Paul Blomfield - Sheffield Central

The 2015 Big Conversation events programme

11 September - 11 October

I'm holding my 2015 Big Conversation so that I can listen to your concerns and press them in Parliament. Last year almost 2000 people came to one of my 60 events. This year I am holding events across Sheffield Central where you can tell me what you think.

Please click here to read the programme of events for this year's Big Conversation.

If you can't make it to any of the events, you can fill in this short survey to let me know what you think should be my top priorities this Parliament. 



Opposing the Welfare Reform and Work Bill

23 people have written to me about the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill. I wanted to share my response more widely:

I’m pleased to have the opportunity to explain the position I took on the Government's Welfare Reform and Work Bill at its initial Parliamentary consideration at Second Reading, when I voted for the Labour amendment against the Bill. I believe passionately in a system of social security where people are properly supported when in need, and contribute as they can afford it through progressive taxation. I am appalled by the Tory demonisation of those on benefits – whether in or out of work – and am particularly opposed to those Tory proposals to reverse the progress made by Labour Governments in tackling child poverty.  

You’ll recall that the issue at the heart of the debate on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill was Harriet Harman’s suggestion, made on the Sunday Politics programme on 13 July, that Labour might accept the Tory proposal to cut child tax credit from third and subsequent children. Immediately that day, and on the following day, I made my view clear that I would not support such a proposal. It is completely unacceptable that families who find themselves out of work or on low pay, and therefore entitled to child tax credits, should be penalised for having more than two children – and that the children themselves should be punished – by the withdrawal of tax credits.

My view was shared by a huge number of other Labour MPs, including three out of the four candidates for our leadership. As a result of the discussion within the Parliamentary Party, Labour submitted a ‘reasoned amendment’ rejecting the Bill on the grounds of its impact on child poverty and, leading the debate for Labour, Stephen Timms made it clear that we did not support this proposal. I voted for this amendment, which clearly stated our opposition to the Bill. Sadly, the vote was lost because of the Conservative majority in the House of Commons.

I would stress that this debate was only the initial stage in the long Parliamentary consideration of the Bill, which will now go to detailed consideration in Committee and then return for Report Stage and Third Reading, before going to the House of Lords, and then returning to the Commons. I intend to make the case against the removal of tax credits, and other pernicious aspects of the Bill, at every opportunity.

I’m also thinking about running a public campaign on the issues and wondered whether you would be willing to join me – going out to meet local people and making the case against these proposals. If so, drop me a note and I’ll stay in touch.

Welfare reform, BIS Select Committee, Assisted Dying, Park Hill Flats and recess – all part of my week

Tuesday 21st July 2015 - Today is the last day Parliament is sitting before the summer recess, but there’s still plenty in my diary before I head back to Sheffield later in the week. Yesterday, we debated the Welfare Reform and Work Bill to which Labour tabled an amendment opposing the Bill because of the impact on child poverty. You can read about how I voted yesterday and why here. I’ve got two meetings of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee this week, to which I’m pleased to have been re-elected by fellow MPs. I’ll also be going to the Backbench Business Committee to argue for a Commons debate on immigration detention following the report of the cross-party inquiry of which I was Vice-Chair in the last Parliament.  

In Westminster this week I’ll also be at a meeting of the GMB Parliamentary Group, of which I’m a member, and talking with the free debt management advisers PayPlan. I’m also talking to Radio 4 about the Assisted Dying Bill and, with other South Yorkshire MPs, meeting the Chair of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, Councillor Steve Houghton, to discuss the budget and devolution. Back in Sheffield on Thursday and Friday, I’m visiting Park Hill for an update from the developers and I’ve meetings with the Clinical Director of the Clinical Commissioning Group, Hallam Students’ Union Officers, the Chief Executive of the Council, and the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire.

With Parliament if recess, I’ll be spending more time in Sheffield - meeting constituents, visiting groups and planning for my 2015 Big Conversation – as well as taking a couple of weeks holiday! My next ‘Start the Week’ will be published on 7 September when Parliament meets again.

Low pay, students, fox-hunting and welcoming constituents to Westminster – some of my week ahead

Monday 13th July 2015 - Today I'm welcoming a group of 50 constituents to Westminster. They've joined one of my regular coach trips to Parliament – which offers a guided tour of Westminster (including visits to the Chambers of the Commons and the Lords), a chance to watch a debate, a Q&A with me, and some free time. If you're interested in a future trip, drop me a note.

On Tuesday I'll be speaking in the debate on last week's Budget, focussing on the plans to cut tax credits to low paid workers – and earlier in the day I'll be at a meeting on the impact of the proposals for welfare reform. I'll also be in Foreign Office Questions, where I'm supporting Labour's team as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn – and at meetings on the campaign for the UK to stay in the EU.

I'm hosting a Parliamentary event for the All-Party Group on Students, of which I'm Chair, bringing together student representatives with MPs, Peers and others from further and higher education  - and chairing a meeting on student voter registration, on which the University of Sheffield is leading the way. On Wednesday, I've been drawn to ask the Prime Minister a question. Clearly, after last week's budget, there's a lot to go on. I'll be in the Chamber to oppose the Government's attempt to overturn the ban on fox-hunting too – something many constituents have contacted me about.

Other meetings this week cover electoral reform, finance and personal debt, arts funding and an event organised by Water Aid to highlight the importance of clean water supplies. Back in Sheffield on Thursday evening I'll be speaking at the launch of the Labour Assembly Against Austerity, and on Friday I'm meeting with the Chair of Voluntary Action Sheffield, the Practice Manager of Park Health Centre, the Chair of Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group and the Chief Executive of Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust. On Saturday I'll be meeting some of the 380 new Labour members in Sheffield Central at an informal event, which is also open to anyone else who's interested in finding out more about the Labour Party - get in touch if you'd like details.

Press release: Paul Blomfield MP calls for Parliament to move north

Paul Blomfield MP today called for Parliament to move to Sheffield or another northern city while restoration work is undertaken on the Palace of Westminster.

In a challenge to the Leader of the House of Commons, Chris Grayling MP, in Parliament today Paul Blomfield said:

“Too many decisions affecting the whole country are made by people who view them through the prism of their experience living and working in London. Does the Leader of the House recognise that moving Parliament out of the Palace of Westminster is not only the most cost-effective approach to restoration, but provides a unique opportunity to take decision-making out of the metropolitan bubble? And will he think seriously about temporary re-location to one of our great northern cities like Sheffield?”   

Speaking after the debate, Mr Blomfield said:

“The UK is more centralised than most other countries. The majority of people live outside London, but too many of those who take the decisions have little experience of life beyond the capital. I've argued in the past that we should distribute the big Government Departments around the country. This is an opportunity to move Parliament itself.”

Notes for Editors

1. Read the exchange between Paul Blomfield MP and Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP here.

2. The Independent Options Appraisal of the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme was published on 18 June 2015. It sets out options, costs and timescales for restoring the Palace of Westminster, including restoring the Palace without moving MPs and Peers out over a period of 32 years at a cost of £5.7bn and moving MPs and Peers out for 6 years, at a cost of £3.5bn.

3. Speaking in a debate on the 2014 Budget Paul Blomfield challenged George Osborne to move Government Departments to Sheffield and other cities.

4. In November last year, Labour backed the proposal to move Departments around the country.

Contact details 

For further information please call Paul Blomfield MP's office on 0114 272 2882.

Press release: Paul Blomfield MP condemns end to student grants

Paul Blomfield MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Students, has condemned the Government decision to end maintenance grants for poorer students. 

Mr Blomfield, who has more students in his constituency than any other MP, said:

“Maintenance grants provided the last remnant of fairness in the student support system. By cutting these grants, the Government is deliberately choosing to attack students from low-income families, while other parts of the budget give tax breaks to higher-income households and boost the inheritance of those from million pound homes.”

Notes for Editors
1. Paul Blomfield Sheffield Central Constituency is home to 36,000 students and includes both Sheffield's universities.

2. Paul was recently re-elected Chair of the APPG on Students, which he set up with cross-party support in 2014. He is Secretary of the APPG on Universities and was re-elected to the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee last week. 

3. In March, Paul was voted ‘most inspiring leader' in higher education in the Guardian's 2015 University awards.

Contact details 
For further information please call Paul Blomfield MP's office on 0114 272 2882.

The Budget, funding for local GP surgeries, policing and the NHS – some of my week ahead

Monday 6th July 2015 - The main business of the week in Westminster is Wednesday's Budget. I'll be in the Chamber to hear if there are any announcements that haven't already been leaked by the Government. Those that have say everything about their priorities – like cutting tax credits for low paid workers alongside an inheritance tax giveaway for wealthy homeowners. I've been drawn for Health Questions on Tuesday, when I'll be pressing Ministers over plans to cut funding to GP surgeries dealing with patients with extra health needs – it affects two practices in my constituency and I've been campaigning on the issue for some time.

Also this week, I've organised the AGM of the All-Party Migration Group, which I chaired in the last Parliament and I'm leading a briefing for colleagues on student voter registration. Other meetings cover Trans-Pennine road and rail links, electoral reform (I'm Vice-Chair of the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform), cancer research, Palestine, immigration detention, Post Office provision, and family migration rules. Together with South Yorkshire colleagues, I'm also meeting our Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings who is briefing us on issue facing the local police force.

Back in Sheffield from Friday, I'm meeting local members of Unite the Union and the ‘Sheffield Save Our NHS' campaign over concerns about the privatisation of the NHS  – and meeting constituents on issues ranging from drug policy to the Sheffield Move More campaign. On Saturday, I've one of my regular open access surgeries for constituents – see more details here.

Setting up All-Party Groups, welcoming constituents to Westminster and speaking on Mesothelioma - all in my week ahead

Monday 29th June 2015 - It's always difficult to predict my Parliamentary week. Last Thursday for example the Transport Secretary dropped a bombshell, announcing the postponement of electrification of the Midland Mainline, and I changed my day to be there to challenge him (see here). This week, the main business of Parliament is the Scotland Bill but there's lots of other things happening - and I'm interviewing for a new member of my staff team. 

On Tuesday I'll be in Business Innovation and Skills Questions, trying to challenge Ministers on cuts to further education funding and I've been drawn to question Cabinet Office Ministers on Wednesday. As we're at the start of a new Parliament, we're currently re-establishing All-Party Parliamentary Groups - and I'll be at meetings for groups on universities, motor neurone disease, and sickle cell & thalassaemia

I'll also be welcoming constituents to Westminster and doing a Q&A session with school students from Birkdale who are spending the day learning about Parliament. I'm attending an event on medical research, and I'll be going to the Royal Society Summer Science exhibition where Sheffield University students have been chosen to promote their research - the importance of science and research in driving economic growth is something on which I led a debate last week (see here). 

Back in Sheffield on Friday, I'm going to visit the solar test facility at the University of Sheffield to see the important work being done there to help us move to greener energy sources.  I'm also meeting the Managing Director of John Lewis, the Chief Executive of the South Yorkshire Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Director of the Snowdrop Project and am speaking at an Action Mesothelioma Day event at Sheffield Cathedral - and on Saturday I'll be at the Ruskin Park Fun Day as part of Walkley Festival, and speaking at a 'One Sheffield, Many Cultures' event on Fargate.

Science & Research, the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean and the Spirit of 1945 - some of my week ahead

Monday 22nd June 2015 - I'm leading a Parliamentary debate this week on 'Science and Research in the UK and Regional Economies', in which I'll be pressing the new Universities Minister Jo Johnson on the important role of universities in driving economic growth and the need for investment in research. I'll also be meeting local representatives of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) at a national FSB event in Westminster, which will highlight the key role of small businesses - of which there are around 40,000 across South Yorkshire. 

In my view our economic success depends on our future membership of the European Union and I'll be at the Westminster launch of the Labour Movement for Europe - while back in Sheffield on Saturday I'll be speaking of the issue at the Walkley Festival. On Tuesday I'm chairing a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration at which we're considering the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. I'll also be at a discussion organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Universities, of which I'm Secretary, on the Government's counter-terrorism legislation

Back in Sheffield from Thursday night, I'm hoping to get along to an event organised by Sheffield Futures, going to the monthly meeting of my Constituency Labour Party where we're discussing policing with South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, catching up on issues in relation to the New Retail Quarter, meeting the new Officers of the University of Sheffield Students' Union, having my monthly update with local Councillors, and holding one of my regular open advice surgeries for constituents. On Friday night, I'll be at Walkley Festival for the showing of Ken Loach's film 'The Spirit of '45' celebrating the momentous year that changed Britain - why not join me there?

Press release - Paul Blomfield MP warns of threat to Sheffield adult education and training

Tuesday 16th June 2015 - Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield today warned that thousands of local people would lose out on the education and training that they need if the Government pressed ahead with further cuts to adult skills funding.

Speaking today at a Parliamentary lobby in the House of Commons, Paul said

“We've seen a 30% cut in the adult skills budget since 2010, to be followed by a further 24% cut in the year ahead” and warned that the £2.1million cut in Sheffield College's adult education budget would mean that “thousands of adults in our city region will lose out on the education and training that they need, and that we need them to have to grow the local economy.”

He told the packed meeting in Westminster that “Sheffield College has a long and great tradition of high quality adult education and, even in the face of repeated funding cuts, continues to provide educational opportunities for the thousands of adult learners in Sheffield who wish to improve their skills each year”.  

But he warned that continued funding cuts would “leave too many adults in Sheffield and across the country without the routes into education that they so desperately need.”

Europe, further education and migration – some of the issues in my week ahead

Monday 15th June 2015 - Again my week ahead is dominated by the EU Referendum Bill, which was approved at Second Reading last week. Now it will get detailed consideration this week at Committee Stage which, because of its importance, will be open to all MPs. It's an issue I feel strongly about, but as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Foreign Secretary, my role is limited to supporting our team without being able to speak.

Also in Westminster this week I'm meeting constituents attending a lobby on climate change, attending an event on Motor Neurone Disease, chairing a meeting of the All-Party Group for Students which I set up in the last Parliament, and going to a meeting of the All-Party Group on Debt and Personal Finance, of which I was Secretary. I'm also meeting with the President of Sheffield College Students' Union and speaking at a UCU rally on cuts to further education funding.

In my role as Chair of the All-Party Group on Migration in the last Parliament, I'm meeting Humza Yousaf MSP, the Minister for Europe and International Development in the Scottish Government. I also hope to get along to an event at the British Library, where the great local community enterprise ZEST are up for an award for their work on employment support.

Back in Sheffield from Friday, I'll be seeing constituents on concerns including elderly care, international students and the refugee crisis in Myanmar.  I've also meetings with the Chief Executive of Sheffield Citizen's Advice, and with the Officers of Sheffield Hallam University Students' Union.

Press release - Paul Blomfield MP pledges support to carers in Sheffield for Carers Week

Wednesday 10th June - Paul Blomfield MP, who is patron of Sheffield Carers Centre, today pledged his support to carers across Sheffield as part of the national Carers Week 2015 awareness campaign, which runs from 8-14th June. 

There are 6.5 million people in the UK who care for a partner, relative or friend, of which 8 177 carers are in the Sheffield Central Constituency. 

Without the right help and support, caring can have a devastating impact – carers can quickly become isolated, with their physical and emotional health, work and finances all hit hard.

The six charities driving Carers Week 2015 are calling on individuals, organisations and services throughout the country to take action to improve the lives of carers by building ‘carer-friendly communities' that consider and support their needs. 

The call comes after research for Carers Week revealed that the variation in the support and recognition carers experience from services across the country is putting the health of many carers, and their ability to support the people they care for, at risk.

After making the pledge, Paul Blomfield MP said:

“Carers make a hugely valuable contribution to society and they need support to carry on the work they do. That is why I am supporting this initiative to encourage services in my community to think about the needs of carers and reach out to carers across Sheffield and help ensure they don't miss out on support – from GP practices offering flexible appointments to employers facilitating workers juggling jobs and caring.”

Each month I send out a monthly e-newsletter. Sign up to my mailing list to keep in touch with my work

* indicates required
Email Format
Like Paul on Facebook

Election 2015

Thank You!

Delighted to have been re-elected as Labour MP for Sheffield Central with a majority increased from 165 to 17,309. 

In Parliament

Click here to find out about Paul Blomfield's work in Parliament and his recent speeches and questions.


Follow Paul on Twitter

My monthly newsletter

Sign up for my e-newsletter Click below to read the latest edition

Latest News

11/08/15 13:57

The 2015 Big Conversation events programme

11 September - 11 October I'm holding my 2015 Big Conversation so that I can listen to your...

21/07/15 17:11

Welfare reform, BIS Select Committee, Assisted Dying, Park Hill Flats and recess – all part of my week

Tuesday 21st July 2015 - Today is the last day Parliament is sitting before the summer recess,...

09/07/15 14:55

Low pay, students, fox-hunting and welcoming constituents to Westminster – some of my week ahead

Monday 13th July 2015 - Today I'm welcoming a group of 50 constituents to Westminster....

Valid XHTML© 2010 Paul Blomfield | Terms & Conditions
Promoted by B Mynott, on behalf of P Blomfield, both at Sheffield Trades and
Labour Club, Talbot Street, Sheffield, S2 2TG.
Hosted by EZPZ Hosting, 56 London Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 7AQ
Design and Implementation by techPolitics | Powered by Typo3