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Darren congratulates National Express on Living Wage Accreditation

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, met with National Express last week (2nd November) following their accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation as part of Living Wage Week (5th to 9th November).

National Express will be rolling out the real Living Wage rates across all of their UK businesses, including staff based at Bristol Coach Station in Marlborough Street. It makes National Express the largest private sector employer in UK public transport to be officially recognised by the Foundation. The move will benefit more than 240 employees, most of whom work in the UK Coach business. The voluntary rise was put in place in January 2018 and has increased pay for roles including customer service advisors, drivers, apprentice engineers and cleaners to at least £8.75 an hour (£10.20 in London), higher than the statutory Living Wage of £7.38 for under 25s and £7.83 for over 25s.

As well as pledging to pay its UK staff the real Living Wage, National Express has ensured all agency and contracted staff are included in this increase and is working with its partner operators to ensure their employees are also paid the real Living Wage by 2020.

Darren said:

” This is a huge step in the right direction and one which National Express should be rightly proud of. Since being elected as MP for Bristol North West in June last year, I have made it a top priority to campaign for fair terms and conditions for employees and that employees are paid a wage they can live on. It is therefore fantastic to see National Express becoming the largest private sector employer to offer all staff the higher real living wage.

I also welcome their commitment to ensuring this is adopted by other companies it works with – too many companies don’t properly investigate unethical working practises within their supply chain so National Express are throwing down a challenge to other businesses to up their game. I hope to see an end to unethical working practises in Bristol, and beyond – this accreditation supports those endeavours”.

 

 

 

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MP welcomes news of Channel 4 Creative Hub

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has welcomed news that Channel 4 will be locating a Creative Hub in Bristol.

Darren Jones MP said:

“It is fantastic to hear Bristol will be the home of Channel 4’s Creative Hub! This is testament to the hard work of the bid team led by Mayor Marvin Rees at Bristol City Council and the city’s ability to lead the way in innovation, tech and creative industries.

Channel 4 will help to build on the city’s thriving television production sector, which has world-renowned factual producers and also has strengths in areas such as animation and digital production.

Locating in Bristol will also enable Channel 4 to work closely in partnership with Cardiff and its production sector – with the opportunity to further accelerate the growth of the creative cluster around South West England and South Wales – and also connect with indies across the West of England.

Bristol also impressed by putting forward exciting proposals to establish new social mobility initiatives to work with diverse communities across the city and bring through new talent into the industry. I can’t wait to help welcome Channel 4 to this great city of ours“.

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MP comments on YardArts Planning Application.

Following the constituent survey and public meeting held earlier this year, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has submitted his comments on YardArts’ Planning Application for the Fairways site off Penpole Lane, Shirehampton.

 

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Darren asks Minister about ‘sex for rent’ scandal

Darren Jones MP has received a response to his Written Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Justice following the BBC Inside Out West’s undercover investigation into ‘sex for rent’ in Bristol.

Darren Jones MP said:

” I was disgusted by the findings of BBC Inside Out West‘s excellent undercover investigation and followed up with a Written Question to the Secretary of State for Justice. I asked how many convictions there have been under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, in relation to arrangements where sex has been requested in return for accommodation in the City of Bristol.

I was advised: ‘It is not possible to identify from centrally held data the number of offenders convicted for arrangements where sex had been requested in return for accommodation in Bristol under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, as this particular offence cannot be disaggregated from the broader offence of ‘sexual offences’. Additionally, any data held at a court level refers to where the defendant was dealt with rather than where the offence was committed’.

We know this is an emerging and growing problem as rents continue to rise, there is lack of housing, wages stagnate and people have to wait weeks for Universal Credit claims to be processed. It is therefore wholly inadequate that there is no centrally held data about this specific form of abuse and the government don’t know what scale it is being committed“.