Michael Dugher MP

Working hard for Barnsley East

2015

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Barnsley East #labourdoorstep campaigning.
Winning the election street by street, house by house.

And campaigning for Labour across the country.

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Campaigning for Labour in Barnsley East

  Barnsley East #labourdoorstep campaigning.Winning the election street by street, house by house. And campaigning for Labour across the country.

barnsley-montage.jpg

And campaigning for Labour across the country

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Campaigning for Labour in Barnsley East

And campaigning for Labour across the country

Barnsley15April.jpg#votelabour

Campaigning for Labour in Barnsley East

#votelabour

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Michael and the local Labour team campaigning across Barnsley East this weekend - including in Birdwell, Cudworth, Darfield, Great Houghton, Wombwell & Worsbrough

telegraph_logo1_(1).jpgAs reported by the Telegraph and in the specialist arts websites artnet.com andartlyst.com, Michael has called for works of art currently hanging in MP’s offices and in secure government buildings to be placed in a new free gallery in the Palace of Westminster.

Some 22,000 works of art in the Government and Parliamentary art collections span six centuries, but are currently not accessible to the public.

Many are also spread around the world in embassies and diplomatic buildings.

You can see the story in full here.

22,000-strong art treasure trove ‘publicly owned but hidden from public view’

As reported by the Telegraph and in the specialist arts websites artnet.com andartlyst.com, Michael has called for works of art currently hanging in MP’s offices and in secure government buildings to be placed in...

Independent_logo_small.jpgAs reported by the Independent, Michael has called for the UK’s temporary ban on the export of works of art to be extended, as the current rules have allowed too many treasured works to leave the UK.

Works by artists including Rembrandt, Picasso, Poussin and Raphael have been lost to foreign collections in recent years after British buyers failed to emerge in time because the temporary export ban has expired.

You can see the story in full here.

Michael calls for art export ban to be extended

As reported by the Independent, Michael has called for the UK’s temporary ban on the export of works of art to be extended, as the current rules have allowed too many...

telegraph_logo1_(1).jpgAs reported by the Telegraph, Michael has highlighted sexist practices in some sports retailers, with girls being forced to buy the same kit that is marketed for boys.

Michael’s research found that John Lewis, Asda and JD Sport all stocked some sports equipment products in a male category but did not sell them under the female equivalent.

You can read the story in full here.

Michael highlights sexism in sports retail

As reported by the Telegraph, Michael has highlighted sexist practices in some sports retailers, with girls being forced to buy the same kit that is marketed for boys. Michael’s research found...

As reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle and earlier this week by the Sheffield Star and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has warned that Barnsley residents will be hit disproportionately hard by Government cuts to local authority budgets as spending per household is set to drop by £61.

He has criticised the cut in funding, pointing out that over the same period average national local council spending will fall by £53 per household and David Cameron’s local council of Oxfordshire will see spending reduced by just £37 per household.

Under the local government finance settlement, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council’s core spending power per household will drop from £1,652 in 2015/16 to £1,591 in 2016/17. In overall cash terms, this means that funding will see a massive drop of £6.5 million.

 

 

Barnsley households hit hardest by Government cuts to local authorities

As reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle and earlier this week by the Sheffield Star and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has warned that Barnsley residents will be hit disproportionately hard by Government cuts to local... Read more

Barnsley_Chronicle_23_December_2015_Page_15_TTIP_column.jpgIn Michael's latest column for the Barnsley Chronicle he highlights that trade is incredibly important to jobs and growth in Britain and that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has the potential to bring massive benefits to our economy.

However, Michael argues that as well as promoting trade we need to protect our public services from TTIP.

To read the column in full click here.

Barnsley Chronicle column: 'Deal between USA and Europe will open up great opportunities'

In Michael's latest column for the Barnsley Chronicle he highlights that trade is incredibly important to jobs and growth in Britain and that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has the...

Barnsley_Chronicle_23_December_2015_Page_7_tour_de_yorkshire_Cropped_all_editions.jpgAs reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle and earlier this week by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has criticised a decision by British Cycling not to extend the Tour de Yorkshire from three to four days after leading a campaign to add another day.

Michael has backed Tour de Yorkshire's call for the 2016 cross-county cycling event to be extended to four days, after this year’s successful event drew huge crowds of over 1.5 million spectators to Yorkshire and millions watched on TV across the world.

tour_de_yorkshire_logo.jpgExtending the sporting event to four days would bring added economic benefits and increased tourism to Yorkshire.

Michael wrote to British Cycling in a cross-party letter with other Yorkshire MPs, but the sporting body rejected calls to extend the event.

Commenting, Michael said:

"This is the wrong decision from British Cycling.

"The Tour de Yorkshire is one of the highlights of our sporting calendar and there is cross-party support for extending the event to four days.

"It is clear that a four day Tour de Yorkshire would boost tourism and more fans would be given an extra chance to see the event.

"British Cycling should get behind Tour de Yorkshire and agree to extend the event."

Michael slams British Cycling decision not to extend Tour de Yorkshire

As reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle and earlier this week by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has criticised a decision by British Cycling not to extend the Tour de Yorkshire from three to...

huffington-post.jpgMichael has written a blog for theHuffington Post about the Government’s sports strategy.

He criticised the Government for presiding over a drop in the percentage of children taking part in sporting activities in and out of school since 2010 and highlighted that almost 6 out of 10 adults are now playing no sport at all in a typical week.

You can read the blog in full here.

Michael’s blog on the Government’s sports strategy

Michael has written a blog for theHuffington Post about the Government’s sports strategy. He criticised the Government for presiding over a drop in the percentage of children taking part in sporting...

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle,Barnsley News and Sport and the Sheffield Star, Michael has raised fears of a winter crisis in the NHS, as alarming figures show Accident and Emergency (A&E) waiting times have increased.

NHS figures show the percentage of people seen in under four hours at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has dropped from 95.4 per cent in August to 90.9 per cent in October.

A&E departments are set to struggle this winter after the Government cut local authorities’ social care budgets, meaning hospitals have become dangerously full because older people are unable to get the care they need in the community.

Commenting Michael said:

"Barnsley Hospital and GP services are working very hard in very difficult circumstances to deliver healthcare services, and it is good news that Barnsley is performing particularly well on cancer waiting times.

"But massive cuts to local Government and changes to the NHS are making it harder for doctors and nurses to do their jobs, with an increase in the number of people waiting four or more hours to be seen in A&E.

"We need the Government to get to grips with this problem before the winter crisis in our A&E departments gets even worse.”

Michael blames Government for winter crisis as Barnsley A&E waiting times increase

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle,Barnsley News and Sport and the Sheffield Star, Michael has raised fears of a winter crisis in the NHS, as alarming figures show Accident and Emergency (A&E) waiting...

As reported by the Daily Mirror and theYorkshire Post, Michael is among 39 Labour MPs calling on the Government to work urgently with UK Coal to give a fair deal to Kellingley miners.

Kellingley Colliery is set to close this month, leaving 450 miners without work just before Christmas.

In a letter to the Secretaries of State at the Department for Energy and Climate Change and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the MPs called for enhanced redundancy pay, full severance pay, an extension of concessionary fuel and a commitment to more training.

You can see the letter in full here.

Michael calls for fair deal for miners

As reported by the Daily Mirror and theYorkshire Post, Michael is among 39 Labour MPs calling on the Government to work urgently with UK Coal to give a fair deal to Kellingley...

Wombwell_Sorting_office_11_December_2015.jpgToday marks the fourth National Postal Workers Day, when the nation celebrates the hard work and dedication of the hundreds of thousands of women and men who collect, sort and deliver our letters, and parcels to every address in the country.

14 December is traditionally one of the busiest days of the year for postal workers, with tens of millions of items in the system. To mark the day, Michael is supporting the Communication Workers Union in asking the public to think of their postmen and women and to show their appreciation for the hard work they carry out and the vital service they perform in delivering the post.

Michael visited Royal Mail's Wombwell Delivery Office on Friday 11 December to personally thank postal workers for thier hard work during the festve season. Welcomed to the office by Delivery Office Manager Teresa Courtney, Michael saw for himself how the postal workers sort and deliver the post at their busiest time of year.

To learn more about the day and the work of the Communication Workers Union click here.

National Postal Workers Day

Today marks the fourth National Postal Workers Day, when the nation celebrates the hard work and dedication of the hundreds of thousands of women and men who collect, sort and... Read more

Earlier this week Michael was interviewed by Kevin Schofield for House Magazine.

You can read the full interview, as published on the Politics Home website, by clicking here.

 

Michael interviewed for House Magazine

Earlier this week Michael was interviewed by Kevin Schofield for House Magazine. You can read the full interview, as published on the Politics Home website, by clicking here.  

Oaks_column_image_2015.jpgThe 12th of December is the anniversary of the 1866 Oaks Mining Disaster in Barnsley.  In his column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about the importance of remembering the victims. 

You can read the column by clicking here

 

 

 

bbc_radio_sheffield_logo.jpgMichael was interviewed by Howard Pressman from BBC Radio Sheffield about the anniversary and the campaign to mark the event with a permanent memorial. You can listen to the interview by clicking here and scrolling to 01:49:25.

You can read additional coverage of the campaign on the BBC News website by clicking here.

Barnsley Chronicle column: ‘Why I’ll be remembering Oaks disaster victims’

The 12th of December is the anniversary of the 1866 Oaks Mining Disaster in Barnsley.  In his column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about the importance of remembering the...

Michael continued his visits to local schools today to announce and present prizes to school winners of his constituency-wide competition to find a Christmas card design.  All the school winners and runners up were awarded certificates and prizes of book vouchers for taking part as part of a celebration assembly. 

Birdwell_Primary_School_ccc2015__(1).jpgAt Birdwell Primary School the school winner was Emma Wroe, age 10 with runners up Emily Walsh, age 7 and Isla Noyland, age 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

West_Meadows_ccc2015.jpgAt West Meadows Primary School the school winner was Declan Vaines, age 10 with runners up Natasha Gillespie, age 8 and Olivia Haigh, age 6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Churchfields_ccc2105.jpgAt Cudworth Churchfield Primary School the school winner was Vinny Storrar, age 9 with runners up Brooke Povey, age 7 and Hollie McMenemy, age 5. Joining Michael at the special assembly was Councillor Charlie Wraith MBE.

 

 

 

 

 

High_View_ccc2015.jpgAt High View Primary Learning Centre the school winner was Amie Probert, age 11 with runner up Alesha Alderson, age 10. Niamh McSloy, age 8 was also a runner up but unfortunately was not able to attend the presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoyland_Common_Group_Cropped_final.jpgAt Hoyland Common Primary School the school winner was Thomas White, age 7 with runners up Lilly Crookes, age 4, Archie Norton, age 9, Isaac Wood, age 8 and Annabelle Hunt, age 8.

 

 

 

 

 

Park_Street_group_cropped.jpgAt Wombwell Park Street Primary the school winner was Kelly Norton, age 11, with runners up Charlie Wilding, age 10 and Ewan Orton, age 10.

 

 

 

 

 

St_Michael_Group_Cropped.jpgAt St Michael & All Angels Catholic Primary School the school winner was Aaron Skelton, age 8 with runners up Noah Roper, age 9 and Ruby Ellis, age 10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birkwood_prize_2015_.jpgAt Birkwood Primary in Cudworth the school winner was Jaycie Greenwood, age 5 with runner up Danny Gough, age 9. Olivia Powell, age 7 was also a runner up but unfortunately was not able to attend the presentation.

 

Michael visits local schools to announce school winners of his Christmas Card Competition

Michael continued his visits to local schools today to announce and present prizes to school winners of his constituency-wide competition to find a Christmas card design.  All the school winners...

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has supported the UK Miners Pension Scheme for Justice and Fair Play Association’s (MPSFA) campaign for a fair and just pension scheme, after billions of pounds worth is estimated to have been removed from the UK miners’ pension pot.

The Mineworker’s Pension Scheme is currently underwritten by the Government, with the Government receiving half of any surplus from the fund each year. However, unexpectedly large surpluses from the fund in recent years has meant that the fund has been losing out – with one estimate showing that the current pension fund of £11.2 billion has lost out on £8 billion over the years.

Michael is supporting the MPSFA’s campaign for the Government to review the 50/50 split of pension surpluses.

Michael supports justice for mineworkers’ pensions

As reported in the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has supported the UK Miners Pension Scheme for Justice and Fair Play Association’s (MPSFA) campaign for a fair and just pension scheme, after billions... Read more

Kirk_Balk_neet_story.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has congratulated Kirk Balk Academy following the news that just 0.4 per cent of the year 11 children who left the school last year have become NEETS (not in education, employment or training) when the national average is four per cent.

 

Michael congratulates local school on NEET results

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has congratulated Kirk Balk Academy following the news that just 0.4 per cent of the year 11 children who left the school last year... Read more

Following growing pressure from Labour and the music industry, the Government has promised to look again at the problems facing grassroots music venues and implementing the “Agent of Change” principle.

After Labour tabled amendments to the Planning and Housing Bill, the Government finally said it would now engage with small music venues and the music industry. Michael has written to John Whittingdale, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, to call on the Government to do this as a matter of urgency.  And if the Government fails to act soon, Labour will be ready to bring amendments back to the House of Commons at a later stage of the Planning and Housing Bill. 

You can see the letter in full here.

Michael calls on the Government to act now on helping small music venues

Following growing pressure from Labour and the music industry, the Government has promised to look again at the problems facing grassroots music venues and implementing the “Agent of Change” principle....

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On Saturday 5 December, Michael joined Darren Henley CEO and Michelle Dickson, Strategic Touring Director and Regional Director (North) from the Arts Council for England at the launch of Barnsley Council’s new Public Art Strategy

The strategy was commissioned by the council’s arts, museums and archive service and produced by BEAM, a public art charity and provides guidance on all aspects of commissioning, planning, installation and maintenance of public art and public realm sculpture in Barnsley.

Following the launch, Michael accompanied Darren and Michelle on a tour of Experience Barnsley and Discovery Centre, the award winning museum based in the Town Hall dedicated to the history and people of Barnsley.

The launch coincided with the annual Barnsley Town Hall Open Day, an event that enables the public to learn more about Future Council, the town centre regeneration and the commercial services the council offers.

Here Michael met representatives from a range of local organisations including Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership, Barnsley Cycle Hub, Creative Recovery, Love Where You Live, Walk Well, Safer Road’s Partnership, Barnsley Council’s Sport and Active Recreation team and personal trainer Sam Scarfe.

Michael also presented certificates at the annual Barnsley Equality Forum Awards that took place during the afternoon.

Michael attends the launch of Barnsley Council’s new Public Art Strategy during annual Town Hall Open Day

On Saturday 5 December, Michael joined Darren Henley CEO and Michelle Dickson, Strategic Touring Director and Regional Director (North) from the Arts Council for England at the launch of Barnsley...

newstatesman.jpgAs reported by the New Statesman, after Michael spoke out in support of the ‘Agent of Change’ principle, Labour have tabled new clauses to the Planning and Housing Bill to amend the legislation.

Under the Agent of Change principle, an apartment block to be built near an established live music venue (open for at least a year) would have to pay for soundproofing and mitigate against any other potential problems. Labour’s amendments would also ensure that residents of buildings converted to residential use are protected from factors, particularly noise, affecting their amenity.

Commenting, Michael said:

“Since 2010, the Conservative Government have just stood by whilst more and more grassroots music venues have been forced to close. 

“Small music venues play a key role in the success of the UK creative industry through enabling great young talent to grow and develop into our next global stars.  But there is a real crisis at the moment and that’s why we need to adopt the Agent of Change principle to support small music venues. 

“Only a change in legislation can adequately resolve the situation and protect all concerned parties by clearly stipulating who is responsible for soundproofing and other necessary measures when a change is introduced to an area.  This has the support from the music industry and I hope the Government will now back Labour’s amendments so we can help save grassroots music venues before it’s too late.”

Labour tables amendments to Planning and Housing Bill to save grassroots music venues

As reported by the New Statesman, after Michael spoke out in support of the ‘Agent of Change’ principle, Labour have tabled new clauses to the Planning and Housing Bill to amend...

ichael is supporting the Labour In For Britain campaign, which is campaigning for Britain’s membership of the European Union.

British workers benefit from EU agreements on workers’ rights, including the right to holiday pay, paid maternity and paternity leave, anti-discrimination laws, equal pay and protection for agency workers.

You can see Labour’s video launching the campaign below.

 

Michael supports Labour In For Britain campaign

ichael is supporting the Labour In For Britain campaign, which is campaigning for Britain’s membership of the European Union. British workers benefit from EU agreements on workers’ rights, including the right to... Read more

Design_and_Thomas.jpgToday Michael visited Hoyland Common Primary School to announce that their pupil, Thomas White age 7, is the overall winner of his annual Christmas Card competition and that his design is now on the front of hundreds of Michael's official Christmas card that is sent to hundreds of local businesses, civic leaders, politicians and voluntary groups.

Michael invited all school children in Barnsley East to enter the competition, with the winning design used as his official 2015 Christmas card.

Thomas and his school were awarded special prizes in recognition of being chosen as the overall winner and all school runners up were awarded certificates and prizes of book vouchers for taking part as part of a celebration assembly. 

Michael reveals the winner of his 2015 Christmas Card Competition

Today Michael visited Hoyland Common Primary School to announce that their pupil, Thomas White age 7, is the overall winner of his annual Christmas Card competition and that his design...

Yesterday, the House of Commons voted to extend British airstrikes against ISIL/Daesh from Iraq into Syria by 397 votes to 223.

Michael voted in favour of the Government motion to extend the strikes. You can read his statement in full here.

Michael’s statement on Syria vote

Yesterday, the House of Commons voted to extend British airstrikes against ISIL/Daesh from Iraq into Syria by 397 votes to 223. Michael voted in favour of the Government motion to...

MD_at_DCMS_Questions.jpgMichael asked two questions from the despatch box today during DCMS Oral Questions in his role as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Michael highlighted a decline in young children taking part in cultural activities including dance, music, theatre, drama, arts and crafts on this Government’s watch.

He also raised concerns that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is facing a 5 per cent real terms cut and that the central grant to local government is being cut by a massive 56 per cent – a £6.1 billion reduction by 2019/20 – which will impact on local arts and culture.

DCMS Oral Questions

Michael asked two questions from the despatch box today during DCMS Oral Questions in his role as Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Michael highlighted a decline...

Pit_head.jpgMichael has supported the UK Miners Pension Scheme for Justice and Fair Play Association’s (MPSFA) campaign for a fair and just pension scheme, after billions of pounds worth is estimated to have been removed from the UK miners’ pension pot.

The Mineworker’s Pension Scheme is currently underwritten by the Government, with the Government receiving half of any surplus from the fund each year. However, unexpectedly large surpluses from the fund in recent years has meant that the fund has been losing out – with one estimate showing that the current pension fund of £11.2 billion has lost out on £8 billion over the years. Michael is supporting the MPSFA’s campaign for the Government to review the 50/50 split of pension surpluses.

David Nixon, Secretary of the MPSFA welcomed Michael's support, saying:
“It is our intention to right a wrong that has been carried out since 1994 on our ex miners pension, their widows and their families and we warmly welcome Michael Dugher’s strong commitment to support this campaign.”

Commenting, Michael said:

“I am pleased to be backing the campaign to for the Government to review the share that the Government receives from surpluses of the Mineworker’s Pension Scheme.”
“Former miners in Barnsley and across the country made a massive contribution to our country over the years and it is right that they should have a fair deal for their pensions.”

Michael supports justice for mineworkers’ pensions

Michael has supported the UK Miners Pension Scheme for Justice and Fair Play Association’s (MPSFA) campaign for a fair and just pension scheme, after billions of pounds worth is estimated...

At last week’s spending review, the Government was forced to bow to Labour pressure to scrap immediate and unfair cuts to tax credits.

However, the Government’s welfare reforms still mean that over £3 billion will be cut from the welfare budget by the end of the decade, as tax credits are replaced by Universal Credit. This means a single parent of two children working full time on the minimum wage on Universal Credit will lose £2,400 next year.

As Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Michael also led Labour’s response to the spending review in terms of the impact on the arts, culture and sport, which you can see here and here.

Smoke and mirrors spending review still leaves people worse off

At last week’s spending review, the Government was forced to bow to Labour pressure to scrap immediate and unfair cuts to tax credits. However, the Government’s welfare reforms still mean...

Barnsley_Chronicle_27_november_2015_page_4.jpgAs reported today by the Barnsley Chronicle and earlier this week by the Yorkshire Post and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has slammed the Government for failing to protect frontline policing numbers ahead of this week’s Comprehensive Spending Review, as new figures show that South Yorkshire Police will need to axe 1,542 jobs before the end of the decade.

standard_police.jpgThe figures, obtained by Michael in a recent Freedom of Information request to South Yorkshire Police, show that the Force will have to reduce the number of officers by 495, support staff by 894 and Police Community Support Officers by 153, in order to meet savings imposed by central Government. This mean that workforce numbers will have been reduced from 5583 to 3151, or 40 per cent, between 2010 and 2020.

At the same time, figures from South Yorkshire Police show that overall reported crime in Barnsley increased by 3 per cent between October 2014 and September 2015 compared to the year before. During the same period, crimes involving Violence Against the Person increased by 35 per cent and Sexual Offences increased by 74 per cent.

Nationally, 17,000 police officers have been lost since 2010, and Labour are warning that cuts to neighbourhood policing will undermine the Police’s ability to support counter-terrorism efforts and to react to major emergencies.


Commenting, Michael said:


“With thousands of frontline police positions set to be axed in the coming years, neighbourhood policing seems to be vanishing under this Government.

“Our police forces do a fantastic job with steadfast dedication and professionalism, but cuts are fundamentally damaging policing and Ministers can no longer go on pretending that this is not having a serious, detrimental impact on the ability of the police to serve the public.

“Just this month, police in Barnsley were unable to police road closures as usual at Remembrance Parades in my constituency and South Yorkshire Police have made it clear to me that it is becoming increasingly challenging to maintain core police functions as a result of central Government cuts.

“Many serious crimes are on the rise and risks to the public are increasing. The recent terrible terrorist attacks in Paris also demonstrate the need for a strong and capable police service at the community, regional and national level that can tackle the threats we face.”

Neighbourhood policing “vanishing under this Government”

As reported today by the Barnsley Chronicle and earlier this week by the Yorkshire Post and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has slammed the Government for failing to protect frontline policing numbers ahead of this...

Barnsley_Chronicle_column_27_November_2015_page_16_all_editions.jpgIn his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael writes of the importance in ensuring you are on the electoral roll, highlighting that there is a lot more to it than just the right to vote. With the government rushing through changes to the voting registration system, it is estimated that around one million people will drop off the electoral register.

Michael urges people to check that they are registered to vote and getting on the electoral register only takes a couple of minutes via www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

To read the column in full click here.

Why it's vital to make sure you're on the electoral roll

In his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael writes of the importance in ensuring you are on the electoral roll, highlighting that there is a lot more to it than...

Birkwood_prize_2015__(1).jpgMichael visited Birkwood Primary in Cudworth on Friday to announce and hand out prizes to the school winners of his constituency-wide competition to find a Christmas card design.  All the school winners and runners up were awarded certificates and prizes of book vouchers for taking part as part of a celebration assembly. 

Michael invited all school children in Barnsley East to enter the competition, with the winning design used as his official 2015 Christmas card. This is being sent to hundreds of local businesses, civic leaders, politicians and voluntary groups.

Michael personally congratulated school winner Jaycie Greenwood, age 5 and runner up Danny Gough, age 9. Olivia Powell, age 7 was also a runner up but unfortunatley was not able to attend the presentation.

During the assembly Michael also congratulated the whole school and headteacher Julie Allen on becoming School of the Year at the recent Proud of Barnsley Awards.

Michael visits Birkwood Primary to announce school winners of his Christmas Card Competition 2015

Michael visited Birkwood Primary in Cudworth on Friday to announce and hand out prizes to the school winners of his constituency-wide competition to find a Christmas card design.  All the...

BECTU_event_Nov_2015.jpgAs reported The Stage, on Wednesday 25 November Michael spoke at a Question and Answer event organised by the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU).

BECTU members put their questions on the media and entertainment sector to Michael at the event.

BECTU is the UK's media and entertainment trade union; sectors covered include broadcasting, film, independent production, theatre and the arts, leisure and digital media. You can find out more about the union on its website here.

Michael speaks at BECTU Q&A event

As reported The Stage, on Wednesday 25 November Michael spoke at a Question and Answer event organised by the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU). BECTU members put their questions...

Michael has responded to the Barnsley NHS Clinical Commissioning Group’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Barnsley.

The strategy sets out the challenge the community faces in meeting the mental health needs of the population, with mental health charity Mind showing that 1 in 4 of all people will be affected by a mental health condition at some point.

Michael has made a number of recommendations for the strategy, including the need to improve diagnosis, treatment and care, access to services and the implementation of long term objectives.

You can read the Michael’s submission in full here.

Michael’s submission to Mental Health Strategy

Michael has responded to the Barnsley NHS Clinical Commissioning Group’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Barnsley. The strategy sets out the challenge the community faces in meeting the mental...

As reported today by the Huffington Post, Michael has blamed central government cuts to grassroots sports organisations and other local projects for a decline in the percentage of children taking part in sport both and in and out of school in the past five years.

This follows the release of figures by the Labour Party that show the number of five to 15-year-olds that have taken part in competitive sport in and outside school has dropped from 80 per cent in 2011/12 to 77.3 per cent in 2014/15 and across the same age group, fewer than one in five play competitive sport outside school – 19.2 per cent.

In addition, figures released by Sports England earlier this year show that since the London Olympics and Paralympics in 2012, participation in sport has fallen in nearly every region of England.

Just three of the 26 Olympic sports - athletics, cycling and gymnastics - have seen significant increases in participation since 2012/13, with 15 seeing a fall.

The biggest drop in nationally funded sports comes in swimming, with 800,000 fewer people taking to the pool than in the year after the 2012 London Games.

The figures showed there are now 350,700 fewer people aged 14 or over being active for at least 30mins at least four times in the past month.

Commenting Michael said:

“Across the board, we have seen a drop in the percentage of children taking part in sporting activates in and out of school.

“This is the same for both primary and secondary school children. This makes a mockery of the Government’s so-called Olympic legacy. 

“Particularly disappointing is the decline in children taking part in competitive sporting activities, whether that’s being part of a local club or playing for the local team. 

“Support for grassroots sport has been cut massively since 2010 and the downward trend in participation will no doubt get even worse if the Government cuts spending on grassroots sport in this week's Comprehensive Spending Review. 

“The Government is putting at risk the development of Britain’s next sporting heroes and Olympic athletes. Ministers must think again before implementing yet more damaging cuts to grassroots sport in the forthcoming spending review.”

 

Government to blame as number of children taking part in competitive sport falls

As reported today by the Huffington Post, Michael has blamed central government cuts to grassroots sports organisations and other local projects for a decline in the percentage of children taking part in...

22 November 2015

As part of Parliament Week, Michael was interviewed by Into Film to discuss how films can educate and inspire young people.

Into Film puts film at the heart of educational and personal development for young people across the country through film clubs and workshops where pupils can make their own films.

You can see the full interview below.

Michael’s interview with Into Film for Parliament Week

22 November 2015 As part of Parliament Week, Michael was interviewed by Into Film to discuss how films can educate and inspire young people. Into Film puts film at the... Read more

vote_reminder_collage.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley ChronicleThe Sheffield StarSouth Yorkshire Times and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has urged Barnsley residents to check they are registered to vote during Parliament Week, as Government changes to the electoral register that will come into effect in December could mean a million people lose their right to vote.

Parliament Week, which runs throughout this week, is an annual opportunity to open up politics and connect people across the country with Parliament and democracy, with events taking place in Parliament and locally. To mark the start of Parliament Week this year, the UK Youth Parliament met on 13 November to debate issues which were voted on by over 950,000 young people across the country – the biggest participation of young people yet.

 

Michael urges people to check they are registered to vote during Parliament Week

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, The Sheffield Star, South Yorkshire Times and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has urged Barnsley residents to check they are registered to vote during Parliament Week, as Government changes... Read more

Barnsley_Chronicle_Page_11.2_Tour_de_yorkshire_all_editions_(1).jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle andBarnsley News and Sport, Michael has called on British Cycling to support a bid by Tour de Yorkshire to extend the 2016 cross-county cycling event to four days, after this year’s successful event drew huge crowds of over 1.5 million spectators to Yorkshire and over 6 million people watched on TV across the world.

In a cross-party letter to the President of British Cycling, also signed by fellow Yorkshire MPs Nigel Adams and Greg Mulholland, Michael sought the cycling organisation’s support for the bid, which would bring increased tourism and economic benefits to the region.

Michael has also signed Tour De Yorkshire’s petition to extend the sporting event and is urging others to do the same.

 

Michael leads campaign to extend Tour de Yorkshire

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle andBarnsley News and Sport, Michael has called on British Cycling to support a bid by Tour de Yorkshire to extend the 2016 cross-county cycling event to... Read more

Wembley_flags_picture_(1).jpgAs Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Michael attended the England v France football match at Wembley with Deputy Labour Party Leader Tom Watson and Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn.

After the recent terrorist attacks on Paris, the match went ahead as an act of solidarity with the people of France against terrorism.

In a show of unity with France, England fans joined with their French counterparts to sing the French national anthem La Marseillaise. You can watch coverage of the anthem here.

 

Michael attends England v France at Wembley in solidarity with French after Paris attacks

As Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Michael attended the England v France football match at Wembley with Deputy Labour Party Leader Tom Watson and Labour Party...

MD_Tax_Credit_Cut_promo_for_putting_on_web_and_twitter.jpgMichael is supporting the National#StopTheTaxCreditCut Campaign Day. In his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael wrote of impact that government plans to cut tax credits in April next year will have on his constituency, leaving working families on average £1,300 a year worse off.

With nearly two thirds of working families in Barnsley East receiving tax credits, this means that some 9,300 local children in his constituency will suffer as a result.

You can read Michael's column in full here.

Labour is calling on the Government to stop the tax credit cut. You can join the campaign and sign Labour's petition here.

 

More families will be worse off

Michael is supporting the National#StopTheTaxCreditCut Campaign Day. In his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael wrote of impact that government plans to cut tax credits in April next year will have...

Michael has congratulated to all those selected for a Proud of Barnsley Award, following the awards ceremony at the Holiday Inn in Dodworth yesterday evening. The Proud of Barnsley awards were created to inspire all generations to contribute to the good of the town and its people and recognise the hard work and dedication of local people and groups in 14 categories.

The winners in each category were:

Young Superstar: Jason Clark

School of the Year: Birkwood Primary

Childrens Champion: Antonia Jamasb

Start-up of the Year: CT Design

Community Group: Goldthorpe Development Group

Hospital Hero: SCBU

Community Hero: Bronia Warden

Triumph Over Adversity: Lauren Morris

Sporting Achievement: Darren England

Love Where You Live: Greenfingers at Hoyland Greenfield

Carer of the Year: Graham and Lesley Wilmot

Charity Fundraiser of the Year: Trish Hall

Volunteer of the Year: Ernie Oliver

Exceptional Achievement: Selina Wray

Special Award: Dr Joann Fletcher

Congratulations to Proud of Barnsley Award winners

Michael has congratulated to all those selected for a Proud of Barnsley Award, following the awards ceremony at the Holiday Inn in Dodworth yesterday evening. The Proud of Barnsley awards... Read more

As reported by theMirror, Independentand specialist trade magazine The Stage, new figures show there has been a sharp fall in the number of children taking part in extra-curricular cultural activities like art, dance, music, and drama in the five years since David Cameron came to power.

Analysis has found that young children between five and ten years old are increasingly missing out after years of deep cuts to the Arts Council and local authorities who have helped fund such activities in the past.

Participation in dance activities has fallen from 45.1 per cent in 2009/2010 to 27.4 per cent in 2014/15. Music activities have fallen from 55.4 per cent to 36.6 per cent over the same period, while drama has gone from 49.1 per cent in 2009/2010 to 32.3 per cent. Arts and crafts are down from 81.6 per cent to 76.6 per cent.

Britain’s next generation of Billy Elliots is at risk

As reported by theMirror, Independentand specialist trade magazine The Stage, new figures show there has been a sharp fall in the number of children taking part in extra-curricular cultural activities like art,... Read more

Darfield_2015_remembrance_cropped_compilation.jpgAs reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle, on Sunday 8 December, Michael, accompanied by his family, attended the Remembrance Service on Remembrance Sunday at All Saints Church in Darfield. The service commemorated those who have fallen serving their country with honour and distinction. Following the service, conducted by the Rector of All Saints Church, the Reverend David Hildred and Methodist Minister, the Reverend Mick Neal, Michael joined local residents in with observing a two minutes silence and laid a wreath at the village memorial on Church Street. Joining Michael at the service were Councillor Pauline Markham, who laid a wreath on behalf of Barnsley Council and her Darfield ward colleague Councillor Caroline Saunders. Other wreaths were laid by local community groups and the Last Post at the memorial service was played by bugler Taylor Yoxall.

Michael marks Remembrance Sunday by attending service in Darfield

As reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle, on Sunday 8 December, Michael, accompanied by his family, attended the Remembrance Service on Remembrance Sunday at All Saints Church in Darfield. The service commemorated... Read more

Christmas_Card_2015_finalists_compilation.jpgAs reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has revealed the shortlist for the annual Christmas card competition, from which a winner will be chosen by a panel including Mr Dugher, the Mayor of Barnsley and local business leaders for use as Mr Dugher’s official 2015 Christmas card.

The card will be sent to hundreds of politicians, local businesses, civic leaders and voluntary groups. Now into its sixth year, the competition is proving to be popular yet again, with local pupils submitting excellent festive designs.

 

Michael announces Christmas card competition shortlist

As reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has revealed the shortlist for the annual Christmas card competition, from which a winner will be chosen by a panel including Mr Dugher, the... Read more

Diwali_compilation.jpgToday's Barnsley Chronicle reports that on Saturday 7 November, at the invitation of the Gujarat Association of Barnsley, Michael celebrated the festival of Diwali at the Rockingham Centre in Hoyland Common. Welcomed to the event by the chair of the Gujarat Association of Barnsley, Mr Harshad Patel, Michael took part in the traditional coconut welcome ceremony and enjoyed performances by a selection of Bollywood dancers and the Silkstone Greens Morris Dancers.

Michael was joined at the event by the Mayor of Barnsley, Councillor Brian Mathers, Deputy Leader of Barnsley Council, Councillor Jim Andrews and Barnsley Councillors Roya Pourali, Sharon Howard, Tim Shepherd, Joe Heyward and John Clarke. Catering for the celebration was provided by Chilli Restaurant.

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Michael celebrates Diwali with the Gujarat Association of Barnsley

Today's Barnsley Chronicle reports that on Saturday 7 November, at the invitation of the Gujarat Association of Barnsley, Michael celebrated the festival of Diwali at the Rockingham Centre in Hoyland... Read more

6_November_2015_Barnsley_Chronicle_Parade.jpgThe Barnsley Chronicle today reports that Michael has welcomed the news that the Hoyland and District Royal British Legion (RBL) Remembrance Parade will now go ahead, but has demanded assurances from South Yorkshire Police to seek assurances that local Remembrance Parades will be policed in future, despite Government cutbacks to policing.

After Michael's campaign with the local RBL sparked national outrage, Lee Pilling from Go Traffic Management stepped in to offer the Parade the specialist support it would usually receive from the police, meaning it can now go ahead as normal.

Commenting Michael said:

"The news is a victory for this year's Parade, which is now expected to see the usual large turnout, but concern remains over the long term viability of Remembrance Parades after massive Government cuts to police budgets meant South Yorkshire Police said they would no longer be able to provide officers to assist the RBL with road closures."

Michael demands assurances about policing of Remembrance Parades

The Barnsley Chronicle today reports that Michael has welcomed the news that the Hoyland and District Royal British Legion (RBL) Remembrance Parade will now go ahead, but has demanded assurances from South...

Stop_the_tax_credit_cut_infographic.jpgMichael has signed Early Day Motion 620, which calls on the Government to scrap planned cuts to the work allowance component of Universal Credit.


The Government is planning on implementing a cut in the work allowance from £9,000 to £5,000 without a debate in Parliament. The work allowance for some single parent households is currently set at £9,000. But Government plans to reduce this figure to £5,000 could mean that a single parent earning the national minimum wage will start to lose out after working just 12 hours a week, instead of the current 22.

Labour is also calling on the Government to stop the tax credit cut, which will cost working families £1,300 on average from April 2016.

 


You can join the campaign and sign Labour's petitionhere.

Michael signs motion calling for Government to stop planned Universal Credit cut

Michael has signed Early Day Motion 620, which calls on the Government to scrap planned cuts to the work allowance component of Universal Credit. The Government is planning on implementing...

6_November_2015_Barnsley_Chronicle_Trade_Union.jpgAs reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle, on Monday 2 November, Michael met with constituents who travelled to Parliament to voice their concerns about the Government’s Trade Union Bill, which is set to be the most significant, sustained and partisan attack on trade union members in a generation.

Michael met with constituents Mick Stowe, Elaine Shelton and Steve Clarke to hear their concerns that the Trade Union Bill will see a curbing of democratic rights, a suppression of civil liberties, and an attempt to silence the voice of ordinary working people. The meeting took place as part of a mass lobby of MPs, allowing people up and down the country to express their fears about the Trade Union Bill.

The Bill is scheduled to return to the House of Commons for its ‘Report Stage’ on Tuesday 10 November. Labour is completely opposed to the Trade Union Bill and will continue to highlight its dangerous content in Parliament.

 

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Michael meets constituents concerned at Government’s Trade Union Bill

As reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle, on Monday 2 November, Michael met with constituents who travelled to Parliament to voice their concerns about the Government’s Trade Union Bill, which is set... Read more

Michael has held an interview with the New Statesman’s George Eaton about the importance of opening up access to arts and culture for working class children.

Michael highlighted statistics from Ipsos MORI which show that 70 per cent of children from non-graduate families spend fewer than three hours a week on cultural activity, compared to more than three hours a week for 80 per cent of those from graduate families. 

You can read the piece in full here.

Michael’s interview with the New Statesman

Michael has held an interview with the New Statesman’s George Eaton about the importance of opening up access to arts and culture for working class children. Michael highlighted statistics from Ipsos...

In his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael writes of the generosity of local people in supporting the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, with last year being a record year for donations to the Royal British Legion across Barnsley. He also encourages people to consider joining their local branch of the Legion.

Click here to read the column in full.

Generosity knows no bounds

In his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael writes of the generosity of local people in supporting the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, with last year being a record year...

Phil_Hickling_nomination_30_October_2015_(1).jpgAs reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle and earlier this week by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has nominated local pub chef Phil Hickling from the Milton Arms in Elsecar for the inaugural Parliamentary Pub Chef of the Year award. The competition will be judged by an expert panel and the award will be presented in the New Year.

The Milton Arms, situated in the historic village of Elsecar, offers an extensive menu which is served throughout the week and Phil’s ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible.

Commenting on the nomination, Michael said:

“Phil and his team have created a top quality menu, often made with locally sourced ingredients, that offers a full range of classic pub food as well as Sunday roasts at great value for money.

“Phil has made the Milton Arms a fantastic place to eat and I wish him all the best of luck in the Pub Chef of the Year competition.”

Michael nominates Phil Hickling for Pub Chef of the Year award

As reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle and earlier this week by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has nominated local pub chef Phil Hickling from the Milton Arms in Elsecar for the inaugural Parliamentary... Read more

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