This week in Parliament I am leading for Labour on committee for the Digital Economy Bill. So far we have been working our way through the proposals line by line finding issues in the detail; last week we heard evidence from companies in the sector which highlighted how worryingly narrow this Bill is. It does little to cover concerns in the emerging digital sectors, such as Uber and Delievroo and provides little support for digital start-ups which are crucial to building our digital economy.It also contains woeful promises on broadband and only offers an aim for 10mbps for everyone by 2020, which is hardly ambitious. I also raised concerns on why the age restrictions on inappropriate material seem to have been watered down from what was originally promised to commercial sites only, and why the Government is now attempting to hand over responsibility to the BBC for over-75 TV licences to the broadcaster which could lead to this social security benefit for pensioners being cut. You can read more on my thoughts on the Bill here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/louise-haigh-mp/digital-economy-bill_b_12534464.html
I will be attending a Private Members Bill debate on Friday about Homelessness Reduction and Problem Debt. Two issues that need urgent action from this government, I am happy to support this Bill as you may be aware I have been warning since being elected last year about the growing burden of debt being moved off government books and on to the shoulders of ordinary working people. The private rental sector is too insecure for many tenants and homelessness is a growing issue for more and more families in sheffield. I hope that this Bill will be successfully passed and the issues furthered by this debate.
I will be meeting with officials from the UGTT who were part of four organisations, Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, the Tunisian Human Rights League, and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers, who all won a Nobel peace prize last for their inspirational work reducing violence and potential for civil war in Tunisia.
As part of my new role I will be attending the APPG for Video Games, with the UKIE who represent game developers across the country, this is an important growing industry in Sheffield and plays a vital role in providing skilled jobs for Sheffield in the future. I will also be meeting with Virgin Media and others about the wider digital economy, to discuss concerns over broadband and mobile phone coverage
Back in Sheffield Graves football centre is opening this week and on Sunday 30th October I will be running the Sheffield 10k to raise funds for Sheffield Futures. I have chosen Sheffield Futures to raise money to support their services which provide help to young people in Sheffield and in their work to help individuals reach their full potential.