As the old saying goes: ‘a week is a long time in politics’ – something that has never felt more true since the vote in parliament on whether to accept the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement on January 15.
That vote resulted in the biggest defeat for any government in the history of our Parliament. MPs from all sides – those representing constituencies that voted heavily to Remain; and those, like myself, representing seats that voted heavily to Leave – demonstrated that they did not think that the deal worked in the best interests of the country.Read more
If you get the train between Barnsley and Sheffield you will have faced the pain of increased ticket prices, with the average cost of a rail season ticket going up by an average of 3.1%.
If you were left waiting on a platform – or crammed into an overcrowded train – throughout the Northern Rail fiasco last year, you will know that rail passengers are not getting a fair deal.
Since 2010, rail prices have increased by 46.8% whilst the quality of services has deteriorated. Today we have the most expensive rail fares in Europe, whilst services routinely lag behind their continental counterparts in terms of quality and efficiency.Read more
Tuesday night saw the largest defeat of a sitting Prime Minister in living memory. It is therefore absolutely right that the Leader of the Opposition has put forward a motion of no-confidence in the Government.
How we exit the EU is the most important decision we have made in decades. It is vital that we do so in a way that works for both Barnsley and our country.
I voted against accepting the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement. I did so because, having both respected the referendum result and voted to trigger Article 50, I do not believe that her deal would have served the best interests of the people of Barnsley, or our country.Read more
As we look towards the New Year, it is important to reflect on the year that has just gone. 2018 has been a bitterly divisive year. For the first time in my life, our country feels fractured and disunited. The challenges posed by austerity and post-Brexit uncertainty are huge and getting bigger. Overcoming these will not be easy, but I know we will rise to the challenge.Read more
The Bishop of Leeds recently spoke about the importance of place, and how – despite the growth in social media and virtual friendship networks – we remained rooted and shaped by the physical communities and environments in which we live.
I agree, and I have always thought that the idea of place and community is at its strongest at Christmas. It is a time of year when all roads lead to home and we look forward to enjoying the company of those closest to us. At Christmas, everything takes on a special significance, whether that’s putting up the decorations, shopping for food, or watching films together as a family. There is no other occasion like it.
Christmas offers us a time to relax and recharge. To reflect on the year that’s passed and prepare ourselves for the year to come. It’s not just about the tinsel, the mistletoe and the laughter. It’s a chance to take breather from hustle and bustle of everyday life and focus on what matters. And this Christmas break will be an especially well earned one for us all.Read more
We are living through a period of profound change. The challenges posed by austerity and post-Brexit uncertainty are huge. Overcoming them will require all of the innate resilience, talent and generosity for which the people of Yorkshire are known. If we are to tackle them, and make the most of any opportunities that arise, we must do so as a community, centred on the place we live – Barnsley.Read more
Today I am hosting a summit on homelessness. The event will bring together the region’s local authorities, MPs, leading organisations – such as South Yorkshire Housing Association and Crisis – and people who have first-hand experience of homelessness as we seek to eradicate homelessness in South Yorkshire.
We have seen a rapid increase in the number of people sleeping rough on our streets in recent years. You only have to walk along Cheapside, or through the underpass between the Alhambra and Sheffield Road, to see that the numbers of rough sleepers in Barnsley have risen in recent years.Read more
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
Those words, spoken at every Remembrance Service since 1918, have never been more poignant than in this centenary year of the end of the First World War.
In 2018, we all come together to mark 100 years since Armistice Day – 11 November 1918 – which brought the Great War to its conclusion. The First World War was a conflict that claimed over 750,000 British lives, and saw around half a million young men wounded.Read more
I was delighted to hear that Barnsley will host one of the stages of the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire for the second year running.
Last year’s Tour de Yorkshire put our town on the cycling map and showed Barnsley at its best. The town centre was buzzing on the day, with the bunting and street stalls creating a fantastic atmosphere.
It was really exciting to watch world-class cyclists setting out on the Second Stage of this internationally acclaimed cycling event – part of the legacy of the 2014 Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire.Read more