Today I met with National Highways on Clay Drive in Quinton, to ensure that their officers saw the impact of their actions. Late last year, National Grid and National Highways took the decision to cut down more than 100 trees which were protecting residents from the sights, sounds and pollution of the very busy M5. When the agencies carried out the work, consultation with the local community wasn’t carried out and this has impacted residents mental and physical health, their local environment as well as their house prices. When a resident reached out to me, I immediately contacted both organisations and demanded that they meet with me and residents to understand what they have done. I was pleased to see National Highways owning up to some of the mistakes that have been made. Moving forwards, they have committed to meeting with residents once again to put forward proposals on how they can start to rectify the situation. I will continue to support residents with this massive problem that’s in no way of their own making and I have also contacted DEFRA to seek their backing with this case.
Kicking off £100 million of road resurfacing
I am extremely pleased to see work taking place on our roads and pavements. Over the last few years, I have worked closely with local councillors Jayne Francis in Harborne and Kate Booth in Quinton to fight for an improvement to the surfacing of our roads so that they are in better condition. After much lobbying and campaigning, Birmingham City Council last year announced a £100 million investment, and it was with much pride that I was able to announce that Quinton’s roads would be receiving the biggest investment as the largest improvement scheme in the city. This week, Harborne High Street, Carless Avenue and Quinton Road West have seen repair work start to be carried out. This is great news for local residents who shouldn’t have to face countless potholes or uneven pavements. I will continue to monitor this work and should you need to contact me about this, please get in touch at email@example.com or 0121 392 8426.
Visiting Lander Automotive
Earlier this week I visited Lander Automotive, a brilliant business in Bartley Green that has been part of our local community for over 30 years. It was fantastic to hear from them about the work they’re doing. In particular, I was really impressed to hear about their award-winning apprenticeship scheme that not only has seen them ranked 14th of the top 100 apprentice providers in the country but has also seen them win the 2021 National Apprenticeship Service’s Best SME Apprentice Employer. This is an incredible achievement especially when we consider what has been an extremely difficult few years for the automotive sector. Not only have they had to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic but our automotive and technology sectors have been facing a shortage of computer chips meaning that production volumes haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels. I will continue to offer my support wherever possible to our brilliant local businesses like Lander Automotive. Businesses like these in our communities need all the help we can provide.
Joining the Birmingham Live exempt roundtable
This week I joined Birmingham Live for a discussion on exempt accommodation. My fellow panellists on the Facebook Live Roundtable were Police Chief Superintendent Stephen Graham, Ashley Horsey CEO of Commonweal Housing and Denise Forsyth who is a campaigner in Handsworth. We discussed how a largely unregulated exempt sector, which provides housing for those with a range of complex needs, has led to an explosion of low quality and poorly managed housing. While five years ago there was relatively little in the way of this type of housing, there are now an estimated 21,000 people receiving enhanced benefits for this additional support. The issue with this type of housing is that often, residents are not receiving the extra benefits they require, and landlords are taking advantage at the expense of their tenants and the communities which they ought to serve. We cannot allow this to become a way to provide care on the cheap. The Government thought initially this was an easy way to provide supported accommodation but without checks and balances it is ripe for exploitation.
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton