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Darren calls for a People’s Vote on Sky News

Darren was interviewed on Sky News prior to the Budget. He used the opportunity to make the case for a People’s Vote, pointing out that the economic reality of Brexit is now known to be different to what was promised during the referendum campaign.

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Darren reacts to the Budget on ITV Points West

Darren appeared on ITV Points West to give his reaction to the budget – outlining how it failed on Brexit and Public Services.

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Darren reacts to the budget in Parliament

Darren spoke in the debate on The Budget, giving his reaction to it. He termed it a Budget which was ‘a Budget of bad jokes and little else’, as it failed to deal with Brexit, austerity or the economy.

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Darren visits Lockleaze Hindu Harvest Festival

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, recently visited the Sarodiya Durga Puja celebration in Lockleaze.

Darren said:

“It was fantastic to join Hindu constituents for their annual harvest-themed festival which included beautiful decorations and offerings. It was a joyous and fun celebration and I thank the organisers for inviting me”.

If your Bristol North West-based club or group would like Darren visit, please send the request to his office via: darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk. Darren’s diary is pretty busy but we’ll do our best to find a suitable date and time.

 

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Darren joins Unison’s call for boost in council funding

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has signed a cross-party letter,  coordinated by trade union Unison calling on the Chancellor to boost funding for councils in England.

Darren Jones MP said:

“Our council are facing unprecedented cuts during a time of rapidly rising demand for adult social care services, child safeguarding referrals and support for children with Special Educational Needs. We all know people feel upset when they see local services closing but in reality councils can only do so much with the shrinking money and staff they have available. Since 2010, 220,000 local government staff have been made redundant and more posts have been removed or left unfilled and there’s been a 49% drop in funding. We are fortunate thanks to our Labour council’s efforts that libraries were saved from closure and they have protected as many services for the vulnerable as possible but with adequate funding they could achieve far more.

We now have even loyal Conservative council leaders calling for the broken funding system to be urgently reviewed before people suffer  – change is urgently needed and can be delayed no longer. I hope to see a significant boost to council funding in the Chancellor’s Budget on Monday (29th October) anything else will only lead to greater suffering in our communities”.

 

 

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Darren visits Lawrence Weston BMX Track

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, recently visited the new BMX track in Lawrence Weston.

Darren said:

“My first bike was a BMX, but we didn’t have a BMX track then! The BMX track on Henacre Road in Lawrence Weston is a great asset for local kids, and hats off to the parents volunteering to make it happen week in, week out. I would love to see more free family-focussed facilities like this across Bristol North West”.

If your Bristol North West-based club would like Darren visit, please send the request to his office via: darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk. Darren’s diary is pretty busy but we’ll do our best to find a suitable date and time.

 

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Darren calls for end to two-child limit policy on Benefits

Darren Jones MP has signed a cross-party letter led by colleague Rushanara Ali, calling on the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Esther McVey to scrap the cruel two-child limit on some benefit entitlements.

Darren Jones MP said:

” Whilst the government claim this policy is to encourage future ‘responsible parenting’, in many cases it has been applied retrospectively to families who already have 2+ children! Since coming into effect last April, the two-child limit policy has affected an estimated 400,000 children and will eventually affect around 3 million children once the transitional protection runs out – including 5000 in Bristol North West. Each of these families will be £4,000 a year worse off, on average, than in the absence of the policy.

I want to stop the policy being extended to all new Universal Credit claimants from February next year.

In the letter signed by over 100 MP’s we say:

“The two-child limit makes it harder for working families with more than two children to work their way out of poverty, however hard they try to improve their situation. Furthermore, many non-working families will no longer be able to escape the impact of the benefit cap by moving into employment, because they would instead be caught by the two-child limit.”

“The complex rules for applying the two-child limit, including the lengthening list of exemptions, undermine the aim of making the benefits system simpler to understand and easier to administer“.

See the letter here: Universal Credit – Letter

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Darren calls for restoration of Migrant Impact Fund

Darren Jones MP for Bristol North West, has called for the Migrant Impact Fund to be restored in the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget on Monday (29th October).

Darren Jones MP said:

“The £50m fund was set-up several years ago in response to local government’s legitimate concerns that they needed central funding to help support any unexpected pressure on local services such as housing, schools and hospitals. This is common sense and the fund should have never been replaced with the much less effective Controlling Migration Fund which does not fund things such as additional pressures on healthcare. This change was an ill-thought out, backwards step that only helps to fans the flames of prejudice – it must be reversed“.

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Darren calls on Government to fund police pensions

Darren Jones MP has backed calls from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, for the government to review their plans to pass changes to funding of police pensions to police forces, potentially costing Avon and Somerset Constabulary an additional £9m per year.

Darren Jones MP said:

” Our Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and Avon and Somerset Constabulary‘s Chief Constable Andy Marsh have been very clear that the local force is ‘at a tipping point’ and the government’s failure to properly invest in the police could lead to complex investigations such as sexual exploitation or domestic abuse being under-resourced. Earlier this year, I joined police officers on a typical Friday night in Bristol North West so I have seen first-hand the immense pressure they are under to meet rising, and changing, demands with less staff.

I have been advised today (25 10 18) that potential changes to funding of police pensions (and passing of those costs to the force) could cost Avon and Somerset Police £9m per year from 2020-21. Costs of this magnitude without increased funding will inevitably lead to cuts to the number of police and put public safety at risk.

But this is not ‘just’ a local issue, a report by the Home Affairs Committee released today said forces in England and Wales were “struggling to cope” amid falling staff numbers and rising crime. It also accused the Home Office of a “complete failure of leadership” – this is totally unacceptable and I wonder at what point the government will practice what it preached at Conservative party conference and truly bring an end to the crippling austerity that is bringing every one of our public services to breaking point?

Just over a year ago – in advance of last year’s autumn budget – I called upon the government to protect and boost police funding, I’ve also more recently championed investment into investigating child exploitation and, earlier this month, supported calls for fairer allocation of police funding. I have therefore shared my concerns with the government once again to demand proper funding and support for police“.

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Darren shares concern about trucks using Iron Bridge route and minor roads

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has commented on the on-going problems of lorries and trucks getting stuck under/damaging the iron bridge in Shirehampton (see picture of incident on 25 10 18) and causing traffic chaos whilst they find their way back to the main roads.

Darren said:

“We have got to stop industrial trucks from taking short cuts to Avonmouth via Kingsweston Lane through Kingsweston and Lawrence Weston. They need to use the Portway and the motorway quality roads between Shirehampton and Avonmouth villages to get into and out of our industrial area. Not only do they not fit, but it significantly increases the risk of accidents.

I’ve written to our Mayor to ask what we can do to make this change happen”.

Update, 28.11.18: 

In response to the above incident and concerns about large vehicles being told to use the wrong roads by Sat-Navs, Darren asked the Government the following Parliamentary question:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department holds discussions with Satnav companies on the suitability of roads for certain vehicles due weight and height restrictions?

The Secretary of State replied:

The Department has had no such recent discussions.

The Department is aware that manufacturers produce special satnav devices for lorries, in order to provide them with routing information appropriate to their vehicle.

The Government has invested £3 million to help create a digital road map, with one aim being to ensure traffic keeps moving efficiently and safely on suitable routes. It includes information such as road widths, which could be used in satnavs to improve the quality and accuracy of routing advice. The map is available online at: www.os.uk/highways.

Routing guidance provided by satnavs should only ever be considered as advisory. It is for individual device owners to ensure that they use their satnavs responsibly and with a proper understanding of their limitations. It is for individuals to determine the best route for their journey.

To follow Darren’s work on Transport click here.