Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central
Keeping in touch - August 2017
Parliament’s in recess during August, which has given me more time to meet constituents and visit local groups – as well as take a couple of weeks break. I’ve also been planning my annual community consultation, the Big Conversation, and wanted to share details with you.
Every year I hold the Big Conversation to listen to constituents’ views and concerns. What people tell me shapes my work in Parliament. In previous years, for example, people told me about the impact of rip-off payday lenders and unfair benefit rules for terminally ill people – on which I followed up and secured positive change.
This year I’m holding around 40 events, including open meetings, café and pub drop-ins, street surgeries and more, all over the constituency. Do get involved. It would be great to hear your views. Come along to some of the events – or take a couple of minutes to fill in my survey here.
Big Conversation events
Wherever you are and whatever you’re interested in or concerned about – there will be an event for you.
Open meetings in Walkley, Skye Edge, Broomhill, Nether Edge and the City Centre.
Special open meetings seeking views on Brexit, health and social care, mental health, safer communities, the environment, democracy, and private rented accommodation.
Café & pub drop-ins at Park Library Café, Manor Park Café, Amici & Bici Café, Real Junk Food Café, Gerry’s Bakery, Primoz Café Restaurant and the Gardeners’ Rest.
Meetings for specific groups - including women, young people, small businesses, the third sector, local schools, and students at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.
Street surgeries in Broomhall, Highfield, Langsett, Sharrow and Wybourn
Backing nurses pay rise
I was pleased to speak at a rally in Weston Park organised by the Royal College of Nursing, where I backed calls for an end to the NHS pay cap.
Challenging discrimination against EU nationals
I pressed Brexit Secretary David Davis to take action after reports of growing discrimination against EU nationals in the UK (read more).
Partners in Learning
I visited Sheffield Hallam University to celebrate the work of a group of people with learning disabilities who contribute to the education and support of students on health and social care courses.
Backing Kashmiri self-determination
I spoke at a meeting at the Madina Masjid on the situation in Kashmir, at which I made the case for stronger Government action to secure international support for self-determination – something I’ve argued in Parliament (see here).
Supporting Emmaus in tackling homelessness
I opened the new wood and metal workshop at Emmaus Sheffield, a great local charity where people who were homeless can live and work as part of a community - repairing donated furniture and electrical goods for sale in their shop. Find out more here.
Brexit will continue to dominate politics when Parliament returns in September. The Government’s so-called ‘Great Repeal Bill’, or European Union (Withdrawal) Bill as it’s properly known, will begin its long journey through Westminster. It repeals the European Communities Act 1972, which took Britain into the EU, and brings all EU laws into UK law, so that the Government can change or drop them. I’ve serious concerns about the Bill, which you can read here.
All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) play an important role in putting issues on the political agenda. Since the General Election, several APPGs I’ve been involved with have held meetings to elect officers for the new Parliament. I am pleased to have been re-elected Chair of the APPG on Students, Co-Chair of the APPG on International Students, Secretary of the APPG on Universities, and Vice-Chair of the APPG on Motor Neurone Disease. There will be officer elections for the APPG on Debt and Personal Finance in September, at which I hope to be re-elected a Vice-Chair.
Share your views
As well as meetings, there’s a chance to share your views online.
Please fill in my Big Conversation survey online to let me know your priorities - just click here.
In the ‘Hot Seat’ with the BBC’s Toby Foster
I’ll be in the Hot Seat with Toby Foster on BBC Radio Sheffield on Friday 1st September 9 – 10am. Do phone in on 0114 279 6699, ask me questions and tell me what issues concern you. I’ll also be chatting about the Big Conversation.
Can you organise an event?
The Big Conversation doesn’t finish on 8th October. I continue to get out and hear local views throughout the year. But I need your help organising events. Let me know if you’re in a group that could host an event or if you have an idea for one.
Help deliver Big Conversation leaflets
I need volunteers to help get information out to over 40,000 homes in Sheffield Central. Can you help deliver leaflets on your street? Get in touch if you can.
Cycle September – A free competition to see which workplace can get the most staff cycling. Find out more here.
Wybourn litter pick - Saturday 9th September, 9.30am. Meet at Manor Oaks Road (junction with Whites Lane).
MASKK Summer Programme – Activities for children and families in Manor and Castle. Please find details here.
Free community showing of I, Daniel Blake - Saturday 2nd September, 7.30 - 10.30pm, at the Walkley Community Centre. Entrance is free but the organisers are encouraging a donation for both S2 & S6 foodbank. More details here.
Let me have any notices for the next newsletter by Friday 15th September
Keeping in touch
My office is open every weekday and if you have any questions or need any help please ring 0114 272 2882 or email me.