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MP visits Lockleaze Sports Centre

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones recently visited Lockleaze Sports Centres to meet the team behind the new centre and hear about their ambitions to build indoor sports-court facilities.

Darren said:

“Thanks to the team at the new Lockleaze Sports Centre who recently showed me the great facilities on offer. The centre has plans for expansion, which will hopefully see up to a 12-court indoor sports hub created. Sport and leisure facilities are in huge demand across the city, so it would be fantastic to have a hub here in Lockleaze, I’ll do what I can to support the Centre’s funding applications to Sport England”.

 

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Darren encourages response to Sims consultation

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones is encouraging residents of Avonmouth and the surrounding area to contribute to an Environment Agency consultation  in relation to Sims Group UK Limited’s application to vary their current environmental permit.

How can you view and comment on the consultation?

You can see the permit application and accompanying documents here or if you don’t have access to the internet you can see a paper copy at Avonmouth Library and Community Centre, 257 Avonmouth Rd, Avonmouth, Bristol BS11 9EN during their opening hours.

You can submit your comments online using the Agency’s Citizen Space portal, by emailing: pscpublicresponse@environment-agency.gov.uk or you can post comments to: Environment Agency Permitting and Support Centre, Land Team, Quadrant 2, 99 Parkway Avenue, Sheffield, S9 4WF.

The Environment Agency must receive your comments by 5pm on 8th February 2019.

Darren said:

“Further to meetings with Sims Group soon after my election in 2017, I’m pleased to see they’re now trying to make investment into their Avonmouth site to reduce noise pollution, make the site cleaner and improve traffic management.

Sims Group UK Ltd currently accepts and shreds metal and end of life vehicles at their site in Avonmouth, Bristol. Because of the type and scale of activities carried out on-site the operator needs to have both planning permission (from the local authority) and an environmental permit (from the Environment Agency) in order to operate. Sims group are now seeking variation to their current permit which has been in place since September 2017. The Environment Agency’s consultation period regarding the permit variation application is now open. I know a number of constituents have been concerned about the site’s operations, in order that this feedback can be formally considered, I strongly urge constituents to submit comments before 8th February 2019″.

 

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Darren calls for constituents to support library consultation

Get involved! Dates for your diary:

Labour-run Bristol City Council saved all of the city’s libraries from closure last year but, given the continued decline in government funding, they need our help to look at innovative ways of running the service in the future.

The council are hosting 4 events in Bristol North West to cover the libraries in our patch:

* Greenway Centre, Doncaster Road to talk about Southmead, Westbury, Henleaze, Horfield and Lockleaze libraries on: Wednesday 6 March 10 am to 12 pm or
Saturday 9 March 10 am to 12 pm.

* Shirehampton Public Hall,
Station Road to talk about Henbury, Shirehampton, Avonmouth and Sea Mills libraries on Monday 11 March 7pm to 9pm or Wednesday 13 March 10am to 12pm.

Spaces at these events must be booked in advance online. Reserve a space and find out more about the ideas gathering on:

www.bristol.gov.uk/libraryideas

 

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Universal Credit Two-Child Benefit Cap lifted after MP campaign

Following sustained pressure from MPs including Darren Jones, charitable organisations and advice agencies, the two-child benefit cap for families claiming Universal Credit has been removed. It was due to be enforced retrospectively from February 2019 for parents whose third (or more) child was born before Universal Credit was rolled out in 2017.

Darren Jones MP had previously signed a cross-party letter led by colleague Rushanara Ali, calling on the Prime Minister, Chancellor and then DWP Secretary Esther McVey to scrap the cruel two-child limit on some benefit entitlements. See the letter here: Universal Credit – Letter

Darren Jones MP said:

“I campaigned last year for the cruel two-child benefit cap (which was about to be applied retrospectively to families claiming Universal Credit (UC) with 3 or more kids prior to 2017) to be quashed.  I also campaigned for the transfer of existing claimants (of so-called Legacy Benefits) onto UC to be stopped as government admitted some claimants would be worse-off purely because of the move onto UC.

I am therefore delighted to hear the new Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd has bowed to sustained pressure and ditched plans to extend the two-child benefit cap for UC claimants (from February 2019) as planned. This cap would have affected around 15,000 families, some of which will be here in Bristol North West. This cap would have pushed many vulnerable families into further financial hardship and children born before UC existed into poverty.

Amber Rudd has also confirmed she will delay asking MPs to vote on the transfer of people onto UC and will use this time to re-assess waiting times and the roll-out.

Whilst people must consider their financial situation when planning their family, alongside many other considerations, any retrospective capping of benefits is blatantly unfair and punishes children already born.

I will continue to call upon the government to review their wider two-child benefit cap and make sure no-one is poorer because of admin changes in how their benefits are paid”.

 

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MP shares news of Shirehampton YardArts Planning Application

Darren Jones MP for Bristol North West said:

“We received news in December 18 that the Karakal/Fairways site on Penpole Lane in Shirehampton had now been sold in its entirety to the owner of Karakal Factory.

The new owner confirmed to me they had no plans to pursue the former planning application for storage containers or the then live planning application for a circus village, caravan hard standings and workshop area submitted by YardArts.

I have now received formal confirmation the YardArts application has been withdrawn:

Prior to this news, I submitted an objection to the application at the request of hundreds of my constituents who contacted me to share their concerns”.

Following the constituent survey and public meeting held earlier in Summer 2018, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones submitted his comments on YardArts’ Planning Application for the Fairways site off Penpole Lane, Shirehampton. You view the objection he submitted here.

 

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Darren receives reply about Sims Hill from Bristol Mayor

Prior to the closure of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) transport consultation, Darren Jones MP shared his comments with WECA. You can view these here.

The submission raised concerns about the potential for a new park and ride site at rare blue-finger allotment land at Sims Hill. Stoke Park within Darren’s constituency could also be impacted.

Darren, MP for Bristol North West, has since received a reply from Bristol City Council Mayor Marvin Rees about this matter.

Darren said:

“Grateful to Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol for his prompt response to calls from me, Kerry McCarthy and Lockleaze Councillors Gill and Estella calling out plans to build a park and ride on important greenbelt land near the M32.

It is great to see Marvin agree it needs to be further North near the M4 junction and making the case for urban agriculture too. It is now over to WECA and Regional Mayor Tim Bowles to consider our concerns and, we hope, amend their plans”.

 

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Darren shares concerns about storage facility in Shirehampton

Following contact from a number of constituents over the Christmas and New Year period, Darren has written to all members of the council’s Development Control Committee in advance of tomorrow’s meeting (9th January 2019) which will consider a planning application for a new storage container facility in West Town Road, Shirehampton.

You can follow Darren’s work in the local area here.

 

 

 

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Updated with Government reply: Darren calls on Government to fund police pensions

Darren Jones MP has backed calls from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, for the government to review their plans to pass changes to funding of police pensions to police forces, potentially costing Avon and Somerset Constabulary an additional £9m per year.

Darren Jones MP said:

” Our Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and Avon and Somerset Constabulary‘s Chief Constable Andy Marsh have been very clear that the local force is ‘at a tipping point’ and the government’s failure to properly invest in the police could lead to complex investigations such as sexual exploitation or domestic abuse being under-resourced. Earlier this year, I joined police officers on a typical Friday night in Bristol North West so I have seen first-hand the immense pressure they are under to meet rising, and changing, demands with less staff.

I have been advised today (25 10 18) that potential changes to funding of police pensions (and passing of those costs to the force) could cost Avon and Somerset Police £9m per year from 2020-21. Costs of this magnitude without increased funding will inevitably lead to cuts to the number of police and put public safety at risk.

But this is not ‘just’ a local issue, a report by the Home Affairs Committee released today said forces in England and Wales were “struggling to cope” amid falling staff numbers and rising crime. It also accused the Home Office of a “complete failure of leadership” – this is totally unacceptable and I wonder at what point the government will practice what it preached at Conservative party conference and truly bring an end to the crippling austerity that is bringing every one of our public services to breaking point?

Just over a year ago – in advance of last year’s autumn budget – I called upon the government to protect and boost police funding, I’ve also more recently championed investment into investigating child exploitation and, earlier this month, supported calls for fairer allocation of police funding. I have therefore shared my concerns with the government once again to demand proper funding and support for police“.

Update:

The following reply was received from the Government on the 7th of January 2019:

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Darren calls for experiences of unfair tipping

Darren is supporting a campaign to end unfair tipping practices, which is looking for your stories of unfair tipping. On Facebook, Darren said:

Together with More United, a cross-party campaigns group, Peter Aldousand Stephen Lloyd MP I’m running a campaign on unfair tipping. In the past, we’ve seen employers take up to 100% of tips, and even charge employees more money than the tips they received. It’s time we put a stop to these practices.

Share your experiences of this here:https://moreunited.typeform.com/to/wOit2u

We look forward to hearing from you; get in touch at darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk if you have any questions about this, or indeed about any other area of Darren’s work.

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Darren receives government response on sale of energy drinks to under 16s

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has received a formal response from the government regarding his letter on the sale and advertising of energy drinks to young people. 

As a member of the Science and Tech Committee, Darren has previously shared his concerns about the advertisement and marketing of energy drinks and health impacts on young people and urged for tighter restrictions on their sale.

Darren said:

“I recently shared my concerns with Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, about the sale and advertising of high-caffeine and sugar-filled energy drinks to children. You can see a copy of my original letter here.

I have now received a reply which outlines the results of the government’s consultation (which explored views on banning the sale of said drinks to young people) will be published later this year. I continue to call on the government to swiftly publish their findings and put a ban in place that protects young people from the effects of these cheap and widely-available drinks”.