Darren asks Government about use of your biological data

As part of his work on the Science and Technology Committee, Darren asked a Government minister about the State use and storage of your biological data (biometrics). You can watch a brief clip below and the full clip of Darren questioning the Minister below that.

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Darren submits A4018 feedback

Following thousands of constituent contacts, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, has submitted his feedback in response to the council’s proposed changes to the A4018.

Darren had urged constituents to sign his petition calling on the Mayor to scrap the plans to the village, complete his A4018 survey and formally respond to the council’s consultation before it closed on 17th March. Darren also hosted three public meetings to gather feedback.

Darren continues to call upon the Regional Mayor to review and support his North Bristol Transport Plan, published in January 2019.

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Darren backs International Women’s Day

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, supported International Women’s Day 2019 on 8th March by attending a Q and A panel organised by KMPG and attended by over a hundred women from across the city. After the event, Darren also met the mayor to view the council’s new (and free to visit!) exhibition of portraits of women from across the city.

Darren said:

“It was g‪reat to join KPMG in Bristol yesterday with Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and Deputy Mayor and community champion Councillor Asher Craig to discuss #balanceforbetter on #IWD2019 yesterday. My hobby horses of free childcare, smashing the mummy track, business culture change and productivity through equality came up. The new exhibition of portraits of Bristolian Women from across our fantastic city was also great to see”.

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Darren restates support for People’s Vote

In light of a House of Commons motion for a People’s Vote, Darren explained his position in terms of being for a People’s Vote and how we can get to one being held.

He wrote the following on Facebook, with the below letter:

My constituents know I’m committed to a People’s Vote and that I’ve been 100% committed to it at every vote. But I trust the guidance from the official People’s Vote campaign and from Peter Kyle MP / Phil Wilson MP that voting for (h) today puts it all at risk.

I hope that my constituents will trust my political judgement on this and I’ll be explaining why on my Facebook page after votes tonight. We have a real opportunity to secure a People’s Vote next week. I can’t put that at risk.

Here’s why:

 

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Darren attends Library consultation in Southmead

Labour-run Bristol City Council saved all of the city’s libraries from closure in 2018 but, given the continued decline in government funding, they have asked for our help to look at innovative ways of running the service in the future. Along with constituents, Darren attended an event at the Greenway Centre in early March to talk about ideas to support Southmead, Westbury, Henleaze, Horfield and Lockleaze libraries.

Darren said:

“There were lots of great ideas about modernising our libraries across Bristol North West at the Greenway Centre with Bristol City Council. There are so many exciting opportunities for creating digital, community hubs as a central point of information, gathering and books! I am pleased to see the council thinking ‘outside the box’ and will do what I can to support this process”.

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You can find out more about the ideas gathering on: www.bristol.gov.uk/libraryideas

 

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Darren contacts Government on Avara

Darren wrote to the Government on his concerns around the future of the Avara site near Bristol. This is what he said:

Dear Secretary of State,

A number of constituents have contacted me regarding the insolvency of Avara Avlon Pharmaceutical Services Ltd, a pharmaceutical company that employs 270 people in Bristol.

The constituents who have contacted me are concerned about the cost of the clean out and clean-up of the site they use, and the fact that taxpayers may have to foot the bill for doing this. I am told that Avara Avlon is classed under the Control of Major Accident Incident (COMAH) Regulations as upper tier due to the inventory of toxic materials. In order to close the site in a safe manner all flammable and toxic material will have to be removed from site, the chemical plant and storage tanks cleaned and the effluent waste safely disposed of, and then the site can either be mothballed or demolished. The demolition option will require skilled personnel as there is a significant amount of asbestos in the older plant and buildings to be dealt with. The land will then need to be returned to as near original condition which may involve the removal of contaminated soil.

The constituents who have contacted me request that there is a change to the law to make it illegal to transfer ownership of a high hazard site to a third party without firstly posting a bond with either a Government department or agency, to cover all costs associated with closing down, cleaning out and remediating a site.  That would then stop the bill being picked up by the Government in the future – is this something that the Government will consider introducing?

Thanks for taking the time to read my email and I look forward to receiving your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Darren Jones MP

Member of Parliament for Bristol North West”

And here’s the Government response:

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Darren hosts third meeting to discuss changes to A4018

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, has continued to listen the views of his constituents by hosting a third public meeting in response to the council’s proposed changes to the A4018. This latest meeting was attended by over 300 residents, taking the total number of attendees to the MP’s series of meeting to well over 600.

The packed meeting was held on Saturday 9th March in Westbury village centre and started with a video from the MP which offered an overview of North Bristol’s transport and how this will be impacted by developments taking place across the North Bristol arc, including thousands of new homes in South Gloucestershire.

The MP chose to host a series of his own meetings after hearing feedback that council-organised events were insufficient, hugely oversubscribed and poorly managed alongside many of the affected residents having not been aware of the proposals until he sent a leaflet to 10,000 homes with details of the consultation.

As part of the plans, the city council is seeking to put more shared bus and cycle lanes along the A4018 from Henbury to Durdham Downs – whilst this would help to improve the speed of bus journeys it would create ten junctions with turning restrictions on or off the main route. Highways chiefs have said this could help reduce congestion from queuing and improve traffic flow, but the MP fears the volume of restrictions will severely impact resident’s ability to get and from their homes and/or Westbury village without significant detours – therefore creating rat running and worsening congestion on residential roads. The MP also fears that the number of restricted turns into Brentry would force more traffic through already-congested routes in Southmead and only add to the poor quality of air in the area. The most controversial aspect of the plans includes restrictions into Westbury village by car.

Darren said:

“Local businesses and residents have been vocal that they fear this will have widespread impact on their livelihoods as well as the vibrancy of the village itself, and many struggling businesses will not be able to take another hit on trade. I know the council fear that without any restrictions there could be increased traffic through the village, but my constituents have told me they acknowledge this but given most of the traffic is concentrated during rush hour, often before many shops open, keeping the village as is would have less of an impact than unnecessarily closing large parts to traffic 24/7.

Over 3,500 constituents have signed my petition calling on the Mayor to scrap these changes – I’ll continue to make sure my constituents views are heard loud and clear on this issue”.

Darren continues to urge constituents to sign his petition calling on the Mayor to scrap the plans to the village, complete his A4018 survey and formally respond to the council’s consultation before it closes on 17th March.

Darren will now be pulling together the comments and concerns of the thousands of residents who have attended events or contacted his office and submitting a formal response to the consultation. The submission will be available on the MP’s website later this week.

The MP also took the opportunity remind constituents that regional transport is the responsibility of the West of England Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles and these proposals must be reflected by integration between the local authorities rather than in isolation.

Darren also continued to call upon the Regional Mayor to review and support his North Bristol Transport Plan, published in January 2019, which calls:

1-  for three new Transport Hubs bringing rail, bus, cycle hire, cycle lock-up, car parking and electric vehicle charging points together on one site. These Transport Hubs should be at the Portway Park & Ride in Shirehampton, at Henbury (next to the Rugby Club) and North of Lockleaze. The locations were chosen by darren to offset the additional traffic created by new housing and development across North Bristol.

2- The Plans also called for the new Transport Hubs to have non-stop bus and cycle lanes into and out of Bristol City Centre and Cribbs Causeway, with a review of travel to work routes in Avonmouth alongside

3- restricted access to the proposed Bristol YTL Arena from residential single roads in Henbury, Brentry, Southmead and Lockleaze. The MP has long said these roads should not be used as access routes to the proposed Bristol YTL Arena for fear it will create rat running, exceptional congestion and poor air quality.

Darren expects to see significant transport upgrades using major routes to move people into and out of developments across the North Bristol Arc and hope this plan will focus national, regional and local government on where funding should be spent.

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Darren backs climate award local winner

Writing on Facebook, Darren said:

‪Great to be at the The Climate Coalition Green Hero Awards in Parliament tonight. Even better to see constituents from Bristol North West rewarded for their energy efficiency project – CHEESE. #ShowTheLove ‬

https://facebook.com/The-C-H-E-E-S-E-Project-Bristol-1816371931706302/

The ceremony – which recognised the efforts of green schools, businesses and MPs, sustainable sports projects and overseas schemes – was hosted by television and radio presenter Clive Anderson, and featured Sky News journalist Kay Burley alongside a number of other award presenters.

The Climate Coalition is made up of more than 130 organisations representing over 15 million people, ranging from aid agencies such as CAFOD and Christian Aid to groups such as the Women’s Institute, WWF, RSPB, and the National Trust.

The awards ceremony follows on from the fifth year of the Coalition’s Show The Love campaign, which sees people from all walks of life – faith groups, sports clubs, businesses, schoolchildren – come together to Show the Love for all that they want to protect from climate change.

Clara Goldsmith, Director of Campaigns at The Climate Coalition, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the work that people from all over the country are doing to protect the things we love from climate change.

“Climate change is already changing the things we love in the UK. It’s also hitting the most vulnerable people, whether that’s very young or elderly people struggling with heat waves here at home or those in communities overseas affected by a loss of crops or more severe disasters.

“It’s important we take the time to celebrate the incredible people taking their future’s into their own hands. Now we need to see the government to set an ambitious target to reduce emissions”

To find out what happened this Show The Love, visit theclimatecoalition.org or search #ShowTheLove on social media. The Climate Coalition is holding events throughout the year for people to get involved with, including a climate and environment mass lobby of parliament on the 26 June.

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North Bristol Transport – explained in Darren’s video

Darren is calling on Bristol City Council to scrap controversial proposals which would see the carving up of Westbury-on-Trym village and the cutting off of Henbury and Brentry.

Under these proposals, due to the volume of turning restrictions, congestion in Southmead is also likely to be impacted.

Darren is also calling on residents impacted by proposals to Muller Road to get in touch.

You can join Darren’s dedicated Facebook Group to keep up to date with his campaigning on transport at www.facebook.com/groups/northbristoltransport

You can watch Darren’s pre-recorded 30-minute video here.

You can follow Darren’s work on Transport here.

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Darren backs community owned solar power

Darren spoke in Parliament to back solar power owned by community organisations, like Ambition Lawrence Weston’s project. He said that it was important that tariff reform shouldn’t harm organisations carrying out projects like this.