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Darren asks for government for guarantees over Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce employ 3,000 people in Bristol. This week, they announced 4,600 job cuts, some of which will be in Bristol. Darren wrote to Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to ask how he was going to help strengthen the Aerospace industry, including Rolls Royce, in the future.

Darren wrote:

Dear the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP

 

Aerospace and the Industrial Strategy

 

3,000 people work at Rolls Royce Bristol, located to the North of Bristol North West.

Today, it was announced that 3,000 UK Rolls Royce employees will lose their jobs, including 1,500 by the end of the year. Some of these will be in Bristol.  Today, many of my constituents will be worried about their and their families’ future.

On 27 November 2017, you announced an Industrial Strategy which you said would ‘make the most of our untapped potential’ and bring ‘good jobs and greater earning power for all’. Aerospace is at the heart of this strategy. A sector deal forms part of a promise to ‘support our strong aerospace industry’, including to ‘anchor’ Rolls-Royce.

Since then, there have been some relevant developments.  Airbus has said that they might leave the country. GKN have been taken over and is likely to be split up. And it is increasingly likely UK firms will be shut out of Galileo contracts in the future on the basis that non-EU member states are banned from defence and security contracts. It is clear that the Government’s Industrial Strategy is failing to support and grow the UK aerospace sector, and that defence as well as civilian jobs are at risk.

57,000 people in the South West work in the aerospace supply chain. Will you please give them reassurance by explaining what you are doing to get the Industrial Strategy back on track, and what will you do to ensure UK remains able to trade competitively and efficiently after Brexit?

 

Kind regards,

Darren Jones MP, Member of Parliament for Bristol North West

And here’s what the government wrote in reply:

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Darren updates residents on Avonmouth Flies

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has been investigating the on-going fly problem in the Avonmouth area alongside the council and Environment Agency. Darren has met with a number of prominent businesses in the area to see their on-site practises and discuss local resident concerns.  Here’s Darren’s latest update:

Darren said:

Over the early May Bank Holiday weekend, I received hundreds of comments from residents across Avonmouth, Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston and Henbury – as well as some as far as Southmead and Henleaze- about an unacceptable increase in the amount of flies in the area.

Investigations have concluded that there was no particular infestation of flies, or a breach of Environmental Agency rules, but that is not to say that the number of flies in the area is acceptable.

I have since met with many companies in Avonmouth, including the Bristol Port, and have spoken with Bristol City Council, the Environment Agency, local residents and Avonmouth-based factory workers.

From the evidence available to me, I can only conclude that we now have too many waste processing companies in Avonmouth.

In only a few years, we have gone from processing tens of thousands of bales of black bin waste to hundreds of thousands. And whilst some businesses have high quality facilities in which to accept, process and transport waste bundles others do not.

My view, therefore, is that enough is enough. We can not accept any further waste processing facilities in Avonmouth and I call upon those we already have to invest in their facilities to ensure the highest standards of protection.

I have also recently supported legislation for new waste enforcement powers in Westminster and, in conjunction with Bristol City Council, I am seeking to find legal solutions to keep potentially polluting companies as far aware from residents.

Lastly, I want to see a diversification of the type of businesses and jobs in Avonmouth. We do not want Avonmouth to be the waste capital of Europe, we want good quality high paying long term jobs for local people”.

Anyone seeing an increase in flies should report this to the council’s Environmental Health team immediately. However, if you think the flies are coming from a regulated waste business then please report your concerns to the Environment Agency.

 

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Darren visits St Bede’s

On Friday 8th June, Darren visited St Bede’s Catholic College in Lawrence Weston.

Darren said after the visit:

“I really enjoy visiting local schools – it is always interesting to meet pupils and find out more about what they enjoy learning and to hear about their interest in what MPs do. I hope visits like these  inspire the next generation of young people across Bristol North West to aim high and get interested in politics.

As someone born in Lawrence Weston who now represents that same local area in Parliament, I think it is hugely important young people see others from their area that they can look up to and be inspired by”.

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

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Watch Darren on BBC Sunday Politics West

Today, Darren was on BBC Sunday Politics West, appearing as a studio guest alongside Conservative MP for Wells James Heappy. He was asked about Brexit, energy and transport.

Firstly, Darren was asked about his views on Brexit. He took the opportunity to restate his commitment to mitigating the effects of Brexit as far as possible.

In relation to energy, the government’s recent decision to fund a new nuclear power station with public money was discussed. Darren said that  more money needed to go into renewable energy sources, like wind and tidal energy.

Darren then spoke about the need for better transport in North Bristol. He highlighted, in particular, the need for better road networks owing to new developments in the area – which could come from a £50m fund which North Bristol will need if the Bristol Arena is situated there.

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Public meeting on YardArts Development

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones will be hosting a public meeting regarding the proposed YardArts development on Penpole Lane in Shirehampton.

Darren said:

“Following my survey, over 430 local residents have now contacted me to share their views about the proposed YardArts site on Penpole Lane. The majority are against the plans, or at least what we knew of them at the time of writing, and are concerned about more cars on a tricky junction, impact on local ecology and wildlife and residential use next to Kings Weston Estate.

Most respondents wanted to hear more from YardArts so I’ve arranged a public meeting from 6.30 to 8pm on Friday 29th June at the Shirehampton Methodist Church.

YardArts will be there and the landowner, who has recently been undertaking a number of permitted works as well as submitting a new planning application for self-store units, has been invited.

There will a brief round-up of my survey results, discussion of the YardArts planning application and the opportunity to ask questions.

The Church can seat just over 100 and hold a few more standing so please get there ready for a prompt 6.30 start to guarantee a space”.

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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 ‘don’t 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”.