In last week’s Barnsley Chronicle I read the deeply moving and heart-breaking story of Joe Dale, the young lad who tragically died from a severe asthma attack in June 2017. Joe had just finished his GCSEs and had his whole life ahead of him when he died. As a parent, it is unimaginable to contemplate the pain and grief that Joe’s mum and dad, Jon and Helena, have endured over the last three years. Out of the tragedy of Joe’s death, it is hugely heartening that three more lives have been saved because his organs were donated. Three more people have been given hope and the chance of a longer, healthier life. Three families have been spared the pain that Jon and Helena – and all of Joe’s family – have endured.Read more
Results Days are invariably moments of great anticipation and trepidation. Nerves about what will be contained in the long-awaited envelope. Relief if results have gone the way you hope; a mad dash through insurance choices if they have not. Excitement about what the future will bring. Hasty preparations for an evening of celebration or commiserations..! They are always a maelstrom of emotions and never fail to take me back to my own GCSE and A-Level results. I would like to congratulate everyone who got their results last week and my thanks go to all of our incredible, hard-working local teachers who have done a sterling job in the most difficult of circumstances.Read more
South Yorkshire Mayor and Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis responds to the Government’s announcement that A-Level and GCSE students in England will receive Centre Assessed Grades.Read more
South Yorkshire Mayor and Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis has today called on the Department for Education to take immediate action to support A-Level and GCSE students who risk having their futures stolen by a system that disproportionately hits schools in the most deprived communities.
Mayor Jarvis is also calling for a halt to the publication of GCSE results this week until a full technical review can take place into grade moderation.Read more
During the summer months we all have an opportunity to pause, catch our breath and reflect on the year so far. I think it’s safe to say that 2020 has been a year like no other. We have faced the most severe public health and economic challenge in living memory. There isn’t a single person or community whose life hasn’t been touched by the Coronavirus and its effects. Whether you are mourning the loss of a relative, friend or neighbour to the virus. Whether you are a key worker who has been on the front-line of the fight against the disease – in our NHS, social care system, emergency services, shops, postal service and so many more besides. Or whether life as you know it has been transformed by months in lockdown, apart from family and friends. This crisis has affected all of us.Read more
Tomorrow, 1 August, is Yorkshire Day – always a great moment and opportunity to celebrate the parts of our culture, our heritage and our history that we are most proud of. I’ve always felt that our shared Yorkshire identity isn’t something that can be quantified into graphs or presented on Government balance sheets – it’s an emotional connection that brings together the people of Barnsley and Bradford, Sheffield and Shipley, Rotherham and Ripon and so many more besides. It’s the shared identity that’s expressed on the terraces of Oakwell, Headingley and Elland Road where Yorkshire folk come together in that famous, cross-county chant – “Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire” – which never fails to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up whenever I hear it. It’s partly why I’ve fought so hard to put the decisions about our region’s future in our region’s hands through unlocking the South Yorkshire Devolution Deal in recent weeks – alongside a commitment to for our Local Authorities and the Government to work on shared, pan-Yorkshire priorities.Read more
In last week’s Economic Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had a golden opportunity to listen to what Northern leaders and Mayors have been calling for throughout this pandemic and deliver big, bold, structural reforms to our economy that would fundamentally change the way our economy works. People in Barnsley – and across South Yorkshire and the wider North – know only too well that the British economy doesn’t work in their interests. That too much investment in infrastructure, transport and jobs in drawn to London and the South East. Regular readers will know the statistic I cite that underlines this most clearly – for every pound spent on transport infrastructure in Yorkshire and the Humber, London and the South East get £3.40. It shouldn’t be the case that areas with deep and enduring inequalities get less support and investment from central government. It is a fundamental question of fairness. It was also an opportunity last week for Rishi Sunak to reverse decades of underfunding and drive a fairer recovery.Read more
On Monday, the South Yorkshire Devolution Deal Order was laid in Parliament – securing new powers and resources for our region at a time when they have never been more urgently needed.Read more
The re-imposition of a local lockdown in Leicester is a timely reminder that COVID-19 has not gone away. As the national lockdown begins to ease this weekend, it has never been more important for people to follow the latest guidance from the NHS and Public Health England to reduce the risk of transmission.
The Government must ensure that Local Authorities have access to clear, consistent data on local transmission rates and have the powers to effectively implement local lockdowns where required.
I am in regular contact with the Leader of the Council and the Director of Public Health who have reassured me that they are in control of the situation and are working closely with Public Health England to manage the local response. It is absolutely vital that we continue to keep a very close eye on new cases and take whatever steps are necessary to protect lives in Barnsley.