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MP visits Acorns and Oaks in Westbury-on-Trym

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones recently visited an Acorns and Oaks session at a nursing home in Westbury-on-Trym.

In many care homes, elderly residents receive very few visitors from week to week; many suffer from loneliness and depression. And many young children are growing up without grandparents nearby: Links between the generations are being lost, and these playgroups are helping to reconnect them.

Thanks to Acorns ‘n’ Oaks, over 200 volunteer parents and children from Bristol and beyond have chosen a playgroup with a difference. Hosted by care homes for the elderly, the children brighten people’s days, just by being themselves.

In one year the project has grown from a single group, to 25 registered groups with an ever-increasing waiting list. You can find out more and support the group at www.acornsnoaks.org.uk

Darren said following his visit:

“I had a great time with Acorns and Oaks which brings kids into older peoples homes for inter-generational play. It was also lovely to attend a constituency event that I was able to take my daughter to. Thanks to the team at Acorns and Oaks for working so hard – they are a very inspirational team, and I wish them every success”.‬

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Darren hosts surgery for local carers

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, hosted a Carers-themed surgery with Carers Support Centre Bristol and South Gloucestershire in Southmead on Friday 18th January.

” In the course of my work as Bristol North West’s MP, I have met many carers, including those at Henleaze-based Singing for the Brain and at other surgeries. I’m well aware of the challenges carers face and the dire need for more support for them, that’s why I backed the Carers Support Centre ‘carers need care too’ campaign and hosted this themed surgery.

I look forward to meeting more local carers and doing what I can to help and support them. I’ve agreed to host at least one carers-themed surgery a year but in the meantime, if you need support, please email my office at darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk (be sure to include your full address and postcode) and we’ll see how we can help you”.

 

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Darren asks for £1bn for nurse training

Cuts to nursing bursaries are resulting in negative outcomes for student nurses and patients who rely on there being sufficient staffing. Darren wrote to the Health Secretary to ask him to fund nurse training properly.
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Darren demands action on state nursery schools funding

Darren sent a previous letter to the Government on this issue. This received a reply to which Bristol’s Head of Children’s Services
said ‘many nursery schools will not be able to wait’ as suggested by the Government. This prompted Darren wrote to the Government to demand action.
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Darren supports cardiac screening for young people

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West has spoken about his support for charity, Cardiac Risk in the Young.

Darren said:

“12 young people between the age of 14 and 35 tragically die every week in the UK from undiagnosed cardiac conditions – 80% of these deaths occur with no symptoms. Furthermore, screening has been shown to lead to an 89% reduction in sudden cardiac deaths.The charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) offers free screening across the country but also works to improve the UK healthcare policy guidelines and recommendations surrounding young sudden cardiac deaths.

I pledge to support CRY to help improve the healthcare policies in place for diagnosing and treating young people”.
Find out more about how you can get involved and for support here: https://www.c-r-y.org.uk/

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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.