Dan described this week as the busiest week since becoming an MP. Here's why...
Last week was the busiest and most important week I have had since being elected as the Member of Parliament for Barnsley Central. After securing the adjournment debate for Thursday, my staff and I were one hundred per cent focused on making sure that the speech would do the people of Barnsley proud.
It was a speech, weeks in the making. The House of Commons library will, I’m sure, be glad that the speech is out of the way as I had asked for a host of research covering everything from jobs to high speed rail. We had also set up meetings with leading businessmen and women in Barnsley to seek their input. My staff tells me that the phone was ringing with ideas and suggested additions to the speech right up until the moment I was called to speak.
I was extremely proud to put the issues facing Barnsley, directly before a senior government minister, and I was also delighted to see my neighbouring MP’s, Michael Dugher and Angela Smith, in the Chamber to contribute as well. We know we face a fight in and around the town, but we know that by working together we can achieve the future we all want for our constituents. I said after the speech, and I still think now, that you will be the ones to judge how well the Government does in supporting towns and cities across the UK.
As I said on BBC Sheffield, I don’t think Barnsley has ever been mentioned as much on the floor of the House of Commons as it was last Thursday. We cannot underestimate the impact it could have on Barnsley’s Economic Regeneration programme, to have the government fully aware of the problems we face.
And so, after the debate it was off home to Barnsley. Friday’s are always extremely busy and it is refreshing to leave the Westminster bubble and get back to the constituency. I had an early start and a Breakfast Meeting with Barnsley Voice which I was delighted to speak at. I was able to visit Gawber Primary school in the afternoon. Kids in Barnsley ask just as tough questions as the adults!
I popped into The Civic and really enjoyed the 'Runs On the Board' exhibition with great photographs by Anton Want & words by Andrew McMillan. I highly recommend it.
On Friday, I also called in to see an elderly constituent in Monk Bretton.
On Saturday I was then out door knocking with councillors. Again, I’d like to say a big thank you to all those who congratulated me on the MBE. My focus is now very much on Barnsley and ensuring that I work hard for you.