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@MichaelDugher

Senior caseworker (maternity cover) vacancy

Michael is looking to recruit a Senior Caseworker to cover a staff member’s maternity leave for a fixed term six month contract starting on 1 November 2016. You can see the full job description here and apply by emailing an application to michael.dugher.mp@parliament.uk.

Michael has called for a moratorium on fracking in Barnsley. You can see his Yorkshire Post piece here and his letter to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change here.

Labour is calling on the Government to act urgently to save our steel industry, after Tata Steel announced that it would sell its UK plants. Labour has a four point plan to #SaveOurSteel, which you can see here.

Everyone should pay their fair share of tax, yet Google will pay just £130 million to cover a period of over a decade – despite making around £1bn in UK profits in 2014 alone. Labour is calling on the Government to come clean and publish its tax deal with Google. Sign the petition here.

Michael has called on the Government to stop planned cuts to community pharmacies which are vital for public health and save the NHS money. You can sign the petition here.

David Cameron is on a power grab, with new laws taking power from the people. Join Labour's campaign and sign your name against the Tory power grab here.

Say you're with Labour

If you would like to get in touch about a campaign, please e-mail michael.dugher.mp@parliament.uk

Tiny Hearts campaign: see Sir Michael Parkinson introduce the Tiny Hearts Campaign video below.

The Daily Politics

How I can help you

 If you live in the Barnsley East constituency - find out here - I can provide information, advice and support for constituents on a wide range of issues. The fastest way I can help you is for you to call my Barnsley office on 01226 743 483 or email me on michael.dugher.mp@parliament.uk.  

But if you need to see me to talk about your case, I am also very happy to meet with constituents and I hold weekly surgeries by appointment. Please call or email my office to discuss your issue and arrange an appointment.

 

Latest news:

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

24 August 2016

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 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 20011/12 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.

On top of this, participation has fallen for fifteen of the 26 Olympic sports since 2012/13. The steepest decline has occurred in swimming, where 800,000 fewer people took part in 2014/15 than did in 2012/13.

Instead of setting out a clear strategy to improve access to sport for all children and increase participation, the Government has made drastic cuts to grassroots sport funding and to high quality school sports programmes like School Sports Partnerships.

Meanwhile cuts to local authority budgets are making it harder for Councils to support sports initiatives in the region. These policies are putting the future of young sporting talent at risk.

Commenting, Michael said:

“As we celebrate the fantastic achievements of our Olympic heroes upon their return from Rio, the Government needs to set out a strategy to improve children’s participation in sports.

“Children in local communities like Barnsley deserve to have access to high quality provision of sports outside and in school. “Instead of prioritising this, the Government has made drastic cuts to grassroots funding as well as successful programs like the School Sports Partnerships.

“The nation’s next Jessica Ennis-Hill, Ed Clancy or Nicola Adams may be growing up in Barnsley right now.

“That’s why I am calling on the Government to make sure every child gets a chance to participate in sport, and to protect the future of the next generation of Olympic heroes.”

 

Bid to open up scheme to dementia sufferers

19 August 2016

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 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.

 

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

19 August 2016

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 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.

 

Passenger power over profit is the route for buses

12 August 2016

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 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 see here.

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

 

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

12 August 2016

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

12 August 2016

-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 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:

-“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.

 

Trust is doing fine work for our wildlife

5 August 2016

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 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.

 

Cutting local pharmacies would be a very bitter pill

5 August 2016

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.

 

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

2 August 2016

As reported by Barnsley News and Sport, the Barnsley Chronicle and We Are Barnsley, 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.

But during the last two months, patients with suspected cancer have waited longer to be treated at Barnsley Hospital. The percentage of people seen within 62 days of referral by a GP was 79 per cent this May - well below the Government’s target of 85 per cent.

Nationally, the situation is worse, with the target of 85 per cent only being met once over the past six months compared to four out of six months for Barnsley Hospital.

Meanwhile the Government is continuing to make drastic cuts to social care as well as pushing ahead with a £170 million cut to community pharmacies – which the Government’s own figures show could cause 3,000 local chemists, a quarter of all those in the country, to close. These policies only serve to increase pressure on an already overstretched NHS.

Commenting, Michael said:

“The excellent staff at Barnsley Hospital are doing their best to deliver quality care and meet waiting time targets, despite the Government’s mismanagement of our NHS. The improvements Barnsley Hospital has made with regards to A&E waiting times in particular deserve praise.

“The Government must now do its part to put patients first and stop undermining places like Barnsley Hospital, who do everything they can to deliver excellent healthcare despite Government cuts.

“It is totally unacceptable that people with suspected cancer regularly have to wait longer than two months for their first treatment.”

 

Michael calls for Blue Badge parking access for dementia patients

2 August 2016

As reported by the Daily Mirror, the Yorkshire Post and the Barnsley Chronicle, 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.

Government guidance for local authorities gives some disabled people eligibility for the scheme, but dementia is not on the list of criteria. This is despite the disease being mentally and often physically debilitating, and with the number of people with dementia increasing – set to rise from 850,000 this year to over two million by 2051.

Charities like the Alzheimer’s Society have pointed out that the rules mean people with dementia face a postcode lottery, with some local authorities issuing a Blue Badge for people with dementia and others enforcing much stricter rules.

Michael is a patron of the Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support, a charity based in his constituency that helps care for dementia patients, which has also found the Blue Badge application process to be confusing and complicated for people with dementia as well as their families and carers.

Michael is raising the issue with the Government in Parliament and calling for a change to the eligibility criteria so that dementia patients are entitled to apply for a Blue Badge based on their illness.

Commenting, Michael said:

“As a proud patron of the Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support charity, I know the terrible impact dementia has as a mentally and physically debilitating disease which causes real pain and suffering for patients and their families.

“But people with severe dementia are not always eligible for a Blue Badge, which often means a difficult application process for patients and their carers – sometimes resulting in failure.

“I’m calling for a change in the rules so that people with dementia are specifically eligible to apply for a Blue Badge, which means easier trips to the shop, the doctor’s or the hospital for dementia patients if they choose to apply. I hope the Government will consider this change.”

Sam Gould, National Campaigns Manager at Alzheimer’s Society added:

“Many people with dementia gradually lose their ability to walk and perform simple tasks as their condition progresses. This means activities that many of us take for granted, like visiting the shops or attending GP appointments, can become physically challenging and make some journeys daunting.  

“We support the call for people with dementia to be able to access the Blue Badge scheme, as this could mean that more people with dementia are able to continue doing the things they enjoy and maintain their independence for longer.”

 

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