June 2022: News from your local MP

May 25 2022

Family should be proud

AS the local MP and your voice in Westminster, an important part of my role is to argue for changes in the laws of the land that respond to the priorities of residents and businesses across the Kingswood constituency. We have recently seen the end of one Parliamentary session - which saw a number of new laws passed – and the start of a new Parliamentary session – marked by the Queen’s Speech in which 38 new bills were unveiled.

Completing its passage through Parliament recently is the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, which sees the maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving in the UK increase from fourteen years to life imprisonment. This follows a long-running campaign sparked by the tragic deaths of Ross and Clare Simons in Hanham in 2013, at the hands of a disqualified driver.

I am proud to have campaigned alongside Ross and Clare’s family in the nine years following their deaths to strengthen the law on dangerous driving and in 2014, 15,000 people signed my petition calling for a change in the law. This petition led to me securing a debate in the House of Commons on dangerous driving in 2014 and the same year I raised the issue with the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, who met with myself and the family in 2015.

For far too long, drivers who killed either through reckless or careless driving have not faced sentences which reflect the terrible damage and harm that they cause to families and local communities. Ross and Clare’s family should be immensely proud of what they have achieved and the positive change that has come from their tireless campaigning.

Looking to the future, many of the new 38 bills set out in the Queens Speech will have a particularly positive impact locally. The Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill offers local councils and communities an ambitious package on regeneration to empower them to rejuvenate our high streets, protect our green spaces, and regenerate brownfield sites. In addition, tenants' rights will be improved through the Social Housing Regulation Bill ensuring better quality and safer homes and a new Schools Bill will raise standards for students, regardless of where they live.

I look forward to scrutinising and debating these proposals as they work their way through Parliament to ensure maximum positive impact for communities.