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Government has 'lots of words - but very little action'

In her latest editorial in the Telegraph & Argus, Judith talks about her recent work on a range of important local and national issues:

I hope that people have managed to get a break during the summer. Over the summer months we saw terrible events unfold in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is an international crisis which the government needs to lead the national response to. The withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan has left many people in fear of their lives from Taliban reprisals. The government has a moral responsibility to play its part in defending those Afghans who are in the greatest danger from the Taliban.

This situation requires a national response; it should not be left up to local authorities across the country to volunteer to support those escaping from the new Afghan regime. The Government must lead a coordinated and well-resourced plan that disperses those seeking refuge from Taliban across the United Kingdom in a fair way. I expect Bradford to play its full part in this. But I also expect every other council to do the same, and for the government to fully fund any resettlement program.

The Government have given us lots of words at present but very little credible action as to how they are going to do this and also how they plan to bring British nationals that are still stranded in Afghanistan home. This must be their immediate priority.

The Government should have acted to improve Social Care over a decade ago. The delaying of taking decisive action has left social care in a crisis with services grossly underfunded and understaffed – something that the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated. However, rather than leading a national debate on what care services should look like in the future, the government is rushing through a manifesto-breaking raise to National Insurance. This is not a plan to tackle the crisis in social care, it is just an unfair tax rise.

We are all in agreement that Social Care needs extra funding, but there are fairer ways that this money can be raised. The government should be considering introducing new income tax brackets that ensure that those with the broadest shoulders pay their fair share of the social care bill, instead the current government proposals will mean that lower paid people across my Bradford South constituency will instead be worse off. Fundamentally, we need a fair and equal plan to fund our Social Care services not one that will seemingly mean that the rich stay rich, but the poor become poorer.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted and increased many of the inequalities and challenges faced by employees such as low-pay, insecure work, and insufficient working hours. As we move forward, we now need to look at addressing these issues as it’s simply not good enough to go back to the pre-Covid ‘normal’ of a deregulated labour market, we need to create a new way of working that is fairer for all.

The government commissioned a report into this issue in 2017, but as is typical of the current Government – it has still has not implemented any of the report.

People in Bradford South, and right across the country, need strong legislation to bolster employment protections in the post-Covid world.  I will be strongly advocating for this as we continue to emerge from the pandemic.

As big national and international issues dominate the headlines, here at home in Bradford there are many local nuisances that gravely impact on people’s lives.

As we approach bonfire night the issue of fireworks disturbances after dark will become an even greater annoyance. Although unfortunately this is an issue that sadly plagues many people all year round.

Using a firework after 11pm is an offence under the Fireworks Act 2003. There are various ways in which police can deal with this and I will be ensuring that the council and the police must make full use of the current powers that they have at their disposal.

However, it is clear to me that the legislation around fireworks needs to be improved and that is why I am planning to call for a debate in Parliament to challenge the government to do more to help my constituents live in a less noisy and safer environment.

Before the summer recess, I challenged the Government in parliament to tackle the issues surrounding quad bike use, with a view to exploring the banning of quad bikes for on–road use. I speak with many local residents who have concerns that quad bikes driving up and down our roads, and sometimes pavements, in an anti-social manner often with face coverings and no licence plates.

As the Government have no current plans to introduce legislation on this serious issue. I will continue to work to ensure this issue gets the attention from Government it deserves. Local people shouldn’t have to put up with this.


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