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Darren welcomes plans to scrap privatisation of Southmead NHS staff

Darren Jones MP has welcomed the announcement from North Bristol NHS Trust to reconsider plans to transfer some  staff to a private management company.  The Trust had been assessing the feasibility of moving support staff management of positions, including cleaners, maintenance workers and caterers, to a private company. Under these plans, affected staff would have no longer been directly employed by the NHS and could have faced negative impact on their key terms and conditions such as pension, leave and sick pay.

Darren Jones MP said:

“I have been receiving regular updates from unions and campaign groups such as Protect Our NHS on this matter. I was incredibly concerned to hear about the initial plans. I’m pleased to hear that North Bristol NHS Trust has reconsidered their plans. Workers rights must be protected, as should the status of the NHS as a public institution.”

Darren has previously spoken of his concerns about the infiltration of private companies (including Carillion) into the NHS and the need to put public service before private profit. Darren backed moves for Carillion’s work to be taken ‘back in-house’ to the NHS.

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Darren backs Plastic Free Parliament

 

Darren Jones MP is proudly supporting a Plastic Free Parliament. Plastic Free Parliament is Surfers Against Sewage’s latest campaign to highlight and tackle avoidable plastics.

Darren Jones MP said:

“I’ll be reducing my plastic consumption wherever possible and I back the use of reusable bottles, plates , cutlery and mugs on the parliamentary estate. Shockingly over 2million single-use plastic items were used on the estate in 2017!”

 

You can find out more at Plastic Free Parliament.

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Darren calls for district heating and end to fuel poverty

During Citizens Advice Big Energy Saving Week 2018, Darren Jones MP called on Bristol City Council and partners to investigate the potential of district heating in Bristol North West following a roundtable event.

The roundtable (on 26th January), organised by the MP, connected the council, with Ambition Lawrence Weston, Bristol Energy, energy specialists from the Association of Decentralised Energy as well as energy planning and design experts from ARUP and Bond Dickinson alongside Viridor, who are currently building the new Energy Recovery Centre in Avonmouth.

Darren Jones MP said:

“During Big Energy Savings Week 2018, I have worked to bring a range of experts together to discuss how we can bring the benefits of district heating to Bristol North West. District heating is the collection of power plants’ waste heat for the heating of homes and businesses. This is a way of heating Bristol homes which is far cheaper and more CO2 efficient than fossil fuels. It is also sustainable, because it uses energy being created anyway – and it saves people money on their bills!

As well as pushing for investigation into the potential of district heating, I am continuing to back National Energy Action’s (NEA) Warm Homes Campaign to fight fuel poverty. It’s an important issue that we simply cannot ignore. Living in a cold home can lead to ill health, especially in those who are vulnerable such as older people, young children, and those with long term sickness and disabilities. I am continuing to encourage constituents to save money by switching energy suppliers –17% in Bristol North West have taken advantage of the big savings that are on offer but it would be great to see more people save by switching. Customers can save hundreds of pounds – especially if they have been with the same supplier for years.

Independent, local groups such as C.H.E.E.S.E also offer thermal imaging surveys which identify where heat is being lost in the home and suggest remedies to reduce bills. Free surveys are available to households on lower incomes so everyone can benefit from their advice.

I am keen to secure cheaper energy bills for my constituents, whether that’s through district heating projects or in the short-term encouraging switching to a better energy deal. More needs to be done nationally to tackle fuel poverty, but I look forward to working alongside the council to help build the case for district heating in Bristol North West”.

Maria Wardrobe, Director of Communications and External Relations for NEA commented:

“Between 2016-2017 Excess Winter Deaths (EWD) figures have gone up in England and Wales, and are 39.5% higher than last year (up by almost 10,000 from 24,580). Although fuel poverty and EWD can’t be shown to be definitively connected, over one-third excess winter deaths in this period were caused by respiratory diseases, which are known to be severely exacerbated by the cold.”

To learn more about the NEA and their Warm Homes Campaign visit www.nea.org.uk.

You can find out more about C.H.E.E.S.E here:  https://cheeseproject.co.uk/home-surveys 

 

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Darren supports Time to Talk campaign

Darren Jones MP will be showing his support for the national Time to Talk mental health campaign by attending a ‘Tea and Talk’ event at Henbury Library on 2nd February.

Darren Jones MP said:

“I will be supporting the annual Time to Talk campaign by joining a ‘Tea and Talk’ event taking place Henbury Library on Friday 2nd February.  Too often, it’s left to people with mental health problems to talk about mental health. It’s treated as a taboo subject – something to only be spoken about in quiet corners. Mental health affects us all, and everyone should feel able to talk about it.

Time to Talk helps us spread the word that wherever you are, any place can be the right space to talk about mental health! Too many people with mental health problems are still made to feel isolated, worthless and ashamed. Conversations have the power to change lives, wherever they take place. I’d encourage employers, schools and community groups to all get involved – together we can tackle the stigma of mental health”.

You can find out more about local events and the Time to Talk campaign here.

 

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Darren backs Bill to help make rented homes safer in Bristol

Darren Jones MP showed his support for renters in Bristol on Friday 19 January 2018, when he attended the Second Reading of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill.

The Bill, which was been brought forward by MP Karen Buck, gives renters in Bristol, and across the country, the right to take their landlord to court over unsafe and poor housing conditions.

More than 99,000 homes in the South West have a hazard in their rented home which poses a “serious and immediate risk to health and safety”, according to the recent official statistics. This is the equivalent of 1 in 8 rented homes in the South West.

The ‘Fitness for Human Habitation’ Bill has cross-party support and has been backed by the government. It has also been supported by organisations across the housing sector, including Shelter, the Residential Landlords Association, the National Landlord Association and the National Housing Federation.

Darren Jones MP was one of many MPs on hand to see the Bill safely through its Second Reading on Friday 19th January. The Bill will now progress and be scrutinised by a Parliamentary Committee.

Darren Jones MP said:

“I’m proud to support the ‘Fitness for Human Habitation’ Bill, which will empower renters in Bristol and give them a meaningful tool for getting poor and unsafe renting conditions dealt with”.

 

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Save Money this Big Energy Saving Week

Darren Jones MP is backing Big Energy Saving Week.

Big Energy Saving Week is a national campaign to help people cut their fuel bills. It is a partnership between Citizens Advice, the Energy Saving Trust and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with the support of numerous organisations, charities and companies.

Darren Jones MP said:

” Many people stay on the same tariff or with the same supplier for years without realising they could be getting a better deal elsewhere. They could be saving around £300 a year, particularly if they have never switched before.  Switching is also easier than many people think and can be done in a day. You can use the independent  Citizens Advice Energy Price Comparison Tool to see if you can save”.

To find out more about Big Energy Saving Week and get money-saving tips click here.

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Darren backs campaign to cut supermarket plastic waste

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed up to support a campaign to push supermarkets to reduce use of unnecessary plastic.

Darren Jones MP said:

“I’ve proudly supported a campaign led by Catherine West MP to tackle the use of excessive plastic packaging.

I was a co-signee on a letter sent to all the major supermarkets  including Tesco CEO David Lewis.

I’m hoping with a bit of pressure from MP’s more supermarkets and retail outlets will follow Iceland’s lead and commit to reducing unnecessary and damaging plastic waste”.

 

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£50m North Bristol Transport Fund

Bristol MP calls for new £50m North Bristol Transport Fund

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones is calling on the Metro Mayor for the West of England Tim Bowles to commit at least £50m to a new Transport Fund for North Bristol. His campaign follows confirmation from Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees that the Bristol Arena could move from Temple Quay to the Brabazon Hangar in North Bristol.

Commenting, Darren said:

“We’re in desperate need of transport funding in North Bristol but we’re going to have to wait years for any new money from national Government. With so many new houses and now the potential for the Bristol Arena in North Bristol we must bring that funding forward now.”

“That’s why I’m calling on the Metro Mayor to fund a North Bristol Transport Fund with at least £50 million of new funding. If Bristol City Council decides to move the Bristol Arena to North Bristol, which is likely to attract private sector funding, then public sector funds should be diverted to vital transport upgrades instead. This must happen before massive developments in North Bristol open to the public.”

Darren has launched a public petition to back his campaign, which can be signed at www.darren-jones.co.uk/arena or by clicking here

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Darren backs Alzheimer’s Society and becomes ‘Dementia Friend’

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has pledged his support to the Alzheimer’s Society by signing-up to become a Dementia Friend.

Darren Jones MP said:

” I am proud to have become a Dementia Friend. Dementia Friends are a crucial initiative of the Alzheimer’s Society and they’re aiming for 4 million friends by 2020.

I’ve seen and heard first-hand at constituent surgeries, as well as last Autumn’s Bristol Memory Walk, the crucial work the society do and the value it has to those individuals and families experiencing dementia.

I’ve pledged to raise awareness of the great work the society does, attend their events where possible and to keep a close eye on government and push for more support to those experiencing dementia”.

You can find out more about Dementia Friends and sign-up to become a friend online.