Last week was a microcosm of what I spend my time on. I spoke in three Commons' debates on the three issues that represent my three biggest work streams: steel, education and health.
The Steel Debate came in a week of further job losses - announced by Sheffield Forgemasters and Tata in South Wales, Hartlepool and Corby. The Conservative Government is still serving up warm words when it should be rolling up its sleeves and delivering on its promises. To be fair the energy mitigation package it promised 3 years ago has finally been agreed but companies have yet to see any cash.
On procurement it has put better guidelines in place but until these are followed we will continue to see wind turbines, nuclear power stations, trains and the like being built with non-UK steel. And the Conservative Government is yet to do anything to level the playing field on business rates whilst still dragging its feet on tackling Chinese dumping.
The Labour Leader met with steel MPs, UK Steel and the trade unions to consider all these issues further - it's important we continue to work together to keep the pressure on the government to up its game.
With fellow local MPs and North Lincolnshire Council Leader I met with Greybull Capital this week. They seemed genuine and very serious about taking over Tata Long Products. As with all such deals though the devil will be in the detail. I'm sure everyone wishes them, the trade unions, suppliers and Tata well in finding a positive, mutually beneficial way forward.
The Education debate was about the government's ill-thought through ideas for regulating Out-Of-School settings like Sunday Schools and youth groups. As Shadow Schools' Minister I responded for the Opposition. I was able to draw on the many comments I'd received locally from faith groups - Scunthorpe Baptist Church in particular - to demonstrate the dangers of what the Government was considering. Let's hope the Government is listening!
In the debate on the Cancer Drugs Fund I spoke as Chair of the All Party Group on Pancreatic Cancer. I highlighted the need to allow access to potentially transformational drugs, like abraxane, to improve the life chances of those suffering from this terrible disease.
Back in Scunthorpe I visited a number of High Street retailers to get feedback on how 2016 has begun and the support they are getting from Humberside Police. My sense is that, although the police still have to up their game, the New Year has begun reasonably well.
I was struck by what fantastic shops we've got - Tom Dennis for picture framing, D&M Mason Saddlery for all things equestrian, Charm for ladies fashion, Coe and Coe for jewellery, Fallen Hero for menswear - the list is endless! Sometimes we forget the treasures we have on our doorstep!
It was also fun to join a new retail enterprise - Meanwhile - being launched on Ravendale Street - looking to sell sustainable, recycled goods. There was a real buzz at the opening and some really good stuff for sale - well worth a visit.
Finally it was fantastic to be at Glanford Park as a guest of one of Scunthorpe's fastest growing companies, Foster Environmental, and see the Iron win 3.0 with an excellent second half performance.