Keeping in touch April 2020 

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As we’ve been in lockdown since my last newsletter, my team have been working from home, providing advice and support (more here) with the coronavirus crisis. I’ve pressed Ministers on many issues and Parliament returned yesterday online to enhance Government accountability.  As ever, I’d welcome your feedback and if you know anyone needing help, ask them to get in touch. 

Protecting workers’ health 

Much of my individual casework has been on workers’ concerns about employers not complying with health guidelines. I’ve been taking the cases up and wrote to the Prime Minister over the confusion Ministers had created. More here. 

Supporting incomes 

After seeking support for the self-employed last month (more here), I’ve been pressing Ministers on the gaps in schemes that have been introduced – and particularly for furloughed workers (more here). 

Backing NHS and frontline workers 

Lots of constituents have contacted me about protective equipment and testing for the NHS and frontline workers, which we’ve been pressing with Ministers and I’ve raised in local meetings with the Director of Public Health.

Next steps on Brexit 

I’ve been appointed Shadow Minister for Brexit & EU Negotiations and will lead for Labour on the second phase of talks, working across the Shadow Cabinet Office and Shadow International Trade teams. More here.

Student nurses 

376 student nurses from Sheffield Hallam University, are among the thousands who’ve volunteered to join the NHS workforce and I signed my colleague Sarah Owen’s letter calling for the cancellation of their debt. More here. 

Getting people home

The lockdown left constituents stuck all over the world. I pressed with colleagues for a proper repatriation plan and wrote twice to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab over those caught in Pakistan. More here.  

Virtual Parliament
I backed Keir Starmer’s call for the recall of a ‘virtual parliament’ during the recess and joined with colleagues in seeking online arrangements so the Government is scrutinised and held to account at this time. More here. 

Helping our foodbanks 

I’ve been pressing supermarkets and working with the Council to ensure supplies to our local food banks to deal with increased demand. They need more money too – please donate to the S2 foodbank here or to the S6 foodbank here.

Remembering Pat Midgley

Among the thousands of tragedies caused by covid-19, I was devastated to lose local Councillor Pat Midgley, who’s been a friend for more than 30 years. Her family launched a charity appeal in her memory – you can donate here

Universities after the crisis 

As Secretary of the All-Party Universities Group, I joined with MPs and Vice-Chancellors from across the country to discuss proposals to help universities overcome the financial impact of coronavirus. More here.

Student rents, incomes & exams 

As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Students, I coordinated a letter from 110 MPs asking the Universities Minister to address concerns of university students caused by the coronavirus crisis. More here. 

Community notices

Coronavirus helpline

0114 273 4567 is the Council’s coronavirus community support helpline. More details here.

Coronavirus alerts 

Sign up for information alerts from Sheffield City Council (here) and South Yorkshire Police (here). 

Support Groups 

Voluntary Action Sheffield continues to co-ordinate support to those in need. Find your local support group here. 

Grants to charities 

The Yorkshire Building Society is making donations of up to £2,000 to smaller charities supporting vulnerable people during this crisis. More here. 

Support for victims of domestic abuse 

0808 808 2241 is the Sheffield helpline (open Mondays to Fridays 8am-7pm & Saturdays 9am-5pm) and 0808 200 0247 offers support nationally 24/7. More details in this Sheffield Telegraph article. 

Refugee children laptop appeal

City of Sanctuary Sheffield has launched a new appeal for donations to help children of refugees learn at home. You can find out how to donate here.

Keeping in touch

My office team is available every weekday and if you have any questions or need any help please ring 0114 272 2882 or email me.
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Copyright © 2020 Paul Blomfield MP, All rights reserved.

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