Hiring: Administrative Officer

Due to the increase in requests for help and assistance during the pandemic period, Darren is hiring an Administrative Officer for a fixed term period of 12 months for 20 hours per week to assist with the smooth running of the Constituency Office.

If you would like to help Darren and his Constituency Office team offer Bristol North West the best possible service by ensuring administrative processes are happening efficiently, please consider applying for this role.

More Information:

Job Title: Administrative Officer

Working For: Darren Jones MP (Bristol North West)

Location: Bristol

Salary: £18,391 per annum (pro rata)

Job Details

Due to the increase in requests for help and assistance during the pandemic period, Darren Jones MP is hiring an Administrative Officer for a fixed term period of 12 months for 20 hours per week to assist with the smooth running of the Constituency Office.

The Administrative Officer will help the constituency team to:

• Set up new files for casework and policy requests on our case management system;
• Contact constituents to confirm address and contact details
• Respond to telephone enquiries from constituents
• Print and post letters to constituents as required.

The successful applicant will need to demonstrate:

• Previous administration experience
• Excellent writing skills
• Evidence of good customer service and a polite and respectful manner
• An ability to manage busy and competing priorities
• IT literacy (including Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel and Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom)
• An ability to work proactively and independently

The role will be based in Bristol in the Constituency Office but initially, work will be undertaken from home due to Covid-19 restrictions. Line management and supervision will be primarily conducted over Slack and Microsoft Teams.

The role holder will be provided with an office laptop, laptop stand, screen, keyboard, mouse, headset and desk chair to facilitate working from home. Whilst working from home, a fixed allowance of £26 per month will be paid each month to contribute to additional utility costs.

If the role holder is unable to work from home, we may be able to provide access to our Constituency Office subject to our COVID-secure risk assessment.

Upon appointment you will be required to comply with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, undertaken by the Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO). See Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO) page for further info. MPs generally pay staff in accordance with IPSA guidelines.

Closing Date: 25 February 2021

Interview/Start Dates

Interview date: Online interviews will be held in the week commencing 8th March 2021. If you are successful in being invited to interview, you will be informed by 4th March 2021.

Start date: 1st April 2021

Application Details:

Please e-mail darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk with ‘APPLICATION: Administrative Officer’ in the subject heading.

In the body of your e-mail, please explain how your work and/or other experience evidences the requirements set out in the role description. Please attach an up-to-date CV with references (references will only be contacted with your agreement).

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Constituency Office February 12th Weekend Closure

Please note that on February 12th and 15th the Bristol North West Constituency Office will be closed.

If you require urgent help while the office is closed, please email me directly at darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk with ‘Urgent’ in the subject heading. For all other enquiries, our team will respond to you once our office has re-opened on February 16th.

Bristol Support Contacts:

  • Bristol Mind (Mental Health advice): bristolmind.org.uk
  • NHS Urgent Mental Health Helpline: 0800 012 6549
  • We Are Bristol (Food supplies, medicine and essentials): 0800 694 0184
  • Bristol Citizen’s Advice (confidential advice for a range of issues): 808 278 7957
  • Childline (for people age 18 and younger): 0800 1111

 

 

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Darren Jones: “It’s time for a social broadband tariff to end digital poverty”

MP calls for new ‘social tariff’ for broadband for children on free school meals.

Today in Parliament, Darren Jones is introducing the Internet Access Bill. This Ten Minute Rule Bill could extend access to an affordable social tariff for broadband to 1.4 million children on free school meals.

On Wednesday 20th January, Darren Jones MP (Labour, Bristol North West) will introduce a Ten Minute Rule Bill in the House of Commons that demands the Government use existing powers to introduce a social tariff for broadband that is affordable for low-income families.

The Bill will also call for the eligibility for a broadband social tariff to be extended to include every household with a child on free school meals, which, according to January 2020 data from the House of Commons Library, means over 1.4 million children could be entitled to receive low-cost broadband.      

The Secretary of State for Digital Culture Media and Sports already has the statutory powers (UK Statutory Instrument: The Electronic Communications and Wireless Telegraphy Regulations 2020) to require Ofcom, the broadband regulator, to set up a social tariff for broadband. Ofcom would define what ‘affordable’ is and Internet Service Providers will be required to provide it.

So far, this bill has the support of three former DCMS Secretaries of State, Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP, Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, and Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP and dozens of other MPs including the official spokespersons for the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and Plaid.

Commenting, Mr Jones, who chairs the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said: 

“Temporary uplifts to mobile data and free access to certain educational websites during the lockdown are important, but temporary. We need a long-term solution to digital poverty in our country, especially for children who need internet access for educational purposes. My Bill merely highlights the powers that already exist in law to introduce a social tariff for broadband. It doesn’t ask for new legislation or money from the Treasury.”

The broadband regulator, Ofcom, estimates that one in five UK households frequently struggle to pay monthly telecoms bill and nearly two million children are missing out on education because their household lacks broadband or a computer.

Commenting Helen Milner OBE, the Chief Executive of Good Things Foundation, said

The Covid pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated an existing inequality in access to the internet. We support Darren Jones’ call for a social tariff for broadband, which we believe will make a fundamental difference to this issue for many children and low-income households across the country. By offering routes to low-cost internet access, we can ensure that no parent will have to choose between feeding their children or helping them to learn online.”

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Fix Free School Meals and implement a child poverty action plan, Darren Jones writes to Prime Minister

Following the latest Free School Meals scandal which revealed widespread problems with child food parcels, Darren wrote to the Prime Minister demanding action. With millions of children asked to learn from home during the winter spike in COVID cases, families across the country have been supplied with inadequate and unnutritious food parcels by outsourced catering companies, instead of supermarket vouchers.

Parents are the best judge of which foods their children will eat, and the Government’s approach to Free School Meals shows a disregard for the serious issue of child poverty in the UK. The standard of food parcels offered to some families is not only a national embarrassment but deeply offensive to parents struggling to provide for their children during a pandemic that has cost one million jobs so far.

An example of a 10-day food parcel received by parents.

During the previous Labour governments, two million children were lifted out of poverty. Yet since 2017, there has been a 52% increase in children living in destitution in the UK. Darren raised the lack of a child poverty strategy in any of the Chancellor’s economic policies during the last Financial Statement and this admission remains unaddressed.

Darren followed up his letter to the Prime Minister by giving an assessment of the Government’s dismissive attitude towards child poverty on Channel Four News, January 12th. You can read Darren’s letter in full below:

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Darren Supports Shire FC Development

Shirehampton Football Club has been a source of community pride for decades and now seek to invest in their sporting grounds. The development plan includes additional seating and lighting so that more people can enjoy watching their local team. This infrastructure may also support the club’s ambitions to progress through their league.

Darren Jones voiced his support for the community project as increasing access to sporting facilities is a priority for Bristol and our local communities. Shirehampton has seen a decline in community assets, including the closure of its swimming pool and sports centres, so investment in its remaining facilities is especially important. It’s also important that this development balances community needs alongside environmental concerns, including light pollution.

You can read Darren’s full letter below:

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Constituency Office Winter Closure

Between December 24th and January 4th, our constituency office will be closed so that my small, hardworking team can take a well-deserved break.

If you need urgent assistance during this time- please contact me directly on email(darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk) with ‘urgent’ in the subject line. We’ll pick up all other enquiries when our office re-opens on January 4th.

On behalf of my constituency office, thank you for your support this year and Merry Christmas!

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Stop ignoring child poverty, warns Darren to Chancellor

Following a disappointing Financial Statement from the Chancellor this winter, Darren questioned the Government’s commitment to eliminating child poverty.

Despite rates of child poverty increasing in the UK, the world 6th richest country, this winter’s financial statement does nothing to address the system causes of child poverty. The statement also fails to dedicate budget to helping families during the winter period that are suffering from in-work poverty.

Speaking in Parliament, Darren raised this issue to the Chancellor directly. You can watch the exchange here:

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Don’t struggle alone. Darren launches winter Foodbank appeal

Following his meeting with the Bristol North West Foodbank in October, Darren launched an appeal encouraging those suffering from food insecurity to access their local foodbank.

This year, foodbank usage has increased in Bristol but the Trussle Trust are concerned that many people that need help are still not able to access it. Bristol has a well-established network of foodbanks that are able to meet increasing demand caused by food insecurity and the North West Foodbank has been using local champions to reach people suffering from food insecurity in silence.

Widespread support for the Free School Meal campaign and an increase in local donations to foodbanks shows that foodbank users should not be put off a perceived social stigma. Darren has urged anyone that is struggling to maintain a varied and healthy diet to seek a referral to a foodbank.

To access a foodbank, you simply need to be referred by your local Citizen’s Advice or GP using the voucher system. 

If there is someone in your life that may be struggling with food insecurity, please encourage them to access a food voucher. Help and support is available.

Watch Darren’s appeal here:

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Darren takes evidence from Metro Mayors about COVID and Levelling Up

Darren took evidence from England’s Metro-Mayors about the value their office adds to their regions.

Following the dramatic confrontation between central Government and the Manchester region over a lack of localised lockdown support this Autumn, Darren asked Metro-Mayor’s about their approach to connecting central and local government.

Darren and the Business Commitee took evidence from Bristol’s Conservative WECA Metro-Mayor Tim Bowles, and other regional Metro-Mayor’s:

  • Rt Hon Andy Burnham, Mayor, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Jamie Driscoll, Mayor, North of Tyne Combined Authority
  • Steve Rotheram, Mayor, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

While most Metro Mayors were able to explain in detail the role their office plays in securing funds to level up their region and maximise the impact of local leaders in ther region, some struggled to find examples of where they’d been effective during their time in office.

You can watch the whole evidence session here.