Brexit and climate change top of voters’ concerns in Sheffield Central, survey finds
Brexit and climate change are the issues people living in Paul Blomfield’s Sheffield Central constituency care about most, a survey has revealed.
The Labour MP, who is also one of the party’s key spokespeople on Brexit, held his annual ‘Big Conversation’ in September and October, holding 37 events attended by 968 people, with 1,051 responding to the survey.
In the 2016 referendum, the Sheffield Central constituency is estimated to have voted 70-30 in favour of remain, the highest percentage split in Sheffield.
On Brexit, 71 per cent of survey respondents said they thought there should be a second referendum before the UK leaves the Europen Union, with 77 per cent saying the county should choose to remain.
Also featuring high on the list of concerns for voters in the area were inequality, followed by health and education, the economy, housing and crime.
Mr Blomfield will use the results to inform his work in this Parliamentary session before reporting back to his constituents late next year.
The MP said: “I’m listening and responding to constituents all year round, but the Big Conversation allows me to get out and hear their views at the start of each Parliamentary year to help set my priorities as their MP.
“I’m really grateful to everybody who got involved and I’ve already started raising their concerns in Parliament.”
As well as Brexit and climate change, one of the key themes to come out of the discussions was the impact on public services of almost a decade of austerity.
This included concerns about the NHS especially on mental health provision, school funding and special educational needs, adult social care, housing support and social security.
And the MP also had a number of conversations with young people in schools in his constituency, where knife crime was identified as a key concern.
Young people told Mr Blomfield they felt ‘vulnerable’ but said that the way to tackle the problem lay in funding youth services rather than increasing ‘stop and search’ powers.
In August the politician said he didn’t know of any other MP that holds a similarly extensive community consultation.
See www.paulblomfield.co.uk/the-big-conversation-report-2019 to download a report with the full findings.