While lockdown remains in place I have not been to Parliament since last year, however, I am still able to attend virtually, and have been making contributions in the Commons as well as my Select Committee work.
As Chair of the Select Committee on Housing, Communities and Local Government I have been leading inquiries recently into cladding and homelessness. This month we took evidence from Government ministers on homelessness and impact Covid-19 had had on the private rent sector. I have also been leading work on the ongoing cladding scandal and the huge injustice it has done to leaseholders who now face hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of debt.
Since the ramping up of the vaccine rollout I have been having meetings with local health officials from the Council and CCG to better understand what the situation on the ground is. More recently I put my concerns to the vaccine minister to ensure Sheffield meets its 15th February target. You can read more about that work on the Sheffield South East Covid-19 Information Hub on Facebook.
I questioned the Prime Minister at the Liaison Committee earlier this month and took him to task on the failure of the track and trace system, and its poor value for money given the success of local track and trace programme.
I also asked the Prime Minister why local authorities are not being allowed access to the vaccine rollout data from the NHS. On this he was far more accepting of the current shortcomings and accepted that this needed to change. I now expect local authorities will have access to who has been offered the vaccine, where the take up has not been as high and information about where the vaccine distribution centres are. This is vital to rolling out as quickly as possible so we can return to normal
In the Constituency
This month I have been doing lots of work in the constituency on a range of issues:
As a way to reach out to constituents I have been running localised consultations on certain issues. So far this has been covering concerns of fireworks, speeding in Westfield and the proposed Lidl in Woodhouse. Links to both the Lidl supermarket planning consultation and the Westfield 20mph zone survey can be found below. They really help inform my decisions on these local issues and I have already followed up on some, such as calling for the online sale of fireworks to be banned.
Castings Technology Buy Out
Casting Technology International are a world leader in metal casting based in Sheffield. Late last year I received news that their imminent buyout was about to fall through. Working with the various stakeholders however were able to reverse this decision this month which will mean investment and jobs for the area, in a sector that has defined Sheffield’s history.
Following the recent spate of bar break-ins and burglaries in the Woodhouse and surrounding areas, I met with residents, councillors and local police to discuss what is being done, and ways we can improve communications between police and residents. I was also glad to see that several arrests have been made thanks to residents reporting crimes to South Yorkshire Police.
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