Paul Blomfield MP

A strong voice for Sheffield Central

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In November I met with members of the Sheffield ME & Fibromyalgia Group, who told me about their concerns about the PACE trial and NICE guidelines, which were leading to inappropriate use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Graded Exercise Therapy. This week I took their concerns to Parliament, calling on Ministers to suspend use of CBT and GET until completion of the review into its use. Read my comments here.

ME and the PACE trial

In November I met with members of the Sheffield ME & Fibromyalgia Group, who told me about their concerns about the PACE trial and NICE guidelines, which were leading to...

I backed women's basketball team Sheffield Hatters’ call for more funding for the sport, after Sheffield Hatters warned me that basketball is “reaching a crisis point”. 

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British Basketball, which runs the GB national teams, say that they will soon run out of money to fund elite basketball, as the organisation no longer receives funding from UK Sport and is about to lose emergency funding from Sport England.

Sheffield Hatters point out that basketball is underfunded overall, despite being the second most popular sport after football for 11 to 15 year olds, according to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport ‘Taking Part’ survey. They argue it has a “unique case for funding” given its effectiveness in reaching disengaged young people - approximately 17% of Basketball England members live in the most deprived wards, measured by the highest Indices of Multiple Deprivation quintile.

In a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament on the future of basketball in the UK, citing points made by members of Sheffield Hatters, I said:

“Basketball is one of the sports most effective at reaching out to deprived communities and isn’t that a particularly important reason why it needs to continue to be supported.”

We’ve got two brilliant basketball clubs in the city, the Sheffield Hatters and the Sheffield Sharks. They’re engaging lots of people in the sport from across our communities. It’s time that basketball gets the funding it deserves.

Backing the Hatters on basketball funding

I backed women's basketball team Sheffield Hatters’ call for more funding for the sport, after Sheffield Hatters warned me that basketball is “reaching a crisis point”. 

Parliament will return tomorrow after a short half-term break. Brexit will again have a central role for me this week – I’ll be speaking for Labour’s frontbench in a debate initiated by Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach on alternatives to a ‘no deal’ outcome, I’ll be reading the Brexit economic impact analyses that Labour forced the Government to publish, and I’ve got a meeting of our Shadow Brexit team.

Before all that, tomorrow I’m going to a debate on funding of UK basketball to share concerns raised by constituents; attending a debate on the PACE trial and its effects on people with ME; seeing Sheffield University students’ research projects that are being displayed in Parliament by the British Conference of Undergraduate Research; and backing the Changing Places campaign to ensure all disabled people can go to the toilet or be changed with dignity.

After the Brexit debate on Wednesday, I’ll be supporting the Disability Confident scheme which encourages employers to improve how they attract, recruit and retain disabled workers; going to a Citizens Advice event showing MPs the issues of most concern to their constituents; and attending a reception celebrating Chinese New Year.

On Thursday morning I’ll be pressing the Government on the centenary fund to celebrate women having the right to vote during Oral Questions to the Minister for Women and Equalities. I’ll then be heading back to Sheffield where I’ll be answering questions at the monthly meeting of my local Labour Party.

On Friday I’ll be meeting with Youth Work Unit, visiting Shared Lives Sheffield and the Really NEET Project, and then holding one of my regular advice surgeries. On Saturday and Sunday I’ll be out knocking on doors and meeting constituents in Broomhill and around the Wicker.

Brexit, basketball, disability, women’s suffrage and the Chinese New Year – some of my week ahead

Parliament will return tomorrow after a short half-term break. Brexit will again have a central role for me this week – I’ll be speaking for Labour’s frontbench in a debate...


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