This week, Labour won a historic victory in the Selby and Ainsty by-election. Congratulations to Keir Mather on a well-deserved win! We’ve seen people put their trust in Labour – many for the first time. Thank you to everyone in Selby and Ainsty that voted for change.
This is Labour’s biggest ever by-election victory. Never before has the party overturned a 20,000 majority. This result shows that Labour can win across the country.
Selby shows how far our changed Labour Party - back serving working people - can go.
Scotland remittances roundtable
This week, I visited the Glasgow Central Mosque and Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Scotland with Scottish Labour leader, Anas Sarwar, and met with development organisations.
We met with local diaspora communities to hear about their experience of sending remittance payments to friends and family abroad as part of the Labour listening event in the city. We also held a roundtable discussion with development organisations in Glasgow. Scotland’s third sector and diaspora communities understand the global challenges we all have in common – chief among them the cost of living crisis – and make an incredible contribution to our country’s role in the world. The £8 billion in remittances that diaspora communities sent overseas last year is solidarity in action.
Hidden fees in remittance payments are a key issue for many diaspora communities in the UK. For families facing a cost of living crisis, this is adding further pressure to households.
Reducing the private costs of remittances is an opportunity to build on the incredible contribution of Britain’s diverse diaspora communities, increase the disposable income of families in the UK, and support our international development goals. Labour will support our diaspora communities and their friends and families abroad.
Read more about my visit in the Birmingham Mail.
This week in Parliament, I met Sabrina Elba, UN Goodwill Ambassador for the International Fund for Agricultural Development. We talked about a wide range of issues, with a focus on zero hunger and Britain’s role in international development.
Sabrina and I have much to collaborate on with regards to international development, climate action and poverty eradication. The humanitarian work she does, especially in ensuring food security through her support for small-scale farmers, is vital and totally inspiring. I look forward to working together to support people in developing countries. Given that Sabrina is an inspiration to so many women around the world, it is amazing that she is using her platform to make the case for international development.
We also share an appreciation for the diaspora’s contribution to international development, and both believe in a remittances policy that reflects that contribution. The money sent abroad in the form of remittances plays an important role in tackling poverty in developing countries. In Somalia, where Sabrina’s family are from, The World Bank estimates that remittances account for 21.4% of the nation’s GDP.
This week in Parliament, I made a point of order. I asked the Deputy Speaker if she could advice how I might get a response to my letter, dated 2nd March, to the Immigration and International Development Minister about the ballooning bill of aid for asylum hotels under their watch.
Last year, donor refugee costs shot up to £3.7bn. The cost per person per night in asylum accommodation has gone up fivefold in four years. And the case backlog still stands at 170,000.
Waiting four and a half months for a response from the Government is unacceptable.
Many constituents have contacted me recently worried about the new financial settlement for the Canal and River Trust. I share their concerns because Birmingham is home to what the Canal and River Trust describe as ‘one of the most intricate canal networks in the world.’
Our waterways provide access to nature and green spaces that are important to people for life and leisure. Not only this, but they are also a historic part of Birmingham’s rich history. They must be properly maintained and protected for current and future generations.
Therefore, I have written to the Environment Secretary this week seeking assurances that the new settlement will not result in the decline and closures of rivers, canals, and waterways in Birmingham.
Download a copy of my letter below.
This week, I visited the students at St. Peter’s Primary School. It was such a pleasure to meet everyone and I’m always glad to hear what’s on the minds of young people in our constituency.
The students at St Peter’s asked me amazing questions and I really enjoyed speaking to them.
I also did a video call to the students from Woodborough Woods about Sikhism and my experience in politics.
It was a real joy to see their keen interest in understand what it means to be both a Sikh and a politician. Thank you for the fantastic discussion on faith.
This week, I wrote to the Council regarding the implementation of the QE Parking Scheme. Residents living in the areas earmarked for the implementation of parking control measures under the scheme have waited years for action and I am concerned by the slow pace of progress. Therefore, I have written to the Cabinet Member for Transport seeking assurances over the Council’s commitment to deliver the scheme in full. You can download a copy of my letter below.
Meanwhile, residents of Fountain Road will be aware work has begun on the installation of speed cushions on their road. Work is expected to be complete within the next two weeks. Speeding is, sadly, an issue right across the constituency and every week I am making representations to the Council and the Police on behalf of residents who flag their road as suffering from illegal racing and speeding. I will continue doing all I can to make our roads safe.
Another issue raised regularly with me is parking and parking enforcement. This week, after making complaints to the Council about parking around Monument Road, Parker Street, and Hagley Road, I can confirm that a total of 646 PCNs have been issued to vehicles in the first six months of the year for cars parking illegally and obstructively on these roads. I will continue to press for greater parking enforcement across our constituency as I know this is a huge frustration for residents.
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton