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Darren calls for Public Inquiry into Brexit Referendum

Following the findings of the Electoral Commission’s review of Vote Leave spending and the fine levied to Facebook by the ICO in relation to data harvesting in advance of the referendum, Darren wrote to all MPs calling for their support in demanding an independent judge-led inquiry into the referendum. Darren first called for a public inquiry during PMQ’s on Wednesday 11th July.

Darren said:

” I have written to colleagues in Parliament today(17th July), to seek their support in calling for a public inquiry into the Brexit Referendum. If illegality can take place in our democracy, we must bring forward reforms. Please write to your MP to ask for their support. You can check who your MP is here“. ‬

 

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MP chairs YardArts meeting – notes now available.

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones  hosted a public meeting with around 50 local residents regarding the proposed YardArts development on Penpole Lane in Shirehampton on 29th June – thank you to everyone who attended. The notes of this meeting are available to view/print below.

Darren said:

“Following my recent survey, over 450 local residents  contacted me to share their views about the proposed YardArts site on Penpole Lane. The majority were against the plans, or at least what we knew of them at the time of writing, and wanted to find out more. I therefore arranged a public meeting on Friday 29th June at the Shirehampton Methodist Church along with YardArts and the landowner of the Karakal site. There was an update received on plans from both parties as well as a useful Question and Answer session. Those able to attend said they found the opportunity useful to hear directly from both parties what they hope to do with the site.

A planning application will be going live from YardArts very soon – please make sure you submit any comments/concerns you have direct to the council so they can take them into consideration. Once the application is live you can do that via this link“.

Meetings notes available here: YardArts Notes 29 6 18

 

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Darren backs local shops – nominate your high street now!

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones MP has backed local high streets and urged the government to do more to protect local jobs and the heart of our local communities.

Darren said:

” We know our high streets and shopping parades are struggling – shops are closing across the country and I see the impact of vacant stores here in Bristol North West. Almost 70,000 retail jobs, including shop-floor roles, are set to be axed this year in Britain – according to a new report released by retail magnate Bill Grimsey. His review suggests high streets are facing “their greatest challenge in history”.

Just yesterday, a resident of Westbury-on-Trym shared their concerns about a vacant premise becoming a target for petty vandalism and the number of stores now empty in the village. I’ll be meeting with a representative from Westbury Business Association next week to discuss what I can do to help champion all of our high streets.

The government must urgently re-assess the support they are giving to small, family run shops, as well as the medium and larger chains who are not immune to these pressures, and the rates they charge them – high streets are the lifeblood of our communities.

I’m also working hard to bring infrastructure investment to Bristol North West – we know congestion, and irregular or unreliable bus, rail and cycle routes can put people off visiting a high street and only encourages them to visit out-of-town retailers and shop online. Our transport network must support local high streets and encourage use of public transport.

I am also urging residents to do their bit – shop locally, support locally-run businesses and nominate their high street for the Visa Great British High Street competition“.

#MyHighStreet

 

 

 

 

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Darren thanks NHS staff and volunteers! #NHS70

The NHS was brought into existence on 5th July 1948 under a Labour government – today marks the NHS’ 70th birthday. On this special occasion, Bristol North West MP,  Darren Jones MP thanked everyone who supports the NHS ensuring to include staff and volunteers from across both health and social care services:

Darren said:

” On behalf of everyone in Bristol North West – today and every day – thank you NHS staff, volunteers, charities and fundraisers. We literally wouldn’t be here without you!”‬

To celebrate #NHS70, CQC has published 70 stories highlighting individuals who have gone ‘over and above’ and made a significant impact on the care people receive across health and social care services.

Importantly, while it’s the NHS that’s celebrating a birthday, these stories include people working alongside NHS services in adult social care who we all know have also played a vital and integral role.

 

This collection of short case studies is part of a series highlighting the work that individuals – from volunteers, to front line staff to senior leaders – have done to deliver great services across acute and mental health NHS trusts, primary care and adult social care.

Darren also praised the fundraising efforts of the Southmead Hospital Charity and will be visiting the volunteers in the coming weeks to see the new patient ambulance unveiled as part of the hospital’s 70th birthday celebrations:

” Whilst the government undermine our health service, privatise by the back door and chip away at funding and our dedicated NHS staff – its these fundraisers, NHS staff and the people who donated in support of this wonderful ambulance that deserve our attention! They are what represents #NHS70 each and every day~.

 

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Darren champions local parks and open spaces

On Friday 29th and 30th June, Darren visited Lawrence Weston Moors with Avon Wildlife Trust and attended a wildlife walk with local expert, Steve England, and the Friends of Lamplighters Marsh. This follows Darren’s recent nomination to Groundworks for the Friends on-going efforts to protect and sustain the local environment at the Marsh.

Darren said after the visits:

” What a wonderful couple of visits in the sunshine – I was keen to find out, Bristol North West has the most green space in Bristol, from super parks like Blaise Castle, the Downs and nature reserves in Avonmouth, Sea Mills and Lawrence Weston to vital woodland habitats and ancient trees in Kingsweston, Blaise and Stoke Park. it is vital we protect, maintain and use these beautiful parks and open spaces. These spaces are so important as they help to keep us fit and healthy and encourage us to meet our neighbours and bond as community.”‬

 

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Darren signs pledge: ‘MP not border guard’.

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, has signed a Global Justice Now pledge to let everyone in his constituency know that his surgeries are a safe and welcoming place.

Darren’s pledge reads:

As a member of parliament, I pledge to represent and advocate for all people living in my constituency as equal members of the local community, regardless of their immigration status.

My constituency and surgery are safe places and I welcome all my constituents to seek representation free from fear of immigration enforcement.

I will not report on anyone who seeks my advice to the Home Office for immigration enforcement and will ensure my office correctly handles sensitive personal information to prevent this from happening.

Darren said:

“I’ve signed this pledge – it is crucial my weekly surgeries are safe spaces for all constituents. The Home Office is in crisis. As the problems experienced by the Windrush generation showed, the government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy is cruel, incompetent and chaotic.

On 28th June it was revealed,  the Home Office were fined £21m for mistakenly detaining more than 850 people between 2012 and 2017, some of whom were living in the UK legally. This is totally unacceptable”.

 

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Free event being held in Bristol for EU Nationals

Are you an EU national concerned about your personal situation after Brexit?

Have you got questions about settled status?

Avon and Bristol Law Centre are hosting a Q and A with an EU Commission solicitor on Tuesday 31st July at Hamilton House.

The session is free to attend and will be geared towards EU nationals who have concerns about their rights as EU citizens.

Reserve your ticket here.

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Darren challenges drug company over Orkambi

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has continued to fight for access to Orkambi for the 10,400 people with Cystic Fibrosis in the UK.

Darren has co-signed a letter to Vertex Pharmaceuticals – this letter asks the company to urgently resolve the negotiations with NHS England so those with cystic fibrosis can have access to this revolutionary drug.

Darren said:

“I sympathise profoundly with anyone affected by Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and I appreciate the strength of support for making Orkambi available on the NHS  – that was clearly demonstrated by an online petition signed by  113,000 people. Cystic Fibrosis is a cruel and life-shortening condition – it is unacceptable this drug has been licensed for three years yet it is still not available for the people that sorely need it. Median life expectancy for someone with CF is just 47 – in the context of that stark figure three years is far too long and time is being wasted.

NHS England and Vertex need to sit down and sort this out and the government should be facilitating that discussion. These delays are causing unnecessary suffering to my constituents and thousands across the country”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find out more about Cystic Fibrosis and the support available here.

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Darren hosts first Business Forum on Modern Slavery

On 22nd June, Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, hosted a Business Forum with local employers, the council, charities and the police and called upon them to work with him to end Modern Slavery in Bristol and beyond.

Darren said:

“There are an estimated 10,000 to 13,000 people in modern slavery in the UK, however many experts agree that’s a huge underestimate. I’ve been championing victim’s rights since becoming Bristol North West’s MP – we have seen cases of modern slavery in Southmead and across the city. I’ll continue to make this a priority by supporting Bills that come through the House of Commons and hosting events such as my Business Forum today – it is only by drawing these issues out into the open that we’ll bring an end to this abuse of vulnerable people. I also recently wrote to the Gangmaster’s and Labour Abuse Authority to ask them to licence nail bar and car wash businesses (as known hot spots for modern slavery) in Bristol, to make sure they treat workers properly.  I have met victims at my weekly surgery – so this is an issue I take extremely seriously”.

Darren continued:

“I’m also continuing to fight unethical working practises wherever I see them including tipping etiquette in restaurants, changes to Asda employee’s terms and conditions and the hostile takeover of GKN amongst others. As the event heard on Friday, Bristol is continuing to lead the way on exposing cases of modern slavery but this great work will only continue if we all join forces – as our Police and Crime Commissioner said businesses and members of the public need to be the police’s eyes and ears and report their concerns”.

Speakers at the Forum included CEO of Unseen Andrew Wallis OBE, Sue Mountstevens Police and Crime Commissioner and Jaya Chakrabarti MBE.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees and Deputy Mayor, Asher Craig also joined the event to support calls for partners to work together and ensure Bristol acts as a positive example to other cities on how to tackle and eradicate modern slavery.