Darren relaunches Labour Friends of India

Writing on Facebook, Darren said

One of my national roles is co-chairing my party’s relationship between the UK and India. It was great to welcome the new High Commissioner and her India in UK (High Commission of India, London) team to our Labour Friends of India event this evening.

India is now the fastest growing economy in the world, and is expected to overtake China. As a democracy with liberal institutions the geopolitical role India will play in the future will be vital.

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Darren pledges to be HealthTech savvy

Darren has pledged to be HealthTech Savvy.

Writing on Facebook, he said:

There is life outside of Brexit! Here I am pledging to become HealthTech Savvy. The HealthTech sector employs 100,000 people and generates nearly £18bn in annual turnover, and plays a key role in supporting the NHS to deliver care.

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Darren encourages response to Sims consultation

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones is encouraging residents of Avonmouth and the surrounding area to contribute to an Environment Agency consultation  in relation to Sims Group UK Limited’s application to vary their current environmental permit.

How can you view and comment on the consultation?

You can see the permit application and accompanying documents here or if you don’t have access to the internet you can see a paper copy at Avonmouth Library and Community Centre, 257 Avonmouth Rd, Avonmouth, Bristol BS11 9EN during their opening hours.

You can submit your comments online using the Agency’s Citizen Space portal, by emailing: pscpublicresponse@environment-agency.gov.uk or you can post comments to: Environment Agency Permitting and Support Centre, Land Team, Quadrant 2, 99 Parkway Avenue, Sheffield, S9 4WF.

The Environment Agency must receive your comments by 5pm on 8th February 2019.

Darren said:

“Further to meetings with Sims Group soon after my election in 2017, I’m pleased to see they’re now trying to make investment into their Avonmouth site to reduce noise pollution, make the site cleaner and improve traffic management.

Sims Group UK Ltd currently accepts and shreds metal and end of life vehicles at their site in Avonmouth, Bristol. Because of the type and scale of activities carried out on-site the operator needs to have both planning permission (from the local authority) and an environmental permit (from the Environment Agency) in order to operate. Sims group are now seeking variation to their current permit which has been in place since September 2017. The Environment Agency’s consultation period regarding the permit variation application is now open. I know a number of constituents have been concerned about the site’s operations, in order that this feedback can be formally considered, I strongly urge constituents to submit comments before 8th February 2019″.

 

Bristol North West residents share Brexit views

Darren used the Seenit app to gather constituents’ views on Brexit ahead of him casting his vote on their behalf in the Meaningful Vote. The Meaningful Vote is a vote in the House of Commons on whether to accept Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

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Darren speaks about Bristol Energy and Brexit on BBC Sunday Politics West

Darren appeared to on Sunday Politics West, the BBC’s main political talkshow for the region, to talk about Bristol Energy and Brexit. On the latter point he discussed the weaknesses of the Prime Minister’s deal and why there ought to be a People’s Vote.

You can watch the full episode here; Darren speaks about Bristol Energy at about 5:37 and about Brexit at around 13:00.

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Darren calls for constituents to support library consultation

Get involved! Dates for your diary:

Labour-run Bristol City Council saved all of the city’s libraries from closure last year but, given the continued decline in government funding, they need our help to look at innovative ways of running the service in the future.

The council are hosting 4 events in Bristol North West to cover the libraries in our patch:

* Greenway Centre, Doncaster Road to talk about Southmead, Westbury, Henleaze, Horfield and Lockleaze libraries on: Wednesday 6 March 10 am to 12 pm or
Saturday 9 March 10 am to 12 pm.

* Shirehampton Public Hall,
Station Road to talk about Henbury, Shirehampton, Avonmouth and Sea Mills libraries on Monday 11 March 7pm to 9pm or Wednesday 13 March 10am to 12pm.

Spaces at these events must be booked in advance online. Reserve a space and find out more about the ideas gathering on:

www.bristol.gov.uk/libraryideas

 

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Universal Credit Two-Child Benefit Cap lifted after MP campaign

Following sustained pressure from MPs including Darren Jones, charitable organisations and advice agencies, the two-child benefit cap for families claiming Universal Credit has been removed. It was due to be enforced retrospectively from February 2019 for parents whose third (or more) child was born before Universal Credit was rolled out in 2017.

Darren Jones MP had previously signed a cross-party letter led by colleague Rushanara Ali, calling on the Prime Minister, Chancellor and then DWP Secretary Esther McVey to scrap the cruel two-child limit on some benefit entitlements. See the letter here: Universal Credit – Letter

Darren Jones MP said:

“I campaigned last year for the cruel two-child benefit cap (which was about to be applied retrospectively to families claiming Universal Credit (UC) with 3 or more kids prior to 2017) to be quashed.  I also campaigned for the transfer of existing claimants (of so-called Legacy Benefits) onto UC to be stopped as government admitted some claimants would be worse-off purely because of the move onto UC.

I am therefore delighted to hear the new Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd has bowed to sustained pressure and ditched plans to extend the two-child benefit cap for UC claimants (from February 2019) as planned. This cap would have affected around 15,000 families, some of which will be here in Bristol North West. This cap would have pushed many vulnerable families into further financial hardship and children born before UC existed into poverty.

Amber Rudd has also confirmed she will delay asking MPs to vote on the transfer of people onto UC and will use this time to re-assess waiting times and the roll-out.

Whilst people must consider their financial situation when planning their family, alongside many other considerations, any retrospective capping of benefits is blatantly unfair and punishes children already born.

I will continue to call upon the government to review their wider two-child benefit cap and make sure no-one is poorer because of admin changes in how their benefits are paid”.

 

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MP shares news of Shirehampton YardArts Planning Application

Darren Jones MP for Bristol North West said:

“We received news in December 18 that the Karakal/Fairways site on Penpole Lane in Shirehampton had now been sold in its entirety to the owner of Karakal Factory.

The new owner confirmed to me they had no plans to pursue the former planning application for storage containers or the then live planning application for a circus village, caravan hard standings and workshop area submitted by YardArts.

I have now received formal confirmation the YardArts application has been withdrawn:

Prior to this news, I submitted an objection to the application at the request of hundreds of my constituents who contacted me to share their concerns”.

Following the constituent survey and public meeting held earlier in Summer 2018, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones submitted his comments on YardArts’ Planning Application for the Fairways site off Penpole Lane, Shirehampton. You view the objection he submitted here.

 

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Darren receives reply about Sims Hill from Bristol Mayor

Prior to the closure of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) transport consultation, Darren Jones MP shared his comments with WECA. You can view these here.

The submission raised concerns about the potential for a new park and ride site at rare blue-finger allotment land at Sims Hill. Stoke Park within Darren’s constituency could also be impacted.

Darren, MP for Bristol North West, has since received a reply from Bristol City Council Mayor Marvin Rees about this matter.

Darren said:

“Grateful to Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol for his prompt response to calls from me, Kerry McCarthy and Lockleaze Councillors Gill and Estella calling out plans to build a park and ride on important greenbelt land near the M32.

It is great to see Marvin agree it needs to be further North near the M4 junction and making the case for urban agriculture too. It is now over to WECA and Regional Mayor Tim Bowles to consider our concerns and, we hope, amend their plans”.

 

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Darren calls for Met investigation into abuse outside Parliament.

Darren said:

“I am proud to be one of 55 cross-party MPs who have called on the Met to investigate the escalating and disgusting incidents of abuse and harassment from far-right activists outside Parliament.

Yesterday’s shocking scenes of abuse towards Anna Soubry, activist Femi and journalist Owen Jones are appalling. This organised and vocal minority can not be allowed to intimidate and bully others. I don’t care if people voted leave or remain, they can not behave like this and must treat other people with respect”.