Paul Blomfield MP

A strong voice for Sheffield Central

Keeping in touch - September 2016

Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central
The Big Conversation - September 2016


The Big Conversation is in full swing. The events so far have been really useful with lots for me to follow up on already. We've been talking about everything from grammar schools to mental health services and police cuts. In Parliament I’ve been spending a lot of time on the Higher Education and Research Bill Committee, but I’ve also pressed the Government on hate crime, challenged employment tribunal fees, and met Ministers to push for proper pay for care workers. There’s more about all of this and other things I’ve taken up below. Your views matter to me so please take a minute to complete my annual survey.



It’s been great seeing so many people at Big Conversation events across Sheffield Central. So far I’ve held meetings in Sharrow Vale, Broomhall, Manor Park, Nether Edge, the City Centre and elsewhere. There are still lots of events coming up, including:



Higher Education Bill       

I have been challenging the Government about its planned changes to our university system as part of the Committee scrutinising the Higher Education and Research Bill. I’ve been pressing for better student representation, widening participation to give more people a chance to go to university, against linking new teaching quality assessment to fee increases – and I proposed all universities should give students the chance to register to vote when they enrol at university, in the way we’ve pioneered in Sheffield.The Government are making it easier for private companies to set up universities, but I’m pushing for tough regulation of these new institutions. 

Culture Secretary agrees to raise hate crime with newspaper editors


I’ve been deeply alarmed by the rise in hate crimes since the EU referendum. After I urged her in Parliament, the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport agreed to talk to newspaper editors about their responsibility. Read more

Labour Leadership

Any election creates divisions and the summer’s Labour leadership contest is no exception. I campaigned for Owen Smith, and set out my reasons here, but congratulate Jeremy Corbyn on his re-election. I’ll now be playing my part in bringing Labour together, and focussing on the big challenge we face in holding the Conservative Government to account.

Sports Direct reforms not enough


infuriated Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley at a Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee hearing in June by pressing him to give staff proper contracts, so was interested in Sports Direct’s recent announcement. In my view, their reforms to working conditions don’t go nearly far enough and I’ll be pursuing the issue. Read more.

Tackling underpayment of care workers

I met with Business Minister Margot James to press the Government to include travel time on pay slips for care workers, which would help stop employers avoid paying the National Minimum Wage. Read more.

Stop pricing workers out of justice


In Parliament I warned the Government that employment tribunal fees are pricing workers out of securing justice against bad employers. Read more.

New Business Secretary agrees to re-think office closure

I was pleased to get a commitment from the new Business Secretary, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, that he will review the decision to close his Department’s office at St Paul’s Place. Read more.


Get in touch




Letting me know your priorities helps inform my work in Parliament. You can read the results of last year’s Big Conversation Survey here

Boundary review is Tory gerrymandering


I’ve strongly criticised new proposals for Parliamentary constituencies, which will hit Sheffield and other big cities, and hand extra seats to the Conservatives. Read my view in The Star

Opposing grammar schools

I was part of one of the last generations of Sheffield pupils to sit the 11 plus and I don’t want to return to a system that writes off the majority of children at such a young age. I’ll fight the Tories on this all the way.

Saudi arms sales


The Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, of which I’m a member, is part of the Committee on Arms Exports Controls which has been reviewing arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the light of bombing in Yemen. I backed a report recommending the suspension of UK arms sales which you can read here.

Strip club u-turn

I’m pleased that Villa Mercedes has withdrawn its application for a sexual entertainment venue license on Suffolk Road, on which I backed community objections. It’s a victory for local democracy. Read more.

APPG on Debt and Personal Finance


I was re-elected the Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Debt and Personal Finance, a job I’ve done since successfully campaigning for tougher rules for pay day lenders. 

Community notices ...

Walk for Cathedral Archer Project - On Saturday 15th October, my team and I will be taking part in the Cathedral Archer Project’s Walk In My Shoes event. We will be walking 5 miles along the Porter Brook River. I hope that you will be able to join me in raising money for this important cause by donating on my JustGiving Page.

Broomhall Centre AGM – Tuesday 18th October 2016 – 19:00 – 21:00 – Everyone welcome. Email or call 0114 272 9105 for more information.

Sheffield's Celebration of Sport - Celebrate Sheffield City Region's sporting success and fundraise for Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity and SportsAid Yorkshire & Humberside. Wednesday 5 October at the English Institute of Sport. Find out more here.

Hope in the Holy Land? An evening of songs and stories at Victoria Hall Methodist Church (near the Crucible) on Friday 30th September at 7.30pm. Tickets here.

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,






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