After two years of lockdown and no travel, it was entirely predictable that there would be an increase in passport demand. There is now a serious backlog in processing passport applications. Labour called a debate in the House of Commons to highlight the issue and press the Government for action. I’ve also been helping constituents get their passports returned in time for funerals, weddings, and holidays but the Government has been asleep on the job. It is not good enough and the Government must urgently step up and fix this issue.
The Public Accounts Committee held a hearing on waste crime. This is a blight on our communities and in Hackney alone there were over 13,000 incidences of dumping. Serious and organised criminals are exploiting waste to make money and dodge paying tax. Local authorities need more powers and funding to ramp up enforcement action against people committing these crimes. See here to watch the hearing in full and look out for our report on this soon.
And I pressed the Health Minister on the difficulty of accessing NHS dentists in Hackney (see here). She replied that the Government will, finally, unveil a new dental contract. But this won’t be until later in the summer and, even then, it won’t be introduced immediately. The Government is once more being slow to act on an issue that has been growing for some time. I’ll continue urging it to act faster. If you’re having difficulties in accessing an NHS dentist in Hackney, please get in touch.