- Labour MP for Worsley and Eccles South, Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Social Care in the Shadow Cabinet
Barbara Keeley was elected as the MP for Worsley in May 2005. She was elected as the MP for Worsley and Eccles South in May 2010 and re-elected in May 2015.
Worsley and Eccles South constituency includes the Worsley, Boothstown and Ellenbrook, Walkden South, Walkden North and Little Hulton wards of the former Worsley constituency. It also includes Irlam, Cadishead, Barton and Winton wards.
Barbara was brought up in Leeds attending Mount St Mary’s College. She studied at Salford University gaining a BA in Politics and Contemporary History.
Barbara has much career experience in the private and voluntary sectors. Her early career was in the Information Technology Industry, working as a Systems Engineer and Systems Engineering Manager for IBM. Barbara also served as a councillor for 9 years in Trafford where she was council cabinet member for Education and services for children and young people, responsible for a budget of over £100 million. Barbara also worked as an adviser on community regeneration projects across Greater Manchester and as an adviser to a national charity for carers, for whom she co-wrote three national reports on carers’ issues.
Barbara is a member of the GMB union, Lancashire region.
Barbara’s work in Westminster
Barbara is the Shadow Cabinet Member for Mental Health and Social Care. In this role, she is campaigning for improvements in mental health and social care services and for improved support and recognition for carers.
Barbara was a founding member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s State Pension Inequality and is now Vice-Chair of the Group. This cross-party group of MPs was set up to raise the profile of the issues that many 1950s-born women are now experiencing as a result of unfair changes to the State Pension Age brought in by the Government in 2011.
Barbara is also co-chair (with Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson) of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Sport and Fitness. Barbara’s work in Parliament to promote women’s sport was recognised by an award in the Sports Parliamentarian of the Year awards in December 2012.
From September 2015 to June 2016 Barbara was the Shadow Minister for Older People, Social Care and Carers. She was Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury from May to September 2015. From 2011 to 2015, she was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ed Balls MP, and a member of the Commons Health Select Committee from 2011 to 2015.
Barbara was Shadow Communities and Local Government Minister from October 2010 to October 2011 and she was a Shadow Health Minister and Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons from May 2010 until October 2010.
From June 2009 until May 2010 Barbara was Deputy Leader of the House of Commons. She was an Assistant Government Whip between September 2008 and May 2009.
Barbara previously had a role as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Harriet Harman as Minister for Women and Equality from June 2007. She was also Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Cabinet Office in February 2006 and a Parliamentary Private Secretary to Jim Murphy MP at the Department of Work and Pensions from 2006 to 2007.
As a backbench MP, Barbara became vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Carers and led debates on improving the quality of services to support carers.
In June 2007, Barbara was appointed by Gordon Brown to lead the Labour Party’s manifesto work on Social Care. Barbara was Parliamentary Champion for Carers week in 2007 and at the end of 2008 she was awarded the Charity Champions Social Welfare Award for helping to make sure carers voices are heard in Parliament.
Barbara has introduced three Private Members Bills in Parliament to improve support for carers.
Barbara’s policy interests include Social Care and Improving quality of life for Carers and Young Carers and removing barriers for Women and Girls in Sport.
Barbara’s work in Worsley and Eccles South constituency
Along with working to improve life for carers and trying to increase the number of girls and women taking part in a sport or fitness activity, Barbara has worked on many local campaigns on behalf of her Worsley and Eccles South constituents.
The protection of the local Green Belt and green open spaces is important to Barbara. She has fought alongside local residents to try and protect many areas of land from inappropriate development including the land at Burgess Farm in Walkden and Broadoak in Worsley. She also campaigned successfully against the continued extraction of peat at Chat Moss.
Barbara campaigns alongside local rail groups for improvements to rail services and rail stations across the constituency. She opposed the Congestion Charge and has campaigned for improvements to local bus services since first being elected to represent Worsley in 2005.
Barbara is against the Smart Motorways scheme which is affecting people living close to the M60. She recently called for action following residents’ complaints about the unbearable noise and vibrations from late night works on the scheme.
Barbara opposes the Leigh Guided Busway development, which she believes is a waste of public money. She launched the Limit Busway Chaos Campaign, calling for an independent review of the scheme. Most recently she helped a number of residents to secure screening foliage for their homes.
Barbara has been very vocal in her opposition to proposals for exploratory drilling and fracking at Barton Moss and will continue to oppose fracking in Worsley and Eccles South in the future.
Barbara raised serious concerns about White Recycling Plant in Eccles and held a debate in Parliament to highlight the problems at the site. Following her intervention the Environment Agency was forced to take action to close the plant and later to ensure the site was cleared.
Barbara supports the work of the Trussell Trust foodbank on Cleggs Lane in Little Hulton and helps local volunteers at foodbank collections at Tesco Walkden whenever she can.