Animal welfare is one of the most popular issues constituents in Birmingham, Edgbaston write to me about. I have received over 420 emails about this in just the last twelve months.
Therefore, I know so many of you will be deeply upset and angry at the recent news that the Government have ditched their manifesto pledge to crack down on illegal smuggling of dogs and puppies by abandoning the Kept Animals Bill, legislation to introduce new laws to clamp down on live animal exports and puppy smuggling.
Of course, it was the last Labour Government who delivered the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Hunting Act 2004, securing an end to cosmetic testing on animals and banning fur farming. Labour also led the way in abolishing fur farming when we brought in the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act 2000.
Sadly, this Government seems hellbent on breaking their promises. I believe all animals deserve protection only Labour can be trusted to deliver on animal welfare. If you agree, you can sign Labour’s petition below to send a message to the Government.
Constituency broadband issues
I am aware that across the constituency, for several months, residents have been experiencing unacceptable broadband outages lasting anywhere from an hour through to whole days without access. This appears to be mostly affecting Virgin Media customers.
With the move to work-from-home and hybrid working following the pandemic, reliable broadband access is essential. Beyond individuals, businesses are equally reliant on having uninterrupted broadband access for their businesses to function.
Therefore, this week I wrote to OpenReach who are responsible for the infrastructure broadband providers use. This letter has also been sent to Virgin Media.
In my letter, I ask for a comprehensive response of what action is being taken to combat these problems for households in Birmingham, Edgbaston.
Read my letter in full below.
Halifax in Harborne
On Thursday, I was notified by Lloyds Banking Group, who own Halifax, that they are planning to close their Halifax branch in Harborne on 26 September 2023.
I have been deeply concerned about access to cash and banking services for many years as banks and building societies have reduced their presence on the high street over the last decade. Between 2012 and 2019, for example, the number of bank and building society branches fell by 22%. We know over eight million adults would struggle to cope in a cashless society. Therefore, it is vital that no one is left behind by the transition to more digital forms of payment and remote forms of banking.
I wish to assure all residents that I will be reviewing the information sent to me by Lloyds/Halifax to understand what is behind this decision and what alternative arrangements will be put in place so that their personal banking and business clients can continue to access cash and banking services in our constituency.
For further information on this, please click the button below.
This week, I was pleased to learn my objections were listened to by Birmingham City Council and they have rejected the planning application for a three-year extension for car valeting and the erection of 3no.canopies with anti-spray side sheeting at the Royalty Cinema in Harborne. While I support refurbishing this site and bringing it back into use, this must be done in the right way and with local support.
The Priory Club are hosting a free Youth Tennis Open Day on Sunday 4 June between 2pm – 4pm. The event is open to children aged 4-11 who aren’t already booked onto one of their courses. Equipment is provided so parents of children looking to participate need only book a ticket and go along on Sunday. This will be a great way to see out the half term. Tickets can be booked online here.
Also, this weekend is the last opportunity to visit Birmingham’s Botanical Garden’s Jurassic Gardens experience which includes live dinosaur shows and interactive experiences. Running between May 27 to June 4, attendance is free with information and tickets accessed online here.
The Mobile Household Recycling Centre will be visiting Ferncliffe Road (B17 0GQ) on Monday 5 June between 07:00 and 12:45. If you are in the area and have bulky household waste to dispose of then please come along.
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton