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Labour MP wants assurance on 30hrs Childcare Policy in Bristol

With the new government-funded 30 hours a week childcare scheme having gone live on 1st September, Darren Jones MP has written to Government asking for clarity on the policy’s implementation in his constituency.
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Darren Jones MP tours Buzz Lockleaze

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones has completed a visit to North Bristol Advice Centre (NBAC) and toured Buzz Lockleaze. Darren met with staff and volunteers and found out more about the café, shop and garden and the training and employability programmes on offer.
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Darren Jones MP meets new “Super GPs” in Lawrence Weston

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones, has today (31st August) met with the team from Pioneer Medical Group at The Medical Centre Ridingleaze in Lawrence Weston.

The Pioneer Medical Group is one of the new “Super GP” groups formed from the merger of various smaller GP surgeries. As a teenager Darren worked at the then Ridingleaze Centre in his school holidays to mail out flu jab invitation letters to local patients.
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Darren Jones MP calls for community meeting on local ASB

Bristol North West Member of Parliament, Darren Jones, has today (31st August) met with Avon and Somerset’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens and Andy Bennett, Bristol Commander and discussed concerns regarding ASB in the Southmead area.
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Local Transport

It’s great that £2.25 million has been committed to support a new railway station at the Portway Park and Ride in Shirehampton. For those of you that work in town, it may prove much easier to park at the Park and Ride and jump on one of the new trains on the Severn Beach line into Clifton or Bristol Temple Meads. But there is still much more work to be done on getting inner city rail and sustainable bus routes sorted within Bristol North West. In my first meeting with the Metro Mayor I will be pushing for the delivery of the Henbury Loop line, including the re-opening of local stations, and working with bus providers to try and keep bus routes open and connected with future rail networks. With so many thousands of new houses being built across the border in South Gloucestershire we mustn’t stop applying the pressure to stop our road network getting completely jammed.

I am looking forward to meeting as many of you as I can at local events, at my street surgeries or in your local coffee shop or pub.

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Austerity and Public Services

I have been encouraged by how many constituents are actively engaged in the Bristol City Council Your Neighbourhood Consultation . Local events have been well attended with passionate views shared on the need to provide services that support residents across the city. The council needs to save £4.7million over the next three years, due to severe and ongoing cuts from central Government and the council’s legal requirement to set a balanced budget. The current proposals, which asked for views on libraries, school crossings, public toilets, Community Links and Neighbourhood Partnerships is of real concern to all of us. We all know the huge benefits that community facilities have, libraries in particular, in giving children and families access to learning and providing safe and free spaces for people of all ages to use and enjoy. I am also aware of the rising threat of social isolation and the role libraries have in supporting the most vulnerable in our communities. At the time of writing, I’m organising a libraries conference for representatives from each library in the area, alongside local campaign groups, to contribute to my own submission to the consultation. I am keen that as a group we work together to get the best deal for communities right across Bristol North West.

But it’s not just council services under threat. Southmead hospital, GP surgeries, children’s centres, schools, community and advice centres and so many more are crippling under the stress of Government cuts to public services. I’m busy meeting as many people and organisations as I can to see first-hand what this means to local people, and I’ll be raising this loudly in Parliament after Recess.

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Labour MP calls for local views on Childcare

With the imminent introduction of a major new government-funded childcare scheme, many parents have struggled to register on the Childcare Choices website. Darren Jones MP is launching a survey for Bristol North West’s parents and childcare providers to share their views and experiences on the scheme, and more generally on local childcare provision. With council children’s service budgets also facing unprecedented pressure, due to government funding cuts, Darren is also keen to hear from those working in this sector.

The new childcare schemes include tax-free childcare, launched in July, as well as 30 hours’ free term time childcare for all three- and four-year-olds, which launches in September.

Alongside the online technical issues, concerns have been raised about the need for parents to earn (on average) £120 per week, that free childcare is term time only and that childcare must be blocked booked. The policy has been criticised as being difficult to navigate for the many parents employed full time, year-round and especially for parents on flexible or zero hours contracts.

Childcare providers have also highlighted their concerns that the funding received from government does not realistically cover the costs of childcare and they are having to recoup costs in other ways or face closure.

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Darren Jones MP Meets New Regional Mayor

The newest of Bristol’s Members of Parliament, Darren Jones, has yesterday (7th August) met with the first West of England Combined Authority Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles.

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New Labour MP opens office in Westbury-on-Trym

The newest of Bristol’s Members of Parliament has opened his new constituency office in Westbury-on-Trym this week, with a new team of staff to help serve his constituents in Bristol North West.

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Darren calls on Housing Secretary to build more Council Houses in Bristol

Darren has called on the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to build more council houses in Bristol. Read more