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Darren welcomes council progress on Library innovation

Labour-run Bristol City Council saved all of the city’s libraries from closure in 2018 but, given the continued decline in government funding, earlier this year they asked for resident’s help to look at innovative ways of running the service in the future. Along with constituents, Darren attended an event in Southmead in early March 2019 to talk about ideas to support Bristol North West’s libraries.

Darren said:

“Back in March, I joined one of the library consultation events held in Bristol North West. Bristol City Council have now published over 1200 ideas and suggestions from that consultation.

16 ‘Friends of’ library groups have also been set-up, if you’d like to join an existing group or start a group for your local library, find out more via this link.

Some of the ideas have already come to fruition, including extended self-service opening at Westbury Library on Sunday afternoons.

If you’re interested in volunteering with the library service, you can find out more here. They have roles that help with story times, IT or events.

A new Library Strategy will be going before City Councillors later this year. I’ll share further news once I have it”.

 

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MP writes to Avonmouth, Shire and Lawrence Weston residents

6000 letters from Darren Jones MP will be delivered to residents across Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton and parts of Sea Mills and Coombe Dingle. The letter updates constituents on Darren’s work in the area including tackling flies as well as his North Bristol Transport Plan and Brexit. A significant number of constituents in the area have contacted Darren with concerns about increasing numbers of flies, noise, dust and fly tipping.

Darren Jones MP said:

“In the course of supporting local residents and understanding the concerns raised with me, I have previously met on-site with many Avonmouth-based businesses (including those that process refuse-derived fuel), Bristol City Council, Environment Agency, Wessex Water, SIMs Metal and the Port. I have recently met with the Environment Agency again, to discuss the on-going fly outbreaks which have affected the Avonmouth area during periods of warm weather as well as the recent fire, and on-going noise and dust, at SIMs Metal. I’m therefore pleased that SIMs have just advised the EA they hope to complete key improvement works, including better acoustic attenuation by Christmas. Additionally, if their permit for a new shredder is approved, these works should be completed in early 2020 and will significantly reduce noise and dust from the site.

To keep up discussion with residents, I have held a number of street stalls in the ward, with my office also attending  several ward meetings to hear the concerns of residents in the area. I wholly understand and share resident’s frustrations at this situation.

My letter also details updates on Brexit and my work to improve public transport and tackle climate change through my North Bristol Transport Plan. You can read more about my work on transport here“.

 

 

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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 visits Southmead, Sea Mills, Eastville and Horfield.

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

On Friday 5th July, Darren visited the final event for the 100th birthday celebrations of Sea Mills with an afternoon tea party at Sea Mills Primary School. Darren also met the new leader of South Gloucestershire Council and talked about the need for joined-up cross border transport investment. This will become especially important as thousands of new homes and large-scale developments (including a potential arena) are progressed in the North Bristol Arc. Darren then met with SARSAS (Somerset Rape and Sexual Advice Service) to find out more about their work and how he can help make vulnerable people aware of their services.

On Saturday, Darren held a café politics at The Old Library in Eastville followed by Powered by You stalls in Horfield and at Southmead Festival.

Darren said:

“Friday was a wonderful summer afternoon for the Sea Mills Primary School afternoon tea party – the last event as part of the 100th birthday of the Sea Mills estate. It was  a privilege to chat to WWII vet Stan, who has lived in the area for 97 of the 100 years!

Saturday was another lovely day for café politics, followed by Powered by You street stalls in Horfield and at the Southmead Festival. I also got to see the new development plans for Arnside and Glencoyne Square in VR”.

                             

 

 

 

 

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Darren visits Home for Veterans, opens Nursery in Lawrence Weston and The Old Library in Eastville

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, had another packed weekend. Darren joined the team from Alabare Christian Care and Support to tour their new Bristol Home for Veterans. Darren also opened the new nursery in Lawrence Weston and visited the community café at the Old Library in Eastville.

Darren said:

“It was wonderful to visit the Old Library in Eastville – the centre has a fantastic café, kids area and awesome outdoor space. Hats-off to the volunteers from Lockleaze, Eastville and the surrounding area for creating such a great community space. I hope all our libraries can become hubs for community activities and provide a wide variety of services alongside the traditional book-lending schemes.

 I was also delighted to officially open the Long Cross Nursery in Lawrence Weston, which is linked to Oasis Academy Long Cross. I have long campaigned for fully state-funded childcare  – funded nursery places for two year olds should be available for all. I’ll continue to call for that.

I was also pleased to meet the manager at the new Bristol Home for Veterans that will open in Bristol North West in a few weeks. It is vital, after their hard work and service, our veterans get the support and care they need. Alabare are working to support veterans, vulnerable and homeless people and I applaud their efforts. I do however feel the government could do much more to vulnerable support people – and a start would be by providing a proper welfare safety net, ceasing the damaging system of Universal Credit and funding our councils so they can provide effective and well-resourced services”.

 

 

 

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Darren visits Shirehampton, Sea Mills, Blaise Castle and Westbury

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, had another packed constituency day on Saturday 8th June 2019. Darren joined the opening of the new museum (in a telephone box) to celebrate 100 years of Sea Mills, joined the annual afternoon tea and awards ceremony at Penhill Residential Home in Shirehampton, stopped by the BS9 Arts Trail in Westbury on Trym and the Goram Fair at Blaise Castle Estate. Darren had also been due to host a Powered By You stall in Sea Mills/Stoke Bishop, but this was postponed due to the high winds.

Darren said:

“I really enjoy busy constituency days, where I get to see as many people as possible, hear about the fantastic volunteering that makes many of the local fetes and fairs I attend happen, and can see community spirit in action.

It was great to attend the annual awards and afternoon tea at Penhill, see the art work by Redmaids students that formed part of the BS9 Art Trial and celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sea Mills. To then top-off the day by joining the Goram Fair was really rewarding – we have a lot to celebrate here in Bristol North West”.

 

 

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Darren comments on Stoke Lodge Planning Appeal

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has commented on the news Cotham School’s appeal to the Planning Inspectorate for a new pavilion building at Stoke Lodge has been rejected.

Darren said:

“I’ve been advised the Planning Inspectorate (PI) has now rejected Cotham School’s appeal for a new pavilion building at Stoke Lodge.

I recently wrote to the PI voicing my constituent’s views after being contacted by large numbers of residents who were concerned about additional vehicle movements, including coaches, and the impact more parked vehicles would have on residential roads and road safety if the application got the go-ahead. The community, and I, are however not against the need to invest and upgrade in the pavilion in principle, but this can’t be done at the expense of residents and road safety.

The school’s appeal has now been rejected with the school being made to pay the council’s legal costs. I take no joy in seeing local schools spending money on legal costs and that’s why I have tried time and again to get senior reps from the school round the table to find a compromise to the whole Stoke Lodge saga, sadly they weren’t willing to continue discussions and we find a school continuing to fight a tight-knit community. The school failed to evidence adequate transport planning for this application and it would appear the introduction of a fence has also had some bearing on the decision to reject the appeal.

I’ll continue to support residents who are clear they want to work with the school so students – and residents – can all enjoy the wonderful open space at Stoke Lodge”.

Background:

As well as meeting hundreds of concerned residents on 8th December 2018, Darren has  shared his concerns with Bristol City Council following news reports that a fence at Stoke Lodge would not require the council’s consent and that the school planned to progress these works imminently. The council responded to Darren, local councillors and the We Love Stoke Lodge community group concerns on Friday 7th December, maintaining their new position that a fence did not require planning consent as would be considered permitted development.

Darren has been working closely with key community leaders and local councillors on this matter for some time having previously written to residents, the council and Cotham School about Stoke Lodge alongside chairing several meetings (designed to broker a compromise so both the community and the school can use the site) over the summer of 2018.

Darren has also previously met local residents, and separately with staff from Cotham School, to discuss the school’s use of Stoke Lodge green space which (the school propose) would include the erection of a fence, alongside a new changing room/ pavilion building (this application was rejected by the local authority and as yet has not been appealed or a new submission submitted).

Darren said prior to the meeting in December 2018:

“I’ll be meeting residents at Stoke Lodge on Saturday morning to discuss any updates following last week’s surprise media reports planning consent may not be required for any perimeter fence. Clearly this news was hugely concerning to the many residents and visitors who enjoy this important green space – which includes Bristol’s Tree of the Year. This green space is the only one in walking distance to many local residents.

We’ll also be discussing next steps so we can work to ensure the site can once again be used by the local community and school.

Stoke Bishop has one of the lowest crime and ASB levels in the city, with a close-knit and supportive community and it does not appear the school encountered any reportable near misses or incidents when the school previously used this site unfenced – it is therefore imperative risks are not overstated and the community and school work together to ensure this space is used in harmony for decades to come. I know community reps remain keen to continue engaging with the school and have suggested multiple alternative options. The multiple meetings I have chaired – where all parties were invited – were designed to reach a compromise.

I am obviously concerned to hear the council have continued to advise (including in the most correspondence dated 7th December) that planning consent will not be required for the fence as it is within permitted development rights.

I’ll continue to support residents, and help work towards a compromise, at every opportunity“.

 

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Darren visits Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston and Sea Mills

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, had another busy Saturday (25th May 2019) hosting two Powered By You stalls in Lawrence Weston and Shirehampton followed by a visit to Sea Mills for a LinkAge event at the Methodist Church.

Darren said:

“Today was another busy constituency day, I started off talking about the issues that matter locally in Shirehampton and Lawrence Weston at my Powered By You Street Stalls and then joined the LinkAge Sea Mills community event.

I’ll be doing Street stalls most Saturday mornings in the coming months, to find out where I’ll be next, please visit my Powered By You page where you can also find out how to download my Powered By You app”.

 

 

 

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Darren visits Westbury, The Downs, Avonmouth, Henleaze and Horfield in one day.

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, had a very busy Saturday (11th May 2019) hosting a Café Politics at Horfield Leisure Centre, a Powered By You stall in Avonmouth followed by visits to Westbury Spring Fair, Henleaze Junior School’s May Fair and the Foodies Festival on the Downs to show his support for a new local charity.

Darren said:

“Today was a busy but fantastic constituency day. I started off talking local and national issues at my Café Politics at Horlfied Leisure Centre and then hosted the first of my new Powered By You Street Stalls in Avonmouth.  It was a l‪ovely sunny day for the Westbury Community Spring Fair where I got to meet North Bristol Police Cadets and the RAF 2442 Squadron ATC. ‬

Finally, I popped by the Fair in Henleaze and then the Foodies Festival on the Downs to help raise awareness of Little Hero. Little Hero is an important new charity started by my constituent John after the loss of his young son, Will. You can read all about Little Hero here and you can donate £5 by texting WILL to 70970.

I’ll be doing Street stalls most Saturday mornings in the coming months, to find out where I’ll be next, please visit my Powered By You page where you can also find out how to download my Powered By You app”.

 

 

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Darren to host Autism-focused surgery

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, will be hosting an autism-themed surgery with help from Bristol Autism Spectrum Services (BASS) on Friday 24th May.

Please note – as of 2nd May – this surgery is now fully booked. Another will be held later in the year.

Appointments will be available from 10.30am – 12.45pm. To book an appointment you must live in Bristol North West or be supporting a constituent as their formal advocate (if that’s the case, the constituent should also be in attendance). You can check if you’re represented by Darren by visiting: www.theyworkforyou.com/

These 30-minute private appointments could be used to discuss personal concerns that you are seeking Darren’s help/support with (for example, you or your child are struggling to get specific help) or you may want to share more general experiences that you feel Darren should be aware of (for example, how difficult it can be for you to access the community or services).

It could also be that you (or a family member/partner) want to lobby Darren on a policy issue related to autism for example, carers allowance, access to mental health services, SEN support or therapies.

Places are limited so please do get in touch with BASS by calling 01275 796 204 or emailing: awp.bassbristolas@nhs.net and providing your name, address, contact telephone number and a short summary of the issue you would like to discuss.

Once your appointment is confirmed, BASS will send you a time and the exact location of the appointment, which will be held in the Southmead area.