Local restrictions, like the ones introduced here in Birmingham this week,
are only one part of the solution to keep infection rates down.
Figures released today show that the infection rate in the Midlands is
hovering around 1.2 to 1.5, meaning that for every ten people who catch the
virus, they will go on to infect a further 12 to 15 people. It's clear that
without an effective test and trace system, our ability to control the
spread of the virus is severely hampered.
Countless constituents, including frontline health staff, families with
young children showing symptoms and vulnerable individuals, have told me
that they've either been unable to get TEST or are being sent around the
country in search of one.
This week also saw hundreds of residents seeking a test sent to a mobile
test site in Edgbaston only to find a locked, empty car park, understood to
be because of an ERROR  with the national booking team of the NHS test
and trace service.
Despite the government's failure to fix their testing system, Jacob
Rees-Mog had the audacity to tell the British people to stop the "ENDLESS
CARPING " about not being able to get a test.
People are trying to do the right thing, but they are being let down by an
All along, Labour has said we will support whatever measures the government
takes to protect the NHS and save lives. But six months into this pandemic,
and the government still can't get the basics right.
That’s why Keir Starmer has called on the Prime Minister to convene a
COBRA meeting and to update the country on the measures his government is
taking to keep the virus under control, including to fix testing.
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GOVERNMENT MISSING CLADDING REMOVAL TARGETS SAYS NEW REPORT
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) produced a report this week which
provided yet more evidence to show that the government has been too slow in
fixing building regulation failures three years on from the tragic Grenfell
The government had previously promised Grenfell style cladding would be
removed by June 2020. But the PAC found that only around a third of all
high rise buildings with unsafe cladding has been replaced to date.
The PAC also noted that the government has no convincing plan for how it
will meet the new deadline to replace ACM cladding by the end of 2021, and
even if it does, there are a host of other serious shortcomings exposed by
the Grenfell disaster that also need to be addressed.
Despite repeated questions, the government has been UNABLE  to tell me
when non-ACM cladding will be removed - like the cladding covering
Hemisphere Apartments in my constituency.
The PAC report puts on paper what residents up and down the country already
know, that the progress needed to fix the government's cladding scandal
failures has been glacial.
Three years on from the tragic Grenfell fire, it is a stain on this
government that tens of thousands of people are still living in buildings
covered in dangerous cladding. The government needs to stop dragging its
feet, and act now.
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GOVERNMENT FAILING ON VIOLENT CRIME
Violent crime, including robberies and knife homicides, has risen in every
part of the country over the past decade under the Tories.
And to make matters worse, the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has not called
a single meeting of the government's flagship 'Serious Violence Task Force'
in over a year.
This sheer incompetence from the government is having serious consequences.
They need to get a grip of this growing crisis before more lives are lost.
The consequences of decade-long deep cuts to the police and preventive
services and the loss of 21,000 officers across the country is being felt
here in Birmingham Edgbaston as well, with crime and anti-social behaviour
consistently ranking as residents' top priority.
I met with Inspector Lee Trinder of the West Midlands Police today to relay
constituents concerns and find out what they are doing to address the
issues residents are raising with me.
I will be hosting monthly public meetings and ward walkabouts with
residents and the local police teams. Please email me at
preet.gil[email protected] if you would like to join us when we are next
in your area.
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INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT NEWS
GOVERNMENT ON TRACK TO MISS MAJORITY OF GLOBAL GOAL
This week, the UN General Assembly are meeting to discuss the progress
being made towards the 17 Global Goals. Shamefully, the UK is on course to
fail to meet the majority of the Goals the government has committed to.
Covid-19 is projected to push hundreds of millions of people into
unemployment and poverty, and put millions at risk of starvation. So, it is
more important than ever to step up, work together and bring a renewed
impetus to achieve the Goals to help end poverty, gender inequality and to
tackle climate change.