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Darren visits Southmead for Alzheimer’s fundraiser

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, had another busy Saturday (18th May 2019) hosting two Powered By You stalls in Henbury and Southmead followed by a visit to Southmead Fire Station to thank the Alzheimer’s Society fundraisers for their efforts which included a car wash and cake sale.

Darren said:

“Today was another fantastic constituency day. I started off talking local and national issues at my Powered By You Street Stalls in Southmead and Henbury and then hopped back over to Southmead for a fundraiser at the local Fire Station. As a Dementia Champion, it was particularly great to see the efforts the team had gone to to raise both awareness and money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

I’ll be doing Street stalls most Saturday mornings in the coming months, to find out where I’ll be next, please visit my Powered By You page where you can also find out how to download my Powered By You app”.

 

 

 

 

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Darren works with council to secure Lawrence Weston site

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones recently (16th May 2019) shared a number of constituent concerns about the former Rockwell Care Home on Corbet Close (due to be sold to Curo for housing) in Lawrence Weston. The site had become a target of vandalism, smashed windows and trespass. Following contacting the council, Darren was advised:

People have been systematically breaking into the building and trashing it. We have responded to this and boarded up windows and doors however they are continuing to break in. Local residents are of course concerned.

To combat this, we are getting the building and the adjacent bungalow hoarded and all internal windows boarded up. We are in the process of doing this and are making every effort for this to be done as quickly as possible. We are also in the process of getting an alarm installed.

Darren said:

“I would like to thank the community in Lawrence Weston for contacting me about this issue.  It is good to see the council acting swiftly to make the site safe and secure. I hope these actions are taken quickly so residents feel safe in the area they live.”

 

 

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Darren backs Lift The Ban

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, has spoken out in favour of allowing asylum seekers the right to work – and contribute to the UK by paying taxes – whilst their applications are assessed.

At present, the law prevents asylum seekers from working whilst their claims are assessed and that can take years. All the whilst, asylum seekers get just £37.75 per week loaded onto a card to live on as well as (often very basic and crowded) accommodation. In cities, where costs are high and £37 will just about feed a person, asylum seekers struggle to use public transport, buy toiletries and clothe themselves and have to rely on charities for the very basics. They are prevented from earning more money to improve their situation.

Darren said:

“Today, I’ve received an interesting report from ACH that ran a pilot project in Bristol focused on supporting asylum seekers with job-hunting skills such as writing CV’s, employment rights and linking them to variety of local employers. The project found:

1- Most asylum seekers have the levels of English that would be required in the workplace.
2- Asylum seekers often had high levels of education and skills from their home countries and have training and work experiences that would be of use to the UK.
3- Everyone in the project wanted to contribute to the UK instead of taking government money and being unemployed. There were high levels of attendance at all visits with employers and meetings.

By stopping asylum seekers from working, I sense we’re frankly cutting off our nose to spite our face and creating a group of people who feel powerless to change their situation or contribute to a country they wish to make their home. This has got to change – we must lift the ban”.

You can find out more about ACH by visiting: www.ach.org.uk/

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Darren declares A4018 victory

Following confirmation from Bristol City Council and local media reports on revised plans for the A4018 scheme, Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, declared victory as large elements of the original proposals (presented in February and March 2019) have been dropped.

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 before submitting his formal consultation response (which you can see below).

Following the news, Darren said:

“It looks like we’ve won the debate on carving up Westbury-on-Trym and blocking access to Brentry from the Crow Lane roundabout in Henbury, as well as the vast majority of the turning restrictions proposed. Thanks to my colleague Mayor Marvin Rees for listening to feedback from local residents, and to so many of you for taking part in my petition, consultation meetings and contacting my office direct. I urge constituents to let me know what they think of these revised plans – they will go to a Council meeting on 18th June”.

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 automatic compensation for rail passengers

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has signed a cross-party letter calling on the new Rail Regulator to roll-out automatic compensation across the rail network.

Following the news, Darren said:

“The right to easy and fast compensation shouldn’t be a postcode-lottery based on which rail operator you have to travel with, that’s why I have signed this cross-party letter calling on the Rail regulator to act”.

You can follow Darren’s work on Transport here.

 

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Darren challenges CCG Mental Health contract

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has responded to constituent concerns about the awarding of a CCG contract for mental health (psychotherapy services) to Vita Health Services.

Darren said:

“I have been contacted by several constituents about the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG’s decision to award a new contract (which was due for re-tendering) for psychological therapy to Vita Health Group.

Constituents have advised they are concerned about:
• The lack of local knowledge of the new provider – we understand they are based in Essex.
• The significant lack of expertise of the new provider in providing mental health/psychotherapy services– we understand they have one similar contract (in Essex) which commenced 1 4 19.
• The high dividends shared by the company’s two directors in 17/18 (in addition to salaries) – particularly, given the other providers who bid for the contract included social enterprises, charities and the local NHS Mental Health Trust who have extensive experience in the local area and do not operate on a private/bonus-based model.

Constituents were clear they felt this decision put the treatment of 20,000 clients (who access services annually), and who have a diverse range of needs at risk.

I have contacted the CCG and asked whether they considered these risks and what mitigation is in place to ensure there is no negative impact on clients or prospective clients”.

To follow Darren’s work on health click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren encourages schools to teach plastic awareness

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has written to all Primary schools in Bristol North West encouraging them to take part in a free scheme which teaches pupils in-depth knowledge of plastic waste and how to reduce it but also offers schools the chance to win up to £20,000 for a sustainability project.

Darren said:

” Today, I have contacted all 29 primary schools in Bristol North West, inviting them to take part in Asda’s Plastic Waste lesson plan and competition.

As we all know, plastic waste is a huge issue, both in the UK and globally. Tackling this problem is crucial and I will continue to press for action to reduce plastic pollution – that includes challenging supermarkets to use more recycled materials and reduce their own plastic waste. However, from the perspective of working with young people, I am pleased to see that Asda are looking to inspire the next generation to live sustainably and protect our planet, through an exciting ‘Plastic Mission’ challenge, which finishes with a poster competition, where schools can win up to £20,000 for a sustainability project.

The deadline for entries into the poster competition is 24th July, I urge all schools to get involved”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren backs calls for new crossing in Lawrence Weston

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed and shared a community-led petition calling for a pedestrian crossing and 20 mph zone near Oasis Academy Bank Leaze.

Darren said:

“It’s great to see the community in Lawrence Weston campaigning for a safer school crossing and 20mph zone near Oasis Academy Bank Leaze. I have signed the petition and encourage those who live near, or visit the area, to do the same.”

You can sign the petition here.

 

 

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Darren backs Mental Health Week

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has supported this year’s Mental Health Week.

This year’s theme is body image – how we think and feel about our bodies. New online surveys were conducted by the Mental Health Foundation with YouGov in March 2019 of 4,505 UK adults 18+ and 1,118 GB teenagers (aged 13-19) found:

* One in five adults (20%) felt shame, just over one third (34%) felt down or low, and 19% felt disgusted because of their body image in the last year. 
* Among teenagers, 37% felt upset, and 31% felt ashamed in relation to their body image.
*Just over one third of adults said they had ever felt anxious (34%) or depressed (35%) because of their body image.
* One in eight (13%) adults experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image.
*Just over one in five adults (21%) said images used in advertising had caused them to worry about their body image.
* Just over one in five adults (22%) and 40% of teenagers said images on social media caused them to worry about their body image.

Clearly action is needed to build and promote positive body image and support good mental health and wellbeing in relation to our bodies. Everyone has a right to feel comfortable and confident in their own bodies and Darren backs the Mental Health Foundation‘s recommendations for:

1- Effective regulation of how body image is portrayed.
2- The need for commitment from social media companies to play a key role in promoting body kindness.
3- Taking a public health approach to body image by training frontline health and education staff.
4- Individually being more aware of how we can take care of ourselves and others in relation to body image.

Find out more here.