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Keeping in touch  March 2020 

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Welcome to my monthly newsletter, which is coming to you in extraordinary times. Although the coronavirus pandemic has overtaken everything, during the last month I’ve been active on other issues too. So, alongside details of my work on coronavirus, this newsletter summarises some of those other activities. As ever, I’d welcome your feedback. 

Take care and if you need any help get in touchBest wishes. Paul

CORONAVIRUS

Supporting constituents - I’ve closed my office, but all my team are working from home to provide advice and support (see more here). I’ve held discussions with the Council and Voluntary Action Sheffield to ensure help is available for those needing it (see information from VAS here). 

Maintaining jobs and incomes - On the day that the Government announced the first phase of ‘social distancing’ measures, I argued in Parliament for a comprehensive package of financial support for businesses and workers affected (see more here).  

Protecting the self-employed - After Friday’s announcement underwriting 80% of pay for those in work, I wrote to the Chancellor urging the same support for the self-employed and joined John McDonnell in pressing for action. 

Bringing Sheffielders home - I’ve been working to help local people stuck in various countries as a result of cancelled flights and closed airports (read more here). 

Seeking clarity on working - Conflicting messages from the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary on workplaces have caused confusion, which I’m seeking to clarify (see more here).

Brexit 

As Shadow Brexit Minister, I responded to Michael Gove on the Government’s plans for our future relationship with the EU (see here), pressed him on the lack of accountability after the first round of talks (see here) and wrote this article for The Times. 

NHS and Social Care 

In responding to the Budget, I spoke about the way that the current crisis has highlighted the devastating impact of 10 years of cuts on health and care. Read my speech here.  

Refugee Support 

I raised concerns of local groups in pressing the Government to improve the transitional arrangements for those granted refugees status in the UK. More here

Gambling Addiction 

I joined ‘The Big Step’ handing their petition to the Prime Minister to protect people from problem gambling and joined a 'Gambling With Lives' Parliamentary event. More here.

Student Finance 

I chaired a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Students which heard student representatives’ views about the student funding system. More here

Supporting Trafficked Women 

I launched an appeal to support the Snowdrop Project’s work for trafficked women after my IWD event had to be cancelled. Read more here and donate here

Supporting Fairtrade 

I met with cocoa farmers at an event supporting Fairtrade’s ‘She Deserves a Living’ campaign. More here

Sign Language 

I wrote to the Prime Minister to press for a sign language interpreter to be present at Government press conferences on the coronavirus and other major issues. 

Love our BBC

I’m backing the campaign to protect the BBC from the Government’s plans to change the law on payment of the licence fee. More here, including a link to add you views to the Govt consultation.

Community notices

The Sheffield College is seeking 
new governors from August 2020 – information here.  

Ofcom have launched the Stay Connected campaign, which aims to help broadband and mobile users get the speeds they need to work and learn from home.

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