This week saw the continued crashing of the economy following the kamikaze budget introduced by Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng three weeks ago – with mortgage holders in the West Midlands facing eye-watering repayment hikes.
UK Finance expects around 1.8 million people to re-mortgage in 2023, which is 26% of all mortgages. That includes households in Birmingham who will be paying around £413 a month more from next year as rates top 6%.
This increase in repayments will offset action on energy bills for many households who I know continue to worry about whether they will be able to keep their homes warm this winter.
The government’s refusal to back Labour’s plans for a windfall tax on oil and gas providers meant that taxpayers were already on the hook for higher additional borrowing than they would have been under a Labour government. But Truss’ kamikaze budget has added to the region’s cost of living pain.
Families in Edgbaston deserve so much better than this Tory-made crisis.
The Government must reverse this Budget in full, abandon their discredited, dangerous trickle-down approach and publish the OBR document as soon as it is handed to them this week.
Vehicle Crime Update
Across our constituency, I am hearing from constituent who are falling victim to vehicle crime. I’ve seen instances of exhausted nurses finishing night shifts being greeted with a stripped car they thought was safe or workers leaving their front door for the working day, coffee in hand, just to find their car missing meaning they are unable to get to work.
Unfortunately, policing and especially neighbourhood policing have been hard hit by Government austerity. Nationally, there are 6000 fewer officers in neighbourhood teams than 7 years ago, leaving hard working officers badly overstretched and communities let down. This has resulted in a collapse of confidence in the Police force because too often people feel that if something goes wrong, then the police won’t attend.
I have been working closely with our Police force, meeting monthly with the local Police Inspector, and corresponding regularly with our local Sergeants, particularly on vehicle crime. Thanks to this work, this week I was informed by the local Inspector that the force now has a dedicated vehicle team led by the Traffic Department. The new Vehicle Team will focus its efforts on the neighbourhoods with the largest reported vehicle crime and this includes our constituency.
I hope residents will be pleased to learn of this positive development that we have been able to secure.
I am committed to reversing the decline in our Police and restoring public confidence. Labour will bring back proper neighbourhood policing by putting 13,000 more police and PCSOs on our streets in community teams to keep residents safe. Our plans are the equivalent of giving every constituency in England and Wales 15-20 extra neighbourhood officers.
Opening Martineau Gardens
This morning, I had the pleasure of visiting Martineau Gardens in Edgbaston.
It was a fantastic morning meeting with volunteers, staff and trustees from the Gardens, neighbours from the Priory Hospital and Tennis Club and Calthorpe Estates CEO Haydn Cooper.
Martineau Gardens is a beautiful gem in our constituency, and it was a complete pleasure to spend the morning taking in the tranquillity that the Gardens offer and speaking with all those involved who I commend dearly.
The Gardens are one of the 107 projects benefitting from the legacy of Commonwealth Games hosted in our constituency, with funding being from Birmingham 2022 Festival’s Creative City programme which seeks to ensure residents and neighbourhoods throughout Birmingham are given a chance to play their part in the citywide celebration of culture.
Spaces like these are critical to our communities and I encourage everyone to visit at some point. Entrance is free and the Gardens are open Monday – Saturday 10am – 4pm and closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
For more information on the Gardens, please click the button below.
Your Local Police and Community Together Meetings
As mentioned earlier in my weekly update, I know people right across our constituency are worried about rising crime, particularly anti-social behaviour, and vehicle crime. I am therefore sharing the upcoming PACT meetings hosted by the Neighbourhood Police Teams below.
These meetings are an opportunity for the public to discuss crime with the police in each ward – providing an opportunity to discuss local concerns, highlighting neighbourhood priorities.
Bartley Green’s will be on Wednesday 19 October at Milebrook Hall, 143-151 Field Lane, B32 4ER from 8pm – 9pm.
Quinton’s will be on Friday 21 October at St Faith & St Laurence Church, 115 Balden Road, Harborne, B32 2EL from 7pm – 9pm.
Edgbaston’s will be held on Thursday 27 October at Hallmark Hotel, 225 Hagley Rd, Birmingham B16 9RY from 7pm – 9pm.
Harborne will host its PACT meeting on 10 November at Harborne Police Station, Rose Road, B17 9LL from 7pm – 9pm.
Please do attend.
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton