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100 years on: Remembering Albert Edward Shepherd

100 years ago today, on the 10th of November 1917, The Third Battle of Ypres ended. It was a battle so terrible that it grew to symbolise the true horror of the First World War and became synonymous with the village where it ended; Passchendaele.

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Barnsley Chronicle Column: We must defend our NHS

Last week I hosted a fundraising event with Sir Gary Verity (who brought the Tour de France to Yorkshire) as the guest speaker in aid of the Barnsley Hospital’s Tiny Hearts Appeal, raising just over £6,000 towards the £1 million needed to support the hospital’s relocation and development of a brand new Neonatal unit.

It was great to have the opportunity to make a contribution to this worthy cause, aiming to improve the facilities for babies needing special care in Barnsley. Yet it was also a reminder that hospital trusts are increasingly reliant on their fundraising efforts to fill the alarming shortfall in their resources.

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Vibrant town centre scheme must not be undermined by anti-social behaviour

Barnsley town centre is a hive of activity at the moment. With the first stage of the Council’s regeneration scheme opening in Spring 2018, construction works are now progressing rapidly and there is a definite buzz as you walk through the town.

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'Work hard, aim high and you will achieve...'

I believe that education is absolutely vital in improving young people’s life chances. There should surely be consensus that everyone in the country deserves the same life chances, and that every child has a right to an excellent standard of education, whatever their circumstances, and wherever they live.

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Yorkshire united: One Yorkshire Devolution Deal

Despite the best efforts of council leaders in South Yorkshire, we now know that the Sheffield City Region deal is not going to happen. This does not mean we should give up on devolving power to our region altogether. Instead, we should seize this opportunity to be more ambitious.

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Do you know about the Barnsley Parkrun?

It’s a free-to-enter, 5 kilometre run that takes place every Saturday at 9am in Locke Park and is part of a national chain of events in parks across the country. I’ve taken part in the event a number of times and I always enjoy the great atmosphere and camaraderie of the run.

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Statement on the terrorist attack on Westminster

Over the coming hours, days and weeks much will be said about the attack that took place in Westminster yesterday. It will be analysed and explored from every angle, with every possible cause and effect considered.

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My Private Member's Bill to tackle child poverty


My Private Member's Bill sets out to introduce a target to reduce Child Poverty. As in life, if you want to achieve something in Government, it is useful to set a target. I believe setting a target would help realise a common purpose to tackle child poverty, which includes communities, employers and government at every level.

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The scandal of Sure Start and Children's Centre closures

In December 2016 I asked the Government a series of Parliamentary Questions that revealed how deeply their cuts had affected Sure Start and Children's centres.

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Pause for Christmas – and then make a life-changing commitment for the New Year


This has felt like the longest and most difficult of years. Whilst every year brings its challenges, 2016 has had an extraordinary ability to surprise, confound and disturb.

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