The week began with a fanfare as the PM addressed the House of Commons giving the case for the UK to remain in the EU. After more than two hours 'trying to catch the Speaker's eye' I asked my question on the impact on the steel industry. The PM confirmed these are challenging times for steel but those challenges would be better met by staying inside the EU.
This was certainly the overwhelming view of EEF: The Manufacturers' Organisation who I joined for their conference just after they'd voted by 82% in favour of remaining in the EU. And at the Hull and Humber Chamber Dinner, the businesses I spoke to were of like mind. Better In than Out!
When I met with local employer BOC they pointed me to their website which makes clear that their business will be disadvantaged if the UK leaves the EU. My own survey of local businesses has had more mixed feedback. Although many have been strongly in favour of remaining in the EU some have been against and most are asking for more information. This very much chimes with the view on the doorsteps where people appear overwhelmingly uncertain of which way to vote and are asking for more information. Well there's plenty of that coming!!!!
I responded for the Labour Opposition to the debate on the Education and Adoption Bill as it went through its final parliamentary stages. I pointed out the ridiculousness of the Tory Government's obsession with structures at a time they are presiding over crises in teacher supply and school places. This Bill does nothing to tackle either problem but takes powers away from parents to be involved in their schools which I think is appalling.
On a positive note it was good to see a demonstration of the raspberry pi computer that all Year 7 students should be getting shortly as part of a focus on teaching programming. A very positive initiative.
Locally it was great to join students and staff for the new Skills Centre plus being opened on Hebden Road.
I've continued to campaign for a fair State Pension deal for women born in the fifties, taking part in the debate on the issue and asking a question of the relevant Minister. I also spoke in the debate about the attack on the funding of Community Pharmacies by this government that risks jeopardising access to this important front line community health service.
I met with the Big Lottery to see what can be done to ensure our area begins to get closer to its fair share of funding and I joined Bottesford Town councillors and the local community for Bottesford Civic Service at St Peter's.
Finally it was good to stand in the Doncaster Road end and see a late equaliser form Karl Wooton salvage a point against Oldham.