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Darren shares progress on Stoke Bishop Parking

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has updated constituents on the council’s plans to implement new parking restrictions in the Elmlea and Parrys Lane area of Stoke Bishop.

Darren said:

“Constituents who live near the University of Bristol halls of residence in Stoke Bishop have long been contacting my office regarding escalating parking problems.

I first raised these concerns with the university back in July 2018, and in September was assured steps would be taken to reduce the number of cars being brought into Bristol by students as well as the impact of the remaining cars on local residents.

Residents have made it clear the situation had not improved since those interventions, so back in December 2018, I wrote to the council and university asking that they urgently consider what action could be taken to alleviate this dangerous and inconsiderate situation. I’ve since been in touch with the council’s transport team to discuss their plans for implementing parking restrictions. Back in May 2019, I was advised:

The council will look to informally meet with residents in the coming weeks before they draft a scheme and prepare drawings. It is hoped an initial design can be progressed by August. The council have then pledged to undertake informal consultation with residents, and re-design as required, before drafting the relevant Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) and advertising the proposed scheme. The TRO is a statutory process and there will be routes to object, although multiple objections would cause delay to the broader project, and the council hope by informally consulting first, the scheme will have the support of most residents. If the TRO is agreed and signed-off, it would then be issued to a contractor, with construction starting in late Spring 2020.

I am therefore pleased the council is sticking with this timetable, and has now published its consultation on the proposed parking restrictions. The scheme aims to improve access to residential streets and properties, reduce queues of traffic which disrupt the bus route on Parry’s Lane, and to make the area safer for pedestrians and cyclists. You can view the proposals and submit your comments before the 1st September here“.

You can view Darren’s work on Transport here.

 

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Darren joins Horfield litter pick

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, had another packed constituency diary and joined a litter pick in Horfield on Saturday 27th July.

Darren said:

“It was great to join so many volunteers in Horfield, with the Love Horfield group, for one of their many litter picks today. I wish there was no litter on the streets for others to have to pick-up, but it always inspires me how many of my constituents – of all ages – are willing to get involved and take pride in the place they live”.

You can find out more about the Love Horfield group by visiting their Facebook group.

 

 

 

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Darren visits GKN and Airbus

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, visited GKN and Airbus on Friday 26th July.

Darren said:

“I held an important meeting, and tour of the A400M site, with Unite the Union, GKN and Airbus today.

I will not put my constituent’s jobs and prosperity at risk – I remain fully committed to backing our aerospace industry, its supply chain and fighting a no-deal Brexit which would be disastrous for the sector, and its employees”.

 

 

 

 

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Darren demands PM support British prisoners in Iran

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones signed a cross-party letter to then Tory leadership candidates, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson, calling on them to use all diplomatic powers at the Prime Minister’s disposal to free British prisoners in Iran.

Darren said:

“Yesterday (22nd July 2019), I signed a letter to both candidates in the Tory leadership contest regarding the unfair imprisonment of British nationals and residents in Iran.

Just this week, we have heard one of these political prisoners, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been returned to solitary confinement after a traumatic stay in a psychiatric unit. The standards foreign nationals are experiencing in Iranian jails fall well below those internationally accepted.

I know Jeremy and his team at the FCO have worked hard to move Nazanin’s case forward in recent months, but we now need to see robust action from our new Prime Minister. Of course, I hope on this occasion he can recall the required detail to ensure he is supporting Nazanin and others rather than working against them“.

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren signs Cancer UK Pledge

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed Cancer Research UK’s Pledge (in full below) reinforcing that he will continue to support the NHS in fighting cancer. Southmead Hospital is sited within Darren’s constituency.

Darren has previously written to the government calling for more support for young cancer patients, the need for early detection of bowel cancer, post-treatment support for breast cancer patients and backed Breast Cancer Now’s ‘Wear it Pink’ campaign.

Darren said:

“I am delighted to have signed Cancer Research UK‘s pledge to Stand with the NHS Against Cancer.

We need a long-term, fully funded plan for a specialist cancer workforce. Without this plan, workforce shortages risk undermining the investment into the NHS and the ambitions of diagnosing 75% of cancers at an early stage by 2028.

I will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our NHS.”

Darren recently nominated some of the team’s at Southmead for NHS Parliamentary Awards and one of these nominations went on to win the national award for employee wellbeing. To follow Darren’s work on health please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren hosts Henbury Pub Politics

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, had another busy constituency diary including hosting a fully-booked pub politics on Friday 19th July in the Old Crow in Henbury.

Darren said:

“I hosted a g‪reat pub politics at the Old Crow in Henbury tonight. The topics were wide-ranging but included Brexit, council and social housing, the A4018 scheme, local buses, the Bristol Arena, the new super sewer being constructed by Wessex Water and flood sea defenses in Avonmouth and Severnside. Thanks to everyone who came along and contributed.

To find out when my next pub and café politics sessions will be held, please visit this webpage‬”.

 

 

 

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Darren demands cessation of visa fees for commonwealth armed forces personnel

In April 2019, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed a cross party letter, along with 130 other MPs, calling on the Home Secretary to cease charging visa fees for commonwealth servicemen and women.

At that time (April 2019) Darren said:

“I am pleased to have signed this letter – all visa fees, alongside the Home Office’s assessment process, need a total re-think, but making money out of those who have risked their lives for this country (as the cost to the tax payer to process these applications is very low) is totally unacceptable and must stop”.

In July 2019, Darren updated that:

“Charging high visa fees to those who have sacrificed, and put their life on the line, to serve this country is no way to thank them. The fees for Leave to Remain are over £3000, so this is not a small amount were asking brace service personnel to find! The Royal British Legion are now running a campaign to help raise awareness of this injustice and are asking for people to write to their MP. Whilst I welcome any contact from my constituents, I have already pledged my support to this campaign and will proudly continue to do so”.

 

 

 

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Success at getting fair redundancy payments for Avlon staff

Back in March 2019, Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, first wrote to the Government sharing his concerns about Avara’s Avlon site, and their 270 staff. The Avlon site is situated just outside Darren’s constituency. A number of constituents and their family members were employed at the site.

Avara Avlon Pharmaceutical Services Ltd, the company who now own the site, had become insolvent. Since that time it become clear, despite assurances when the company was sold 3 years ago by AstraZeneca, that staff would get above-statutory redundancy payments, which they had been contractually entitled to with AstraZeneca, only statutory redundancy payments were offered by Avara.

Darren has since written to the relevant government department (BEIS) and AstraZeneca, met with Unite union reps and former employees and raised this matter in Parliament on 11th July. Darren also applied for an Adjournment Debate with the Minister of 4 occasions (each attempt was unsuccessful) and worked with The Times to raise awareness of this gross unfairness. The Times have since ran several pieces on this matter this week.

Following these efforts, and those of former employees and Unite, Darren received for following statement from former owner, AstraZeneca:

Statement from AstraZeneca (17th July 2019):

We have decided to set aside funding of up to £12m, to be administered independently, to make sure our former employees at the Avlon site receive full severance should the ongoing administration of the site not generate enough funds to cover redundancy costs.

AstraZeneca remained closely involved in helping secure a future for the Avlon site following the sale to Avara, which was made in good faith in 2016. We have been engaged with the receivers since the company fell into administration. Last week, the deadline for bids for the site was reached and, since then, it has become apparent that there may not be sufficient funds to meet the redundancy costs of our former employees. 

Our success relies on the commitment and talent of our employees and our many partners in the UK and around the world who share our passion for science and for making a difference to the lives of patients.

Darren said:

“I’m delighted that after months of hard work from workers and unions, and my interventions with Astra Zeneca and the government, that workers are being paid the redundancy packages they deserve.

Whilst it should not have taken this level of intervention before employees got what they had been promised, I thank Astra Zeneca for listening, responding and making the right call.”

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Darren visits Horfield school and Bristol Pride.

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, had another packed constituency diary.

On Friday 12th July, Darren visited Horfield Primary School to meet with current years 6 students to talk about how Parliament works, Darren’s experiences of representing the area he was born, and grew up, in followed by a Q and A. Darren then held a constituency surgery in Southmead.

On Saturday, Darren joined the annual Bristol Pride march from Castle Park.

Darren said:

“It was lovely to lead the Bristol Pride march through Bristol today with the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Deputy Mayor Cllr Craig Cheney, Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens, Kerry McCarthy MP and Thangam Debbonaire MP. There was a huge turn out with Avon Fire & Rescue Service leading the way and Avon and Sometset Police’s LGBT+ group helping us along. Well done to the team and volunteers at Bristol Pride for organising such a positive march and event to honour the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York, which were seen as the birthplace of LGBT+ pride and activism”.

 

 

 

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Southmead NHS staff win national Parliamentary award

In 2019, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones once again submitted a number of nominations to the annual NHS Awards. All nominees work for North Bristol NHS Trust and are based at Southmead Hospital, the hospital in Darren’s constituency, and were nominated by peers or managers. Darren was delighted to hear one of these nominations was selected as the regional award winner and would be invited to attend the Parliamentary Awards held this week (10th July 2019). It is with great pride that the team went on to win the national award for wellbeing at work. Darren was able to join the team attending and thank them for their efforts.

The purpose of the awards is to celebrate the NHS, identify and highlight innovative and high-quality care across every constituency in England, and thank staff for their dedication, hard work and commitment by recognising and honouring their achievements.

Darren said of the win:

“I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Southmead Hospital on many occasions, so I am delighted to hear my nomination in the Wellbeing at Work category has won the Trust this prestigious NHS Award. The staff and volunteers at North Bristol NHS Trust work hard, and often in very challenging circumstances. Whilst the team’s focus is on caring and supporting their patients, it is right that staff and volunteers have opportunity to focus on their own needs too. The Wellbeing at Work programme ensures staff and volunteers can access support and activities related to a whole range of health and wellbeing topics.  I made this nomination as I was really inspired when I heard the Chief Executive’s strap line to staff was ‘your health is as important as our patients’. That’s right, as ultimately staff who are absent due to illness, feel unsupported or are struggling, aren’t going to be able to provide the best care for their patients and may end up needing NHS care themselves.

I was genuinely impressed with the broad range of needs that had been considered in the programme from caring responsibilities, menopause to flu clinics, setting up health walks and training Mental Health First Aiders. It is accurate to say, the team at North Bristol NHS Trust are leading the way when it comes to Wellbeing at Work. I could not be prouder that the Hospital in my constituency has received this national award – well done to everyone involved”.

You can also follow Darren’s work on Health here.