This week, Rishi Sunak suggested that sending your children to state school isn't aspirational.
To say that is an insult to the aspirations of millions of families up and down this country whose children go to state schools.
It's the government's job to make sure schools set children up to succeed. Yet under the Tories, students at our schools are being taught in portacabins, teachers are leaving the profession in droves, and more and more pupils are now persistently absent from school, stuck on mental health waiting lists and missing crucial learning.
I know that in the constituency education is diverse - we have amazing maintained schools, academies, and a brilliant independent sector. I have always tried to be collaborative and ensure that all children in Edgbaston succeed.
Any scaremongering around ending tax breaks for private schools where fees will be passed on to parents should contact me. It is for schools to decide whether that cost is passed on to parents.
Labour will drive up standards in all our state schools for all our children, with 6,500 new teachers, access to mental health professionals in every school, dedicated careers advice and early speech and language interventions.
Birmingham Health Innovation Campus
This week, it was great to visit Birmingham Health Innovation Campus, a future life sciences hub delivered by the University of Birmingham in partnership with Bruntwood SciTech. The life sciences park will be the first of its kind in the region, accelerating research in the life sciences field and potentially creating over 10,000 jobs in the process.
On my visit, I presented Labour’s plan to work with the life sciences sector and the NHS to revolutionise the UK’s model of healthcare - part of our mission to transition from hospitals to the community, and treatment to prevention.
Right now, there is a revolution taking place in medical science, technology, and data that has the potential to transform our healthcare. The development of coronavirus vaccines shows us how industrial policy can work, with the state playing a crucial role in partnership with the private sector.
The next Labour government will build on the strength of our life sciences sector, creating new opportunities for healthcare in diagnosing, treating, and curing disease.
Sites like Birmingham Health Innovation Campus are the future. I’m really looking forward to working closely with the life sciences sector and NHS to transform healthcare in the years to come.
This week, the Independent Organisational Culture Review into patient safety at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) was published.
The report makes for very difficult reading. It’s appalling that 53% of staff at UHB said they had felt bullied and harassed at work, and that just 16% felt issues raised would be listened to and acted on by the leadership.
Unfortunately, these findings confirm what I already knew about the toxic culture at UHB. Every workplace should have a culture where staff feel safe, supported, and valued - even more so when patient safety is at risk. Staff need to feel able to voice their concerns with the confidence that they will be listened to.
Radical change needs to happen at UHB. I want to see a detailed plan from the leadership setting out a timeline for acting on the culture review’s recommendations. I will continue to hold the Trust to account until we see significant improvements for patients and staff. The staff at UHB do a fantastic job and its vital that they feel safe, supported, and valued.
Read more in an article by Birmingham Live:
Inspiring Girls UK Roadshow
This week, it was great to meet some amazing young women at the Inspiring Girls UK Roadshow at Holly Lodge High School in Smethwick.
I spoke about my journey into politics, my experience as the first female Sikh MP, and the fascinating life of Sikh princess and suffragette Sophia Duleep Singh, a woman who greatly inspired my journey into politics.
I hope the girls at Holly Lodge have been inspired to follow their ambitions, be brave, and make the most of the opportunities that are open to them. Every young girl should feel that they can achieve anything they want in life.
I’d like to welcome all new and returning students to the West Midlands. Living and studying in a new place is very exciting, but can also be scary.
Check out West Midland’s Police Safer Students website, which is designed to keep students in the loop with useful crime prevention tips and examples of what university officers are doing to keep you safe:
Construction and Warehouse Short Courses
The Brandwood Centre in Kings Heath is offering short courses for people wanting to work in Construction and Warehouse.
The sessions will run 9.30 am to 2.30 pm on 9th October, 23rd October, 6th November, 20th November, and 4th December. Each session will take about 2 hours, so multiple courses can be completed in one day.
If you’re interested in doing a short course, contact email@example.com with your name, contact number, and email address. Applicants must have been aged 19+ on the 31st of August, be currently unemployed or inactive, and live in Greater Birmingham or Solihull.
This week, Transport for West Midlands have announced that they will be developing four new cross-city bus routes.
One of these routes will connect Bartley Green and Chelmsley Wood via B4124 (Harborne Road) and B4114 (Washwood Heath Road).
See a map of the proposed routes below.
B32 @ Faraday Hub
B32 @ Faraday Hub is hosting its CommUNITY Café and Kitchen, offering warm drinks, snacks, and a friendly face. A range of budget cooking courses for all ages are on offer too.
The hub at 1 Faraday Avenue, Quinton, B32 1JP, is open on Monday, 10am-2pm, Thursday, 12pm-2pm, Friday 10am-2pm, and Saturday 5pm-7pm.
For more info, check out their Facebook page.
The next Quinton Neighbourhood Police Team PACT meeting has been arranged for Friday 6th October, 7pm – 8.30pm, St. Faith and St Laurence, junction of Balden Road and Croftdown Road, B17 8RD.
Come along if you’d like to meet with local police and discuss issues affecting the community.
Next week, the Mobile Household Recycling Centre will be visiting Faraday Avenue, Quinton, B32 1JU, on Thursday 5th 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