Michael Dugher MP

Working hard for Barnsley East

News


Elsecar_Park_Award.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has welcomed a top award for Elsecar Park in his constituency, after encouraging local residents to vote in support.

Elsecar Park has been awarded a ‘Nation’s Favourite Park’ award, which recognises its status as one of the top parks in the country.

Commenting, Michael said:

“It is great news that Elsecar Park has been awarded a Nation’s Favourite Park award. It is thoroughly well-deserved.

“Congratulations to Barnsley Council and to everyone who works so hard to maintain this beautiful park.  

“Elsecar Park is one of the jewels in Barnsley's crown and we can feel really proud of it. I love taking my own family there.”

Michael welcomes ‘Nation’s Favourite Park’ award for Elsecar Park

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has welcomed a top award for Elsecar Park in his constituency, after encouraging local residents to vote in support. Elsecar Park has been awarded...


Pharmacy_closures.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has warned of a renewed threat to local chemists as Ministers announced cutbacks to the community pharmacy budget.

The Government has announced a package of funding cuts to community pharmacies, but these are feared to be arbitrary savings that could force an unknown number of chemists to close.

The budget will be reduced by £113 million this financial year and by a further £95 million in 2017-18.

The Government estimated that its original package of cuts could force up to 3,000 community pharmacies – one in four across the country – to close, but Ministers are unable to say where cuts will fall or how many chemists will now be affected.

There are 1,266 community pharmacies across Yorkshire and the Humber that dispense an average of 9,483 prescription items to patients each month. The Government’s cut could force around 300 – one in every four in Yorkshire and the Humber - to close, according to their own estimates.

Michael also warned the Government that cutting local chemists would increase downstream costs in other parts of the NHS – especially in already overstretched GP surgeries and A&E units.

Research carried out by industry body Pharmacy Voice shows that one in four patients would make an appointment with their GP if their local chemist faced closure, which would add significant demand. In areas of higher deprivation, like Barnsley, this figure rises to four in five.

Commenting, Michael said:

“I know from talking to pharmacists and local residents in Barnsley who depend on our community pharmacies how vital they are to our villages and to the local NHS.

“The Government cannot not say how many local chemists will be forced to close or which pharmacies would be affected by its plan for savings, which is an insult to hardworking pharmacy staff across Barnsley who are now threatened by imminent cutbacks.

“This flawed plan to cut community pharmacies will just pile additional costs on GP surgeries and A&E departments that are already struggling to cope with demand.

“The Government should think again and stop this damaging plan for cuts by getting back round the negotiating table with the pharmacy sector and finding a fair funding settlement.”

Michael warns of renewed threat to local pharmacies

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has warned of a renewed threat to local chemists as Ministers announced cutbacks to the community pharmacy budget. The Government has announced a package...


SYT_Meningitis.jpgAs reported by the South Yorkshire Times, Michael has backed calls by leading UK meningitis charity Meningitis Now, encouraging young people to protect themselves from a deadly strain of bacterial meningitis.

Following a large increase of 809 per cent in meningococcal (group W) meningitis cases in the past five years, a vaccination programme to protect young people is now on offer.

For people aged between 14 and 15, the Men ACWY vaccine is being provided by school vaccination drives, but those aged 17 and 18 can receive it from their GP through special catch up programmes.

Despite the introduction of this vaccine, uptake remains low in Barnsley and the surrounding region, with just 17 per cent – one in six – 17 and 18 year olds receiving the vaccine across the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw NHS area.

Young people are particularly at risk from the meningococcal bacteria which can cause meningitis and septicaemia, so Michael is urging 17 and 18 year olds across Barnsley to get the vaccine through their GP.

Commenting, Michael said:

“The rapid increase in the number of Meningitis W cases in recent years is very concerning – particularly for young people who are most vulnerable.

“That’s why it is so important that 17 and 18 year olds in Barnsley receive the Men ACWY vaccine through their GP catch up programme if they haven’t had it already at school.

“It’s also really important to know the signs of Meningitis – which can range from headaches, muscle pain or fever – and charities like Meningitis Now do essential work raising awareness of this.”

Liz Brown, Chief Executive of Meningitis Now, added:

“We welcome Michael’s support in calling on young people in Barnsley to get the Men ACWY vaccine.

“Young people, especially those attending university for the first time should, if they haven’t done so already, take immediate action to protect themselves from this dangerous meningitis bug.

“The vaccination is free and available through GP practices for 17-18 year olds.”

Michael urges Barnsley teens to take vaccine against deadly Meningitis strain

As reported by the South Yorkshire Times, Michael has backed calls by leading UK meningitis charity Meningitis Now, encouraging young people to protect themselves from a deadly strain of bacterial meningitis....

Three of Michael’s nominees for the annual Proud of Barnsley awards have been included on this year’s shortlist.

Tala Lee-Turton from Wombwell has been shortlisted under the Exceptional Achievement category, she is only the third British woman to graduate from the elite Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia in its 243-year history. Major John Lomas, the officer commanding Birdwell’s Humberside and South Yorkshire Army Cadet Force detachment, who helps children and young people in the community learn unique values and skills, has reached the shortlist in the Children’s Champion category. Also making the shortlist is the Friends of Wombwell Cemetery who Michael nominated in the Community Group category for the outstanding work they have undertaken over the last 14 years to improve Wombwell’s cemetery. 

Not only have three of Michael’s nominations reached the shortlist, but a huge number of people from across Barnsley East have been recognised for the wonderful work they do in the community and their personal successes. These are: 

Young Superstar - Harley and Grace Martin from Shafton, two children who donated their old toys and books to less fortunate children to open on Christmas morning. And Charley Dyson from Wombwell, who is the world’s youngest paid professional scooter rider.

Exceptional Achievement - Ben Dalton from Hoyland Common whose quick-thinking actions saved the life a man who collapsed on the street after suffering a massive heart attack.

Volunteer - Terry Haynes from Brierley joined St John Ambulance in 1963 and is a founder member of the Grimethorpe section. 

Children’s Champion - Jonathan Bean, a teacher at Churchfields Primary School in Cudworth, has been shortlisted for the increase he’s achieved in the levels of participation in sports and exercise at the school. 

Sporting Achievement - Ian Sagar from Hoyland Common was the top-scorer for Great Britain’s bronze medal winning wheelchair basketball team at the Rio Paralympics. 

Carer - Rachel Dickinson-Sargieson from Kendray has been shortlisted for the dedication she shows to caring for her five children, all of whom have medical problems, ranging from epilepsy to lung disease. And 85-years-old Sybil Davey from Hoyland has been shortlisted in recognition of the care she provides at home for her daughter Lorraine, who is 52 and has Down’s Syndrome and dementia.  

Start-up - Kelly-Marie Loades is the owner of Darfield based Something Sweet which hires out traditional vintage sweet carts, a popcorn machine and milkshake bar to wedding receptions.

Charity fundraising team - Joe Pugh from Ardsley has been nominated with his partner, Leah Washington in recognition of the amazing £30,000 they have raised for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, University Hospitals of North Midlands (Stoke hospital) and Midlands Air Ambulance following the horrific crash they were involved in on the Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers which cost Leah her leg and shattered Joe’s knees. 

As a proud patron, Michael is delighted to see the Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support (BIADS) Friday Fundraising Team shortlisted in this category. The team has raised thousands of pounds for BIADS through posing for a WI-style calendar, themed events, raffles, a race day, and a Last Night at the Proms event. They are currently selling Christmas cards designed by their grandchildren and hope to raise £5,000.

School - Two schools, Hoyland Common Primary and Darfield Upperwood Academy, have been shortlisted for their Ofsted reports and commitment to their pupils.  

Community Hero - Gaynor Cross set up Jenga Training C.I.C in Grimethorpe which supports young mothers and young people that are long-term unemployed and Dennis King from Elsecar has been a volunteer ambulance driver for ten years, giving lifts to hospital to people who are unable to get there on their own. 

Charity Fundraiser - Danny Beever from Hoyland has worked to send ill children and their families on holiday through the foundation which was set up following the death of his granddaughter Lily aged three. And Rebecca Barton from Cudworth along with her partner, Matt, have dedicated themselves to fundraising for Meningitis Now following the tragic death of their 18 month old daughter Mia from the disease. 

Triumph over Adversity - Wayne Marshall from Wombwell organised a music festival and raised more than £3,000 to pay back those who helped him deal with the amputation of a leg and a battle with lung cancer.

The winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony in November.

Michael congratulates successful Proud of Barnsley nominees and shortlisted constituents

Three of Michael’s nominees for the annual Proud of Barnsley awards have been included on this year’s shortlist. Tala Lee-Turton from Wombwell has been shortlisted under the Exceptional Achievement category,...

As reported by Labour List, Michael has written a joint letter with Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth to David Mowat, the Minister with responsibility for community pharmacies, following Michael’s Urgent Question in the Commons on Monday.

The Minister made several apparently contradictory remarks and appeared to commit to funding for a minor ailments scheme that was later denied by a Department of Health spokesperson.

Michael and Jon’s letter can be seen in full here.

Michael and Jon Ashworth write to David Mowat after Urgent Question in the Commons

As reported by Labour List, Michael has written a joint letter with Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth to David Mowat, the Minister with responsibility for community pharmacies, following Michael’s Urgent...

Michael has today asked an Urgent Question in the House of Commons, asking the Government to set out the budget for community pharmacy and answer a number of questions about their plan to push through cuts to local chemists.

Michael’s Urgent Question follows days of uncertainty for community pharmacies, in which the Government has refused to rule out massive arbitrary cuts to the sector and a leaked document showed that “only a handful” of community pharmacies would be supported by a relief scheme based on the local needs of patients.

You can see Michael’s Urgent Question below by scrolling to 16.12.19:

Michael asks Urgent Question in the House of Commons on Community Pharmacy

Michael has today asked an Urgent Question in the House of Commons, asking the Government to set out the budget for community pharmacy and answer a number of questions about...


As reported by the Daily Telegraph, the Daily MirrorChemist + Druggist and Pharmacy Business, Michael has reacted to a leaked extract from the Government’s planned Pharmacy Access Scheme, which reveals the Government plans to provide its promised relief package to just 1,380 community pharmacies of the 11,674 across England – just one in ten (11.8 per cent) of the total.

The leaked document reveals that “only a handful” of chemists will be supported based on the “size and needs of each population”, with most receiving support based on arbitrary distances to other chemists.

Michael also warned that pharmacies eligible for relief would still be forced to make "efficiency savings" of 3 per cent, according to the leaked information, to access the funds.

These damaging moves come despite the Government promising to “ensure that those community pharmacies upon which people depend continue to thrive”, in its 2015 letter to the sector outlining planned cuts.

Commenting on the leaked information, Michael said:

“Ministers promised they would listen and consult widely on their planned cost-cutting, but the Government is set to force through a brutal package of cuts that could leave many frail and vulnerable patients forced to walk a mile or more to get medicines they need.

“And we now find they are planning to arbitrarily impose a relief scheme that could still see the closure of many local pharmacies.

“These ill-judged cuts are bad for our communities and bad for our NHS because community pharmacies help to save money by providing free advice and dispensing medicine before patients head to their GP or A&E.

“Ministers must think again and recognise the vital role that community pharmacies play in frontline healthcare before they sound the death knell of thousands of local chemists.”

Michael reacts to leaked Government document showing “only a handful” of community pharmacies to be supported based on patient need

As reported by the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror, Chemist + Druggist and Pharmacy Business, Michael has reacted to a leaked extract from the Government’s planned Pharmacy Access Scheme, which reveals the Government plans to provide its...


sunday_express_logo.jpgAs reported by the Sunday Express, Michael has commented on reports that the Government is set to press ahead with a massive arbitrary cut for community pharmacies.

In recent days, Government negotiations with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee broke down and Ministers now reportedly plan to push through the cuts.

Commenting, Michael said:

“The Government talks about the important role of community pharmacies, but Ministers look set to impose a brutal and arbitrary cut on our local chemists which could force thousands to close.

“This is a false economy because community pharmacies save the NHS money by offering free advice and dispensing medicine. If local community pharmacies are forced to close, then patients, many of them elderly or infirm, will feel the need to see their GP or visit A&E – services that are already overstretched.

“Cuts to community pharmacies are bad for our local communities and bad for our NHS. Ministers must listen to the millions of people who have made their opposition known and put a stop to this ill-judged cut.”

Prescription for disaster: Chemists forced to cut hours threatening thousands of sites

As reported by the Sunday Express, Michael has commented on reports that the Government is set to press ahead with a massive arbitrary cut for community pharmacies. In recent days, Government...


As reported by the Daily Telegraph, The Daily MirrorPolitics Home and Chemist + Druggist, Michael has responded to reports that the Government is set to impose a package of cuts to community pharmacies.

Last month, the Government reopened negotiations with the sector after campaigning by Michael and others forced a delay to the Government’s initial package of £170 million cuts, which could have forced up to 3,000 community pharmacies – one in four – to close.

However, these talks have now broken down and the Government plans to push through a new package of cuts.

Commenting, Michael said:

“For all their warm words on community pharmacies, including welcome moves to integrate community pharmacy into urgent care, Ministers seem committed to push through a massive package of arbitrary cuts to chemists that could force thousands to close.

“Cuts to community pharmacies are bad for our local communities, especially for people living in more isolated villages and rural communities. But they are also bad for the NHS, which is already in crisis, and are a complete false economy as they will pile even more pressure on already overstretched GP surgeries and hospital A&Es.

“It’s not too late for Ministers to get back around the negotiating table with the industry and put a stop to these damaging cuts before it’s too late.”

Michael responds to reports the Government plans to push through cuts to community pharmacy

As reported by the Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mirror, Politics Home and Chemist + Druggist, Michael has responded to reports that the Government is set to impose a package of cuts to community pharmacies. Last...


Column_14_October.jpgIn his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about his opposition to the Government’s plan to introduce new grammar schools.

The Government plans are a backwards step for education, and Michael writes that the Government should instead focus on world class education, taught in well-led state-of-the-art facilities, available to all children, not just a privileged few.

You can read Michael’s column in full here.

‘The golden age that never was…’

In his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about his opposition to the Government’s plan to introduce new grammar schools. The Government plans are a backwards step for...


SYT_Christmas_cards.jpgAs reported by the Sheffield Star, and by the South Yorkshire Times, Michael’s annual Christmas card competition is progressing well, with 8 primary schools across Barnsley East having signed up to take part so far.

Birkwood Primary, Hoyland Common Primary, Hoyland Springwood Primary, St Michael and All Angels Primary, West Meadows Primary, Forest Academy, Darfield Primary Academy and Kings Oak Primary Learning Centre have all signed up to submit designs to the competition.

As in previous years, the best design will be chosen by a panel including Michael, the Mayor of Barnsley and local business leaders for use as Michael’s official 2016 Christmas card, which will be sent to hundreds of politicians, local businesses, civic leaders and voluntary groups.

The best judged card from each school will win a prize and be named ‘school winner’. These school winners will then form a shortlist from which an overall winner will be selected and the designer of the overall winning card will receive a special prize. All schools that enter will also receive a prize. All prizes are funded from sponsorship kindly provided by local businesses. 

Now into its seventh year, the competition is set to prove popular yet again, with the standard of pupils’ designs and drawings always proving to be incredibly high.

8 Barnsley East schools sign up for Michael’s Christmas card competition

As reported by the Sheffield Star, and by the South Yorkshire Times, Michael’s annual Christmas card competition is progressing well, with 8 primary schools across Barnsley East having signed up to take...

As reported by today’s Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has made comments on recent stories in the media regarding ASOS.

Commenting, Michael said:

“I’ve been in regular contact with the GMB Union about allegations at ASOS’s warehouse and have raised these issues with the company on behalf of workers and will continue to do so in future.

“I welcome ASOS’s reassurance that they do not use zero hours contracts and their commitment to move their staff on to the living wage, along with the company’s continued investment in Barnsley and the fact that ASOS pays its taxes in the UK.

“ASOS has made an £81 million investment in its Barnsley site and employs 4,000 people from across the borough, including many people from my constituency.

“I'm glad that ASOS are addressing workers' concerns and I hope these issues can all be resolved.”

Michael’s comments on ASOS

As reported by today’s Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has made comments on recent stories in the media regarding ASOS. Commenting, Michael said: “I’ve been in regular contact with the GMB Union...


Slippers_montage.jpgMichael has joined with members of a local community partnership to help prevent elderly residents across Barnsley from slips and falls in their homes over the winter months.

He visited the Forge Community Partnership and Hoyland Action Group at Hoyland Market on Friday 7 October, where residents aged 65 and over took part in a ‘Slipper Exchange’, swapping a pair of their old slippers for a pair of new anti-trip slippers. 

On the visit, Michael met with local residents, councillors and representatives from the Forge Community Partnership, the community podiatrist, Be Well Barnsley, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, Tesco, Care Navigation and the Alzheimer's Society.

Funding from Barnsley Council was secured by the Hoyland Milton and Rockingham ward alliance for 400 pairs of slippers to try and reduce the risks of pensioners falling in their homes.

Michael joins community action group to prevent elderly falls

Michael has joined with members of a local community partnership to help prevent elderly residents across Barnsley from slips and falls in their homes over the winter months. He visited the...

 


LIVE_in_Barnsley_Chronicle.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael is calling on music lovers to back LIVE in Barnsley for a top industry award.

The popular festival has been nominated in three categories for the 2016 UK Festival Award after attracting thousands of music fans to an array of events in June.

LIVE in Barnsley will be battling it out for the top spot in the Best Metropolitan Festival category, the Best Small Festival and the Grassroots Festival Award. 

It is the fourth year running that LIVE in Barnsley has been up for an honour.  The aim of the festival is to showcase musical talent from the town and surrounding area.

It was the brainchild of Dave Pearsall and Steve Clifford in December 2012 and takes place every June, drawing thousands of local music fans and visitors to venues across Barnsley and the surrounding area. 

Michael, who is a patron of the festival and has played several times at the event, congratulated the organisers and urged people to vote for LIVE in Barnsley in the awards. 

Commenting, Michael said:

“LIVE in Barnsley is a tremendous event which gets better and better every year.

“It’s a huge achievement by the organisers Steve Clifford and Dave Pearsall and a testament to the hard work of the all the volunteers, artists and venues involved that the festival has again been nominated for the industry’s top awards.

“I’ve enjoyed playing at the festival and I know many music lovers now look forward to these concerts every summer.

 “I would urge everyone in Barnsley to support our local festival and vote for LIVE in Barnsley in these awards.”

Voting is now open and the awards ceremony will take place in November. You can vote for LIVE in Barnsley here.

Michael urges people to back local festival for top award

  As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael is calling on music lovers to back LIVE in Barnsley for a top industry award. The popular festival has been nominated in three...


Barnsley_Hospital_consultation.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has urged people across Barnsley to submit their views to two consultations on important changes to key services at Barnsley Hospital, launched today (Monday 3 October).

Under new plans, Barnsley Hospital will no longer provide hyper acute care for people who have had a stroke – though the Hospital has provided categorical assurance to Michael that other stroke care services will continue after he raised the issue with the Hospital’s Chief Executive, Diane Wake.

Michael sought assurances that wider stroke services at Barnsley Hospital would not be affected and that quality of care for Barnsley patients would not be reduced because of travel time to other hospitals.

The proposals will mean stroke patients from Barnsley will be transferred to either Doncaster Royal Infirmary, The Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield or Chesterfield Royal Hospital - up to 33 miles from Barnsley Hospital.

Acute care services, which take place 72 hours after someone has suffered a stroke, will be retained at Barnsley Hospital.

Other proposals will see changes to children’s surgery and anaesthesia services at Barnsley Hospital, with a number of operations including ear, nose and throat procedures or appendicitis surgery, being provided outside Barnsley.

For these changes, a number of options are being considered which would see changes in children’s surgery and anaesthesia services across South and Mid Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire.

The consultations are open until 20 January 2017 and NHS commissioners working across South and Mid Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire are expected to make decisions about future services in February 2017, after patient and public feedback is considered. 

Michael is urging local residents to have their say on the proposals by taking part in the consultations.

Commenting, Michael said:

“Local surgery and treatment services provided by our excellent NHS staff are set to change under these new proposals.

“It is really important for people across Barnsley to have their say on these changes, which will affect the future of stroke care, children’s surgery and anaesthesia in Barnsley and across the region.

“After writing to Diane Wake, Chief Executive of Barnsley Hospital, I have been assured that non hyper acute stroke care will continue in Barnsley, but it is vital that any decisions are taken with patient and public feedback in mind.

“Making a submission to the consultation is easy and can be done online at www.smybndccgs.nhs.ukor by calling 0114 305 4487 to request a form.”

You can see Michael’s exchange of letters with Diane Wake, Chief Executive of Barnsley Hospital, here.

Michael urges Barnsley residents to have their say on NHS changes

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has urged people across Barnsley to submit their views to two consultations on important changes to key services at Barnsley...

As reported by the South Yorkshire Times, the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has written to local secondary schools in his constituency to invite them to participate in a free educational programme that will allow a teacher and two students to visit the Western Front.

The ‘First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours’ programme, which is offered by the UCL institute of Education and funded by the Government, will allow students from local schools to get a unique insight into the first World War through a four-day tour. Each tour is guided by a serving soldier in the British Army.


As a member of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS), which gives MPs a chance to gain experience with the Armed Forces, Michael believes it is vital that young people learn about Britain’s military history.

Michael recently visited Serre in France on the centenary of the Somme to commemorate the Barnsley Pals. The Barnsley Pals, a group consisting entirely of volunteers from Barnsley, lost 297 of its men while fighting in Serre during the first day of the Battle of the Somme alone.

On his trip to Serre, Michael was struck by the personal experiences and the tragic losses suffered by many in Barnsley during the First World War.

This educational programme will allow pupils from Barnsley to get a real sense of what happened on the battlefields during the War. The programme includes teaching materials that will encourage other students to interact with the visit, and to learn from their classmates’ experiences in Ypres and the Somme.

Over 1,300 schools nationally have participated in this programme so far.

Commenting, Michael said:


“Together with my own children, I once again recently visited Serre in France myself to commemorate the Battle of the Somme. While in France I was struck by the personal stories and experiences behind the horrible statistics of the First World War.

"I believe physically going to the site of these battles will enable students to gain a unique perspective on the First World War and it’s potentially an incredibly important opportunity to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of so many local people. I would encourage all local schools in my constituency to register for this opportunity.”

You can find out more about the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours programme here.

Michael invites local schools to visit the WW1 battlefields with free educational programme

As reported by the South Yorkshire Times, the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has written to local secondary schools in his constituency to invite them to participate in a free educational...


Education_campaign_day.jpgMichael has supported a national Labour campaign day against the Government’s plans to introduce new grammar schools.

The plans risk advances in the comprehensive education system, and the Labour campaign aims to protect the right of every child to have access to excellence, with equal opportunities for all.

Labour has launched a petition against the plans, which you can sign here.

 

 

Michael backs Labour national campaign day against Tory grammar school plans

Michael has supported a national Labour campaign day against the Government’s plans to introduce new grammar schools. The plans risk advances in the comprehensive education system, and the Labour campaign...

Boundary_changes_are_a_dogs_breakfast.jpgIn his latest column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about the Boundary Commission’s proposals to alter parliamentary constituencies. You can read Michael’s article in full here.

 

‘Boundary changes are a dog’s breakfast’

In his latest column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about the Boundary Commission’s proposals to alter parliamentary constituencies. You can read Michael’s article in full here.  

MD_Cavern_Club.jpgDuring the Labour Conference this week, Michael performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. His performance was reported in the Daily Mirror and on the BBC. Michael also performed live on BBC Daily Politics, which you can see here.

 

Michael performs at the Cavern Club in Liverpool during Labour Conference

During the Labour Conference this week, Michael performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. His performance was reported in the Daily Mirror and on the BBC. Michael also performed live on BBC Daily Politics,...

Solar_hike_tax_all_editions_p.8.jpgMichael has criticised a Government plan to increase tax on businesses and organisations installing their own solar panels to generate clean renewable energy, which risks up to 2,900 jobs across Yorkshire and Humber.

The Valuation Office Agency’s review of business rates means that some 23,000 solar installations across the UK will see tax rates increase from £8 per kilowatt to between £43 to £61 from April 2017 – a tax bill that is six times higher. The increases will mean a business with a 100 kilowatt solar installation that now pays around £350 a year in business rates would have to pay up to £2,600. This could mean that some rooftop solar installations could cost more to run than they generate, completely undermining the fledgling clean renewable energy sector.

In February this year, Michael asked a Parliamentary Question which showed there were 2,900 people employed in the solar sector and the supply chain in Yorkshire and Humber in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. Michael is calling on the Government to drop the damaging solar tax hike before these jobs are put at risk.

Commenting, Michael said:

“The Tories once promised to lead the ‘greenest government ever’, but with this plan to increase taxes on clean, renewable energy, Ministers are completely undermining the green energy sector. “This poorly thought out tax hike for solar installations will make many projects simply unviable, putting thousands of jobs in the sector across Yorkshire and Humber at risk. “There is still time for the plan to be dropped before it takes effect in April 2017. The Government should rethink these damaging proposals before it is too late.”

Michael slams Government Solar Tax hike putting thousands of jobs at risk in Yorkshire and Humber

Michael has criticised a Government plan to increase tax on businesses and organisations installing their own solar panels to generate clean renewable energy, which risks up to 2,900 jobs across...


Community_pharmacy_image.jpgAs reported by the Yorkshire Post, Michael has welcomed the latest Government climb-down on cuts to community pharmacies, after Ministers announced that negotiations over funding will be reopened.

Ministers and officials at the Department of Health will not meet to discuss a new funding settlement.

Commenting, Michael said:

“It is welcome news that Ministers are now finally dumping their package of £170 million of cuts to community pharmacies.

“All of us who have campaigned hard have repeatedly warned that these cuts are bad news for our local communities and would make even worse the Government’s GP access crisis and the hospital waiting times crisis happening in our NHS.

“This is a chance for the Government to once and for all put a stop to all the cuts to community pharmacies that will end up costing the NHS more.”

Michael responds to Government decision to reopen community pharmacy funding negotiations

As reported by the Yorkshire Post, Michael has welcomed the latest Government climb-down on cuts to community pharmacies, after Ministers announced that negotiations over funding will be reopened. Ministers and officials...

Michael has welcomed a new Football Foundation funding grant for Wombwell Main FC.
The grant of £3,312 has been awarded to the local football club to fund pitch improvement works. The new cash will be provided by the Football Foundation, which is funded by the Premier League, the Football Association, Sport England and directly by the Government.

The Foundation supports grassroots football organisations like Wombwell Main FC to help promote a more active population and to regenerate communities across the country.

Since the Foundation’s launch in 2000, it has awarded 14,200 grants worth £560 million into grassroots sports projects, and Wombwell Main FC will be the latest club to benefit.

Michael welcomes cash boost to local football club

Michael has welcomed a new Football Foundation funding grant for Wombwell Main FC.The grant of £3,312 has been awarded to the local football club to fund pitch improvement works. The... Read more


Bloodwise.jpgAs reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has backed blood cancer charity Bloodwise during Blood Cancer Awareness Month 2016, which raises awareness of the UK’s third biggest cancer killer during the month of September.

14,000 people lose their lives to blood cancer and related disorders every year in the UK. That’s 38 people every day.

There are 230,000 people living with blood cancer across the country and 38,000 people are diagnosed each year – one diagnosis every 14 minutes.


Bloodwise is using Blood Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness of its vital research into finding a cure for blood cancer. The organisation has invested over £500 million in world class research since 1960, and their current funding programme covers over 1,000 researchers and clinicians.

Michael recently attended a Bloodwise event in Westminster, as part of Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Michael’s nephew sadly passed away from Leukaemia in 2011.

Commenting, Michael said:

“Organisations like Bloodwise play a vital role in the fight to beat blood cancer, and it’s really important to raise awareness of this work during Blood Cancer Awareness Month.

“Blood cancer is the third biggest cancer killer in the UK and the fifth most common cancer, and it’s crucial that we keep up important medical research to help those who are diagnosed and their families.

“You can find out more about the great work Bloodwise and other blood cancer charities by visiting www.bloodwise.org.uk.”

 

 

Michael supports blood cancer charity as part of Blood Cancer Awareness Month

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has backed blood cancer charity Bloodwise during Blood Cancer Awareness Month 2016, which raises awareness of the UK’s third biggest cancer killer during...


mirror.pngMichael has written in the Daily Mirror about reports the Government may be about to rule out a full, independent “Hillsborough style” inquiry into Orgreave.

Michael has campaigned for a swift, full and immediate inquiry into Orgreave and writes that such an investigation would be an opportunity to finally do the right thing after many years.

You can read Michael’s piece in full here.

Only a full inquiry into Orgreave will deliver justice

Michael has written in the Daily Mirror about reports the Government may be about to rule out a full, independent “Hillsborough style” inquiry into Orgreave. Michael has campaigned for a swift, full...

Diane Wake, Chief Executive of Barnsley Hospital, has responded to Michael’s recent letter with concerns about the hospital’s two Hyper Acute Stroke (HAS) treatment beds. You can see Michael’s letter to Barnsley Hospital here.

Diane Wake’s response, which offers a categorical assurance that stroke care will continue to be provided at Barnsley Hospital, can be seen here.

Barnsley Hospital respond to Michael's concerns about changes to stroke unit

Diane Wake, Chief Executive of Barnsley Hospital, has responded to Michael’s recent letter with concerns about the hospital’s two Hyper Acute Stroke (HAS) treatment beds. You can see Michael’s letter... Read more

As reported by The Sunday Times, the Government is reportedly set to rule out a “Hillsborough style” public inquiry into Orgreave.

Michael responded to the news, saying:

“Any diluting of a full and proper independent inquiry, with Hillsborough-style powers, would be a huge betrayal of the victims of Orgreave. Arguments about cost are a complete red herring — there is no price on justice.

“Saying it all happened a long time ago or that an inquiry might take some time to report is not an excuse for waiting even longer before getting on with it. We cannot have justice until we get to the whole truth. It’s time ministers accepted that and did the right thing.”

Michael responds to reports of Government decision to rule out “Hillsborough style” investigation into Orgreave

As reported by The Sunday Times, the Government is reportedly set to rule out a “Hillsborough style” public inquiry into Orgreave. Michael responded to the news, saying: “Any diluting of a...

Michael has responded to comments by Lord Tebbit, former Conservative Cabinet Minister and Chair of the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher, who branded miners at Orgreave “a bunch of hoodlums”.

Michael responds to Lord Tebbit's comments on Orgreave

Michael has responded to comments by Lord Tebbit, former Conservative Cabinet Minister and Chair of the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher, who branded miners at Orgreave “a bunch of hoodlums”.... Read more


Chronicle_column_NHS.jpgIn his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about the need to protect children’s services, as some children’s surgery services at Barnsley Hospital have come under threat.

Michael also writes about the wider crisis facing our NHS under this Government, including increasing A&E waiting times and poor hospital financial performance.

You can read Michael’s column in full here.

Massive concern for children’s services at hospital

In his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about the need to protect children’s services, as some children’s surgery services at Barnsley Hospital have come under threat....


As reported by The Barnsley Chronicle and by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has called on Barnsley Hospital to reassure patients about the future of its stroke patient care, following proposals to close the hospital’s two Hyper Acute Stroke (HAS) treatment beds.

Under proposals set forward by Commissioners Working Together, a group of commissioners working across South Yorkshire, Hyper Acute Stroke care would no longer be given at hospitals in Barnsley and Rotherham.

As a result, stroke patients in Barnsley who are in need of HAS care would need to be transferred to hospitals in Doncaster, Sheffield or Wakefield.

The proposals have been put forward following concerns that there are differences in the quality of HAS care each hospital delivers.

Michael has written to Diane Wake, Chief Executive at Barnsley Hospital, and raised a number of concerns.

Michael has questioned the Commissioners Working Together group’s decision to stop Hyper Acute Stroke care at Barnsley Hospital, rather than at some of the other hospitals in the region. Although Michael acknowledges that the Hospital currently treats under the best practice target of 900 stroke patients per year, he feels that patients and families have not had a sufficiently detailed explanation as to why Barnsley Hospital specifically is losing this vital Hyper Acute Stroke care service.

Michael has pointed out that a quick delivery of first treatment is critical for stroke victims. He is concerned that the extra travel time required to bring a stroke patient in need of Hyper Acute Stroke care from Barnsley to another hospital in the region may have a negative impact on patients’ well-being. He has also questioned the impact that the proposal will have on ambulance capacity in the region.

Michael expresses concern and seeks reassurances from Barnsley Hospital, amidst plans to close Hyper Acute Stroke beds

As reported by The Barnsley Chronicle and by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has called on Barnsley Hospital to reassure patients about the future of its stroke patient care, following proposals to close... Read more


Static_Boundary_Review_Graphic.jpgAs reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has responded to the Government’s boundary review initial proposals, which have been published today. He criticised them as an attempt to rig the election given their use of an out of date version of the electoral register with nearly two million voters missing.

Michael was interviewed about the plans on BBC Radio Sheffield, which you can listen to here, by scrolling to 01:10:35.

The proposals, which were announced by the Boundary Commission for England, are set to reduce the number of elected Members of Parliament from 650 to 600 and attempt to equalise the number of electors in each seat.

However, very significant changes to the electoral register – with nearly two million voters added since the current version was locked in place for the review – mean that the proposals are not suitable.

You can read the Boundary Commission’s explanation of the proposals for the Yorkshire and Humber region – including Barnsley – here. You can also use this link to see how the changes will affect you, using your postcode.

Labour is campaigning against the proposals, and you can sign Labour’s petition against them here.

Michael responds to undemocratic Government boundary review

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has responded to the Government’s boundary review initial proposals, which have been published today. He criticised them as an attempt to rig the... Read more


As reported by Barnsley News and Sport and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has joined a campaign against cuts for young apprentices, with Government funding set to be slashed by 30 per cent for 16 – 18 year olds.

The cuts were announced by the Skills Funding Agency and are set to take effect from May 2017, meaning less funding for apprentices seeking vocational training.

The funding cut will also hit the most deprived areas hardest, with an analysis by trade magazine FE Week showing that a 47 per cent cut will apply to young people living in the most deprived neighbourhoods in England.

Michael is campaigning against the cuts, joining a call on the Government to reverse the decision.

Michael joins campaign against apprenticeship funding cut

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has joined a campaign against cuts for young apprentices, with Government funding set to be slashed by 30 per cent for... Read more


2015_Christmas_Card_winner.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Schoolchildren in Barnsley East have been offered the chance to submit designs for their local MP’s Christmas card competition. Michael has written to all primary schools in his constituency to encourage pupils to get creative with their designs and enter the competition.

As in previous years, the best design will be chosen by a panel including Michael, the Mayor of Barnsley and local business leaders for use as Michael’s official 2016 Christmas card, which will be sent to hundreds of politicians, local businesses, civic leaders and voluntary groups.

Michael launches annual Christmas card design competition

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Schoolchildren in Barnsley East have been offered the chance to submit designs for their local MP’s Christmas card competition. Michael has written to all primary... Read more


elsecar-park.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has called on residents in Barnsley to cast their vote in support of Elsecar Park for the annual Green Flag Park “People’s Choice” awards.

The awards are held by the Green Flag Awards, an organisation that awards a Green Flag winning status to well-managed parks that are enjoyed by people from across local communities. This summer, Elsecar Park, which is situated in Michael’s constituency, received its 9th Green Flag Award, recognising the brilliant work of both volunteer group Friends of Elsecar Park and the Council to make the park such a success.

Michael urges people to vote Elsecar Park into UK Park Top 10

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has called on residents in Barnsley to cast their vote in support of Elsecar Park for the annual Green Flag Park “People’s Choice” awards.... Read more

As reported by Pharmacy Business, the Daily Telegraphthe Daily Mirror, the Yorkshire Post and Politics Home, Michael has welcomed a Government decision to delay a £170 million funding cut to community pharmacies, which Ministers’ own figures show could force up to 3,000 local chemists – a quarter of all those in the country - to close.

There are 1,266 community pharmacies across Yorkshire and the Humber that dispense an average of 9,483 prescription items to patients each month. The Government’s cut would force around 300 – one in every four in Yorkshire and the Humber - to close.


Michael has campaigned as part of a cross party group of MPs, patients and pharmacists to oppose the damaging cut, which was set to take effect in October.

As part of this campaign, Michael joined campaigners to deliver a petition against the cut – signed by 1.8 million people – to 10 Downing Street, and also led a Commons debate against the plan which you can read here.

The Government’s decision to put the cut on hold means local chemists have been saved from any immediate funding reduction, but Michael is calling for a full re-think from Ministers.

Commenting, Michael said:

“It is welcome news that the Government appear at last to be listening to all of us who've been campaigning against the arbitrary cut to community pharmacies and that they are now delaying this decision.

“We know that the proposed £170 million cut could force up to 3,000 local chemists – a quarter of all those in the country – to close down.  We also know that this cut is a false economy. It is not only damaging to patients’ access to prescription medicine, but it will impact on public health and will increase pressure on our already overstretched GP surgeries and hospitals.

“Community pharmacies are vital to so many people in so many parts of the country and they save the NHS money. The Government's delay must now lead to a fundamental re-think so we protect our community pharmacies.”

Michael welcomes delay in Government cuts for community pharmacies - but calls for re-think from Ministers

As reported by Pharmacy Business, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror, the Yorkshire Post and Politics Home, Michael has welcomed a Government decision to delay a £170 million funding cut to community pharmacies, which Ministers’ own...

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has announced his nominations for the Proud of Barnsley Awards. Michael has made six nominations, which all highlight Barnsley’s outstanding talent, ambition and achievement.

The proud of Barnsley Awards, organised by the Barnsley Chronicle, are a great opportunity to recognise the talent and achievements of people in our community.

The shortlist for the Awards will be announced in October. Winners will be announced at a formal Awards Ceremony in November.

Michael has made the following nominations:

 


ed_gb_2.jpg• Sporting Achievement – Ed Clancy

Ed Clancy is a triple Olympic gold medal winner and a true Yorkshire sporting hero. He has won gold as a cyclist in the team pursuit at three consecutive Olympic Games, an incredible feat that shows what a top class athlete he is. Ed Clancy was born in Barnsley before moving to Huddersfield as a child.

 

 


bfc-crest-font-gloss76-3062.gif• Sports Team of the Year – Barnsley FC

Barnsley FC has had a truly amazing season, winning two Wembley finals including the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and securing a well-deserved promotion. The Club has been an example of Barnsley’s spirit, resilience and talent and everyone involved with Barnsley FC deserves to be recognised for a magnificent year.

 

 


• Exceptional Achievement – Tala Lee-Turton

Tala Lee-Turton is an exceptional young dancer who recently became only the third British female dancer in history to graduate from the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. Tala has now secured a job as a dancer with the Royal Moscow Ballet. Originally from Wombwell, Tala is a brilliant role model, spending this summer teaching young people in Barnsley, showing them how far talent, passion and commitment can go.

 

 

CZVsRxuXEAEP09p.jpg• Volunteer of the Year – Andy Earl


Andy is an incredible volunteer who makes a wonderful contribution to our community. As Chairman of the Elsecar Heritage Railway, he heads a brilliant organisation of 95 volunteers who all contribute to making the Railway one of the top attractions for tourists and visitors in the Borough. Andy is also a chaplain with the Armed Forces who works with young people training to become Junior Soldiers at the Harrogate Army Foundation College. He has served in Afghanistan and was decorated for gallantry. A former Police Inspector, Andy has shown true commitment to helping his community throughout his work.

 

 

 

e53c893d-e917-43ea-a677-cb1fcff7a447.jpg

• Community Group – Friends of Wombwell Cemetery


Friends of Wombwell Cemetery was started by Mike Bretton as a kind of neighbourhood watch group, but over the past fifteen years it has developed into a much wider organisation that works tirelessly to make Wombwell Cemetery a peaceful environment where friends and family can come to remember their loved ones. This year Friends of Wombwell Cemetery have completed work on an astonishing £145,000 refurbishing project of the Grade II listed derelict chapel, transforming it into a community hub. Their invaluable work deserves our recognition.

 

 

 

Michael-Dugher-MP-Meets-ACF.jpeg• Children’s Champion – Major John Lomas

As the Officer Commanding Birdwell’s Humberside and South Yorkshire Army Cadet Force detachment, Major Lomas helps children and young people in our community learn unique values and skills, all while making new friends and building self-confidence. A former electronics engineer with the RAF, Major Lomas has volunteered with the cadets since 1995. His enthusiasm for helping young people and his commitment to making the cadets’ experience a success deserves the greatest commendation. He is an inspiration to his community who volunteers his time to help children from all parts of Barnsley.

Michael reveals nominations for Proud of Barnsley Awards

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has announced his nominations for the Proud of Barnsley Awards. Michael has made six nominations, which all highlight Barnsley’s outstanding talent, ambition and...


p._10_all_editions_column.jpgIn his latest column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about his continued opposition to fracking in Barnsley.

Michael's opposition to fracking is clear. He believes fracking should not be allowed in Barnsley East, or in any other part of the country, whilst there is so much uncertainty about its effects. The Government and the fracking firms have simply not done enough to address people's legitimate concerns about it.

You can read Michael's column here.

'Fracking companies not welcome in Barnsley'

In his latest column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about his continued opposition to fracking in Barnsley. Michael's opposition to fracking is clear. He believes fracking should not...

M_S_campaign.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has joined a campaign against changes to M&S staff pay and conditions, which will mean some staff have to work longer hours in three years’ time to make the same wage they do today.

The campaign has sent a letter – signed by 70 MPs – to M&S Chief Executive Steve Rowe, to protest against the measures, which will mean employees’ utility bills and costs of living will increase much faster than pay.

You can find out more about the campaign and sign the petition against the changes here.

Michael joins campaign standing up for M&S staff

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has joined a campaign against changes to M&S staff pay and conditions, which will mean some staff have to work longer hours in three...

To mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, Michael has backed CLIC Sargent’s “Cancer Costs” campaign, which highlights the financial cost of child cancer and the impact this has on affected families.

CLIC Sargent has done vital research into the cost of child cancer for families. Their research has found that parents with a child who has cancer spend an extra £600 a month during active treatment. Things like travel, extra food and toys and treats are a big part of this cost. Affected families are concerned about energy bills, car related costs and parking bills.

61% of parents with a child who has cancer accumulate some form of debt as a result of their child’s illness. One in six parents have had to borrow over £5,000.

CLIC Sargent is calling for a complete and urgent government review of the assistance and support available to young cancer patients and their parents to help with the financial cost of child cancer.

You can read more about the CLIC Sargent’s findings, and its recommendations, in the full report.

For more information on the campaign, please visit CLIC Sargent’s website.

Michael backs CLIC Sargent's "Cancer Costs" campaign to mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

To mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, Michael has backed CLIC Sargent’s “Cancer Costs” campaign, which highlights the financial cost of child cancer and the impact this has on...

Yorkshire_Post_Logo.jpgMichael has written in the Yorkshire Post about the need for the Government to reverse the decline in sports participation following Britain’s Olympic success in Rio.

Since the London Games, participation in sports has fallen across the board. The Government had a unique opportunity following the London Olympics to inspire people across generations to become more active. This proved to be an opportunity squandered.

The Government now has a chance to do better, following the tremendous success of Great Britain’s sporting heroes at the Rio Olympics. It remains to be seen if they will act to turn around the decline in sports participation.

You can read Michael's article in full here.

We need a sports policy fit for purpose

Michael has written in the Yorkshire Post about the need for the Government to reverse the decline in sports participation following Britain’s Olympic success in Rio. Since the London Games,...

Barnsley_Chronicle_all_editions_-_p._13_-_Give_our_kids_a_sport.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael, a former Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has called on the Government to improve its strategy for sports participation among young people as Team GB’s Olympic heroes return home from Rio.

As the country celebrates the remarkable achievements of our Olympic athletes, sports participation among children in England is falling.

Research published by Sports England has shown that sports participation in sport has fallen in nearly every region of England between 2011/12 and 2014/15. Last year sports participation among 5-15 year olds stood only at 87 per cent – a drop of 3 per cent from the survey results in 2008/09. And fewer than one in five children within this age group participated in competitive sport outside school in 2014/15 – only 19.2 per cent.

Michael calls for boost in children’s sports to build on Team GB Olympic success

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael, a former Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has called on the Government to improve its strategy for... Read more

page_16_all_editions.jpgIn his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about his call on the Government to change the rules of the Blue Badge scheme. This scheme allows less mobile people to park closer to their destinations in special parking bays.

Michael is calling for the scheme to be opened up fully to dementia patients - something that is supported by Barnsley Independent Alzheimer's and Dementia Support (BIADS), of which Michael is a patron, as well as by the Alzheimer's Society.

You can read Michael's column in full here.

Bid to open up scheme to dementia sufferers

In his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about his call on the Government to change the rules of the Blue Badge scheme. This scheme allows less...

WW1_tours.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has written to local secondary schools in his constituency to invite them to participate in a free educational programme that will allow a teacher and two students to visit the Western Front.

The ‘First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours’ programme, which is offered by the UCL institute of Education and funded by the Government, will allow students from local schools to get a unique insight into the first World War through a four-day tour. Each tour is guided by a serving soldier in the British Army.

As a member of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS), which gives MPs a chance to gain experience with the Armed Forces, Michael believes it is vital that young people learn about Britain’s military history.

Michael recently visited Serre in France on the centenary of the Somme to commemorate the Barnsley Pals. The Barnsley Pals, a group consisting entirely of volunteers from Barnsley, lost 297 of its men while fighting in Serre during the first day of the Battle of the Somme alone.

On his trip to Serre, Michael was struck by the personal experiences and the tragic losses suffered by many in Barnsley during the First World War.

This educational programme will allow pupils from Barnsley to get a real sense of what happened on the battlefields during the War. The programme includes teaching materials that will encourage other students to interact with the visit, and to learn from their classmates’ experiences in Ypres and the Somme.

Over 1,300 schools nationally have participated in this programme so far.

Michael Dugher MP invites local schools to visit the WW1 battlefields with free educational programme

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has written to local secondary schools in his constituency to invite them to participate in a free educational programme that will... Read more

Michael has written in the Yorkshire Post about the need to put passengers first when local bus routes are planned.

Yorkshire_Post_Logo.jpgSouth Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) recently closed a consultation on planned changes to Barnsley’s bus network, which would see some routes cut and others left with reduced services.

Michael campaigned against the cuts and made a submission to the consultation which you can seehere.

You can read Michael’s piece in the Yorkshire Post here.

Passenger power over profit is the route for buses

Michael has written in the Yorkshire Post about the need to put passengers first when local bus routes are planned. South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) recently closed a consultation on planned...

SYT_-_p._13_-_MPs_appeal_for_applicants.jpgAs reported by the South Yorkshire Times,Barnsley News and Sport, the Star and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has backed a campaign launched by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to encourage grant applications from small community groups in Yorkshire that work on natural heritage projects for its “Yorkshire’s Back Garden” campaign. 

The HLF has funded a range of projects in Michael’s constituency of Barnsley East in the past. Recently, it provided a grant of £29,900 for the Barnsley Biodiversity Trust’s Biodiversity in Schools project, which has worked with schools across Barnsley to raise awareness among students of the importance of biodiversity. 

The Fund also gave a grant of £48,500 to help finance the BMBC’s “Flour Power” project at Worsbrough Mill Museum.  

Michael is happy to support this campaign and urges any community groups in Barnsley who work to protect local natural heritage to submit an application for funding with the HLF.  

 

 

 

 

Commenting, Michael said: 

HLF_Chronicle.jpg“The Heritage Lottery Fund is offering a fantastic opportunity for community groups in Barnsley to receive funding for a wide range of projects, to promote and safeguard the beautiful natural environment that we are lucky to have right on Barnsley’s doorstep. 

“It is really important that we safeguard our diverse wildlife across the country. Projects funded by HLF will be able to contribute to, and raise awareness of, the biodiversity that makes our wildlife so valuable and I would encourage local groups to apply.”

You can find out more about the campaign here.

Michael urges community groups in Barnsley to apply for Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funding during ‘Yorkshire’s Back Garden’ campaign

As reported by the South Yorkshire Times,Barnsley News and Sport, the Star and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has backed a campaign launched by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to encourage grant applications from...

Police_cuts_chronicle.jpgAs reported by Barnsley News and Sport and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has urged the Government to protect frontline police funding as figures show police recorded crime (excluding fraud) has risen by 17 per cent across Yorkshire and the Humber. 

According to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), police recorded crime excluding fraud in the year ending in March 2016 went up by 17 per cent compared to 2015. Violent crime against the person in the region went up by a staggering 48 per cent.

Nationally, total police recorded crime excluding fraud saw a rise of 9 per cent and violent crime against the person went up by 27 per cent.

Whilst in government, Labour set up 3,600 Neighbourhood Policing teams – one for every area of England. Labour’s policies on policing helped bring the crime rate down by 42 per cent nationally between 1997 and 2010.

But under the current Conservative Government, policing has been cut drastically. 18,000 police officers and 5,000 PCSOs have already lost their jobs since 2010 because of Government cuts.

SouthYorkshire Police alone has lost 415 police officers and 58 PCSOs since 2010.
These figures form the latest evidence of the Tories’ failing policy on policing and safety.

Commenting, Michael said:

“The latest shocking figures show that crime is going up markedly on the Government’s watch, at the same time as police numbers continue to fall.

“These latest figures demonstrate that the Government is failing to stand up for safer communities. 

“As Home Secretary, Theresa May promised real-terms protection. It didn’t happen. Now that she is Prime Minister, the responsibility is entirely hers to make good on her promise and protect frontline policing.”

Michael calls on Government to protect frontline police funding as police recorded crime rises across Yorkshire and Humber

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has urged the Government to protect frontline police funding as figures show police recorded crime (excluding fraud) has risen by 17...

Michael has written in the Yorkshire Post to call on David Mowat MP, the new Minister for Community Pharmacies, to drop the Government’s planned £170 million cut to local pharmacies.

Government ministers have admitted that the £170 million cut will force up to 3,000 local chemists – a quarter of all those in the country – to close.

Across Yorkshire and Humber alone, there are 1,266 community pharmacies. If the new Minister for Community Pharmacies presses ahead with this damaging cut, it could mean around 300 local chemists closing in our region.

It’s already getting more difficult to see your GP and A&E departments across the country are under enormous pressure under this Government’s watch. Cutting community pharmacies will put more pressure on our already overstretched NHS.

This is why Michael has campaigned against the Government’s planned cut both in Westminster and in his constituency of Barnsley East. He is urging the new Minister for Community Pharmacies to drop the damaging cut.

You can read Michael’s article in full here.

Cutting local pharmacies would be a very bitter pill

Michael has written in the Yorkshire Post to call on David Mowat MP, the new Minister for Community Pharmacies, to drop the Government’s planned £170 million cut to local pharmacies....

garganeycolumn.jpgIn his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about his support for the Garganey Trust, a local charity that does fantastic work to preserve local wildlife.

Michael recently visited the beautiful Broomhill Flash, in the Dearne Valley, to open a new two-storey hide for the Trust.

This hide is the result of great cooperation between the Garganey Trust and a range of partners, including GFB and Salt Architects, Greenbank, the Enivornment Agency, RSPB, Dearne Nature Improvement Area, Barnsley Council, Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership, Natural England, private donors, friends and the amazing supporters of the trust.

You can read Michael's column on the work of the Garganey Trust and the new two-storey hide here.

Trust is doing fine work for our wildlife

In his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about his support for the Garganey Trust, a local charity that does fantastic work to preserve local wildlife. Michael...

mirror.pngAs reported by the Daily Mirror, and the Yorkshire Post, Michael is calling on the Government to open up the Blue Badge parking scheme to dementia patients.

The Blue Badge parking scheme helps people park cars closer to their destination if they are disabled, which can be a real lifeline when out shopping or attending a doctor’s or hospital appointment.

Michael calls for Blue Badge parking access for dementia patients

As reported by the Daily Mirror, and the Yorkshire Post, Michael is calling on the Government to open up the Blue Badge parking scheme to dementia patients. The Blue Badge parking scheme... Read more

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has praised Barnsley Hospital as the latest official figures show A&E waiting times decreasing, but has warned that waiting times for cancer treatment are increasing under the Tory Government.

Barnsley Hospital’s A&E department has shown significant improvements during the last quarter, with the hospital treating 95 per cent of A&E patients within four hours in May – meeting a Government target that has not been met nationally for the past six months.
These latest A&E figures show that Barnsley Hospital is steadily improving and delivering high quality care to A&E patients.

Michael praises Barnsley Hospital for improving A&E figures, but warns cancer waiting times worsening on Government’s watch

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has praised Barnsley Hospital as the latest official figures show A&E waiting times decreasing, but has warned that waiting times for cancer treatment... Read more

SYPTE_bus_consultation_photo.jpgAs reported by Barnsley News and Sportand the South Yorkshire Times, Michael is calling for passengers to have a greater say on local routes and fares and for local authorities to be able to negotiate comprehensive contracts with bus operators.

A consultation on importance changes to local buses ends on Sunday 31 July. In his submission to the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) consultation, Mihcael highlighted examples of passengers losing out because of reductions to services.

Michael calls for bus cuts to be dropped as consultation is set to close

As reported by Barnsley News and Sportand the South Yorkshire Times, Michael is calling for passengers to have a greater say on local routes and fares and for local authorities to be... Read more

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