This week, new statistics have revealed that the asylum backlog has reached a record high, with 175,000 people now awaiting decisions – a 44% rise on the year before. The figures also reveal that just one per cent of last year's 45,000 small boats cases have received a decision.
This is a disastrous record for the Prime Minister and Home Secretary. It’s also disastrous for the British taxpayer, who has to fit the eye-wateringly expensive bill for hotel rooms for all those living in limbo.
In government, the Tories have made it painstakingly clear that they will not clear the backlog or end hotel use.
Labour will reform the asylum system. We will:
1. Crack down on criminal smuggler gangs, through a new Cross-Border Police Unit
2. Clear the backlog and end hotel use
3. Reform resettlement routes to stop people being exploited by gangs
4. Sign a new agreement with France and other countries on returns and family reunion
5. Tackle humanitarian crises at source, helping refugees in their region
Congratulations to all the students in Birmingham who received their GCSE results this week! Labour recognises the hard work and effort that pupils have shown despite facing serious challenges. Well done!
Labour will offer every child two weeks’ work experience and high-quality careers advice, alongside expanding education, employment and training routes so more people than ever are on pathways with good prospects. We will introduce a broad curriculum which gives all young people the opportunity to thrive at school, and to develop the knowledge and skills that will help them succeed throughout life.
Speeding, Illegal Racing, and Car Cruising
This week, I asked the police for an update on combatting speeding, illegal racing, and car cruising.
The police have told me they are seeing an "unprecedented" demand on their services with thousands of calls daily. They have also said that these crimes are being reported across the West Midlands, from Halesowen to Stechford and Coventry. As a result, this is being addressed through a Force-wide operation: Operation Hercules.
The police have reported success with the operation in Quinton. I’ve been told that an arrest was recently made after a motorist accelerated 90mph in a 40mph zone. Sergeant Andy Mimnagh tells me he has personally recovered an off-road motorcycle that has been causing a large amount of nuisance in Quinton. Another offender has been also arrested for theft of a motor vehicle.
Residents are encouraged to report anything suspicious on social media. Dash cam footage can be sent to the Police at https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/bob-e/dangerous-careless-driving.
Next week is the last week to save our ticket offices at University Station and Five Ways. If you haven’t already, submit your thoughts to the consultation before 1st September by writing to Transport Focus at the freepost address: RTEH-XAGE-BYKZ, PO Box 5594, Southend-On-Sea, SS1 9PZ, or by e-mailing ticketoffice.WMT@transportfocus.org.uk.
Next week, the Mobile Household Recycling Centre will be visiting Metchley Drive, Harborne, B17 0JX, on Tuesday 29th August, and Simmons Drive, Quinton, B32 1SL, on Thursday 31st August. 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