Paul Blomfield

A strong voice for Sheffield Central

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Paris attack, university teaching quality, mental health and Carers Rights Day – some of my week ahead

Monday 16th November - I’m expecting a Government statement on the appalling attacks in Paris on Friday evening and I’ll be in the Commons Chamber for it. We must stand in solidarity with the people of France, expressing our outrage at the atrocities and ensuring that those who committed these terrible crimes do not succeed in fomenting division and hatred.

Later today I’ve meetings to discuss the final day of the Immigration Bill Committee, which I’ve served on for the last four weeks and which finishes on Tuesday. I have put forward amendments to the Bill, including on ending the use of indefinite immigration detention, and I’ve argued against proposals to criminalise undocumented workers, introduce new checks on tenants, and end support for refused asylum seekers with families. Unfortunately the Conservative majority in the House of Commons has allowed them to vote down our amendments, but we’ll continue our opposition when the Bill moves to its Report Stage, when it will be debated by the whole House of Commons.

Also on Tuesday I’ll be at the first session of the Business Innovation and Skills Committee Inquiry on Assessing Quality in Higher Education.  As Chair of the All-Party Students Group and Secretary of the All-Party Universities Group, I’ve a lot to ask witnesses. In between meetings, I’ll be joining a group of students from the University of Sheffield, who are visiting the House of Commons, for lunch. Later I hope to get along to an event with the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists on mental health. Poor access to mental health services is an issue that lots of people raised during my Big Conversation and I'm determined to bring these concerns to Parliament – as I did last year when I spoke in the Commons about pressures on children and young people's mental health services at a time of budget cuts.

On Thursday morning I’m welcoming the Master Cutler and the Managing Director of Sheffield company Chimo Holdings to Westminster to celebrate Chimo’s contract to supply Parliament’s gift shops – see the report in The Star. Back in Sheffield on Thursday afternoon, I’m out with local police officers looking at their response on problems linked to prostitution and then speaking at the AGM of St. Vincent’s Furniture Store, a great local charity. On Friday I am pleased to be speaking at a special event to mark Carers Rights Day 2015, hosted by Sheffield Carers Centre, of which I’m a patron. During the Big Conversation I met with several carers groups to listen to their concerns, including Carers in Sheffield and Sheffield Young Carers. I'm looking forward to Friday's event to mark the special, but sometimes difficult work, carers do all year.

Also on Friday I will be at Carterknowle Junior School to listen to parents’ views about plans to meet demand for school places in south-west Sheffield. During the rest of the week I have meetings with various local and national groups, including the Chamber of Commerce, the National Care Association, the local Chinese Community Centre, Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group and I’ll be talking to the Royal Mail over plans to close Sheffield’s SW Delivery Office. On Saturday I’ll be out in Sharrow, knocking on doors to encourage people to register to vote, and on Sunday I’m heading over to Oldham to support Labour’s candidate in the by-election. 

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