This week the Parliamentary agenda was reset with a new Queen’s Speech, meaning the government set out a new list of its priorities over the next year. I was looking for government action in three key areas; unemployment, crime and policing, and education.

Our region has seen our unemployment rate stubbornly stuck at more than double the national average since January 2015. While the government boasts about national employment, this is not seen in Wolverhampton. In fact, my constituency saw a rise of almost 20 per cent in the last twelve months.

For too long our unemployment has been too high, and I’ve been calling for the Prime Minister to make tackling unemployment and delivering decent-paying jobs his number one priority, yet nothing on this was announced in the Queen’s Speech. People across Wolverhampton deserve to know what this government is going to do to stop unemployment rising, and bring these numbers down.

On policing, our region has seen crime rise by ten per cent in the last year, yet police officer numbers are down by over 2,000 since 2010. These cuts are having an effect, and have led our Chief Constable Dave Thompson to say he is “struggling to deliver a service to the public” and “criminals know how stretched we are.”

Last week it was announced that the West Midlands would receive 366 new officers by 2021. New officers are of course welcome, however they do not make up for the 2,131 lost since 2010. The West Midlands needs a real-terms funding boost so new officers can be hired, make our streets safer, and curb the ever-increasing levels of crime our region and our city is facing.

The Queen’s Speech announced that new sentencing laws would be put in place, along with rehabilitation for prisoners, and greater support for victims of crime. This is of course welcome, along with extra laws and protections around domestic abuse, but our communities want the reassurance of more police officers – not to be over 1,700 short of where we were ten years ago.

Finally, on education, 87 of the 88 schools in Wolverhampton have suffered cuts to per-pupil funding between 2015 and 2019. Yet the Prime Minister’s flagship £7.1bn schools funding announcement won’t even put back the money they have lost through cuts.

From visiting schools in my constituency, I have seen that spending cuts have left schools struggling to cope with fewer teachers and teaching assistants, which is having a direct impact on the education of children. In the Queen’s Speech, one line was given to education – that “all young people will have access to an excellent education” – a welcome commitment, but not backed up by any government action over the last decade.

This Queen’s Speech was an opportunity for the government to make meaningful changes which would have a huge impact on Wolverhampton and the wider West Midlands. This opportunity was not taken. This Queen’s Speech was sorely lacking in the three key areas which would really benefit Wolverhampton, and local people deserve better.