Richard Burden MP, Labour’s Shadow Roads Minister, responding to the Government’s merger of the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) into the DVSA said:
“Ministers are out of touch if they think announcing a new name is the same as making real improvements to safety on our roads.
Last month, the Amnesty International Group in Bournville, South Birmingham, asked me to address them on my work as a member of the International Development Committee of the House of Commons. This article taken from what I said to the meeting.
After 8 years on the International Development Select Committee (IDC), my appointment as Shadow Transport Minister means I have had to recently step down from the role. I wanted to use this opportunity to share some of my thoughts from my time on the Committee – which serves to scrutinise the policy, administration and spending of the Government’s Department for International Development (DFID).
As the MP for Birmingham Northfield I welcome the development of a Cycle Charter for the West Midlands, which is open to public consultation.
This response expresses support for the Charter’s key principles and goals, and proposes additional action to support greater cycling participation in the region – including through ambitious targets, local engagement and participation, better infrastructure, education and awareness and funding opportunities.
The City Council is considering the introduction of 20mph speed limits on the city’s roads to improve safety and reduce collisions. As their decision will affect everyone who lives, works, shops, visits or travels in the city, I welcome the opportunity to respond as the MP for Birmingham Northfield.
You may have read that the BBC have committed to a new vision for Birmingham, with a promise of a £23.5 million investment for our city.
This is a major step forward in a long running campaign to boost the BBC’s presence in Birmingham and the Midlands more widely. Along with other Labour MPs, I have long been calling for a fair a share of BBC investment in our region. There is a huge gap between what people in the Midlands pay to the BBC and what is spent here. People in the Midlands provide the BBC with over 25% of the overall licence fee revenue, but only 2.5% of the BBC’s budget is spent in the region. While the corporation’s operational expenditure per licence fee payer is over £70 in the North and South, it now stands at just £16 in the Midlands.