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My Weekly Update - 4 August

Updated: Jan 30

This week, the Tories’ abysmal record on law and order has been exposed. New analysis of the Government’s latest crime statistics shows that 90% of crimes go unsolved.


The figures reveal that almost 70,000 fewer crimes were charged last year overall than in 2019. It’s also the case that record high numbers of crimes are being dropped without a suspect even being identified – 2.3 million crimes were dropped with no suspect being found, up almost 500,000 on 2021.


After 13 years of Tory chaos, victims are being let down. Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities.


Labour will make Britain’s streets safe. We will:

  1. Restore neighbourhood policing

  2. Recruit youth mentors for young people

  3. Introduce specialist rape and sexual assault units in every police force

  4. Punish antisocial behaviour offenders with tougher sentences and make fly-tippers join clean-up teams

  5. Prevent crime by putting 13,000 extra police and PCSOs on our streets

 

BBC Radio World Service

This week on BBC Radio World Service, I commented on Canada’s decision to withdraw its bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026 for financial reasons.


The benefits that come with hosting the Games are widespread. Research suggests that the Commonwealth Games contributed at least £870m to the UK economy, including £453.7m in the West Midlands. The Games also attracted a record 141.2m visitors to the West Midlands last year.


While putting on such a major event clearly comes with a price tag, Birmingham’s record shows that it’s possible to deliver a cost-effective and financially rewarding Games. The city made great use of the resources it had and benefitted from substantial collaboration between local government, national government and the Commonwealth Games team.


Primarily, though, hosting the Games is about taking sport to new places, particularly to areas that haven’t had access to it before; it’s about bringing together our diverse communities around sport, and celebrating values of peace, tolerance, and solidarity.


Hosting the Commonwealth Games was one of life’s highlights. I really hope that a solution can be found now that both Alberta and Victoria have withdrawn their commitments to put on the Games and I look forward to the next even wherever it takes place.

 

International Development

This week, the International Development Committee published the damning FCDO Equalities Impact Assessment that was presented to Ministers earlier this year. The report, which reveals the impact of cuts to the overseas aid budget, shows that it is the world's most vulnerable people who continue to pay the price for the Conservatives' political choice to cut the foreign aid budget and divert much of what remains to the Home Office's refugee costs.

3,000 children in South Sudan will now likely die from acute malnutrition. 200,000 women will now miss out on safe abortions. Women and girls in Afghanistan will be left without basic healthcare. These are not just numbers - they are real people whose lives will be forever changed. If they wait another year just for the Conservatives to get their act in order, help will come too late.


The Chancellor and Foreign Secretary must urgently get a grip on the diversion of Britain's aid budget, stand up to the Home Office's misuse of public finances, and return Britain to spending taxpayer money where it can do the most good.


Only a Labour government can be trusted to spend Britain's aid budget effectively and restore Britain's global leadership on international development.

 

75 Years; 75 Women; 75 Words

This week, it was an honour to be included in the launch of the amazing book “75 Years; 75 Women; 75 Words”, led by the British Deputy High Commissioner Chandigarh Caroline Rowett. The project marks 75 years of India’s independence, spotlighting 75 female role models.

My grandfather and great grandfather fought for the British in the First and Second World Wars and following this, my parents migrated from Punjab to the UK in the 1950s.

Sikhs have made a huge contribution to Indian and British history. One of my greatest inspirations is the eminent women's rights activist Sophia Duleep Singh, whose grandfather was the great ruler of Punjab, Maharajah Ranjit Singh. Her legacy inspired me to become the first female Sikh MP elected to UK Parliament.

 

Local News

FOI


This week, I’ve been pleased to share that after submitting an FOI with West Midlands Police, the force has improved its 101 response time and Live Chat service.


The police have told me that the response time to 101 calls has seen a drastic improvement, falling from nearly 30 minutes to between 3-5 consistently within the last few months. Abandonments, they say, have reduced significantly as well.


West Midlands Police have also developed a “detailed improvement plan”, which they’re confident will move West Midlands Police to being “one of the top performing police forces in the UK at managing call demand.”


I’m pleased to see the police acting on residents' concerns and working to improve their 101 response time and Live Chat service. I will continue to work with the police to make sure that these changes are implemented.


Speeding


This week, West Midlands Police pledged to expand the coverage of averaging speed cameras to tackle speeding and dangerous driving and have stated that this will be their main area of focus moving forward.

For years, I have been campaigning for the installation of averaging cameras. While I welcome the police making road safety a priority, there is still work to be done to ensure that cameras are rolled out properly and effectively.

I know that for so many of my constituents, reckless driving is a major concern. I will always fight to make our roads safer.


Transport


This week, Transport for West Midlands launched their new e-scooter hire scheme. The first phase will see 200 e-scooters made available to hire in the city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods with a further 700 to be rolled out by end of next month.


To protect the safety of both pedestrians and users, riders must be aged over 18 and have a valid UK Driving License. The e-scooters can be used on roads, cycle lanes, carriageways and other areas where cycling is permitted but not on pavements.


MHRC


This week, the Mobile Household Recycling Centre will be visiting Harts Green Road, Harborne, B17 9YT, on Friday 11th 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.


Best wishes,






Preet Kaur Gill MP

Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton


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