Paul Blomfield MP

Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central

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Student loans, the Higher Education Bill, apprenticeships, pubs and community TV – some of my week ahead

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This is the last week that Parliament will be sitting before the summer recess, and there’s lots happening. After going along to hustings for the Labour Party leadership election, my day is focussed on higher education. I’ll be at a meeting with NUS and UCU to discuss the Higher Education and Research Bill, which will get its Second Reading on Tuesday. Then I’ll be speaking in a Parliamentary debate on the Government’s plans to retrospectively change the repayment terms for student loans by freezing the repayment threshold of £21,000. It’s something I’ve previously opposed and the debate has been triggered by a public petition.

On Tuesday I’ll have a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration to discuss our future work programme, in the light of the Brexit vote. Then I’ll be speaking to educational attaches from foreign embassies at the Embassy Education Conference at Kings College London. After that, I’m rushing back to Westminster for a meeting of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, of which I’m a member, for evidence sessions about the new Pub Codes Adjudicator - about which constituents have raised concerns. I’ll be in the Commons Chamber all afternoon, speaking in the debate on the Higher Education and Research Bill - and then I’ll be at a meeting of the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform, of which I’m Vice-Chair.

Wednesday starts with a meeting of the BIS and Education Select Committees Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy, at which we’ll be discussing our inquiry on apprenticeships and then meeting with apprentices to discuss their experience. After the first PMQs for Theresa May, we’ve a meeting of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, to question the Secretary of State, although it may be re-arranged following the huge changes to the Department made last week – over which I have major concerns, particularly in relation to the abolition of the Climate Change Department established by Labour, but also in the way it splits responsibilities for universities from science and research. 

Back in Sheffield on Friday I’ve a meeting with Sheffield Live about the threat to community TV from the Government’s controversial BBC consultation (which I’ve spoken out against). I’ll also be speaking at an event organised by the National Citizens Service and holding one of my regular advice surgeries, before going on to the University of Sheffield University Graduation Dinner – and on Sunday I’ll be at a reception to celebrate 37 Signal Regiment based in Manor Top.   

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