THIS week's MP's column comes from Judith Cummins, Labour MP for Bradford South

If Rishi Sunak’s speech last week was his ‘vision for Britain’, the Prime Minister may well be due an eye test. While the Government is happy to blunder on telling everyone that things are fine, people in Bradford see the NHS on its knees and feel the pressure of the cost of living and the drop in the standard of living.

We need – but sadly lack – a Government that is committed to delivering growth and prosperity for Bradford and Yorkshire.

But, with a general election expected this year, people in Bradford will get an opportunity to vote for real change.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford South MP Judith CumminsBradford South MP Judith Cummins (Image: Submitted)

While this stale Conservative Government continues to flounder, I have been busy getting on with the job of serving people in Bradford South on the issues that matter to them: I am pleased that my work to curb the impact of nuisance fireworks has made progress.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A general election is anticipated this yearA general election is anticipated this year

I recently presented my Bill to Parliament arguing the case to reduce the legal noise limit for publicly available fireworks from the current ear-shattering 120 decibels, equivalent to the sound emitted by a pneumatic drill or a chainsaw, down to 90 decibels – about the volume of a ringing telephone, or a hair dryer. Importantly, this would not affect professionally-run displays that many people love.

Time and again, people in Bradford South tell me that they, their children, and their pets are being rudely awakened by excessive firework noise all year round.

One constituent said that the noise is “literally window-pane shaking, four times a week, week after week.”, while another spoke about ex-servicemen, suffering from PTSD, who are constantly affected by loud, explosive, fireworks.

My Bill has also been backed by animal rights organisations like the RSCPA, who say that pets' sensitive hearing leaves them much more susceptible to loud and high-pitched noises than people.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Used fireworks Used fireworks

My petition on fireworks is still live. So far, it has been signed by hundreds of residents in Bradford and across the country - showing just how widespread and deeply felt this unacceptable problem is. If you want to add your voice to the growing chorus calling for an end to antisocial firework misuse, please do sign it -

I have also been working to support residents affected by the cavity wall insulation scandal.

Last week, along with Imran Hussain MP for Bradford East, I met with homeowners whose lives have been devastated by the collapse of the law firm that was representing them in their claims against the cavity wall companies.

Constituents tell me that their claims collapsed when SSB law went bankrupt. Not only can they now not seek compensation for the damage to their homes that they believe has been caused by the work, but they are also horrified to have received letters telling them that they are liable for expensive legal bills – despite having being told that their claims being ‘no win, no fee'.

One constituent told me that the collapse of her claim for an eye-watering £120,000 worth of damage to her home – a staggering amount, especially considering the average price of a home in Bradford South is £180,000 – is being compounded by the demand to pay thousands of pounds in legal fees.

For these people, it feels like a double injustice.

In Parliament, I have challenged the Secretary of State for Justice on the extortionate legal costs and called on the Government to take steps to ensure that the Solicitors Regulation Authority have the necessary powers to make sure that people are protected, properly compensated and can get the justice they deserve.

When Government-backed schemes do go wrong, both people’s and the public’s purse must be safeguarded, especially in instances of no-win, no-fee agreements where the legal firm has gone bust.

Finally, Parliament this week debated the Criminal Justice Bill, which includes important new amendments that clarify the law on the offence of spiking in all its forms.

After years of my campaigning to bring about action to tackle the scourge of spiking, I am glad that this issue is now being taken seriously. And while I welcome these important and long-overdue first steps, they still fall short of my call to make the horrific act of spiking a single standalone offence in law.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Judith Cummins has spoken about the scourge of spikingJudith Cummins has spoken about the scourge of spiking

I also supported amendments that would make even the attempt to spike someone a specific criminal offence.

When fewer than 1 in 400 reports of drug-spiking end up leading to a criminal charge, we must go further and faster, and make sure the laws in place to protect us are fit for the 21st century.

Whether here in Bradford or in Westminster, as your Member of Parliament I will continue to stand up on the issues that matter to you.