This week, the Conservatives showed once again how they have given up on the next generation ever having the security of owning their own home. Data shows average deposits are going up by £9,000, house building targets have been scrapped, and new social home builds are at record lows.
What this means for millions of families and young adults – including many in Birmingham – is that they are often stuck privately renting, living day in and day out with the knowledge that they could be uprooted with little notice and minimal, if any, justification. Homeownership for them is becoming more impossible the longer the Conservatives are in power.
Labour will tackle the housing crisis by helping families into homeownership with a new, comprehensive mortgage guarantee scheme and give them ‘first dibs’ on newly built homes. We’ll introduce a powerful Private Renters’ Charter to make renting fairer, more secure, and more affordable. And we’ll empower local communities to build more high-quality and affordable homes.
Only Labour has a plan to build a better Britain!
Leading for Labour on Sudan
On Tuesday, I responded on behalf of the Labour Party to a statement from the Government about Sudan. I raised the urgent matter of assistance for Britons who remain in the country, and I was clear that Britain must do all it can to end the bloodshed and support the Sudanese civilians who have been caught in crossfire. Please find a clip of my contribution below.
The situation unfolding in Sudan is truly heart-breaking to witness. The Sudanese people want and deserve peace, but these hopes are again being denied to them and I remain deeply concerned for all British nationals who remain in Sudan, and for the Sudanese people who deserve to live in a peaceful country.
Since the recent violence erupted, I have been contacted by Edgbaston residents who found themselves stuck in Sudan - including Dr Lina Badr who I am pleased to confirm arrived safely in the UK this week. I have made representations to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on behalf of residents like Lina. If you are concerned about an Edgbaston friend or family member in Sudan, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0121 392 8426 or email email@example.com.
I, and the Labour Party, extend thanks to our dedicated armed services and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office personnel. My thoughts remain with British nationals in Sudan and the Sudanese people.
We must not allow the world’s gaze to turn from Sudan once the airlifts have ended.
Omar’s Legacy Library
On Thursday, I visited Four Dwellings Academy and had the honour of officially opening their revamped and restocked 'Omar's Legacy Library'.
The library has been named by pupils who voted from a selection of names. They voted for 'Omar's Legacy Library' as Omar was a pupil at Four Dwellings and very sadly passed away in 2015, shortly after taking his GCSE examinations.
During my visit, I answered exploring questions from Year 8 pupils who demonstrated a genuine interest in what it means to be a Member of Parliament and a Frontbencher. They also raised important questions about improving our constituency, young people’s voice, and the importance of reading.
Through reading, we can escape the hustle and bustle of our busy lives and immerse ourselves in new and imaginative worlds. I am therefore pleased to see Four Dwellings dedicate such a strong focus on reading. I am certain pupils will come to get a lot of joy from Omar’s Legacy Library!
I look forward to hearing from Four Dwellings in the future and welcome invitations from other schools in our constituency for visits.
Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh Debate
This week, represented the Labour Party by delivering a closing contribution to an important debate on support for Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh.
It’s nearly six years since that fateful morning in the early hours of 25 August 2017 when violence broke out in Rakhine state, Myanmar. Military attacks on the civilian population are up nearly 400%. Over 600 villages have been torched by the junta’s troops. A staggering 17.6 million people need humanitarian assistance.
Some 1 million Rohingya refugees are currently languishing in south-eastern Bangladesh with no meaningful prospect of a future, and we cannot ignore that either.
I made clear to the Minister that, as international attention dwindles, it is imperative that Britain plays its full part in the response to the Rohingya crisis. Britain is known across the world as a beacon of hope and I know residents in Edgbaston will expect the Government to reflect on their role and offer support to one of the world's most harrowing crises.
The full debate is available below through the BBC.
Constituency Coronation Events
This weekend will see the first coronation in seventy years. Across Edgbaston there are a number of events taking place to mark this momentous occasion including:
Hop Garden (19 Metchley Lane, B17 0HT) is hosting a bring your own picnic on Saturday 6 May and Sunday 7 May. There is a screening of the coronation on Saturday from 1pm followed by a live six-piece band between 4pm and 6pm. Then on Sunday, there will be a screening of the King’s Concert!
St. George's Church (Westbourne Crescent, B15 3DQ) is hosting an Edgbaston Community Coronation Party on Saturday 6 May. Tickets can be reserved online through EventBrite. An outline of the day includes:
11am (approx). Live screening of the Coronation in church
1pm onwards: Picnics indoors/outdoors, followed by drinks and cakes
1.45pm: Performance by St George's CofE School Choir
2.30pm: Performance by B'Opera
3.15-4pm: Craft activities for the whole family to enjoy!
Faraday Hub (Quinton, B32 1JP) is hosting a Coronation event between 3pm – 5pm on Saturday 6 May which includes a Royal Tea Party!
Christ Church the Quinton (Quinton, B32 1AJ) is hosting a Big Coronation Fete between 2pm and 6pm. There will be a BBQ, cake, tombola, raffle, model train layout, arts and crafts, and homemade produce for sale!
Moor Pool Hall (Harborne, B17 9DY) is hosting a Coronation Celebration from 11am onwards on Sunday 7 May. Bring your own picnic or secure a free advance ticket from Moor Pool News to attend lunch in the hall!
Whatever you up to this Bank Holiday weekend, I hope you are able to enjoy some quality time with neighbours, friends and family!
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton