Monday 15th February 2016 – Parliament is in recess this week, which gives me more time for meetings, casework and events in Sheffield. Today I’m meeting with Sheffield Money, a not-for-profit initiative offering lower cost credit options to keep people away from loan sharks. I campaigned successfully in the last Parliament for tougher regulation of payday loan sharks so I’m pleased to support this initiative, which came out of works by Sheffield’s Council-led Fairness Commission.
I’m also taking part in a documentary for Sheffield charity Mums in Need, which supports women facing emotional abuse, and then catching up with Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources Ben Curran to discuss the further £50 million Government cuts facing the Council this year, on top of the £300 million of cuts over the last five years. Finally, this evening I’m joining the local Chinese community in what promises to be a great celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Tuesday starts with a visit to Pipworth Primary School to speak to pupils about my work as an MP and answering their questions about Parliament and politics. Later I will be attending the funeral of my friend and colleague Harry Harpham who will be sorely missed and fondly remembered for his personal integrity and strong values – as well as his long service to Sheffield, as a Councillor and then, all too briefly, as MP for Sheffield Hillsborough.
On Wednesday I’m meeting the new Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University Professor Chris Husbands, then going on to visit the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) – one of the largest schools of health research in the UK. Later in the day, I’m meeting the Red Cross, with my colleague Louise Haigh MP, to discuss their new report on destitution in South Yorkshire.
On Thursday I have an ‘away day’ with my constituency and Westminster staff, where we’ll be reflecting on our work during 2015 and agreeing our plans for the year ahead. On Friday I will be meeting with the Sheffield CCG along with other Sheffield MPs to talk about NHS funding – and between all these events this week, I’m meeting with constituents on a range of issues.
On Saturday I’m knocking on doors meeting constituents in Broomhill, before heading down to Bramall Lane for the latest episode in United’s stuttering promotion campaign. On Sunday, I’m speaking at a GMB Regional Conference in Leeds, making the case for Britain’s membership of the EU, as part of Labour’s In for Britain campaign. The EU has brought us peace in Europe, boosts our economy through access to the world’s biggest market and delivers vital protection to the environment, workers and consumers. Do get in touch if you’d like to join me in campaigning to stay.