Michael Dugher MP

Working hard for Barnsley East

News

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has accused the Government of letting down Barnsley residents and making the wrong choices for the borough in the Queen’s Speech, which was delivered yesterday (Wednesday 18 May).

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has claimed that the Government is delivering a “One Nation” agenda, but Michael has highlighted the Tories’ record in Barnsley as one of failure which has let down his constituents.

Under this Government, gross weekly pay for full time workers in Michael’s Barnsley East constituency has fallen from £456 in 2010 to £432 in 2015 – a cut in gross income of 5 per cent.

Whilst unemployment has decreased in recent years, the number of unemployed people in Barnsley East has remained stubbornly high, with the latest figures showing 3,000 people are classed as unemployed in Barnsley East – which is 6.8 per cent of the local population, higher than the rate for Yorkshire and the Humber of 6 per cent and the national rate of 5.2 per cent.

Michael blasts Government for making “wrong choices” for Barnsley

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has accused the Government of letting down Barnsley residents and making the wrong choices for the borough in the Queen’s... Read more

 

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As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has called for the head of the Department for Work and Pensions to reverse a decision declaring a Barnsley stroke victim “fit for work” and removing his benefits – despite him having severe skull damage and suffering from partial paralysis.

Mr Kenny Bailey, a constituent of Michael’s, was left with serious neurological and physical health problems after suffering a major stroke in 2014. He has very serious mobility difficulties, including partial paralysis on his left side and a severe limp. He is also currently waiting for an operation to have a metal plate fitted to reshape his skull.

However, the Department for Work and Pensions ruled that Mr Bailey is “fit to work” and that he should lose his Employment and Support Allowance – which will mean Mr Bailey is £156 per fortnight worse off and only has his Personal Independent Payment to cover food and bills.

Mr Bailey is appealing the shocking decision and Michael is taking the matter up on his behalf.

In a letter to the head of the Department, Michael called for the Secretary of State, Stephen Crabb, to “intervene personally on [Mr Bailey’s] behalf during this process to overturn the decision and restore Mr Bailey’s ESA.”

Michael calls on Government to drop outrageous “fit for work” ruling of Barnsley man with severe skull damage

  As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has called for the head of the Department for Work and Pensions to reverse a decision declaring a Barnsley... Read more

 

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Yesterday, Michael spoke at a Young United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) event in Central London.

The UJIA invests in the young Jewish community and supports engagement between Israel and the UK. You can find out more about their work here.

You can see coverage of Michael’s speech onLabourListPolitics Home,The Telegraph and The Mirror.

Michael speaks at Young UJIA event

  Yesterday, Michael spoke at a Young United Jewish Israel Appeal (UJIA) event in Central London. The UJIA invests in the young Jewish community and supports engagement between Israel and...

golden_ticket.PNGToday Michael attended a Parliamentary Reception in support of Team Margot, a charity which campaigns for people to join the worldwide registers as potential bone marrow or stem cell donors.

The campaign focuses particularly on getting more people from ethnic minorities or with mixed heritage to sign up with the register.

Team Margot was set up in 2013 by the Martini family, in honour of Margot, who at 14 months old was diagnosed with blood cancer. Margot’s mixed heritage and ethnicity proved to be a difficulty in finding Margot a suitable donor match.

Michael shows his support for Team Margot

Today Michael attended a Parliamentary Reception in support of Team Margot, a charity which campaigns for people to join the worldwide registers as potential bone marrow or stem cell donors.... Read more

 

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Michael has backed World NF Awareness Day today to support a constituent in Barnsley East, who suffers from Neurofibromatosis. Neurofibromatosis is a rare genetic disorder that affects over 25,000 people in the UK.

The disorder creates serious health risks and can lead to blindness, mobility and speech problems and malformation of elbows and knees. In severe cases, individuals suffering from Neurofibromatosis may have to have amputations.

Michael felt he needed to act after a case came to light in his Barnsley East constituency. He has since been working with the Neurofoundation, a small but national charity that focuses on fundraising and raising awareness of Neurofibromatosis.

In addition to a social media campaign to spread the word about Neurofibromatosis, the Neurofoundation has also participated in the worldwide “Shine A Light on NF” campaign for the second year in a row.

Michael backs World NF Awareness Day to support constituent with rare genetic disorder

  Michael has backed World NF Awareness Day today to support a constituent in Barnsley East, who suffers from Neurofibromatosis. Neurofibromatosis is a rare genetic disorder that affects over 25,000... Read more

Ahead of the Queen’s Speech this week, when the Government will set out its legislative priorities for the forthcoming year, Michael has written about the importance of fully funding and equipping the NHS.

Recent statistics show the NHS is facing a crisis in A&E waiting times, GP access and ambulance response times.

The Government is also planning to cut £170 million from the budget for community pharmacy, which could force up to 3,000 local chemists – or a quarter of all those in the country – to close.

You can read Michael’s blog in full here.

Michael’s blog: there is no bigger priority than our NHS

Ahead of the Queen’s Speech this week, when the Government will set out its legislative priorities for the forthcoming year, Michael has written about the importance of fully funding and...

 

michael_pharmacy.pngJustin Madders MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, has written a guest blog for Michael’s website following his recent visit to Barnsley.

On Friday 28 April, Michael and Justin visited Lo’s Pharmacy in Grimethorpe to meet staff and campaign against the Government's plan to cut £170 million from the community pharmacy budget.

Later, they visited Barnsley Hospital alongside Dan Jarvis MP to show support for the Tiny Hearts appeal and to visit the Barnsley Birthing Centre.

You can read Justin’s blog in full here.

Justin Madders MP guest blog on his visit to Barnsley

  Justin Madders MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, has written a guest blog for Michael’s website following his recent visit to Barnsley. On Friday 28 April, Michael and Justin visited...

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, has criticised the Government’s mismanagement of NHS emergency care after official figures show reveal Barnsley Hospital’s Accident and Emergency waiting times are increasing and Yorkshire paramedics are struggling to attend emergencies on time.

Over the last four months, patients at Barnsley A&E have faced longer waiting times, with the number of people seen in four hours or less standing at just 86.7 per cent for March 2016 – missing the Government’s own target of 95 per cent. The latest figures show the increasing pressure that A&E is facing under this Government.

Previous data showed 87.2 per cent of people being seen within four hours during the month of February, 89 per cent in January and 92.8 per cent in December of last year. Seeing 95 per cent of patients within four hours or less is a key Government target for A&E departments, but the national average for March was 87.3 per cent. The latest figures show that Barnsley Hospital is both missing the target and falling below the national average – with its figure of 86.7 per cent.

Michael Dugher MP says NHS crisis deepening on the Government’s watch as latest figures show local A&E waits and ambulance response times getting worse

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, has criticised the Government’s mismanagement of NHS emergency care after official figures show reveal Barnsley Hospital’s Accident and... Read more

 

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Last Friday Michael visited the Barnsley Churches Drop-In Project, where he met with the project’s coordinator Caroline Hyde.

The Drop-In Project is a small voluntary charity that supports people who are homeless or struggle with substance abuse. The charity has created a place on John Street where individuals can come for a warm meal, food parcels, beverages, as well as advice and guidance on the services that are available in Barnsley.

On an average day, 120 people visit the Charity during its lunch time opening hours. If you want to know more about the Charity and the services they provide, please click here.

Visit to Churches Drop-in Project

  Last Friday Michael visited the Barnsley Churches Drop-In Project, where he met with the project’s coordinator Caroline Hyde. The Drop-In Project is a small voluntary charity that supports people...

 Michael has appeared as a guest of the day on the BBC Daily Politics programme, presented by Jo Coburn and alongside Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg.

They discussed several issues including the forthcoming EU referendum and elections that were held across the country last Thursday.

You can see the programme in full on the BBC iPlayer website here.

Michael appears on BBC Daily Politics

 Michael has appeared as a guest of the day on the BBC Daily Politics programme, presented by Jo Coburn and alongside Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg. They discussed several issues including... Read more

Labour should learn lessons from Sadiq’s energetic, principled and dignified campaign in London. Following last week’s elections Michael has written a blog for LabourList. You can read it in full here.

Lessons from London - Sadiq's triumph should give Labour hope

Labour should learn lessons from Sadiq’s energetic, principled and dignified campaign in London. Following last week’s elections Michael has written a blog for LabourList. You can read it in full here....

michael_pharmacy.pngAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicleand by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael Dugher MP was joined by the Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders MP to campaign against pharmacy cuts on Friday 29 April. Michael and Justin visited Lo’s Pharmacy in Grimethorpe, where they were joined by councillor Allan Hampson and councillor Dorothy Higginbottom. Together they met with Angela Hall, Steven Lo and Paul Mason of Lo's Pharmacy Group. This visit was part of Michael’s ongoing campaign against the Government’s planned £170m community pharmacy cut.

Michael has signed a petition to call on the Government to stop their planned cut. You can sign this petition here.

Michael Dugher MP and shadow health minister Justin Madders MP campaign to protect Barnsley pharmacies

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicleand by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael Dugher MP was joined by the Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders MP to campaign against pharmacy cuts on Friday 29... Read more

Sandhill_visit.jpgAs reported by Barnsley News and Sport and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael met with Sandhill Primary School’s Year 6 last Friday for a Q&A and a discussion on parliament and various political issues including British membership for the European Union.

The pupils gave brilliant speeches. The discussion of the benefits and challenges of the European Union was followed by a Q&A session, and the pupils asked some great questions. Michael was very impressed with everyone in Year 6.

Michael discusses European Union with Sandhill Primary School’s Year 6

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael met with Sandhill Primary School’s Year 6 last Friday for a Q&A and a discussion on parliament and various political... Read more

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael was joined by Dan Jarvis MP and Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders MP as he visited Barnsley Hospital’s Maternity Services on Friday 29 May.

image_from_hospital_visit.PNGThis visit was also a great opportunity for Michael to show his support for the Tiny Hearts Appeal, the Hospital’s fundraising initiative to finance its ambitious plans for an innovative new Neonatal Unit. The new neonatal unit will be built alongside the Barnsley Birthing Centre, itself a state-of-the-art facility that was completed in 2014.

Michael joined by Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders MP & Dan Jarvis MP on visit to Barnsley Hospital’s Birthing Centre

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael was joined by Dan Jarvis MP and Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders MP as he visited Barnsley Hospital’s Maternity Services... Read more

Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has responded to Michael’s submission to its mental health consultation.

In November 2015, Michael welcomed the development of a draft mental health and wellbeing commissioning strategy as going a long way to meeting local mental health needs.

Michael raised a number of specific points about the strategy in his submission, which you can see here, and the CCG made a full response, which you can see here.

Michael’s submission and response on Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group mental health consultation

Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has responded to Michael’s submission to its mental health consultation. In November 2015, Michael welcomed the development of a draft mental health and wellbeing commissioning...

pharmacy_visit_grimethorpe.jpgAs reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has nominated Steven Lo, who is originally from Hoyland Common, and his business Lo’s Pharmacy Group for the prestigious Pharmacist Awards. The Pharmacist Awards are a national competition that celebrates forward-thinkers in the community pharmacy sector.

In 1992, Mr Lo started his very first pharmacy in Ackworth, Pontefract. Twenty-five years later, Lo’s Pharmacy Group now has branches all over South, West and North Yorkshire, dedicated to serving the local communities in which they are based. Right from the start of Mr Lo’s business in 1992, his passion for patient-focused, friendly service has shone through everything he does.

Mr Lo’s business demonstrates why community pharmacies are so indispensable for patients across the country. Not only do community pharmacies offer a unique addition to local high streets; they also relieve pressure from increasingly strained GP and A&E services. This is why Michael has been campaigning throughout Barnsley as well as in Westminster against the Government’s plans to cut the community pharmacy budget this year.

The Pharmacist Awards aim to celebrate those who are clinical leaders in the pharmacy sector, and will take place in Kensington, London later this year. Michael is proud to have nominated Steven Lo to represent Barnsley East in the category “local influence of the year”, for the work he has done with his organisation across Yorkshire to service local communities.

Michael nominates Yorkshireman Steven Lo for national Pharmacy Award

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has nominated Steven Lo, who is originally from Hoyland Common, and his business Lo’s Pharmacy Group for the prestigious Pharmacist Awards. The Pharmacist... Read more

As reported by the Sunday Mirror, Michael has written to the Prime Minister to call for the entire England 1966 World Cup team to be knighted.


This year marks the 50th anniversary of England’s famous 4-2 win over Germany in the 1966 World Cup final – the only time that England have ever won the World Cup.

To date, only Sir Geoff Hurst and Sir Bobby Charlton have received knighthoods for their roles in the tournament, so Michael is calling for the rest of the team to be knighted.
You can see Michael’s letter to the Prime Minister here.

Michael calls for knighthoods for all of England’s 1966 World Cup team

As reported by the Sunday Mirror, Michael has written to the Prime Minister to call for the entire England 1966 World Cup team to be knighted. This year marks the 50th...

This weekend Michael performed at the annual Barnsley Beer Festival at Elsecar Heritage Railway.

Commenting, Michael said:
"It was great to play at this year's Barnsley Beer Festival at Elsecar Heritage Railway. I'm a proud member of Barnsley Camra and the volunteers do a fantastic job to put on a superb bank holiday weekend and raise money for charity. It was also a good excuse for me to try out some fantastic locally produced beer."

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Michael performs at the annual Barnsley Beer Festival

This weekend Michael performed at the annual Barnsley Beer Festival at Elsecar Heritage Railway. Commenting, Michael said:"It was great to play at this year's Barnsley Beer Festival at Elsecar Heritage...

Following the suspension of Ken Livingstone from the Labour Party after comments he made today, Michael has written a piece for the Mirror about the need to ensure there is no place in the Labour Party for anti-Semitism.

You can read Michael's piece in full here.

Jeremy Corbyn was right to ditch 'odious dinosaur' Ken Livingstone over 'Hitler' comments

Following the suspension of Ken Livingstone from the Labour Party after comments he made today, Michael has written a piece for the Mirror about the need to ensure there is...

dugher_vaccine_call.jpgAs reported by Barnsley News and Sport andBarnsley Chronicle, Michael has called for the Government’s leading vaccinations advisory group to think again about the age requirements for the Meningitis B national vaccination programme.

In a House of Commons debate, Michael raised the case of his constituent Mia Barton, who tragically passed away last month after contracting Meningitis B, to stress the importance of keeping medical advice to the Government under review and continually assessing the age requirements for the Meningitis vaccination programme.

Speaking in the debate on Monday 25 April, Michael urged the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) to look again at its recommendation to Government to only give the Meningitis B jab to babies between two and six months old.

Michael calls for rethink on Meningitis B following ‘heartbreaking’ Barnsley case

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport andBarnsley Chronicle, Michael has called for the Government’s leading vaccinations advisory group to think again about the age requirements for the Meningitis B national vaccination... Read more

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael and Dan Jarvis have responded to the news that Alton Towers’ parent company, Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd, admitted to charges of breaching the Health and Safety Act following an incident last year in which 16 people were hurt in an incident on the Smiler rollercoaster.

Among the injured were Joe Pugh from Ardsley in Mr Dugher’s constituency and Leah Washington from Gawber in Mr Jarvis’ constituency, who both suffered life changing injuries as a result of the incident.

Commenting, Michael and Dan said in a joint statement:

“The admission from Alton Towers that breaches of the Health and Safety Act allowed the tragic incident on the Smiler rollercoaster ride to happen last year is an important moment in the legal proceedings.

“This was a terrible incident for all the individuals involved, including our constituents, who suffered life changing injuries.

“It is vital that responsibility is taken, that the victims have the justice they deserve and that lessons are learned. The highest possible safety standards must be adhered to at all times. Something like this must never be allowed to happen again.”

Michael and Dan Jarvis respond to Alton Towers’ admission of guilt over roller coaster incident

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael and Dan Jarvis have responded to the news that Alton Towers’ parent company, Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd, admitted to charges of breaching the...



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As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael visited Barnsley Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department and the hospital’s dementia ward on Friday 21 April.

Michael met with tremendously inspiring staff at the hospital and made use of the visit to discuss ongoing concerns about waiting times and finances with the Chairman of Barnsley Hospital, Stephen Wragg.

Barnsley hospital is facing increased pressure as more people are using its A&E department. Michael looks forward to visiting Barnsley Hospital again in the future.

Michael visits Barnsley Hospital A&E Department and Dementia ward

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael visited Barnsley Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department and the hospital’s dementia ward on Friday 21 April. Michael met with tremendously inspiring staff at the... Read more

 

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As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael visited Harrogate Army Foundation College (AFC) las week as part of his membership of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS).

He welcomed the opportunity to see the excellent facilities at Harrogate and to meet brilliant Junior Soldiers at the college.

Commenting, Michael said:

"It was an honour to visit the Army Foundation College in Harrogate this week. This visit was made as part of my membership of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme which gives MPs the opportunity to gain experience with the armed forces and to show our support for them.

"The Army Foundation College is a unique institution that brilliantly educates and trains many of the future leaders of the British Army. The permanent staff were incredibly impressive and I could not be more proud of the Junior Soldiers I met.”

Michael visits Army Foundation College in Harrogate

  As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael visited Harrogate Army Foundation College (AFC) las week as part of his membership of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (AFPS). He welcomed the... Read more

As reported by Pharmacy Business,Barnsley News and Sport and The Sheffield Star, Michael has continued his campaign against the Government’s plan to cut £170 million from the budget for community pharmacy.

Michael met with Rob Darracott, Chief Executive of Pharmacy Voice in Parliament on Wednesday 13 April, to discuss the impact this cut will have on the community pharmacy sector, which the Government have admitted could force 3,000 pharmacies to close.

Michael meets with Pharmacy Voice to continue campaign against community pharmacy cut

As reported by Pharmacy Business,Barnsley News and Sport and The Sheffield Star, Michael has continued his campaign against the Government’s plan to cut £170 million from the budget for community pharmacy. Michael met... Read more

MD_at_Worsbrough_Bridge_FC.jpgAs reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael is proud to have been announced as the new patron of football club Worsbrough Bridge FC. On Tuesday 5 April, Michael met with Club Chairman Peter Schofield and Manager Ian Shirt, before watching the club’s match against Eccleshill United.

Worsbrough Bridge has been through a tumultuous year with several setbacks. After a 92-year stay at Park Road Stadium in Worsbrough, the club had to move grounds last October. They played their first game back on their home ground of Park Road Stadium on February 13th.Worsbrough_Bridget_FC_2.jpg

Michael unveiled as Worsbrough Bridge FC patron

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael is proud to have been announced as the new patron of football club Worsbrough Bridge FC. On Tuesday 5 April, Michael met with... Read more

Elsecar_Heritage_Railway_photos.jpgAs reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael was delighted to visit Junior Soldiers from the Harrogate Army Foundation College (AFC) on Saturday 9 April as they volunteered their time to work on the Elsecar Heritage Railway. The visit was organised as part of Michael's Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme membership, which gives MP's a chance to gain experience with our Armed Forces.

Michael is also a proud patron of Elsecar Heritage Railway and is keen to follow developments with the Railway’s latest project: an extension from the existing tracks up to Cortonwood.

The extension up to Cortonwood, set to be finished in 2017, is just one of the many projects the Railway has been able to launch over the next few years. Due to strong governance and exceptional financial managing, the organisation has been able to invest £70,000 in maintaining and developing new elements of the Railway.

Michael visits Elsecar Heritage Railway with Junior Soldiers

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael was delighted to visit Junior Soldiers from the Harrogate Army Foundation College (AFC) on Saturday 9 April as they volunteered their time to... Read more

In his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about Elsecar Heritage Railway’s exciting expansion plans with a new line to Cortonwood.

Michael is a proud patron of the railway and recently visited it to see Junior Soldiers from the Army Foundation College, Harrogate, who were volunteering to work on the project.

Elsecar Heritage Railway recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and puts on a range of events throughout the year, which you can find out more about here.

Railway volunteers are on the right track

In his regular column for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has written about Elsecar Heritage Railway’s exciting expansion plans with a new line to Cortonwood. Michael is a proud patron of...

Campaigning_montage.jpgMichael welcomed Lucy Powell MP, MP for Manchester Central and Shadow Secretary for Education, to the Barnsley East constituency on Friday 8 April as part of the official local elections campaign launch. A group of over sixty councillors, candidates, party members and families came together to celebrate the launch of the campaign during the Constituency social. 

Deanne Ferguson, who is a Regional Organiser for GMB, also spoke at the event. Deanne emphasised the importance of Labour working with the Unions, and spoke in particular about the issues GMB has been raising locally with regards to employees' treatment at ASOS warehouses.

Michael has also been out campaigning with several of Labour’s excellent candidates for the local elections and looks forward to knocking on many more doors with them.

Campaigning throughout Barnsley East

Michael welcomed Lucy Powell MP, MP for Manchester Central and Shadow Secretary for Education, to the Barnsley East constituency on Friday 8 April as part of the official local elections...

BFC_montage.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has congratulated Barnsley FC on their 3 - 2 victory over Oxford United on Sunday 3 April.

Barnsley’s win earned them the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Michael congratulates Barnsley Football Club on JPT win

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has congratulated Barnsley FC on their 3 - 2 victory over Oxford United on Sunday 3 April. Barnsley’s win earned them... Read more

Community_Pharmacy.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has continued his campaign against the Government’s plan to cut £170 million from the community pharmacy budget.

The Government is pushing through a funding reduction from £2.8 billion to £2.63 billion for the community pharmacy sector, which the Government’s own figures show could force up to 3,000 pharmacies – a quarter of all those in the country – to close.

The cut would undermine GP services and A&E departments, which are already stretched, by reducing patients’ access to the free advice and prescription medicine that community pharmacies offer before patients see their doctor or head to hospital.

Local residents in Shafton are concerned that their local pharmacy could close as a result of the cut, and Michael has written to the Health Secretary to state his opposition to the plans and made a formal submission to Barnsley Healthwatch about the dangers of the cut, which you can see here.

Michael has also written in the Yorkshire Post about the need to protect community pharmacy, which you can see here.

Michael’s continues campaign against community pharmacy cut

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has continued his campaign against the Government’s plan to cut £170 million from the community pharmacy budget. The Government is pushing through a funding...

Save_our_steel.jpgMichael has signed Labour’s petition calling on the Government to take urgent action to address the crisis facing the UK steel industry.

Thousands of British jobs are at risk as Tata Steel announced it would sell its UK based plants.

Labour is calling on the Government to recall Parliament and take immediate action to protect the steel industry and the core of manufacturing in Britain. 

You can add your name to Labour’s petition here.

Save Our Steel

Michael has signed Labour’s petition calling on the Government to take urgent action to address the crisis facing the UK steel industry. Thousands of British jobs are at risk as...

Michael has paid tribute to Barry Hines, following the sad news of his passing:

"Barry Hines never forgot where he came from or the people he grew up with. Later in life, he moved back to where he was born in Hoyland Common. Asked about portraying local people in his books, he once said: 'The main thing for me is to feel that I have represented them well.' He certainly did that. 

"Barry Hines captured brilliantly the beauty, the sadness and the humour of our people and our communities. His literature is not just great writing, it is great history too - recording those times in an authentic, powerful and sensitive way. 

"He did so much to put Barnsley on the cultural map. His legacy will be his brilliant books that have captivated and inspired millions. 

"My thoughts are with his loved ones at this sad time". 

You can see further coverage of some of the tributes paid to Barry Hinesherehere and here.

Michael pays tribute to Barry Hines

Michael has paid tribute to Barry Hines, following the sad news of his passing: "Barry Hines never forgot where he came from or the people he grew up with. Later...

Labour_in_for_Britain_infographic.jpgLabour in for Britain, Labour’s campaign for Britain to remain in the European Union (EU), is holding a national campaign day today, Saturday 19 March.

Britain’s membership of the EU secures millions of UK jobs and £26.5 billion is invested in Britain by EU countries every year.

British workers also 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 find out more about the Labour in for Britain campaign here.

Labour in for Britain national campaign day

Labour in for Britain, Labour’s campaign for Britain to remain in the European Union (EU), is holding a national campaign day today, Saturday 19 March. Britain’s membership of the EU...

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has hit out at Government funding plans for local authorities which will cut more from Barnsley Council than the local councils of many Government Ministers.

Figures show that, between 2011/12 – 2016/17, Barnsley Council will have seen its spending power cut by 26.1 per cent, but this is a significantly higher cut than the local councils of several Government Ministers.

Specifically, the cut to Barnsley Council is higher than cuts over the same period to:

  • The Prime Minister David Cameron’s local authority, Oxfordshire, with a cut of10.6 per cent.
  • The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s local authorities, Cheshire East, with a cut of9.1 per cent and Cheshire West and Chester, with a cut of 16.6 per cent.
  • The Communities and Local Government Secretary Greg Clark’s local authority, Kent, with a cut of14.1 per cent.

Michael has criticised the unfair differences in funding, which will force poorer local authorities like Barnsley to make further cutbacks to public services, which could hit libraries and children’s services.

Michael highlights unfair cuts to Barnsley

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has hit out at Government funding plans for local authorities which will cut more from Barnsley Council than the local councils... Read more

Police_cuts.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has criticised the Government for presiding over a culture of cuts in regional and neighbourhood policing, as a new report shows improvements are required at South Yorkshire Police.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the independent inspector of standards in police forces across the country, found that the overall effectiveness and efficiency of South Yorkshire Police ‘requires improvement’.

HMIC’s report provides the most comprehensive and up to date assessment of forces’ performance across a wide range of areas.

Police forces are being forced to operate with reduced budgets and less staff - South Yorkshire Police has lost 415 police officers since 2010. A recent Freedom of Information request by Michael also revealed that South Yorkshire Police will have to cut more than 1,500 police officer and staff roles by 2020 to cope with its reduced budget.

Following these findings, Michael has questioned the Government’s decision to cut police budgets and officer numbers.

Michael hits out at Government police cuts

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has criticised the Government for presiding over a culture of cuts in regional and neighbourhood policing, as a new report shows improvements are required... Read more

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has taken the Government to task for failing to deliver for Barnsley and Yorkshire and the Humber after George Osborne delivered his Budget to the House of Commons.

The Budget on Wednesday 16 March was The Chancellor’s eighth Budget, which saw Osborne announce £3.5 billion in additional spending cuts.

Responding to the Budget in the House of Commons, Michael highlighted figures which showed jobs, pay and living standards in Barnsley are all being hit on this Government’s watch.

Michael responds to George Osborne’s budget in the House of Commons

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has taken the Government to task for failing to deliver for Barnsley and Yorkshire and the Humber after George Osborne delivered his Budget... Read more

National_Campaign_Day.jpgToday, the Labour Party is holding a national campaign day of action, #StandingUp for an economy for all.

Across the country, Labour volunteers are campaigning and talking to people about the Government’s mishandling of the economy ahead of the Budget, which will be delivered on Wednesday 16 March.

Michael joined local councillors and volunteers in Darfield to talk to voters ahead of the national campaign day. You can find out more about Labour’s campaign day here.

 

Labour national campaign day

Today, the Labour Party is holding a national campaign day of action, #StandingUp for an economy for all. Across the country, Labour volunteers are campaigning and talking to people about...

MD_Blunkett_college.jpgOn Friday 11 March Michael attended the official opening ceremony of Barnsley College's new Construction Centre by Lord David Blunkett.

Welcomed to the building by Barnsley College Principal Chris Webb, Michael was joined at the ceremony by Dan Jarvis MP and Councillor Brian Mathers, Mayor of Barnsley.

The new £10.8 million building, which opened to students in September 2015, is based at the college’s Honeywell campus and includes specialist equipment, machinery and workshops for courses in bricklaying, carpentry and joinery, dry lining, painting and decorating, plastering and wall and floor tiling.

Official opening of Barnsley College's new Construction Centre

On Friday 11 March Michael attended the official opening ceremony of Barnsley College's new Construction Centre by Lord David Blunkett. Welcomed to the building by Barnsley College Principal Chris Webb,...

NHS_Campaign_collage_WEBSITE.jpgAs reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has continued his campaign against the Government’s plans to cut £170 million from the community pharmacy budget by raising serious concerns with Healthwatch Barnsley.

The cut could mean up to 3,000 community pharmacies – a quarter of all those in the country – could be forced to close.

In his submission to the local Healthwatch, the independent consumer champion created to gather and represent the views of the public, Michael questioned the cut at a time when Barnsley has more patients per GP than the national average and local Accident and Emergency waiting times do not meet the Government’s own target.

NHS Barnsley is ‘under-doctored’, with 1,757 patients per GP compared to the regional average of 1,550 and the English average of 1,577. Barnsley Hospital’s A&E department is also struggling to cope with demand, with the proportion of people being seen in four hours or less standing at 92.8 per cent in December 2015 – below the national target of 95 per cent.

Michael has stressed that cutting the budget for community pharmacy would put extra pressure on these already strained services. You can see his submission to Healthwatch Barnsley here.

Michael continues fight against community pharmacy cut

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has continued his campaign against the Government’s plans to cut £170 million from the community pharmacy budget by raising serious concerns... Read more

Today, Michael voted against the Government’s plans to extend opening hours on Sundays. The Government was defeated by 317 votes to 286.

Ministers had planned to give the 353 councils in England and 22 in Wales the freedom to determine opening hours for large shops in their area, but the plans were voted down after opposition in Parliament and campaigning by unions like USDAW, the shopworkers’ union.

The defeat in the Commons is the Tory Government’s second defeat since it was elected last year.

You can find out more about USDAW’s campaign to #KeepSundaySpecial here.

 

Michael votes to keep Sunday special as Government defeated on Enterprise Bill

Today, Michael voted against the Government’s plans to extend opening hours on Sundays. The Government was defeated by 317 votes to 286. Ministers had planned to give the 353 councils...

Michael has supported leading charity Anthony Nolan to raise awareness of the stem cell donor register.

The charity matches individuals who are willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow to people who desperately need lifesaving transplants.

Anthony Nolan also works to educate young people about the difference they can make by joining the register and they offer support, advice and information to people with blood cancer and their families.

To find out more about the stem cell donor register, and to see if you are eligible to join, click here.

Michael backs Anthony Nolan to raise awareness of donor register

Michael has supported leading charity Anthony Nolan to raise awareness of the stem cell donor register. The charity matches individuals who are willing to donate their blood stem cells or...

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, on Tuesday Michael spoke at an event in Parliament promoting the work of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT).

At the event, Michael commended the CRT for helping to address issues like chronic job shortages and widespread I'll health in former coalfield communities since the closure of deep coal mines.

The CRT also used the event to celebrate its partnership with Ladbrokes, which announced that it will be hiring 300 new apprentices.

 

You can find out more about the CRT and the work that it does in former coalfield communities here.CRT_reception_1.jpg

Michael speaks at Coalfields Regeneration Trust event in Parliament

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, on Tuesday Michael spoke at an event in Parliament promoting the work of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT). At the event, Michael...

Chemist_and_Druggist.jpgMichael has been interviewed by Chemist and Druggist about his campaign against the Government’s plans to cut £170 million from the budget for community pharmacy.

The cut, which could see up to 3,000 local chemists – a quarter of all those in the country – forced to close, is also opposed by the pharmacy sector.

In the interview, Michael describes the cut as illogical because it will come at a time when there is a crisis in Accident and Emergency waiting times and a crisis in GP access.

You can read the full report of the interview here.

Michael’s interview with Chemist and Druggist

Michael has been interviewed by Chemist and Druggist about his campaign against the Government’s plans to cut £170 million from the budget for community pharmacy. The cut, which could see...

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has met with fracking firm INEOS to re-state his continued opposition to fracking plans in the borough. 

Michael also recently met with Cuadrilla to set out his concerns about the possible negative impacts of fracking. Both firms have been awarded exploratory licenses to look for shale oil and gas in areas covering Michael's Barnsley East constituency and other parts of the borough.

Michael's meeting with Tom Crotty, Head of Operations at INEOS, saw him set out the case for a moratorium on all fracking until safety concerns are properly mitigated against.

Michael also called for a full programme of consultation with local residents so that their voices are fully heard. 

Michael meets with second fracking firm to express opposition

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has met with fracking firm INEOS to re-state his continued opposition to fracking plans in the borough.  Michael also recently met... Read more

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As reported by the Barnsley ChronicleBarnsley Gazette andBarnsley News and Sport, Michael has raised concerns after new figures show unemployment has increased across the borough of Barnsley.

There were 3,017 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Barnsley in January, up 219 or 7.8 per cent on December’s total. This represents 2 per cent of the population – higher than the 1.5 per cent of the population claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance across the country.

In Michael’s Barnsley East constituency, the total number of jobseekers was 1,213, up 97 or 8.6 per cent on the previous month.

The number of young people (aged 18 – 24) out of work has also increased, with the total number across Barnsley standing at 525, up 2.9 per cent on December, and the total in Barnsley East increasing by 7.8 per cent to 205.

Michael raises concern as unemployment figures head in wrong direction

As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, Barnsley Gazette andBarnsley News and Sport, Michael has raised concerns after new figures show unemployment has increased across the borough of Barnsley. There were 3,017 people claiming... Read more

NHS_Campaign_collage_WEBSITE_(1).jpgAs reported by theBarnsley Chronicleand Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has criticised the Government's decision to press ahead with a £170 million cut from the budget for community pharmacy and vowed to fight for a fairer deal for chemists.

After Michael raised serious concerns about the planned cut, which the Government's own figures show could force 3,000 community pharmacies - a quarter of all those in the country - to close, the Government confirmed they would still reduce the budget.

The budget for community pharmacy will be cut from £2.8 billion in 2015/16 to £2.63 billion in 2016/17 - a real terms decrease of 6 per cent.

Michael has campaigned against the cut, writing to the Secretary of State for Health and visiting community pharmacies in Barnsley to hear from chemists about the impact the cut will have on their services.

Michael is now taking the matter up with Healthwatch, the consumer champion for health and social care.

Michael vows to continue campaign to save community pharmacies as Minister confirms £170 million budget cut

As reported by theBarnsley Chronicleand Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has criticised the Government's decision to press ahead with a £170 million cut from the budget for community pharmacy and vowed... Read more

 

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As reported by the Yorkshire Post and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has criticised the Government for mismanagement of ambulance services after new figures have revealed that Yorkshire Ambulance Service failed to meet its emergency response targets in South Yorkshire for three out of the last four years.

National targets for all ambulance services require them to respond to the most serious emergencies within eight minutes, 75 per cent of the time.

But data obtained by Michael in a Freedom of Information request shows that Yorkshire Ambulance Service was unable to meet the target for ‘Red 1’ callouts – including heart attacks and respiratory failures – across all of South Yorkshire in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

The service was also unable to meet its target for ‘Red 2’ callouts – which include all other life-threatening emergencies – for South Yorkshire in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Michael has campaigned against the Government’s cuts to the NHS, and is warning that a failure to meet targets is just the latest example of an NHS in crisis.

Michael’s concern after his FOI shows Yorkshire Ambulance Service misses targets in three out of last four years

  As reported by the Yorkshire Post and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has criticised the Government for mismanagement of ambulance services after new figures have revealed that Yorkshire Ambulance Service failed to meet... Read more

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As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has congratulated Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust after figures from the Alzheimer’s Society show that the hospital is performing above the national average for dementia care.

Dementia patients admitted to Barnsley Hospital stayed for an average of seven days in 2014-15, compared to the national average stay of eleven days. This is beneficial for patients in Barnsley as extended stays can cause stress and confusion, with a 2015 poll finding that 90 per cent of carers felt the dementia patient they care for became more confused while in hospital.

Michael congratulates Barnsley Hospital on excellence in dementia care

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has congratulated Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust after figures from the Alzheimer’s Society show that the hospital is performing above the national average... Read more

 

As reported byBarnsley News and Sport, Barnsley Chronicle and theSheffield Star,, Michael has highlighted unacceptable unfairness in local government funding, with the country’s poorest councils set to lose £198 more per head than the average English local authority.

Michael has written to the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Greg Clark, to raise research by the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA), which shows that, between 2010/11 and 2017/18, these authorities will see an estimated loss of funding of £685 per head, compared to the English average of £487.

In Barnsley alone, the local council will see its spending power reduced by £61 per household just in 2016/17, compared to the average English reduction of £52.

Michael has criticised the unfair differences in funding in the Local Government Finance Settlement, which will force poorer local authorities to make further cutbacks to public services, which could hit libraries and children’s services.

Michael takes Minister to task over unfair local government funding

  As reported byBarnsley News and Sport, Barnsley Chronicle and theSheffield Star,, Michael has highlighted unacceptable unfairness in local government funding, with the country’s poorest councils set to lose £198 more per... Read more

As reported by the Sheffield Star, the South Yorkshire Times and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has nominated the Barnsley Youth Jazz Orchestra for a prestigious national award in recognition of their work getting young people in Barnsley involved in music.Barnsley_Youth_Jazz.jpg

Michael has put the group forward for the Jazz Education Award in the Parliamentary JazzAwards 2016, which recognises organisations that raise the standard of jazz education in the UK.

The Orchestra, which is based at Netherwood Advanced Learning Centre, is a not-for-profit service that provides young people with music tuition at a significantly discounted rate and even loans its students musical instruments and helps them to achieve formally recognised music qualifications.

The awards ceremony will take place in Westminster in May and will celebrate the contribution that jazz singers, musicians and teaching organisations make to British music.

Michael puts Barnsley jazz group up for national award

As reported by the Sheffield Star, the South Yorkshire Times and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has nominated the Barnsley Youth Jazz Orchestra for a prestigious national award in recognition of their work getting young people... Read more

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