Paul Blomfield MP

A strong voice for Sheffield Central

Keeping in touch - July 2017

Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central
Keeping in touch - July 2017

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Welcome to my latest update on what I’ve been up to as your representative in Westminster. From pension justice to student debt, there’s been a lot happening this month. As ever, I’d be really pleased to hear what you think – just email paul.blomfield.mp@parliament.uk if you’d like to get in touch.

I’m back in Sheffield now, as Parliament’s in recess. I’ll be meeting constituents, visiting local groups, preparing for my annual community consultation the Big Conversation, and having a couple of weeks break – and my office will be open throughout the summer.


 

Disability benefits

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I took Citizens Advice Sheffield to meet Department for Work and Pensions Minister Penny Mordaunt to discuss their report on Personal Independence Payments, the new benefit for disabled people of working age. We pressed for changes on mobility criteria, reassessment of awards and communication aids. 

 

Brexit and Euratom

In my role as a Shadow Brexit Minister, I urged the Government to seek continuing UK membership of Euratom – which promotes nuclear research and safety, and plays a role in the transport of vital medical isotopes used in scans and treatments for cancer. I slammed Theresa May’s absolutist ‘red line’ that there will be no future role for the European Court of Justice, which is driving the UK to a damaging extreme Brexit. Read my article with Keir Starmer about it here


Eastern Avenue Jobcentre

I pushed the Government to scrap plans to close the Eastern Avenue Jobcentre in a debate in Parliament, pointing out that it is rooted in the community it serves and has a close relationship with local people. Read more.


Tuition fees

In a debate on student debt, I challenged the Government to drop plans to increase the interest rate on student loans to an extortionate 6.1% and highlighted that students are already accruing an average of £5,800 in interest before they graduate. Read more.


Nursing and midwifery bursaries

I called on the Government to reverse their decision to scrap bursaries for nursing and midwifery courses, which has led to applications for courses at Sheffield Hallam University falling by 22%, a drop reflected across the country. Read more.


Pension justice for women

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I challenged the Government to support women born in the 1950s who have been affected by changes to their state pension without fair notice, following a packed debate in Parliament. Read more.



Human rights

I pressed the Attorney General on the Government’s commitment to remaining a signatory of the European Convention of Human Rights and called them out for playing politics with human rights. Read more. 


International students

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I hosted a Sheffield University We Are International event, warned the Government that Parliament is ready to force them to take international students out of net migration figures (read more) and was re-elected co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on International Students. 


Can't Stay - Can't Go

I co-hosted the launch of the British Red Cross’s report “Can’t Stay - Can’t Go” which tells the stories of refused asylum seekers who can’t return home and are forced into destitution. Read the report here.


Rail electrification 

The Government’s decision to scrap plans to electrify the Midland Mainline from Kettering to Sheffield and Nottingham is a betrayal of promises made to Sheffield. See my reaction here


Helping individuals

My staff team support me in helping individuals. Over the last month we’ve taken up cases concerning housing, school admissions, tax returns, benefits and immigration. Here’s a few examples:

  • With the help of the Rough Sleeper Team, we found accommodation for a young man who had been sleeping rough in the city centre.
  • We resolved the case of a constituent who was being fined £10 a day after struggling to submit his tax return using the HMRC website.
  • A grandmother had not been receiving Tax Credits to care for her grandchildren, but is now getting the benefit after we intervened.

If you know someone who needs help, tell them to get in touch.


 





Get in touch

 


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Paul Blomfield's Website



 

 

Big Conversation

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I’m finalising plans for my community consultation, the Big Conversation, which will be taking place from 9th September to 8th October. There’ll be public meetings, themed discussions, café drop ins, school visits and more. I’ll be sending out full details in August.


 

Women in Construction

I met with the Chair of WICAT (Women in Construction, the Arts and Technology), a brilliant Sheffield not-for-profit group providing training and volunteer opportunities in plastering, plumbing, electrics, tiling, dry stone walling, DIY and decorating.  They depend on donations and volunteers - read more here.


Help us Help

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Last November I launched Help us Help, to provide advice on how to support rough sleepers in Sheffield. They’ve just updated their website, with lots more information. Have a look here and share it on social media.


Arts funding

I took the Chief Executive of Museums Sheffield, Kim Streets, to meet Arts and Culture Minister John Glen MP to discuss ways of enhancing financial support for museums and galleries.


24 hour off-licences

I met with local Councillors to discuss the development of a ‘cumulative impact policy’ to deal with the proliferation of 24 hour off-licences on and around West Street and its impact on antisocial behaviour - an issue raised with me by local residents.


Childhood obesity

I met with the Obesity Alliance, as well as Sheffield’s Director of Public Health and Clinical Commissioning Group, over services for obese children – following concerns raised by Manor-based SHINE Health Academy.


 

Send My Friend to School

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I met with King Edward VII students who were in Parliament to promote the Send My Friend to School campaign – and I’ve pressed their concerns on the rights of all children to an education with International Development Secretary Priti Patel.


 

Community notices

Everyone’s Festival - 19thAugust 2017, 1 pm - 8 pm – Manor Fields Park. More details here.

The Big Ride – 4th – 6th August – A three-day cycling demonstration to fundraise for children in Gaza and raise awareness of the situation in Palestine, particularly Gaza. Read more.

MASKK Summer Programme – Activities for children and families in Manor and Castle. Please find details here.

Save Mental Health Action Group Sheffield’s Drop-in Centre - MHAGS is a user-led & run organisation for those who suffer or have suffered from a mental illness. Help stop it from closing in four months. Find out more here

Let me have any notices for the next newsletter by Friday 18th August.


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.

Best wishes,

Paul


 

 

 

 

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