Following the Queen’s Speech this morning Dan Norris, Metro Mayor for the West of England, said:

“Bills are soaring and West of England residents are feeling the squeeze. Inflation is set to hit 10%. But there is no immediate new cash for local people facing the cost-of-living crisis now. The government say it will offer more help “if needed”. I suggest the Prime Minister gets out and about and talks to people and then he will find out that more help is needed right now. There is zilch to tackle the climate crisis, no measures to insulate homes, which would have helped on energy bills, and no windfall tax on energy producer profits.

“We needed a Queen’s Speech that rose to the scale of cost increases local people face, rewarded the sacrifices that people have made throughout the pandemic and laid the foundations to rebuild our public services. Instead, we got a speech that papers over the cracks. One packed with short-term gimmicks and distant promises, and one showing this is a government that’s run out of steam, with little fresh to offer.

“It’s also disgraceful that after the Tories promised the country would ‘lead the way’ on animal welfare, they’ve chosen to take the mantle of being the party of foie gras and fur. The West of England deserves so much better.

“Dumping the Human Rights Act and banning noisy protests will allow the Government to keep its favourite culture wars burning brightly but it will stoke division. I also think that Channel 4 is a victim of the culture wars. Despite public outcry they are pressing on with their controversial pledge to privatise Channel 4 after 40 years of public ownership, particularly galling for the West of England. This is an ideological decision by a Government that doesn’t like public service broadcasting. But the British public does. With Bristol a proud home to a Channel 4 Cultural Hub, I fear for jobs in the sector and for the unique regional content they make – much of it made in the West of England.

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