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My Weekly Update - 2 February

This week, Labour set out what a pro-business Labour government would actually look like. 


Labour understands that the first priority of government must be a country’s security, including economic security.  


That doesn’t mean limiting risk taking: Labour sees the government’s task as offering the security that means a would-be entrepreneur can take a risk. 


The next Labour government will be one that works alongside business, to extend security, navigate those challenges, and seize the opportunities presented by a changing world. 


Labour will be pro-business and pro-worker, in the knowledge that each depends on the success of the other. We will: 


  • Invest alongside business, through a National Wealth Fund 

  • Tear down the barriers to industry and housebuilding, with a once-in-a-generation overhaul of our planning system because it is past time that government sided with the builders over the blockers. 

  • Support small businesses by replacing our outdated system of business rates with a fair system fit for a modern economy. 

  • Reform our pension system to end the absurd situation in which pension savers in Canada are more likely to benefit from investment in British businesses and infrastructure than pension savers here at home. 

  • Put aside the culture war dividing lines, to forge a closer relationship with our nearest neighbours and allies, to ease the bureaucratic burdens on business. 

 

Child Tooth Decay


This week, new statistics revealed that one in six school children are suffering from tooth decay and thousands suffer from pain in their mouths. 


It's shocking that so many children have pain that is so bad they are struggling to eat. No child should be suffering through toothache at school. 


Labour has a fully costed plan to rescue NHS dentistry by gripping the immediate crisis and reforming the service in the long-term. We will provide 700,000 urgent appointments, recruit new dentists to the areas most in need, and introduce a targeted national toothbrushing scheme to 3–5 year-olds, paid for by abolishing the non-dom tax status. 


More in The Independent: 

 

In Parliament


This week, the Government launched its Pharmacy First scheme.  


Labour has long been arguing that pharmacists should play a greater role in the NHS so we support this move. Pharmacies already do far more than just dispense repeat prescriptions and sell shampoo. They are medicine experts within the NHS; they are highly trained; they are easily accessible right across the country; and as we saw in the pandemic, they are a highly trusted part of their communities. 


However, in the first week of the Government’s freshly launched Pharmacy First scheme, pharmacists will have no access to the GP connect system. At the moment, pharmacists can only access a summary of GP records, they then have to use another system to input what they’ve prescribed, then they have to download that and email it across to the GP. That is cumbersome. 


The Government has had 12 months to get this ready, I asked the Minister how much longer it’s going to take? 

 

In Parliament


The main mechanism to tackle the debt crisis, the Common Framework for Debt Treatments, is failing due to the low level of participation of private creditors. 


Given the crisis in Africa and the growing role of China and Russia in the developing world, I asked the Minister if there's a strategic need for the UK to change its approach? 

 

Sikh Safety


This week, I met with the Security Minister to raise the issue of the safety of Sikhs in the UK. The meeting was very helpful and well attended.  


A lot of constituents have contacted me very worried about threats to their security. It is important that anyone facing threats or harassment comes forward so we can take action. 


I spoke to the Today Programme: 


 

Public Health Roundtable


It was great to host a roundtable with public health experts this week. We spoke about Labour's plans to get the prevention agenda off the ground, cut lives lost to the biggest killers, and build a fairer Britain where everyone lives well for longer. 

 

Birmingham Race Impact Group 



This week, it was lovely to meet with the Birmingham Race Impact Group to discuss the state of equality in Birmingham and the future challenges we face. 


It’s really important that data on all communities, including Sikhs, is collected and utilised. 

 

Local News


Woodgate Valley 



This week, I wrote to West Midlands Fire Service after hearing that Woodgate Valley Fire Station is not operational due to a lack of staff. 


I asked the service what recruitment drive is taking place to ensure fire stations in this constituency and region remain operational. 


Measles


With measles cases on the rise, it’s really important to get vaccinated and contain the spread. The disease transmits very easily and can lead to serious problems for some.  

  

The best way to prevent measles is to have the MMR vaccine. This vaccine is available at every GP practice, and it is free.  

 

The MMR vaccine is safe for every faith. There is a type of MMR vaccine that does not contain pork gelatine, so it can be used for people who do not touch any pork products. 

 

More information on the NHS website here:   

 

Care, Social and Health Courses 


The Branwood Centre are running a new programme, Champion Carers, for anyone who is keen to work in care, social or the health sector. If you’re interested, complete the referral form following this link: 




MHRC 

 

Next week, the MRC will be visiting Lye Avenue, B32 3UE, in Bartley Green, on Tuesday 6th February, Waterworks Road, B16 9DB, in North Edgbaston, on Wednesday 7th February, and Chichester Drive, B32 1BB in Quinton, on Thursday 8th February. The centre will be open between 7am and 12:30pm, so please do come along if you’re local and have bulky household waste to dispose of.  


Campaigning


It was great to join Labour members campaigning in the constituency this. If you would like to support me campaigning and join me doorknocking, please contact: officeofpreetgill@gmail.com.


Best wishes,






Preet Kaur Gill MP

Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton


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