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Weekly update - 24 February

Updated: Jan 30

Today marks the one-year anniversary since Putin's barbaric invasion of Ukraine began. When I visited the Polish and Ukrainian border last year, I met so many people fleeing the violence being unleashed and was awestruck by the welcome that Poland had for their neighbours.

In the UK, we too have opened our homes to welcome Ukrainian families. But we cannot rest there. We must continue to support those who remain in Ukraine, fighting for freedom, justice and seeking to keep their way of life through humanitarian aid.

As Keir Starmer has said, “No one should ever have to face the hardship and loss that the Ukrainian people have over the last year. Their fight for democracy, freedom and liberty in the face of tyranny is also our fight. Standing with our NATO allies, we will ensure Putin's defeat and Ukraine's victory."


Slava Ukraini



 

Launching Labour’s five national missions


Rishi Sunak’s promises are designed to get the Tories through the next few months, and attempt to paper over the cracks the Tories have caused over the last 13 years. They are sticking plaster politics with no ambition for Britain.

People are crying out for a long-term plan to give Britain back its future. This week Keir Starmer⁩ launched ⁦labour’s five missions for a better Britain which will do just that.



So, what are they?

  1. Securing the highest sustained growth in the G7 - with good jobs and productivity growth in every part of the country making everyone, not just a few, better off.

  2. Making Britain a clean energy superpower - to create jobs, cut bills and boost energy security with zero-carbon electricity by 2030, accelerating to net zero.

  3. Building an NHS fit for the future - by reforming health and care services to speed up treatment, harnessing life sciences and technology to reduce preventable illness and cutting health inequalities.

  4. Breaking down the barriers to opportunity at every stage - for every child, by reforming the childcare and education systems, raising standards everywhere, and preparing young people for work and life.

  5. Making Britain’s streets safe by reforming the police and justice system, to prevent crime, tackle violence against women, and stop criminals getting away without punishment.

I believe that delivering on these five bold missions is how we will restore Britain’s pride and purpose.

These missions will set the direction, a clear plan for the years ahead and spell out the fully costed steps to achieving them.

It requires everyone to play their part, in every community, in every part of the country. A real partnership between government, national and local, businesses, trade unions and civil society.

But to achieve any of this, we must first see a Labour Government elected so that we can build a better Britain.

 

Fighting for the Number 2 Bus Service

5,000 bus services have been slashed nationwide since the Conservatives came to power, leaving entire communities cut off by decisions taken far away from the people they affect. 

No other country in the developed world allows private bus operators the power they enjoy here – to pick what routes they want and charge passengers whatever they wish. 

Fares have risen twice as fast as wages. The days of tinkering around the edges of a system that has so clearly failed the public are over.  This cannot go on, things must change. And Labour in government will make sure they will.  

We will put the public back in control of the essential public transport they depend upon.  We will give those communities that want it the power to set bus routes and fares, following the path set by our brilliant Mayors in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and in the Liverpool City Region. 

Yet, in the West Midlands, it’s clear we’re being left behind by a Mayor who, like his failing Conservative government, talks a good game about bringing in investment and levelling up our region, but where is the delivery?

It is simply not acceptable that residents are now faced with a collapsing service of such a basic and fundamental part of our transport infrastructure. Birmingham and the West Midlands deserves a transport system that is fit for purpose. What’s the point in having a Conservative Mayor if he isn’t going to engage with his own Government and stand up for our region? 

Buses are an essential part of people's lives whether that's travelling to work, school or other activities. However, many of our bus services have been under huge threat as passenger numbers have dropped and fuel costs have risen. Last year, I met with National Express West Midlands about the steps they are taking to offer a more reliable service to passengers, and I was encouraged by their actions.

This week I've written to Diamond Buses to ask what actions they've taken before simply choosing to cut the 002 service that will have a serious impact on my constituents, in particular in Bartley Green where so many rely on this service.

I will continue to stand with residents to fight for a reliable public transport service.



 

Backing Labour’s plan to bring 20 extra neighbourhood police to every constituency


Shocking new analysis has been released during Labour’s Crime Week which shows huge reductions in staffing for neighbourhood policing in the West Midlands. With this in mind, I have backed Labour’s plans that would see the equivalent of 15-20 extra neighbourhood police in every single constituency.

Labour has pledged to bring back neighbourhood policing by putting 13,000 more neighbourhood police on Britain’s streets. Labour’s plans are the equivalent of giving every constituency in England and Wales 15-20 extra neighbourhood police - formed of officers, PCSOs, and Specials.

The announcement comes as the most recent crime statistics for the West Midlands show a 71% increase in reported robbery since 2015 and more worryingly, knife crime in the West Midlands stands at the highest rate anywhere outside of London with a 115% increase from 2015 to the end of 2022.

Policing cannot be done on the cheap – whether in terms of funding or Officer numbers. Fewer Police means victims feel let down, fewer criminals face justice, communities feel under threat and public confidence in the Police falls. In my constituency, residents too often tell me that they never see a police officer on the beat. Given that crime and anti-social behaviour has soared, 20 extra neighbourhood police would double the number of Police across the constituency and reduce crime on a scale that we haven’t seen since the last Labour Government.

This is why I wrote to the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman MP, to ask what she would say to my constituents who are deeply fearful for their communities and when my constituency and region will see Police and PSCO numbers increased? I look forward to receiving her response however, I fear that we won’t begin to see any reduction in crime or anti-social behaviour until we have a General Election and secure our next Labour Government.


 

What’s happening around the constituency?

The Mobile Household Recycling Centre is returning to our constituency between 7am-12pm. If you have any household waste to get rid of, please make use of your Labour council’s award-winning service.


27/02 Waterworks Rd, North Edgbaston, B16 9BJ

28/02 Trimpley Road, Bartley Green, B32 3PE

02/03 Overdale Road, Quinton, B32 2QS

07/03 Metchley Drive, Harborne, B17 0JX

14/03 Edgbaston Road, Edgbaston, B5 7QU We also have several ward forums coming up. These are your opportunity to speak to your local councillors and have your say about the change you would like to see in your community.

If you are a resident of Harborne ward, your ward forum will be on 28th March, 6.30-8pm at the Community Room in Harborne Pool and Fitness Centre.


If you are a resident of Quinton ward, your ward forum will be on 29th March from 7-9pm at the Quinborne Centre.

Many people are struggling with the rising cost of living. Our constituency has been fortunate to have two new warm spaces signed up to Birmingham City Council’s programme. If you are in need of a warm space, St Germain's Church in North Edgbaston on Thursdays between 12.30-5.30pm. There is also a new space in Quinton which has joined the programme at Quinton Library on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday between 10am-1pm.





Best wishes,





Preet Kaur Gill MP

Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton

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