway Station, Barnsley Road, South Kirkby, WF9 3AT, the new telephone number will be 01977 655695.
Please note that my constituency office is moving to Moorthorpe railway station on July the 1st 2014 My current office on Highfield Road in Hemsworth is no longer suitable to meet the needs...
Half a million people in the UK are anxiously waiting for their passports, not knowing whether they will be able to go on their holidays this summer.
A massive number of people, despite having sent their applications in good time for processing, are facing having their holidays ruined due to the current back log.
Many people save for months to pay for a holiday, if they are lucky enough to be able to do so, but there are now reports that an extra fee to ‘fast track passports’ is being imposed on holidaymakers.
My constituents have been deeply affected by the outrageous backlog in the Passport Office. Each and every person who has contacted me is reporting a three month wait or longer. It is turning into a passport lottery where people don’t know whether or not their passports will arrive on time.
The Government are denying the serious backlog, with Home Secretary Teresa May claiming that the Passport Office is meeting its target. However it has been said that job cuts and office closures have left the Passport Office unable to handle the level of demand.
Like many other Labour MP’s up and down the country, I have been left to pick up the pieces of the Governments failings within the Passport Office. Luckily, nobody in my constituency has missed out on their holiday - yet.
If the Passport office is meeting its target, like Teresa May says, then how is there a 3 month wait for my constituents to renew their passports?
This out of touch Government obviously doesn’t know what it is like to save for months on end to take your family away, only to be told your summer could be ruined.
To me, it would be an absolute tragedy if just one of my constituents missed their holiday as their passport was not returned on time. That is why I will continue to press the Government on the Passport Office’s current failings.
Half a million people in the UK are anxiously waiting for their passports, not knowing whether they will be able to go on their holidays this summer.A massive number of...
Since the Tory-led Coalition came to power in 2010 our NHS has not been safe in the government’s hands.
I know from talking to my constituents that it is not uncommon to wait over seven days to get an appointment with a GP, I also frequently hear concerns surrounding under staffed hospitals and huge waiting lists for hospital appointments.
Hospitals in my area are really struggling, they are understaffed and overworked. This is unsurprising seeing as Yorkshire has lost 1,110 nurses since 2010.
Under the Tories many people, especially the elderly, are ending up at our already swamped A&E departments, waiting for hours on end for issues better dealt with by a GP or better still, within their own homes. It is atrocious and cannot go on.
We heard that last week Ed Miliband spent two nights in an NHS hospital. He sat on the wards, spoke to staff and patients and observed how day to day hospital life is run.
That is because Labour wants to understand the problems facing the NHS from the inside, directly from the staff themselves.
Something needs to be done to save our NHS.
A labour government would guarantee an appointment with your GP within 48 hours, or, if you need to be seen urgently, the maximum waiting time would be 24 hours, not 7 days like it is under the Tories.
It is not just GPs, hospitals and A&E departments that are suffering, the services which provide so much care to us and our families are suffering too. Take carers for instance, many of whom are not even paid the minimum wage and are expected to spend only 15 minutes with each person.
This Tory ‘clock watch care’ is appalling; it leaves barely enough time for a carer to get in the house, take off their coat and put the kettle on before they have to leave. It is not the type of care we want for our loved ones.
Therefore, on top of the GP promise Labour has also announced a care charter. This care charter would put an end to 15 minute visits, it would also introduce a Licence to Practice to keep an eye on care managers and introduce proper training for new care staff. Labour would also scrap exploitative zero hours contracts and make sure carers are paid at least the minimum wage.
The NHS is one of Labour's greatest achievements; it should be based around care and quality, not competition and privatisation. Labour will put real care back at the heart of our NHS.
Since the Tory-led Coalition came to power in 2010 our NHS has not been safe in the government’s hands. I know from talking to my constituents that it is not...
Today the Labour Party will be campaigning to highlight the long record of broken promises the Lib Dems have delivered in the past four years.
Here in Sheffield the campaign will have a sharp focus because one of the city’s MPs is none other than Nick Clegg. Remember him? He’s the one who painted his as the party of high principle at the 2010 General Election.
Then he was shiny and new. Now he looks rather shopsoiled -- every single serious pledge the Lib Dems made has been broken.
His party promised to scrap tuition fees, then trebled them. They promised to keep VAT low then increased it. They promised fair taxes then gave millionaires a tax break.
They say they have fixed the economy but with people on average £1600 worse off, no one is feeling better off.
They promised to deliver constitutional change, to reform the House of Lords and the voting system; low and behold they delivered neither.
The voters have noticed they aren’t getting what they voted for – it’s no surprise that they have slumped in the polls.
Many people will feel that the worst decision the Lib Dems took was to enter into a coalition with such a right wing Conservative party..
Personally, I believe the most catastrophic thing Nick Clegg has declared is his ambition to remain Deputy Prime Minister whichever party gains the most seats at the next general election. This shows Nick Clegg to be nothing other than an opportunist; happy to cling on to power no matter what.
This is everything which the British public hates about politics. It is utterly immoral and nakedly ambitious.
And it’s not just Nick Clegg who is breaking promises. The Lib Dems are all the same, even Lib Dem councillors here in Sheffield show a lack of loyalty and conviction, sharing similar traits to their dear leader.
Let me elaborate - Shaffaq Mohammed who has represented the Broomhill ward for over ten years has done a chicken run; fearing an embarrassing election defeat he has decided not to seek re-election in Broomhill and instead he will stand in a safer Lib Dem seat in Nick Clegg's own constituency.
But we have news for the Lib Dems: they can run, but they cannot hide.
My first point of call on my visit to Sheffield will be to Shaffaq’s old ward, to support the Labour candidate, Kat Baker.
I will then be heading straight to Nick Clegg's own constituency where I will meet with Crookes ward Labour candidate Anne Murphy who is hoping to beat Shaffaq, the Lib Dem leader who has no links to his new ward.
Labour has two great candidates, Kat Baker and Anne Murphy, who will work hard and stand up for ordinary working people in their areas. And with our 10 - point cost of living contract, Labour has made a concrete promise to people. This promise includes freezing energy prices, helping working parents with 25 hours of free childcare and tackling zero hour contracts.
Nationally and locally the Lib Dems have leaders who give politics a bad name. They won’t be forgiven by the people of Sheffield and the country as a whole.
Today the Labour Party will be campaigning to highlight the long record of broken promises the Lib Dems have delivered in the past four years. Here in Sheffield the...
This week marked Workers’ Memorial Day which remembers those killed or seriously harmed at work and to raise awareness of the importance of work safety measures.
Safety at work is of a huge importance to everyone; from the family members of those unnecessarily harmed or killed at work, to employers who need healthy staff.
Workers Memorial Day will especially resonate with my constituents. It can be a time for us to remember the people who had arguably one of the most dangerous jobs there is; the Miners. This year marked the 30th anniversary of the Miner’s strike and many will remember what the conditions were like.
On Workers Memorial Day, we need to take the opportunity to compel employers to look after their staff, to value human life and to not to neglect health and safety spending to cut costs for higher profits.
The TUC argue that at least 20,000 people die prematurely each year from work related illness. Furthermore, a recent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report revealed that in 2012/13 alone 175,000 people were injured at work.
In the 21st century it is a shocking fact that, as the TUC report suggests, more people are killed at work every year than in wars.
Yet, even with this knowledge, the Tory-led Government has made cuts to health and safety spending. Describing health and safety regulation as a ‘burden’ the Government has pursued policies which are based on a ‘pro-business, anti regulation ideology’.
However, despite debilitating ideological Government policies, the majority of businesses I have been in contact with are very supportive of health and safety measures. They want to keep their staff safe, well and happy as they are more likely to stay on, decreasing staff turnover and recruitment costs. The majority would never want a member of staff hurt or unwell due to an inadequate working environment.
The Government’s position towards work safety is dangerous; they have cut health and safety funding by over 40%, demonstrating yet again that they know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.
People should be able to trust the Government and employers to take the safety of individuals at work seriously.
This week marked Workers’ Memorial Day which remembers those killed or seriously harmed at work and to raise awareness of the importance of work safety measures. Safety at work...
The Tories have built an economy that works for the few, leaving the rest of us in a deep cost of living crisis. And no matter how many times George Osborne claims that the economy is recovering, we all know that for many this is simply not the case.
Today the Trussell Trust reported that the use of food banks in the UK has risen by a staggering 51% since last year. Nearly 1 million people received emergency food from the Trussell Trust alone. Their Chief Executive Chris Mould said that ‘In the last year we’ve seen things get worse, rather than better, for many people on low-incomes. It’s been extremely tough for a lot of people, with parents not eating properly in order to feed their children and more people than ever experiencing seemingly unfair and harsh benefits sanctions’.
These figures will not shock or surprise many of my constituents - who tell me they are finding it very difficult to put a meal on the table. It is becoming an ongoing struggle to keep up with rising food prices and whilst wages stay stagnant, we are seeing increasing numbers of working households left with no money well before the end of the month.
There are many reasons why people in my constituency have had to turn to food banks for help - including high levels of unemployment, low and stagnant wages and benefit delays – some constituents tell me that they have to survive for eight weeks without any money. In my constituency, one food bank in South Elmsall has given out 796 parcels of food in just five months – feeding approximately 333 individuals, including children.
I believe the number of people in food poverty to be much higher than reported; statistics relating to food poverty are unreliable, the Government does not track the statistics and charities who try to have limited resources. Furthermore, many individuals in food poverty may not be able to afford the transport costs to reach a food bank or may not turn to food banks for help, instead suffering in silence.
However, despite being saddened by so many needing to turn to food banks in my area, I would also like to say that I am proud to see people in my constituency coming together as an even tighter community during these hard times. Lots of people are only too willing to look out for neighbours, operate food banks or donate food at the supermarkets. It really is admirable, but in the 21st century it is a national disgrace how so many people have no choice but to rely on food packages just to scrape by.
I believe, not having the confidence to know you can adequately feed yourself, your family and pay your bills not only affects your physical wellbeing but also social and mental wellbeing. Eating nutritious meals and not having to constantly worry about where your next meal is going to come from should be possible for everyone.
In the UK, a country which has the sixth largest economy in the world, we should not see people going hungry. The Government need to do more and stop disproportionately harming those who are already struggling whilst sticking up for the few at the top. The Government need to wake up and realise there is a real problem here, the prevalence and usage of food banks just shows the levels of poverty that their policies have produced.
Labour would look at the root of the problem; starting with the terribly unfair bedroom tax, unemployment and low wages. Labour would get young people off benefits and into work with a compulsory jobs guarantee, freeze energy bills until 2017, expand free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds and build more homes . Labour would also reverse the deeply unfair £3 billion tax cut for the top one per cent of earners - to drive the deficit down in a fairer way.
Labour will build an economy that works for working people, so we can see an economic recovery for all, not just the few.
The Tories have built an economy that works for the few, leaving the rest of us in a deep cost of living crisis. And no matter how many times George...
In a democracy every person should have an equal voice to express their views and be heard. A small community group should have the same access to decision-makers as a company; a constituent should have the same access as a millionaire.
But this is not the case in Britain. Our democracy is asymmetrical. A local charity campaigning on cancer in my constituency does not have the same access to the political process as the big tobacco companies.
Under the government’s “gagging bill”, now an Act, this asymmetry has been made even worse.
The gagging bill is an outright attack on healthy democracy; it is a cynical attempt to deceive the public by gagging campaigners and charities. My constituents, like so many others, are not falling for it.
I voted against this Act right the way through Parliament as I believe that lobbying is an essential part of our democracy, it allows charities and campaigners to be heard and stand up for the issues they fight for.
I have been contacted by a large number of my constituents asking what Labour would do. We are clear; a Labour government would abolish the gagging Act.
Labour recognise there is a real need for political reform. There is already a widespread sense of alienation from politics; the disillusionment partly stems from a feeling that Britain is governed by a closed circle at the top which excludes the millions of hard-working people who play by the rules but who are struggling to get by.
We need to open up the lobbying world, not legislate to silence charities and campaigners who want to hold the government to account. This is why Labour will repeal the gagging law and legislate for the real reform our politics needs.
Labour, should we win the 2015 election, will make the lobbying industry more transparent by introducing a register of all lobbyists backed by a code of conduct and sanctions, we will make the changes a fairer Britain needs.
In a democracy every person should have an equal voice to express their views and be heard. A small community group should have the same access to decision-makers as a...