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Darren backs Crisis ‘Everybody In’ campaign

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has added his pledge to the new Crisis ‘Everybody In’ campaign which seeks to end street homelessness.

Darren said:

” Housing is the number one issue in my inbox – I know how it feels to have people come to me for help when they’re in fear of eviction, suffering in unsuitable temporary accommodation, sleeping on other people’s floors or in their cars, or even sleeping rough out in Bristol North West – this is totally unacceptable in modern Britain.

We see more and more people sleeping in doorways in our city centre – I know that something needs to be done and the government must act to increase house building and support local authorities and organisations that help vulnerable people. That’s why I’m backing the Crisis Campaign, that launched on Monday 11th June, to end homelessness in the UK.

The recent announcement by the council of £600,000 funding to support Bristol’s homeless is a great start but that alone won’t solve the rising number of rough sleepers in Bristol and further afield.

I have pledged my support to do what I can to end homelessness and my message will soon appear on the Crisis website”.

You can find out more about Crisis’ campaign to end homelessness here.

#EverybodyIn

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Darren welcomes funding to support homeless

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has praised Bristol City Council’s successful application for £600,000 funding to support homeless people across the city.

Darren said:

“Well done to the team at the council for successfully bringing £600,000 funding to support Bristol’s homeless.

I think we all know this money alone won’t solve the rising homelessness, caused in large part by government-imposed austerity, but this will fund a much-needed cold weather shelter and support services and is just one part of the council’s strategy to reduce homelessness.

Building affordable housing, such as the council’s project in Henbury which will be a 100% affordable development, is also a great step in the right direction. Projects like Henbury, and the new housing in Lawrence Weston, will help to support those waiting on the council’s housing list who may be at risk of homelessness or suffering in suitable or overcrowded accommodation”.

You can read more about the council’s funding success here.
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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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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 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 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:
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Darren signs letter to Prime Minister about Sainsbury’s pay cuts

Sainsbury’s are planning to reduce the income of 13,000 of their staff. Darren signed a letter to the Prime Minister, asking her to stand up and ask Sainsbury’s to halt this change. Here’s what Darren wrote about this letter on Facebook:

Ordinary people work hard to keep Sainsbury’s running. It’s unfair that 13,000 them could see their income slashed by up to £3,000 a year. That’s why I signed a letter to the Prime Minister asking that she calls on Sainsbury’s to halt this change.

 And here’s the letter itself:
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Darren speaks to TalkRadio about tipping scandals

Darren spoke to TalkRadio about scandals around waiting staff tips. Some restaurants are taking staff tips, and some are even charging waiting staff money in case they get any tips. Darren then talked about what he was going to do about this.

You can listen to the full interview here:

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Darren continues campaign for £50m transport fund

Ahead of his Gridlock Conference in July, Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones has written to all Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) members to encourage them to invest £50 million into his North Bristol Transport Fund initiative.

Darren said:

“North Bristol is undergoing intensive development alongside a transport system and road network that is struggling to cope with current, let alone future, demands. Congestion is rife and it affects my constituents and local businesses every single day, not just in respect of travel time and parking but also our continued failure to meet air pollution targets.

Transport is the number one local concern in North Bristol and anyone who uses our roads, buses and limited local rail network knows our infrastructure can’t cope with proposed development of thousands of new homes and new businesses. Walking is often not safe and cycle routes are inadequate.

With tens of thousands of new homes, plans to expand the Mall at Cribbs Causeway, the lifting of the tolls on the Severn Bridge and the potential for the Bristol Arena to move to North Bristol, we must get our transport solutions sorted now.

I’ve therefore organised a Gridlock Conference in early July with representatives of transport providers, transport campaign groups, developers and business representatives who will help develop a North Bristol Transport Plan.

This is a cross-party initiative and I’ll be working with Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors as well as Labour colleagues. But I am disappointed that the Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles, has refused to attend this meeting, or send anyone from his organisation.

For my North Bristol Transport Plan to work, we need a North Bristol Transport Fund. The LEP and the Metro Mayor have the ability to fund this, which is why I’m calling on them to get involved and to deliver for my constituents and for North Bristol.”

Local residents can sign up to support Darren’s call for a £50m North Bristol Transport Fund for road, rail, bus, cycling and walking improvements by signing his petition here.”