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Darren updates on postponement of May local elections

The Government has decided to postpone local councillor, mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections in Bristol and the rest of the UK. The May elections would coincide with what is currently predicted to be a peak in the spread of the Coronavirus. As this is a scheduled event, and one that would normally involve lots of smaller events in the run-up, it is responsible to postpone until they can be held at the safest times.

The government has announced that May’s local and mayoral elections in England will be postponed for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

It comes after the Electoral Commission said on Thursday the polls should be delayed until the autumn to “mitigate” the impact of the virus.

The polling watchdog had said there were “growing risks” to the delivery of the polls, due on 7 May.

Ten people have died with the virus, with 798 cases confirmed UK-wide.

Downing Street said it would be impractical to go ahead with the elections as planned, as they would come during the peak of the spread of the virus.

Local elections were due to take place for around 118 English councils, the London Assembly, the Mayor of London and seven English regional mayors.

Voting has also been due to take place in both England and Wales for police and crime commissioners.

Darren gives update on team working-arrangements to prepare for Coronavirus

As the Coronavirus develops, businesses and teams will need to adapt so they can play their part in preventing the spread of the virus. Darren has outlined how his team are preparing for Coronavirus at this stage. The goal is to maintain a consistent full-time level of support throughout the development of the Coronavirus, although the constituency office response time may be longer at times.

As always, to find out information about the Coronavirus please go to the dedicated NHS 111 service.

Darren writes:

Dear constituent –

My first priority is to serve and represent residents across Bristol North West with personal, local and national issues.

As the COVID-19 pandemic develops, I want to take precautions in order to maintain our service delivery from both my Bristol and Westminster offices.

I have therefore asked my staff to work from home and there will be a pause in the events I regularly host, such as my coffee mornings and pub politics.

This means that we will be a little slower in responding to post and telephone calls due to re-direction. We will otherwise continue as normal but please bear with us, especially if we too suffer from illness within the team in the coming months.

If the situation continues to develop, I will look to host more online and telephone based briefings with constituents to ensure that you are as briefed as possible on wider local and national issues, as well as COVID-19.

In the meantime, I am keeping an updated COVID-19 FAQ page on my website which you can read here. You can also receive regular updates from my Facebook page, which you can follow here.

If you have symptoms or concerns related to COVID-19 you should firstly visit the NHS website. If this doesn’t answer your question, or if you don’t have access to the internet, you should call the NHS on 111. Please do *not* go to your GP surgery or A&E in person if you think you might have COVID-19 symptoms (i.e a dry cough, temperature and/or sore chest).

You can continue to contact me and my office on e-mail at darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk, whether about COVID-19 or not, and we will continue to do all that we can to help you.

Please follow the latest NHS guidance and look out for your neighbours.

With best wishes

Darren

Darren Jones MP
Member of Parliament, Bristol North West

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Darren shares feedback with Council about the YTL Arena.

Darren Jones MP has written to the Bristol City Council Democratic Services team to request a statement is read at the next planning meeting for the YTL Meeting.

Darren says

Following feedback from my constituents about the proposed YTL Arena, I ask that a full transport assessment and plan is published. The proposal for an arena has been met with great interest by myself and my constituents, I hope that details on how the arena will impact local life will be published in an accessible and transparent format.

YTL, transport, planning, arena, filton, hanger, development, environment, tranparency

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Darren thanks and celebrates with his local Labour party.

Darren joined the Bristol North West Labour party on Friday 28th to celebrate his re-election to Parliament. In addition to being another great opportunity to say thank you to everyone involved in making Darren’s first term in parliament a success, it was also a good chance to honestly reflect on lessons from the General Election nationally.

Darren spoke about the need for Labour to ask hard and honest questions following the general election defeat and about the importance of Labour party members in starting the fight-back to power. Speaking about the event, Darren said:

It was a great turn out for my local Labour Party review of the election. The bar being open was helpful both to celebrate our great result in Bristol NW and to drown our sorrows about the national result. Thanks to so many members for engaging in the debate about our route back to power.‬ If you’re not a member and want to get more involved you can join at www.labour.org.uk/join.

reelection, review, labour, darren, jones, general, election, 2019

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Darren attends Filton Avenue Primary School’s Great Oracy Exhibition

Filton Avenue organised its first Great Oracy Exhibition last week, in partnership with Voice 21. The exhibition highlighted the importance of speaking and language when building physical, cognitive, emotional and social skills. Discussion is an important way for us to learn, and Darren was very touched to be invited.

Attending the event, Darren said:

It’s inspiring to see Filton Avenue continue to find innovative ways to educate Bristo’s children. The exhibition was fantastic, and I hope I get invited next year too!

 

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Darren opens new Ardagh Community Trust building

The Ardagh Community Trust opened the doors to their new building, which incorporates the Cafe on the Common, this weekend. They were kind enough to invite Darren to open the new community space, and the event was a success.

Speaking about Ardagh’s new community building, Darren said:

It’s great to join the fab team of volunteers at The Ardagh in Horfield Common this morning as they showcase their brilliant new community cafe and space. If you live in neighbouring Horfield, Henleaze or Bishopston do pop by, especially if you have dogs or kids!

community, engagement, ardagh, facilities, new, opening

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Darren to attend Shire Climate Emergency Public Meeting

The response to the Climate Emergency in North West Bristol could not be more important. While Bristol has fortunately avoided the worst of the floodings from the recent storms, we should not be complacent.

Speaking about the upcoming meeting, Darren said:

I’ll be there to listen and talk about this issue, our flood defences and other aspects of the climate emergency this Saturday in Shire. Please come along and contribute to the discussion. I want to hear from everyone about this important challenge.

The Shire Climate Emergency Public Meeting will take place on March 7th at 10 am-12 pm at the Shirehampton Public Hall.shire, climate, emergency, public, assembly, bristol

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Darren takes on trade diplomacy responsibilities at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

CPA, trade, diplomacy, malaysia, commonwealth

Since my election I have worked with the Commonwealth on its human trafficking project, working with Commonwealth nations to harmonise legislation across the world to more effectively deal with the trade in human slaves and the illegal trafficking of workers against their will.

This year, I extended my work with the Commonwealth to include trade diplomacy, an important issue in post-Brexit Britain. In this role, I was invited to join a small trade delegation to Malaysia and Singapore during recess last week. We met with British companies and ex-pats, our High Commissions and trade commissioners as well as parliamentarians, ministers and trade groups in both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Of particular interest to me, is the potential for UK technology exports and the legislation Singapore has put in place to deal with fake news. Defence procurement was also included, important to defence manufacturing businesses in North Bristol.

I also had the privilege to lay a wreath at the Kranji War Memorial in Singapore on the grave of an airman from Bristol, who died as part of the Japanese invasion during WWII.

Whilst in Kuala Lumper, I also met with YTL, which owns Wessex Water and is developing the Filton Airfield (including the proposed Bristol Arena, which sits within my constituency). In line with the extensive feedback I’ve received from constituents, I raised local residents’ concerns about transport infrastructure around the proposed Arena and the need to invest to reduce the risk of gridlock on our roads when events take place. I was told of YTLs investment into road, rail, bus and cycle infrastructure and about the ongoing negotiations with both Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council.

Britain’s education system is a vital part of our relationship with allies across the world, and I heard many positive stories of scholars from both Malaysia and Singapore who have studied in the UK including Bristol.

When published, you will be able read the formal CPA delegation report here.

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Darren asks Council for Passage Road safety improvements

Darren Jones MP has written to Bristol City Council transport-lead Cllr Kye Dudd to ask that parking restrictions be placed along the section of Passage Road between Westbury-on-Trym village and Greystoke Avenue alongside existing West of England plans to install a pedestrian crossing at the southern junction of Passage Road and Shipley Road.

Darren said:

I am concerned that unless [the new pedestrian crossing] is accompanied by parking restrictions, such as double yellow lines, the risk of traffic collisions and accidents on this section of road will continue to be too high.

Letter to Cllr Kye Dudd about putting parking restrictions on Passage Road

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ClairCity research, in partnership with BCC, shows Bristolians are more ambitious when tackling Climate Change

ClairCity, an EU-funded research project working with UWE and BCC, published a report this week that suggests that net-zero targets could be achieved more quickly if the public is involved in designing environmental policy.

A copy of the summary of their report can be found below. It includes details of a climate policy programme, designed by Bristolians, that tackles air pollution, calls for public transport investment, and more green housing initiatives.

Welcoming the report, Darren said:

This Action Plan shows the public want to tackle our Climate Emergency and they want our governments to be more ambitious when facing this challenge head-on. It also indicates that the contributions of the public are a valuable and underutilised resource when creating environmental policy, a view that I’ve held for some time. With Bristol piloting a climate focussed Citizen’s Assembly this year, I’m sure we will see even more evidence of this soon

Environment policy citizens assemble bristol