Check Your Documents and Renew Early.

The Government have stopped functioning effectively, causing delays and disappointment for people seeking Passports, Driving Licences or Visas.

Local families have lost holidays in recent weeks and months due to Passport Office delays.

Planned returns to work have been cancelled due to delays at the DVLA.

Ukrainian refugees are stranded and unable to travel after the Home Office only issues travel documents to a mother and not her child.

In the past, Members of Parliament have been able to resolve issues quickly through ‘bespoke’ MP hotlines, but these routes have been shut down or downgraded over recent years.

The quality of advice and support has been eroded as multiple departments struggle to cope with increased demand, service cuts and policy changes. The collapse of departmental processes is a consequence of long-term decisions to cut funding and resources to public bodies. The loss of experienced staff, through retirement and redundancies, cannot be replaced by short term panic and an influx of new staff rushed through sub-standard training processes.

There will be more debates, questions and press statements in the months ahead, particularly as we approach summer. However, the best advice is to check your documents, renew early, and if departments fail to meet standard services times, give your member of parliament as much time possible before you travel or require the return/renewal of a driving licence.

Sadly, for people fleeing conflict and violence in Ukraine, we need a change in Government policy. We need a policy of common sense, compassion and humanitarianism instead of the hostile bureaucracy that has become the hallmark of the Government’s immigration and refugee system.

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