I’m holding the Big Conversation for a fifth year running to listen to people’s concerns and answer questions.
My three week long community consultation, 16th September to 8th October, of over 40 events, includes Q&A sessions, themed discussions, open meetings, café drop-ins and street surgeries across Sheffield Central constituency. There are also special events for small businesses, young people, women and social enterprises.
My work in Parliament is shaped by what people tell me at Big Conversation events. My successful campaign to regulate payday lenders followed concerns raised at previous events and last year I secured a change in the law to end delays in extra financial support for terminally ill people after the issue was raised in the Big Conversation.
I stood to be a MP because I wanted to challenge scepticism about politics and show how it can make a difference. The Big Conversation is a great way of doing it, because all the events happen in the heart of the community. People can drop by their local community centre, church, school or café and I’ll be there to listen to their concerns.
I talk with people all year round, but the Big Conversation gives me a chance to hear from lots of people at the start of the Parliamentary year. It helps to set my priorities. If you have a cause or a problem you want me to raise with the Government please come along to an event and let me know.
Craig Judson, who lives in Manor Oaks and is a local community worker, helped me to cut a ‘birthday’ cake to mark the Big Conversation’s fifth year and said: “It’s really great to see politicians reaching out like this. Having an opportunity to speak directly to Paul and to know he’s going to fight for the causes you care about makes a big difference.
“My Mum’s a care worker and I know that Paul has campaigned for care workers to get paid properly for travelling time. Seeing Paul fight on issues like this that were brought to him at the Big Conversation shows why it’s so important.”