It’s been an honour and a privilege to serve the people of Sheffield Hallam over the last 10 years as their local MP. I’ve always said that it is my proudest role in politics and one that I hope to continue doing for many years to come.
As a local MP, I’ve dealt with over 38,000 pieces of casework and my priority is to continue that work so that Sheffield enjoys both a stronger economy, and a fairer society.
I’ll just highlight three areas that I know people care about, namely the NHS, education and the economy.
Just after I was elected in 2005, a family came to see me in tears because their daughter had an eating disorder, but all the support she got as a child evaporated when she became an adult. It was from that moment that transforming mental health became one of my key priorities, and I’m keen to continue the work I’ve started in Government.
That is why as part of our plan to invest an extra £8 billion a year in the NHS we’re committing £3.5bn to mental health provision. We’re the only party to set out how we’d raise the £8bn each year by 2020 that the head of the NHS says that it needs. Labour haven’t even matched that spending commitment.
When it comes to education, I’m passionate about ensuring that children all have the opportunity to succeed. When I was little, my mum taught children who had dyslexia, so I know what a difference it makes when children get extra attention in class. That’s why I’m proud Liberal Democrats have delivered the Pupil Premium, which has given £62m to the most disadvantaged children in Sheffield.
On the economy, just remember where we were in 2010 – riots in Athens, uncertainty at home and an economy on the brink.
We’ve helped put the economy back on a sure footing after the mess that Labour left, and that wouldn’t have happened without the Liberal Democrats in Government.
On top of that, we’ve given 200,000 people in Sheffield a tax cut of more than £800 and cut unemployment by 50 per cent in Sheffield Hallam.
I believe Labour would put that recovery at risk.
So if you agree that Sheffield needs a stronger economy and a fairer society, then the only way to guarantee that is by voting Liberal Democrat in May.