As part of our 2019 General Election coverage, we have contacted each candidate standing in Northfield, Bromsgrove, Edgbaston and Selly Oak constituencies asking them to contribute to this election’s ‘500 Words’ series.
Each candidate has been invited to describe themselves and their campaigns in their own words. Their submissions will be published without editing, in the order that they are received. Should they be longer than 500 words, they will be cropped.
Preet Kaur Gill • Labour • Edgbaston
I grew up in Birmingham Edgbaston, I went to school here and my father drove the number 11 bus. I have deep roots in our community and understand the issues which matter most to our area. As a social worker, I know the devastating effects of Tory austerity on many of the most vulnerable in society.
In 2017 I was elected to represent you as your Member of Parliament for Birmingham Edgbaston. Since then, I helped more than 14,000 people; supporting individuals locally and raising residents’ concerns in Parliament.
I want to continue to be your hardworking MP. Re-elect me on December 12th to be your local champion.
I pledge to:
1. Invest in our NHS to protect our Queen Elizabeth Hospital
The last nine years of Tory rule have seen the biggest funding squeeze in NHS history, leading to 4.3 million people on the waiting list for operations.
Labour will increase investment in the NHS by an average 4.3% a year, to deliver the standards of care we expect.
2. Reverse Tory cuts to our vital public and community services here in Edgbaston
Our council is at breaking point due to funding cuts of 31% here in Birmingham. Since 2010, rough sleeping has more than doubled in our city and the West Midlands Fire Service has lost nearly 600 staff.
I will continue to fight to protect our public services by taxing those at the very top to properly fund services for everyone.
3. Invest in our police to keep our community and its residents safe
Police officer numbers in the West Midlands are down 2,000 since the Conservatives were elected and knife crime in Birmingham has risen 85% since 2012, one of the largest increases in the country.
As your MP, I fought the closure of Quinton and Harborne police stations and will keep arguing for them to be re-opened. I will fight for more police and to rebuild neighbourhood policing to protect our communities.
4. Stop education cuts and properly fund our schools, colleges and universities
All 31 schools here in Birmingham Edgbaston have suffered cuts under the Tories and next year they are facing a cut of £7.7 million – that’s £544 less per-pupil. As a mother with two young children, I share the serious concerns of many parents about our children’s futures.
Labour will invest in free childcare for all two to four-year olds, stop cuts to schools, provide free school meals for primary school children, reduce class sizes and abolish tuition fees.
5. Invest in youth services to support our young people
Public spending on youth services in England has fallen by £1 billion since 2010. As a result, 43 youth centres have been forced to close in Birmingham and there are only 39 full time youth workers serving the whole city.
Far too many young people have nowhere to go, nothing to do and a lack of role models to talk to. I have created a mental health working group to give young people a say on the services they need.
A chance to hear directly from your candidates, any hustings we are aware of will be listed below. Please let us know of any not listed.