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Darren updates residents on Stoke Lodge

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has recently met local residents, and separately with staff from Cotham School, to discuss the school’s use of Stoke Lodge green space which would include the erection of a fence, alongside submission of a planning application to erect a new changing room building and works to the existing changing rooms.

Darren said on the ‘We Love Stoke Lodge’ Facebook group on 6th June:

“I wanted to share an e-mail with you as residents, which is exactly the same as the e-mail I’ve just sent to Cotham School.

Dear Residents,

I wanted to drop you a quick note of update on Stoke Lodge playing fields. Since we met, I have met with Cotham School and sought the advice of various stakeholders to assess best practice and guidance.

That has included liaising with planning lawyers and Ofsted (who I have now spoken with), and Bristol City Council and the HSE (who I am still due to speak with). I have also tabled a written parliamentary question to the Department of Education, who I understand from Ofsted is the direct “regulator” of Cotham School.

In doing so, I’m seeking to bring together the views I’ve heard from both Cotham School and my constituents with impartial advice from relevant organisations. Once I have finished that process I will write to you with the advice I have received, my initial conclusions and any suggested recommendations I might be able to make on how to get the best outcome for both the school and for local residents. I hope to be able to do that within the next week or two (depending on when I get the answer to my written parliamentary question).

If you have any further questions in the meantime, please do come back to me.

Best wishes

Darren

Darren Jones MP
Member of Parliament, Bristol North West
www.darren-jones.co.uk | fb.com/darrenjonesmp | @darrenpjones
Your Voice in Parliament. Your Champion in Bristol”.

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Darren says ‘dont risk it’ – report scams!

June is Citizens Advice’s annual Scams Awareness Month. This year’s theme is ‘don’t risk it’ – if you’re unsure about the deal you are being sold then it may be too good to be true. Citizens Advice research has found that a staggering 72% of people have been targeted by scammers in the last 2 years and even more worryingly, nearly 40% of people had been targeted 5 or more times. These are often the most vulnerable in our communities.

Almost half of people surveyed had taken no action to protect themselves against scams.

You can find out more information on common scams and how to report them here.

Darren said:

” I want to help make sure my constituents don’t fall victim to scammers – victims of scams often don’t come forward, making it difficult to know the true impact that scams have in our local communities. It also makes it hard to bring scammers to justice. That’s why I am supporting Scams Awareness Month and encouraging residents of Bristol North West to report dodgy traders to Citizens Advice and Trading Standards”.

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Darren visits Henleaze Singing for the Brain Group

On Thursday 31st May, Darren – a registered Dementia Friend –  visited the Henleaze group of Singing for the Brain.

Singing for the Brain is a group activity which has been carefully designed by the Alzheimer’s Society for people with memory loss and their carers, in order to receive the many health benefits that are woven into the fun of singing. It is an enjoyable, friendly and uplifting activity giving many people a much-needed boost in confidence, all led by a trained facilitator.

The group meet for light refreshments and a chat beforehand to help people relax and get to know each other. Once the session starts, the group sit in a circle and do some exercises to warm up the voice. Then the fun really begins by singing a range of songs, either unaccompanied or sometimes using musical instruments.

If you wish to join the group, please note they meet on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursday of each month

You can find out more about the Singing for the Brain’s fantastic work here and more general information from The Alzheimer’s Society here.

Darren said after the visit:

“I signed up to become an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friend shortly after becoming an MP – I did this as I feel it is crucial there is wider understanding of dementia and how to support those with it.  I was therefore delighted to meet the local Singing for the Brain group and find out about the great work this group are doing with those suffering from dementia as well as their families. This community and person-to-person support is paramount and I know many of my constituents rely on it. I wish this group continued success and hope their numbers continue to grow as more people with dementia choose to access this invaluable support”.

If you think you or a family member may have Dementia talk to your GP who will refer you to the Dementia Wellbeing Service. They will allocated a navigator to take you through the system and provide support for you. You can also call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22.

 

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Darren welcomes Google and Youtube to Southmead to provide online safety training

Darren welcomed Google and YouTube to Southmead. The companies were there to train teachers and youth workers about online safety and digital citizenship for the young people they work with.

Gaps in young people’s online safety is a significant issue. According to the NSPCC, last year  there were 12,000 calls made to Childline concerning online issues, and one out every four children have experienced something upsetting online. Darren was therefore more than happy to speak at the event, and contribute his thoughts as a technology lawyer and member of the Science and Technology Select Committee.

 

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Darren visits University’s Integrative Epidemiology Unit

On Friday 25th May, Darren visited the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU) at the University of Bristol.

The MRC invests around £800 million per year in world-class research across the biomedical spectrum, from fundamental lab-based science to clinical trials, and in all major disease areas.

The MRC is a non-departmental public body funded through the UK Government’s science and research budget, and its research has resulted in life-changing discoveries for over a hundred years.

MRC IEU scientists conduct some of the most advanced population health science research. This helps improve our understanding of the biological mechanisms and environmental factors that can underlie and trigger common diseases. Including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, mental ill-health and conditions linked to obesity, addiction and ageing. Findings will be used to develop and test new interventions to prevent future disease.

The MRC’s will invest around £10.7m over the course of five years from 2018.

You can find out more about their work here: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/integrative-epidemiology/

Darren said after the visit:

“I would like to thank the team at the MRC IEU for hosting my visit – as a member of the Science and Tech Committee this was a fascinating and informative tour. It was great to see the investment in, and their research, being led here in Bristol. I look forward to hearing more about their research findings in the months and years to come”.

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Darren calls for residents to sign petition to keep Post Office open

The Post Office at 155 Crow Lane, Henbury, is due to close today. Local residents have mounted a campaign to ensure it reopens ass soon as possible. You can support them by signing this petition.

Darren had this to say about the Post Office closure:

I know this branch is a much-valued community facility and that the closure will have a negative impact on local residents, particularly those who don’t have the money, mobility or transport to visit other branches/banks.

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Darren congratulates Marvin and his team for Bristol making Channel 4 shortlist

Channel 4 have started looking for cities to host their new national headquarters. Thanks to the work of Bristol City Council, led by Labour’s Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, Bristol are on the shortlist. On Facebook, Darren congratulated Marvin:

Great news! Well done to Marvin Rees and the team for getting us this far. Now to secure Channel 4 in Bristol!

You can read more about the shortlist here: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/may/30/channel-4-cities-national-hq-birmingham-manchester-glasgow-liverpool-leeds.

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Darren backs local schools

On Friday 25th May, Darren visited two local schools – Henleaze Junior School and Kingsweston Special School.

Darren said after the visit:

“It was a delight to meet pupils, staff and governors and hear more about the challenges facing our education providers. More government funding is sorely needed to support our children’s education and to ensure these hard-working public sector workers are paid what they deserve. We are losing more and more teaching staff because they are over-burdened and under-paid.

I will continue to do what I can to champion lifting of the public-sector pay cap (which must funded by government not existing school’s budgets) and push the government to provide adequate funding for our schools and colleges”.

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

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Darren speaks at VegfestUK

Vegfest UK is a large annual vegan festival, which takes place in Bristol.  Darren was invited to speak at the event, in conversation with Ecotricity’s Dale Vince and VegfestUK organiser Tim Barford. Ecotricity is an energy company which specialises in selling green energy to consumers.

Before the event, which happened today, Darren wrote this on Facebook:

You can catch me in conversation with Ecotricity’s Dale Vince and VegfestUK organiser Tim Barford on Sunday 27th May.

I’ve got a lot to say about my concerns about animal welfare, use of fur, plastic pollution and our over reliance on fossil fuels – see you there.

You can read more about the festival here: https://bristol.vegfest.co.uk/about-the-show/#

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Darren calls for new Anti Modern Slavery measures in Bristol

On Facebook, Darren wrote:

Bristol has had real issues with modern slavery: car washes and nail bars can be hotspots. I’ve written to the Gangmaster’s and Labour Abuse Authority to ask them to licence these businesses in Bristol, to make sure they treat workers properly. I’ll also be hosting a Modern Slavery-focused event in June to continue to raise awareness of these issues to the local business community.

You can read the full letter here: