As always, it has been a busy year, and as Christmas approaches and the year comes to an end, I have been reflecting on the work I have done throughout 2023.
I have campaigned on a number of issues facing people in Barnsley this year. This has included pressing the Government to award Levelling Up Funding to Barnsley East’s many deserving projects, highlighting the inadequacies of bus services in our area and of course continuing to campaign for a fairer deal for former mineworkers.
I have also raised the issue of unfair fuel prices in Barnsley East on a number of occasions after finding that petrol and diesel prices are regularly much higher around here than in similar neighbouring areas. This is not fair, and I have been calling on local providers to lower their prices, and on the Government to ensure that people in areas like Barnsley are not forced to pay a petrol price premium.
Unfortunately, prices remain high, and recently I have been working alongside the Barnsley Chronicle to get local support for this cause through our petition on 38 degrees. I will be presenting this petition to Parliament early in the new year. People in Barnsley East should not be forced to pay more for their petrol, and if you agree, please consider signing our petition. You can find this at www.stephaniepeacock.org.uk.
To mark the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla this year, I ran my Card for the King Competition for local schools. I received lots of brilliant entries, with the overall winner being Amelie from The Ellis Primary School. I was pleased to send her winning design to Buckingham Palace and then to visit her school to present her with a royal reply from the King and Queen, thanking her for her card.
It has also been a year of celebrating opportunity in Barnsley, and I have been pleased to visit some of the brilliant businesses we’ve got in the area, including Minova Global, Lucy and Yak and Ravago Chemicals. We also saw the first ever Barnsley Fashion Week, which showcased some of the homegrown talent we’ve got here in Barnsley East.
Just like every year, I have visited lots of schools, charities and local organisations across the area, meeting hundreds of local people in the process. It is always heart-warming to see how much the community cares for each other. Even in difficult times like the cost-of-living crisis, people in Barnsley are incredibly generous.
Organisations like Barnsley Foodbank, the Community Fridge and so many more have been plugging the gaps where the Government has failed. Though it should not fall to local people to offer this provision, I want to thank all the staff and volunteers who work so hard to deliver these services. Your kindness and dedication are not taken for granted.
A big thank you, as always, goes to our NHS staff, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service, South Yorkshire Police and all the public services who work hard to keep us safe and well each year.
It is a pleasure to continue to represent our area, and I look forward to everything next year brings, including, hopefully, a Labour Government to finally get Britain back on track.