This week, Rishi Sunak told struggling mortgage owners to “hold their nerve”. Really, Rishi? After 13 years of Tory chaos, people who work hard and pay their mortgages are having their dreams of homeownership crushed. And not just those dreams – this government has also overseen soaring energy bills, astronomical food shops, and a fall in real wages. Households are dipping into savings at a record level; interest rates are at a 15-year high.
This week in Parliament, I voted to give all mortgage holders access to support. The same Prime Minister that is asking people to “hold their nerve” during an economic crisis is too weak to make lenders act to save people’s homes. Millions of people could miss out on mortgage help under the Government’s voluntary measures. Labour would bring in a mandatory mortgage package, reform planning and build homes.
Labour will tackle this Tory economic crisis and provide financial security for families!
This week, I spoke to ITV Central about Birmingham City Council’s equal pay claims and ongoing budget crisis.
The revelation that the council now needs to find up to £760 million for equal pay claims, rising by an additional maximum £14 million a month, is deeply concerning. Even more concerning that this is happening after the Government took £1 billion off the council through austerity cuts, forcing the council to halve its workforce as a result.
I am, of course, concerned about the impact that this will have on my constituents. It should not fall on Birmingham’s residents to pay the price for equal pay claims. The Government should step up to support Birmingham City Council to fund essential services.
Woodhouse Primary visit
It was a real joy meeting students from Woodhouse Primary School as they did a visit and tour of the House of Commons.
It’s so important that young people learn how Parliament works and how it links to their day-to-day lives. I hope after talking to me they better understand what an MP does and can see how I’m able to represent their needs in Parliament.
As always, I want to thank the Parliamentary Education and Engagement Team who work so hard throughout the year to deliver award-winning political engagement to primary, secondary, and post-16 providers. This includes organising tours, delivering workshops, assemblies, and other interactive sessions.
I strongly encourage other schools and colleges in our constituency to engage with the outreach team in Parliament. Click the button below for more information.
Speeding, illegal off-road quad bike use, and noise pollution are concerns I hear about weekly. In recent weeks I have noticed an uptick in emails and calls about this. On Monday alone I opened five emails from residents expressing worry for speeding on their road.
After raising these issues with our local Police, I also took this matter to the top of government by tabling Parliamentary Questions. You can find my questions and the answers provided by clicking the button below.
I asked whether the Transport Secretary plans to allow Birmingham City Council and other local authorities to keep the revenue collected from speeding fines. Doing so would mean that money could be reinvested locally to tackle speeding. The Government said it has no plans to allow this.
I also wrote to the Transport Secretary about steps being taken to crack down on the sale of modified exhaust parts. The Government responded that vehicle owners have relative freedom to modify their own vehicles, but that prosecutions will be taken when there is sufficient evidence to do so.
Meanwhile, I asked whether the Home Secretary believes the Police have sufficient powers and resources to deal with the illegal use of off-road quad bikes. The Government replied saying they have ‘adequate’ powers. Of course, since 2010, our region has seen police numbers cut and resources slashed. I will continue to raise this matter with our local Police Inspector and ward Sergeants and I urge residents to actively report through 101.
Lastly, I have discussed these matters with Birmingham City Council’s Highways Department. Unfortunately, Birmingham lost out in its bid to participate in a government trial using noise cameras to tackle speeding and noise pollution. However, should the trial prove successful it could be rolled out in Birmingham.
I hope residents see that I am working hard to tackle these matters.
This week, National Express West Midlands confirmed its continued participation in the Government’s £2 single fare cap until 31 October. As a result, anyone doing two journeys in a day will pay just £4, the same as a current day ticket and saving 50p off the day ticket from 3rd July.
Next week, the Mobile Household Recyling Centre will be visiting Hermitage Road, B15 3UP, on Monday 3rd July, and Rutley Grove, B32 2LT, on Friday 7th July. The centre will be open from 07:00 to 12:30, 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