This Colleges Week, I’d like to recognise the contribution Further Education Colleges’ make to local students and businesses in Edgbaston.
I have visited and worked with multiple brilliant colleges across the constituency, and have witnessed first-hand the great opportunities they provide to students, adults and local businesses.
However, after 13 years of Conservatives in power, across Britain apprenticeship starts have fallen by over 200,000, real terms funding for the FE sector has fallen to record lows, and vital decision-making powers have been taken away from local communities.
It’s time for this to change. Labour will put colleges at the heart of our plans to break down barriers to opportunity and boost Britain’s skills.
In government, we will develop ‘Technical Excellence’ colleges, enabling local government to work hand-in-hand with local businesses and employers to align skills and training provision with local need.
We’ll also reform the Tory’s failed Apprenticeship Levy into a ‘Growth and Skills Levy’ so it can be used on a greater range of training courses, giving businesses the flexibility they need.
Our national mission to boost Britain’s skills will be overseen by a new body, Skills England, bringing together central and local government, businesses, training providers and unions to meet the skills needs of the next decade across all regions.
More training opportunities so people can gain new skills, access better jobs and grow our economy. That’s the difference that a Labour government will make.
Quinton Police Station
This week, I’m thrilled to announce that Quinton Police Station is to be retained as a base for neighbourhood police teams. This is a great result for our community.
Since the station first closed its doors, I’ve been fighting tirelessly alongside residents, our Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster, and local councillors to have it reopened as a police base or family hub. Thank you all so much for your efforts over the last four years. What an achievement!
This is evidence that Labour is delivering locally. We will ensure our streets are safe by bringing back neighbourhood policing and putting more criminals behind bars. Keeping Quinton Police Station open means our officers will have a visible presence in the areas they serve.
Read more in an article by Birmingham Live:
This week, I appeared on ITV Central Lobby with Alison Mackenzie, alongside Heather Wheeler, Tory MP for South Derbyshire, and Michael Mullaney, Lib Dem Leader of the opposition on Leicestershire County Council.
On the show we discussed HS2, Labour’s missions for government, and the Tamworth by-election.
Click the link below to see the full episode:
This week, I told the New Statesman my policy priorities as Shadow Minister for Primary Care and Public Health.
As a priority, I want to engage with and learn from GPs, pharmacists and dentists – the front door of our health service – to build an NHS fit for the future.
After 75 years, the front door to the NHS is suffering because primary care is overwhelmed and inaccessible. But this crisis in primary care is not incurable.
Labour will reform primary care by shoring up community services while reducing the burden on hospitals. We will improve GP access by training more GPs to take the pressure off those currently working in the system, and explore new and more varied opportunities for patients to access the healthcare they need.
Read the full article below:
This week, I met with Eddie Crouch, Chair of BDA Principal Executive Committee, to discuss Labour’s rescue plan for NHS dentistry.
Labour will take immediate action to provide care for those in most urgent need, and long-term reform to restore NHS dentistry to all who need it. We will:
- Fund NHS dental practices to provide 700,000 more urgent appointments, for patients in need of things like fillings and root canal.
- Provide incentives for new dentists to work in areas with the greatest need, to tackle the emergence of ‘dental deserts’ where no NHS dentists are taking on new patients
- Introduce supervised toothbrushing in schools for 3-5 year olds, targeted at the areas with highest childhood tooth decay
- Reform the dental contract to rebuild the service in the long-run, so NHS dentistry is there for all who need it.
This week, Labour made history in Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire with two ground-breaking by-election victories.
Voters across the country clearly want change, and Labour is ready to deliver that for them.
Congratulations to Sarah Edwards and Alistair Strathern. I look forward to seeing you both in Parliament.
Speed Limit Consultation
Birmingham City Council’s consultation around reviewing all existing 40mph speed limits across the city, with the intention that almost all will be revoked, with these becoming 30mph, remains open. This includes Wolverhampton Road South, West Boulevard, Barnes Hill, Shenley Lane, and Hagley Road West.
The consultation closes on 19 November and I encourage you to have your say, which you can give online here:
Edgbaston Fireworks Party
Friday 3 November sees Edgbaston host an Ibiza Classics Fireworks Party while Saturday 4 November sees the stadium host a family friendly Fireworks Spectacular and Fun Fair. Tickets are on now on sale and it’s best to book early to avoid disappointment. You book tickets here.
Next week, the Mobile Household Recycling Centre will be visiting Poplar Avenue, B17 8ES on 24 October. The centre will be open between 7am and 12:30pm, so please come along if you're local and have bulky household waste to dispose of.
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton