This evening, I had a chance to welcome the Government’s new legislative agenda that was set out in last week’s Queen's Speech. While delivered by the Prince of Wales, this speech sets out Her Majesty’s Government’s objectives for the forthcoming parliamentary session.
Following on from the busy schedule last year, the Government has proposed 38 Bills in this year’s Queen Speech to deliver on its manifesto commitments, support our international allies and support constituents up and down the country with the cost of living. Following a lively few days of debate, I was able to speak in the penultimate day of debate on “Making Britain the Best Place to Grow Up and Grow Old”.
The main point that I wished to make during this speech was on how we can level the playing field when it comes to education in this country; giving every child in England the best start to life. I believe that there is much to welcome in the Government’s upcoming legislation, not least of all the new Schools Bill focusing on state-funded education, which I know is central to the development of children across Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner. Perhaps most importantly, this Bill will contain provisions to enable local authorities to set up multi-academy trusts, which I know from my experience in local government are more effective in improving attainment of struggling schools.
Additionally, the Government has announced its intention to review the current legislation regarding human rights. As a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, I know how important it is that we update our human right legislation to tackle modern challenges. I look forward to further proposals being brought forward so that we can effectively deal with cases here in the UK rather than sending them to Strasbourg as we do under current provisions.
Effective Government is rightly what my constituents expect. Restoring trust in our systems must include building on the lessons learned from the pandemic. Following the most profitable and efficient parts of our economy, I used my speech to also call on the Government to build on the trend of working from home allowing taxpayer-funded services to go even further by making sure that people who can work from home most efficiently do so while maintaining face-to-face public services.
The final element of my speech focused upon celebrating the renewed effort to ensure Britain takes care of our population at every stage of their lives. I know that people across my constituency will access some form of social care at some stage of their lives. In order to reflect the realities of the modern world, I pushed the Minister to answer the call from the Children’s Commissioner for England to abolish the chastisement defence in respect of the disciplining of children.
In my closing remarks I challenged the Government to consider their public health approach to help our ageing population. Highlighting excellence locally, I hope that the Government will consider how local authorities can encourage elder residents to remain proactive through activities such as walking, bowels and swimming.