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Westbury Post Office’s temporary closure

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has written to the Post Office seeking an update following the closure of the Westbury branch and the appearance of unofficial posters declaring a campaign ‘to save the Post Office’ on Monday 14th August.

Darren said:

“I’m aware that Westbury Post Office is closed again today (13th August) and unofficial posters have appeared asking users to email a Post Office employee ‘to save the Post Office’ from permanent closure. Obviously this has caused significant concern, I have sought an update from the Post Office and share that update below. I hope this reassures residents and Post Office users of the intention to re-open the branch asap. I will be keeping a close eye on this to ensure it happens”.

The Post Office said:

“We can be very clear with customers and constituents that we are committed to seeing Post Office services retained in Westbury. We have absolutely no plans to close the branch.

I am sorry to hear that posters are understandably causing concerns for our customers. I will share that development with my colleagues and ask them to arrange for a formal notice to be displayed at the branch which apologises for the interruption to service and reminds customers of where alternative Post Office service can be accessed.

My colleagues in the field and contracts team are doing all they can to get the branch reopened as soon as possible”.

 

 

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Darren calls on Education Minister to support Bristol’s schools

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones  has written to Nick Gibb, the Education Minister calling for him to listen to feedback from thirteen local head teachers and review the further cuts of £5m to education budgets in the constituency.

Darren said:

“Thirteen Bristol North West head teachers recently shared their concerns with the Education Minister Nick Gibb. In his reply he ignored their concerns so I have followed up asking that he urgently reviews the honest and measured feedback and stops ‘shifting the goalposts’ by quoting data that doesn’t reflect the real budget cuts or challenges our schools are facing. Our children’s education can’t be bought on the cheap”.

 

 

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Darren backs Bristol’s unpaid carers

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has backed local unpaid carers by advocating that ‘carers need care too’.

The Carers Support Centre Bristol and South Gloucestershire asked a sample of unpaid carers to share their experiences of arranging short breaks and what improvements could be made to the service.

  • 58% of carers have been caring for someone for over 10 years
  • 63% of carers felt improvements needed to be made to the short breaks service.
  • The top reason for needing a break was exhaustion with the second being changes in physical and/or mental health of the carer.
  • The top barrier to taking a break was expense (20% have to employ a carer and 39% have to rely on friends and family) with the second being an appropriate care service wasn’t available.

Darren said:

“The government must fund local authority’s properly so they can increase the funds available to support our carers – there must be consistent access to sitting services, day care and residential care that enables carers to take the breaks they need to maintain their own lives and health and wellbeing.

I’ll be hosting a carers-focussed surgery in January, with support from the Carers Support Centre, to help raise awareness of the challenges carers face and help where I can”.

More information on support for carers is available from: https://www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk/

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Darren shares news of grants available

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones is encouraging good causes in Bristol North West to apply for a share of a funding pot worth over £3 million that has been raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery to support projects helping local people.

Awards of between £500 and £20,000 are available to both charities and community groups, with applications being open for the funding from 1 August until the 15 August.

This is the last chance organisations will have to apply for the funding in 2018, and so far, this year over 350 projects across Great Britain have been supported.  With previously funded initiatives ranging from community choirs for carers, to sports clubs, to wildlife conservation charities, this is a fantastic opportunity for groups to access funding to make a difference in the local community.

There are three trusts that groups can apply for funding through. Each trust focuses on a particular theme.

  1. Postcode Community Trust looks for applications on initiatives that will benefit communities through the delivery of grass roots health and wellbeing programmes;
  2. People’s Postcode Trust supports projects aimed at promoting human rights, employability and combatting poverty;
  3. while Postcode Local Trust focuses on proposals that aim to improve biodiversity and outdoor spaces.

Darren said:

“There are so many brilliant community projects right across Bristol North West that could benefit from this fantastic chance to secure funding, get an initiative off the ground or expand the reach of a service.  Across the three trusts there is scope for such a wide variety of organisations to benefit, and I’d strongly encourage them to visit the website, find out where their project could fit and get an application in.”

For more information and to apply for funding, please visit the trusts’ websites:

www.postcodetrust.org.uk

www.postcodelocaltrust.org.uk

www.postcodecommunitytrust.org.uk

 

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Darren sends annual report and invitation to join Powered by You

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has sent an annual report and invitation to join Powered by You to each household in the constituency. The annual report letter updates constituents in each ward as to Darren’s local and parliamentary activity over the past 12 months and invites them to take part in an annual survey and share their feedback on the proposed arena location in North Bristol. Constituents can also complete the survey here.

Darren said:

“It is really important that all of my constituents, especially those who may not contact me directly, have at least a yearly update on my work and get the chance to let me know their views on my work as well as key local issues such as the arena and congestion. This report is especially timely, as I am launching an innovative and exciting project called Powered by You – which will feature an online app and offline community meetings. I want to hear from every street in Bristol North West and hear from those constituents who for whatever reason don’t come along to my policy events,  meet me at surgeries or public events. I want to ensure that every voice is heard.”

Local residents can find out more and sign up to join Powered by You here.

Eagle-eyed constituents will also notice Darren has launched a charitable Trust, known as a the Henacre Trust with support from the Quartet Community Foundation. The Henacre Trust will award grants to young people across Bristol North West, to find out more and donate to the Henacre Trust click here.

 

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Darren signs letter calling for Social Housing green paper to be published

1.16 million households are on Social Housing waiting lists, but the Government have delayed their publication of a Social Housing green paper. With private rentals increasingly expensive this is urgently needed.

Darren signed a letter calling on the Government to provide details of when this will be published. He was one of 35 strong, cross-party group of MPs, showing the strength of feeling about this issue.

 

 

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Darren meets Bristol Croquet Club

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones recently joined members of the Bristol Croquet Club (based in Sea Mills/Stoke Bishop) to chat about the health benefits of exercise, meeting new people and taking up a new activity.

Darren said after the visit:

” I would like to thank the group for inviting me along – I have never played croquet before but it was great fun…perhaps that is because I was on the winning team! The Bristol Croquet Club represent Bristolians from all walks of life and, as I found out, it’s a great way to keep fit, meet new friends, use our green spaces and enjoy a spot of (gentle) competitive sport. I shall look forward to the next game!”

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Darren to host family-themed Picnic Politics

Darren Jones MP is hosting a family-themed ‘picnic politics’ at Blaise Castle on Friday 31st August. If you would like to share your experiences of accessing childcare, school places, support for children with SEND and the challenges of being a modern working parent please stop-by.

Bring a picnic (and the kids!) and join Darren by the grassed area next to the play area and café from 1.30 -3.30. Well-behaved dogs on a lead are also welcome.

Darren said:

“I want to hear from local parents about their experiences – I know from being a new parent myself that being a modern parent is both rewarding and challenging – I want to know what’s working well for local families and what isn’t. Join me on Friday 31st to share your feedback in an informal setting’.

 

 

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Darren urges council to re-think Blaise parking charges

Hundreds of constituents have contacted Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, about the council’s consultation on charging a flat-rate of £2 for parking at Blaise Castle Estate and restricting parking on adjacent roads. The full proposals are available here.

Darren said:

“MPs can’t directly intervene in the council’s decision-making processes but we can ensure our constituents voice is heard – that’s why I have written to the parks team today summarising the feedback received. I continue to urge all users of Blaise Castle and local residents to respond to the council’s consultation. The consultation is open for comment until 30th July”.

 

 

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Darren calls for post-treatment support for breast cancer patients

Darren Jones MP has written to the NHS South West Cancer Care Alliance Manager in the Bristol area asking that they re-assess how they support patients at the end of their breast cancer treatment and to ensure they have access to post-treatment health and wellbeing advice events.

Darren said:

“At present, there is not enough support for patients reaching the end of what is a physically and emotionally draining treatment process – this is unacceptable and must change.”