A bland menu of missed opportunities
Commenting on today’s Queen’s Speech, Bristol South MP Karin Smyth said:
“A Queen’s Speech is a government’s opportunity to outline how it plans to address the pressing problems faced by communities day-in, day-out. Sadly for south Bristol this Queen’s Speech is an opportunity missed.
“I know from my mailbox, and from talking with south Bristol residents on their doorsteps and at my constituency surgeries, the priorities they have lie a million miles away from what the government has outlined.
“What I’m really interested in is whose needs this Queen’s Speech is NOT addressing.
“For example, it’s not addressing our young people who badly need opportunities for better skills, training and higher education openings.
“I fear, for example, that simply publishing still more data about university students’ backgrounds will not transform the situation we currently face where Bristol South sends fewer of its young people to university than anywhere else in the UK.
“And whilst last year’s Queen’s Speech included fine words about ambitious targets to create new three million new apprenticeships, a year on Bristol South residents are still waiting for the detail about how this will be achieved.
“And for all the fanfares of a so-called ‘u-turn’, the government’s intent to make all schools into academies still seems very clear.
“There are some promising measures, such as proposed changes to support and protection for care leavers and adoption reform. But we need to await the detail of funding arrangements. If our councils are simply expected to deliver more without additional resources, the fine intentions are doomed to fail, with a new generation of vulnerable young people let down.
“This Queen’s Speech lays out a bland menu that suggests the government is either running out of ideas or missing the point.”