At the start of the week the Government blocked an amendment to the Immigration Bill that was added as it went before the House of Lords by the Labour peer Lord Dubs. I voted for this amendment but unfortunately, though not surprisingly, this was defeated by the Government. This would have allowed 3000 unaccompanied child refugees in Europe to come to the UK. It is shameful and despicable that the Tories would prevent 3,000 extraordinarily vulnerable children currently on the European continent and who are at risk from trafficking, abuse and disease from having a safe place to stay here in the UK.
This week the Trade Union Bill is coming back through Parliament, this ridiculous Bill has been heavily amended by the Lords to remove some of the worst aspects, including a Government step-down on ending “check-off” and amendments to the Political fund , electronic balloting and facility-time coming before the House. As a former Shop Steward, I know how vital good industrial relations are for a workplace, these vicious attacks on trade unions do not recognise current industrial relations and in fact seem to aim to polarise the workplace. The introduction in this Bill of the use of agency workers to break strikes is very troubling - as the most fundamental right to remove one’s labour is diminished. I will continue along with Labour Colleagues to oppose this Bill in its entirety and also support the amendments that aim to resolve the most difficult parts of this Bill.
Last week I spoke at the launch of Sheffield’s Teenage Market a great initiative which hopes to showcase Sheffield’s young performers and entrepreneurs , If you are 12-29 or know anyone who would be interested in taking part find out full details and how to apply here: http://theteenagemarket.co.uk/market/ttmarket-158397/
I also recently met with the Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care and agreed to host a afternoon tea with them at my office, this has been arranged for the afternoon of May 20th. Please drop in for a cuppa and a cake and to find out more about the work of SCCCC.