Parliament’s back for two weeks before the Party Conference Recess. My work will be dominated by the Higher Education and Research Bill which proposes big changes for universities, which I’ve already spoken about in the House of Commons at Second Reading. I’ll be scrutinising the Bill line-by-line as part of the Public Bill Committee for most of Tuesday and Thursday – and several weeks to come. As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Students I’ve organised an event about widening access to university, which is an important aspect of the Bill, and I’ll be meeting with the University Alliance and the Campaign for Science and Engineering.
I have been drawn for Justice Questions on Tuesday when I’ll be challenging the Government’s increases to employment tribunal fees, which is pricing people out of securing justice against bad employers. On Wednesday I’ll be supporting the ‘wear it pink’ campaign, which raises money for Breast Cancer Now, and the UK Youth Parliament’s ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign, which is a UK-wide ballot for young people to decide what Members of Youth Parliament should debate and vote on to be their campaign for the year ahead. Also on Wednesday I will be dropping into a reception celebrating constituency pub managers and, as usual, I will have a meeting of the BIS Committee in the morning.
As I’m in Higher Education Bill Committee meetings all of Thursday I am unable to attend the City Council’s Licensing Committee hearing to decide whether to grant Villa Mercedes a sexual entertainment venue license. I’ve lodged objections to the venue being granted a licence and will be represented by a member of my staff team.
On Friday I am back in Sheffield where I’ll be meeting with constituents and local councillors, visiting Walkley Primary School, talking to the GMB about the problems facing taxi drivers as a result of deregulation and going to a welcoming event for the new Headteacher at King Edward VII School. On Saturday I’ll be having one of my regular advice surgeries and delivering Big Conversation leaflets.