All Schools rugby at Netherwood
30 January 2015
This afternoon Michael visited Netherwood ALC in Darfield to witness the Rugby Football Union's latest schools campaign in action. Called All Schools, this programme is designed to take rugby to state schools as part of the build-up for the 2015 Rugby World Cup hosted in England and as a result increase the amount of rugby in schools, and to encourage new players to join local clubs.
Welcomed to Netherwood ALC by Toby Eastaugh (Principal) and Matt Stone (PE Teacher), Michael enjoyed watching a rugby tournament between 4 local schools, Netherwood ALC, Darton College, Horizon Community College and Penistone Grammar School. Briefing Michael on the scheme were Andy Appleyard (Barnsley RFU co-ordinator) and Mark Fisher (RFU Coach).
Commenting Michael said: "I think All Schools is a terrific initiative by the Rugby Football Union and can only help make school life happier and healthier. Hopefully one day, some of the pupils here will go on and play for England"
Michael supports National Citizen Service campaign
30 January 2015
Today Michael met Rosie Conway, the Barnsley star of a national poster campaign by the National Citizen Service (NCS). Rosie is one of just 22 young people to take part in a national campaign for National Citizen Service (NCS), the country’s flagship youth programme in conjuction with the Football League Trust and supported by the Community Sports & Education Trust of Barnsley Football Club.
Joining Rosie at the poster site on Park Street in Wombwell were Hannah Philips from Barnsley Football Club Community Trust, Barnsley Football Club squad members Peter Ramage and Ben Pearson and Councillor Richard Wraith.
Commenting Michael said: "The National Citizen Service is an excellent project. It helps you build your skills for work and life, while you take on new challenges and meet new friends. Rosie is an excellent ambassador for the scheme and I congratulate her on her success and wish her all the best in the future."
Worry over exam results
30 January 2015
As reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has raised concerns about the performance of Barnsley's secondary schools. Official figures show the number of pupils achieving five good GCSEs, including English and maths has fallen compared to last year.
Commenting Michael said: “It is very worrying to see decreases in the number of pupils achieving 5 A*-C GCSEs in Barnsley East. Both parents and pupils will be greatly concerned by the chaos in the exams system resulting from this Government’s schools policy which is taking the country backwards and threatening standards.
“Labour will reverse this damage to standards by ending David Cameron’s unqualified teachers policy, introducing a new system of local oversight for all state schools and introducing a new gold-standard Technical Baccalaureate for 16 to 19 year olds.
“Our young people deserve the best possible chance to succeed in life and this starts by raising standards in schools. We need to equip pupils with the skills that they will need in today’s competitive jobs market.”
Michael signs the Book of Commitment
30 January 2015
As reported in today's Barnsley Chronicle, Michael marked Holocaust Memorial Day by signing a Book of Commitment in the House of Commons.
Commenting, Michael said: "Holocaust Memorial Day is an important day to remember and honour the millions who lost their lives under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides."
Lessons of the Holocaust 70 years on
30 January 2015
In his regular column for the Barnsley Independent, Michael writes about the importance of Holocaust Memorial Day.
Organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust, this memorial day is a reminder to all of us of the importance of commemorating the millions who were affected by the Holocaust and gives us an opportunity to remember, mourn and reflect on what happened in the Holocaust and in all genocides since. As the events of the Holocaust sadly move from living memory to history, the lessons of what happened remain as powerful as ever.
You can read the full article by clicking here
Labour wins key vote on shale gas extraction
26 January 2015
Michael voted in the Commons this evening for stronger regulation on fracking. The Government was forced to accept Labour's proposals for a stronger framework of environmental protection in New Clause 19 of the Infrastructure Bill.
In a response to constituents who had written with concerns about a lack of regulation, Michael said:
Thank you for writing to me recently regarding the issue of shale gas extraction and the changes being made to the Infrastructure Bill.
I voted in the House of Commons on 26 January for Labour amendments to the Infrastructure Bill. Specifically, I voted to prohibit shale gas extraction in groundwater protection zones, to require baseline assessments for methane gas in groundwater and to place an obligation on operators to monitor and report fugitive emissions.
I am very pleased to say that the Government accepted the Labour amendment which called for the introduction of new environmental protections before fracking can proceed. Furthermore, fracking will be banned outright in national parks and areas of outstanding national beauty following the vote.
This is a huge U-turn in policy from the Government and a massive victory for the protection of Britain’s environment.
It is clear that a comprehensive framework of environmental protection should be implemented before any fracking can take place and now, thanks to the amendment passed in the House of Commons, no fracking will be able to take place before proper protections and tough safeguards are implemented.
I believe that this new regulation is a step in the right direction and will help to increase safety standards and protect the environment.
Thank you again for taking the time to write to me about this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me again regarding this or any other matter.
Michael Dugher MP
Member of Parliament for Barnsley East
Winter crisis in casualty
23 January 2015
As reported by today's Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has raised concern over the government's health policy as latest figures show that Barnsley Hospital failed to meet the government's target of seeing 95 per cent of A and E patients with four hours in the last quarter.
Commenting Michael said: " Barnsley Hospital's A and E department is facing real pressures this winter on this government's watch. This A and E crisis stems from cuts to social care and GP access, which cost Barnsley £18 million alone."