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My Weekly Update - 22 December

Updated: Jan 30

With Christmas just a few days away, I’d like to wish everyone and their families a safe and happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. 

 

This year, I have been working hard to stand up for you locally and in Parliament. 

 

Here are some things I have achieved this year.  

  • Quinton Police Station retained as a base for neighbourhood teams 

  • New Council scheme to reduce the speed limit on dangerous roads 

  • Rapid improvements in West Midlands Police 101, 999, and Live Chat response time 

  • Working with the police to tackle burglary and crack down on anti-social behaviour 

  • Kept our ticket offices open at University Station and Five Ways 

  • Challenged the Government and supported leaseholders that are stuck in unsafe and flammable homes that they cannot sell 

  • Stood up for all of my constituents stuck in inappropriate temporary accommodation, living in housing that is cold, damp, mouldy, and expensive to heat, and first HMO closed in the country in North Edgbaston thanks to the police, council and residents working with me

  • Fought against the crippling cuts to aid budgets that will see millions around the world left to suffer, and worked on Labour’s plans for a feminist international development policy, as Shadow Secretary for International Development 

  • In my new role as Shadow Minister for Primary Care and Public Heath, engaging with and learning from GPs, pharmacists, and dentists – the front door of our health service – to build an NHS fit for the future, focussed on prevention. 

As ever, it has been a privilege to represent you in Parliament and fight for a prosperous Edgbaston. Over the last 12 months, I’ve resolved almost 9,600 cases. I’ve also tabled 214 parliamentary questions and spoken in 28 debates. 

 

That’s just a taste of some of the things I have achieved in 2023 and I look forward to continuing working for you in 2024. 

 

The Mirror


This week, I spoke to the Mirror about the Broken Britain Index, a report which identifies Birmingham, Solihull, and Sandwell in the top-10 areas in the UK that have been hit hardest due to a failure in essential services.  


This is a damning indictment of 13 years of Conservatives in power. The report highlights a ‘Healthcare Emergency’ in our region, which takes into account waiting lists and cancer, ambulance response times, maternity services ratings, and access to GP and dentist appointments. This is further evidence of this government failing the people of the West Midlands.   


It’s clear that the Tories’ flagship levelling up project is a sham and was never set up to grow our communities in the West Midlands. It was dead on arrival.  


After 13 years of Tory failure, our communities have had enough and desperately need change. Only Labour will level up Birmingham and the West Midlands. We will reform the NHS, so everyone has access to healthcare when they need it, delivering two million more operations, scans and appointments a year, 700,000 extra dental appointments a year, and recruiting dentists to areas most in need, all paid for by abolishing the non-dom tax status.


Click here to read the full article:


 

Westminster Hall Debate


This week, I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate about International Health Regulations. 


The Covid pandemic was one of the most surreal and seismic events of our lifetimes. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in the UK; millions more have been extremely ill; and there are still perhaps 2 million people who are living restricted lives or are now in their fourth year of shielding because they are clinically extremely vulnerable to the virus. We must not forget them. 


We must also recognise the international dimension to the pandemic, too, and that deadly infectious diseases don't respect borders.  

It's clear that global cooperation on pandemics and biological threats needs to be strengthened. Labour knows that this is critical to our national health security. 


The Labour Party therefore absolutely support the principle of legally binding international health regulations, which define the obligations of countries in handling pandemic-level threats. 

 

Freedom Theatre Arrests


Last week, the Israeli Army arrested members of Jenin's Freedom Theatre during a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the Occupied West Bank, alongside some 100 Palestinians. The Freedom Theatre have travelled to and performed in Birmingham before. 


This is really concerning. I wrote to the Foreign Secretary, to ask what wider conversations the UK Government is having with Israel about its operations in the Occupied West Bank. 

 

Local News


Winter Readiness


The Environment Agency has compiled a list of resources to help us prepare for the unsettled weather this winter. They advise:  


- Signing up for their free flood warning service here: https://www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings  

- Understanding how to prepare for flooding, what to do during a flood, and knowing what support is available here: https://www.gov.uk/prepare-for-flooding  

- Checking the latest live flood warnings, river levels and flood forecasts here: https://check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk/  

- Considering property flood resilience measures where appropriate here: https://www.floodre.co.uk/be-flood-smart/ 


BCC Budget Consultation


With Birmingham City Council facing a difficult financial situation, the authority would like to hear what services are most important to you. I encourage everyone to take part in this consultation.  

 

Please follow the link below: 


WMPCC Budget Consultation 


The Police and Crime Commissioner has launched his annual consultation on the budget for West Midlands Police. He is now asking for the views of the public on their main priorities, when it comes to policing the region. 

I also would encourage everyone to take part in this consultation, in order to have a say about how our communities are policed. 


Please follow the link below:  




Christmas Bin Collection


There are changes to waste and recycling collections over the festive period. Check the link below to check your collection day. 




Best wishes,






Preet Kaur Gill MP

Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton


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