This week, ahead of the King’s Speech, Keir Starmer has outlined how the next Labour government will kickstart growth in every region and put an end to 13 years of Tory decline.
This Conservative government is holding a veto over British aspiration – it has no plan for the future.
The number of businesses going under has soared to its highest level in years; HS2, the only high-speed project this Government has ever managed to build, won’t be delivered in full; across the UK, projects and investment are getting stuck, blocked by objections, consultations, legal challenges, and ballooning costs.
Labour has a plan to grow every corner of this country. The next Labour government will turbocharge the economy in partnership with business, across the whole of the UK. We will:
Create a new direction for skills: transforming the further education system with specialist technical excellence colleges, delivering tailored courses designed with local businesses so that workforces meet local skills needs, and turning the failed Apprenticeship Levy into a new Growth and Skills Levy to give businesses the flexibility they’re asking for to train their workforce and deliver growth.
Invest in British industry: establishing a National Wealth Fund to invest in battery gigafactories, clean steel plants, upgraded ports and carbon capture. Labour will introduce an active industrial strategy to grow these sectors, including our automotive strategy to support the transition of UK automotive supply chains. Labour will implement a British Jobs Bonus: creating 65,000 good jobs in clean energy by directly rewarding companies that create jobs and supply chains here in the UK in areas like the North East.
Deliver new roads, rail and energy: reforming the planning system to speed up delivery of infrastructure. A Labour government will do this by updating policy statements, ensuring consultation is proportionate, cutting down on litigation, taking politics out of decision making and creating a powerful new to directorate to crack down on delay.
This week, I wrote to the Foreign Secretary on behalf of my constituents concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Hamas’ 7th October attack against Israel was a deplorable act of terrorism and resulted in the bloodiest day in Israel’s history, with more Jews killed on any day since the Holocaust. Israel has every right to defend itself and its people against Hamas who are responsible for unleashing death and misery on civilians on all sides.
However, with regards to the escalating violence in Gaza, it is essential that all actors take every measure to protect innocent civilian lives and adhere too international humanitarian law.
Gaza was already facing a humanitarian crisis before 7 October. This is now turning into a catastrophe. We need to pause fighting urgently, unhindered humanitarian aid, and a scaled-up UK response.
Sikh's Rights and Religious Freedoms
This week, following reports of a Sikh man being blocked from attending jury service because he was carrying his Kirpan, I have written to the Justice Secretary to seek assurances that Sikh’s rights and religious freedoms will be protected and respected.
As Chair of the APPG for British Sikhs, I believe addressing these concerns is essential to maintaining the principles of religious freedom and equality under the law and within our society.
Read more in an article by Birmingham Live:
Many constituents over the last month have contacted me distressed about telegraph poles being put up in the middle of pavements without their consent by Brsk.
It’s not right that a private provider can go ahead and construct poles despite numerous objections from residents. This is especially the case when poles are being placed in the middle of pathways and creating problems for accessibility.
I've repeatedly asked Brsk to stop building poles in the constituency before residents and I are consulted. See my letter to the Secretary of State for Levelling-Up, Housing, and Communities.
Avanti West Coast
This week, I wrote to the Transport Secretary to express my concerns after Avanti West Coast announced they will be axing hundreds of services just a month after the Government handed them a lucrative long-term contract.
This news from Avanti also comes less than a month after Rishi Sunak announced that he would be scrapping the second leg of HS2, a project that promised to improve connectivity and level up the Midlands and the North. The Prime Minister then said that the £36bn of funding once dedicated to building HS2 would be put into alternative regional transport projects.
However, since that announcement, connectivity in the West Midlands has only shown signs of worsening. I asked the Government how passengers are benefitting from that promised reinvestment in our railways? Where is the levelling up?
Eminent Punjabis of the World
This week, the Intellectual Punjabi Chamber of Commerce published their second coffee table book featuring "Eminent Punjabis of the World". It is an honour to have been featured.
This week, I’m really pleased that after fighting to keep our ticket offices open at University Station and Five Ways, the Government has now U-Turned on its shambolic plan to close them.
This is a win for the community, and evidence that this government’s time is up. Thank you to everyone who campaigned alongside me to keep our ticket offices open and participated in the consultation.
Speed Limit Consultation
Birmingham City Council’s consultation around reviewing all existing 40mph speed limits across the city, with the idea that they will be reduced to 30mph, remains open. This includes Wolverhampton Road South, West Boulevard, Barnes Hill, Shenley Lane, and Hagley Road West.
For years, I’ve been campaigning for speed reduction measures in the constituency, including for Hagley Road West, West Boulevard, and Wolverhampton Road South.
I’ve also requested that the 30mph limit reduction be extended all the way up to the Quinton Island/Quinton Expressway roundabout and introduced in Genners Lane, Cromwell Lane, Moors Lane, Gillhurst Road, Croftdown Road, Augustus Road, Woodbourne Road, Norfolk Road, Westfield Road, and Quinton Road West.
The consultation closes on 19 November and I encourage you to have your say, which you can give online here:
You can also read my full submission to the consultation here:
Next week, the Mobile Household Recycling Centre will be visiting Hickory Drive, B17 8HL, on Wednesday 8th November, Overdale Road, B32 2QS, on Thursday 9th November, and Ferncliffe Road, B17 0QG, on Friday 10th November. The centre will be open between 7am and 12:30pm, so please come along ifyou're local and have bulky household waste to dispose of.
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton