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The “Emergency” Budget

I can rarely remember a Budget over which there has already been so much speculation, concern and fear. And the announcements we will hear on Wednesday are not even the annual budget the Chancellor is required to present every March. This is ‘an emergency summer budget’ – made necessary because the Tories pledged to make £12 billion in welfare savings before the Election, without any idea of how they could do so.

Over the past few weeks I have been contacted by scores of local people who are worried about where the axe will fall. Will it be further changes to the support given to disabled people? Or will we see housing benefit cut for young people who are out of work? It now seems certain that George Osborne will use his new Budget to undercut the tax credits that so many families rely on to get by.

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Motorsport: a global and local success story

7 of the world’s ten F1 teams are British and Britain’s £9bn motorsport industry is a global success story, employing over 40,000 people. That is why, as well as drivers, the UK needs to always be looking to nurture the next generation of designers, engineers, aerodynamicists and technicians who can keep us ahead.

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Rise in road casualties highlight impact of cuts in road safety and police budgets

This week  the Government published the annual statistics on reported road casualties in Great Britain.

Behind these figures are personal tragedies for thousands of families up and down the country whose loved ones have been killed or injured on our roads.

They should be a wake-up call for Ministers. After decades of progress, for some time there have been worrying rises in casualty rates for months. The rises in fatalities is particularly serious amongst vulnerable road users like pedestrians (12% increase from last year) and cyclists (4%  up from last year).

As Shadow Roads Minister I have called on Government Minister to get to the bottom of why this is happening, including assessing the impact of cuts in road safety and police budgets. And they should bring back targets for improving road safety so we can both get both incentives and accountability back into the system.

Superfast Broadband Update

You may recall before the General Election, I did a call out for local people to get in touch if they had access problems to Superfast Broadband.

The response I got back, highlighted a number of random pockets in the local area – not-spots – that have no coverage and affect residents and even a school.

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Northfield Manor Update

Last year’s fire at Northfield’s Manor House was devastating news for everyone concerned about the heritage of our area.

Since then I have continued to press Birmingham University for updates. You can find the latest news about the building and the recent further demolition in this letter- which has also been sent out to local residents. As you will see, the University outline why further they have needed to take down substantial parts of the structure for safety reasons.

Whilst obviously safety is paramount, I am continuing to emphasise to the University the unique history of the Manor House and its importance to our area. I am pleased they recognise how importance the appearance of Manor House is in this letter – and I will of course continue to press for the Cadbury heritage to be protected as the reconstruction develops.