Monday 12th October – Parliament returns after a three week recess for the Party Conferences, during which I’ve been holding my Big Conversation. I’ve had a great time meeting people at events in every part of the constituency - listening to what they want me to raise in Parliament. We’ve had wide-ranging discussions, from tax credits cuts to mental health services, climate change to adult social care, and it’s been great to hear so many different views. Thanks to everyone who came along, took part or even just filled in my survey.
Tax credits cuts is one of the big worries to come out of The Big Conversation. So, on Wednesday I’ll be raising these concerns in a Parliamentary debate - urging the Government to think again about cuts that will slash the incomes of 27,000 working families across Sheffield. I’ve already pressed Ministers on the issue - read more here.
At Big Conversation events I’ve also heard a lot of concerns about the refugee crisis. People want to know that the Government is really living up to its responsibilities to desperate people fleeing conflicts. That’s why I’ll be asking Theresa May about this issue in Parliament at Home Office Questions this afternoon. You can see me challenging her on this issue last month.
It’s also a busy week for the Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee, of which I’m a member. On Tuesday we are launching a Committee Inquiry on how to make the UK economy more productive (you can read more about our inquiry here) and then on Wednesday we will be questioning both the Business Secretary Sajid Javid and the Permanent Secretary Martin Donnelly on the work of the Department of Business Innovation and Skills.
This week I’m also heavily involved in the discussion around the Immigration Bill, on which I’m very concerned. On Monday, I’m chairing a briefing for MPs and Peers about how the Bill could undermine attempts to tackle modern slavery and I’m planning to speak in the Second reading debate on the Bill on Tuesday.
On top of all that I’m meeting the Chief Executive of the Arts Council, attending a Board meeting of Focus on Labour Exploitation of which I’m a trustee, speaking at Sheffield Hallam University Politics Society, and launching a new city centre branch of the Labour Party.