Neighbourhood policing “vanishing under this Government”
24 November 2015
As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has slammed the Government for failing to protect frontline policing numbers ahead of this week’s Comprehensive Spending Review, as new figures show that South Yorkshire Police will need to axe 1,542 jobs before the end of the decade.
The figures, obtained by Michael in a recent Freedom of Information request to South Yorkshire Police, show that the Force will have to reduce the number of officers by 495, support staff by 894 and Police Community Support Officers by 153, in order to meet savings imposed by central Government. This mean that workforce numbers will have been reduced from 5583 to 3151, or 40 per cent, between 2010 and 2020.
At the same time, figures from South Yorkshire Police show that overall reported crime in Barnsley increased by 3 per cent between October 2014 and September 2015 compared to the year before. During the same period, crimes involving Violence Against the Person increased by 35 per cent and Sexual Offences increased by 74 per cent.
Nationally, 17,000 police officers have been lost since 2010, and Labour are warning that cuts to neighbourhood policing will undermine the Police’s ability to support counter-terrorism efforts and to react to major emergencies.
Commenting, Michael said:
“With thousands of frontline police positions set to be axed in the coming years, neighbourhood policing seems to be vanishing under this Government.
“Our police forces do a fantastic job with steadfast dedication and professionalism, but cuts are fundamentally damaging policing and Ministers can no longer go on pretending that this is not having a serious, detrimental impact on the ability of the police to serve the public.
“Just this month, police in Barnsley were unable to police road closures as usual at Remembrance Parades in my constituency and South Yorkshire Police have made it clear to me that it is becoming increasingly challenging to maintain core police functions as a result of central Government cuts.
“Many serious crimes are on the rise and risks to the public are increasing. The recent terrible terrorist attacks in Paris also demonstrate the need for a strong and capable police service at the community, regional and national level that can tackle the threats we face.”
Government to blame as number of children taking part in competitive sport falls
23 November 2015
As reported today by the Huffington Post, Michael has blamed central government cuts to grassroots sports organisations and other local projects for a decline in the percentage of children taking part in sport both and in and out of school in the past five years.
This follows the release of figures by the Labour Party that show the number of five to 15-year-olds that have taken part in competitive sport in and outside school has dropped from 80 per cent in 2011/12 to 77.3 per cent in 2014/15 and across the same age group, fewer than one in five play competitive sport outside school – 19.2 per cent.
In addition, figures released by Sports England earlier this year show that since the London Olympics and Paralympics in 2012, participation in sport has fallen in nearly every region of England.
Just three of the 26 Olympic sports - athletics, cycling and gymnastics - have seen significant increases in participation since 2012/13, with 15 seeing a fall.
The biggest drop in nationally funded sports comes in swimming, with 800,000 fewer people taking to the pool than in the year after the 2012 London Games.
The figures showed there are now 350,700 fewer people aged 14 or over being active for at least 30mins at least four times in the past month.
Commenting Michael said:
“Across the board, we have seen a drop in the percentage of children taking part in sporting activates in and out of school.
“This is the same for both primary and secondary school children. This makes a mockery of the Government’s so-called Olympic legacy.
“Particularly disappointing is the decline in children taking part in competitive sporting activities, whether that’s being part of a local club or playing for the local team.
“Support for grassroots sport has been cut massively since 2010 and the downward trend in participation will no doubt get even worse if the Government cuts spending on grassroots sport in this week's Comprehensive Spending Review.
“The Government is putting at risk the development of Britain’s next sporting heroes and Olympic athletes. Ministers must think again before implementing yet more damaging cuts to grassroots sport in the forthcoming spending review.”
Michael’s interview with Into Film for Parliament Week
22 November 2015
As part of Parliament Week, Michael was interviewed by Into Film to discuss how films can educate and inspire young people.
Into Film puts film at the heart of educational and personal development for young people across the country through film clubs and workshops where pupils can make their own films.
You can see the full interview below.
Michael urges people to check they are registered to vote during Parliament Week
20 November 2015
As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle, The Sheffield Star, South Yorkshire Times and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has urged Barnsley residents to check they are registered to vote during Parliament Week, as Government changes to the electoral register that will come into effect in December could mean a million people lose their right to vote.
Parliament Week, which runs throughout this week, is an annual opportunity to open up politics and connect people across the country with Parliament and democracy, with events taking place in Parliament and locally. To mark the start of Parliament Week this year, the UK Youth Parliament met on 13 November to debate issues which were voted on by over 950,000 young people across the country – the biggest participation of young people yet.
Commenting, Michael said:
“Parliament Week is a fantastic opportunity to showcase how vibrant and open our democracy is.
“It is so important that people’s voices are heard, particularly when Government changes to the voting system could mean one million people fall off the electoral register.
“I would urge people to check that they are registered to vote. It only takes five minutes and can be done on www.gov.uk/registertovote.”
Michael leads campaign to extend Tour de Yorkshire
20 November 2015
As reported by the Barnsley Chronicle and Barnsley News and Sport, Michael has called on British Cycling to support a bid by Tour de Yorkshire to extend the 2016 cross-county cycling event to four days, after this year’s successful event drew huge crowds of over 1.5 million spectators to Yorkshire and over 6 million people watched on TV across the world.
In a cross-party letter to the President of British Cycling, also signed by fellow Yorkshire MPs Nigel Adams and Greg Mulholland, Michael sought the cycling organisation’s support for the bid, which would bring increased tourism and economic benefits to the region.
Michael has also signed Tour de Yorkshire’s petition to extend the sporting event and is urging others to do the same.
Commenting, Mr Dugher said:
“The inaugural Tour de Yorkshire was a massive success, with this year’s event inspiring thousands of people across Yorkshire to get involved in cycling.
Extending the 2016 event to four days is a good move for Yorkshire, for cycling and for fans. I hope that British Cycling will get behind the Tour de Yorkshire and back the bid. Anyone can show their support by signing the petition to extend the event on www.letour.yorkshire.com.”
Michael attends England v France at Wembley in solidarity with French after Paris attacks
17 November 2015
As Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Michael attended the England v France football match at Wembley with Deputy Labour Party Leader Tom Watson and Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn.
After the recent terrorist attacks on Paris, the match went ahead as an act of solidarity with the people of France against terrorism.
In a show of unity with France, England fans joined with their French counterparts to sing the French national anthem La Marseillaise. You can watch coverage of the anthem here.