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Darren to host surgery for local carers

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

Do you care for a friend, relative, family member or neighbour with an illness or disability? Do you need Darren’s support or would like to share your experiences so they inform Darren’s work in the future?

To meet with Darren you must live in Bristol North West. The Bristol North West constituency covers Avonmouth, Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston, Henbury, Brentry, Horfield, Lockleaze, Aurora Springs in Cheswick Village, Southmead, Sea Mills, Coombe Dingle, Sneyd Park, Stoke Bishop, Westbury-on-Trym, Westbury Park and Henleaze.

If you’re not sure if Darren is your MP, you can check here – If Darren is your MP and you’re a carer, come and meet him!

The surgery will take place on 18th January in Southmead between 10.30 and 12.30 with 6 pre-bookable appointments available.

If you would like to find out more or book a 15 minute slot, contact Caroline McAleese, Carers Engagement & Involvement Lead, Carers Support Centre on 0117 958 9989 or carolinem@carerssupportcentre.org.uk

“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 my weekly constituency 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 am hosting this themed surgery. I look forward to meeting more local carers and doing what I can to help and support them”.

 

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Darren updates on Stoke Lodge Fence

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has shared his concerns with Bristol City Council following recent news reports that a fence at Stoke Lodge will not require the council’s consent and that the school plans to progress these works imminently.

Darren has been working closely with key community leaders and local councillors and has 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.

Darren also 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.

Darren said:

“Alongside members of the local community and councillors, I have shared my concerns with the council regards the article published in the Bristol Post on Friday 30th November 2018.

This information came as a total surprise to members of the community (as well as myself and local councillors) who had met with council staff that day to discuss their on-going concerns about the site.

I have just been advised by the council’s Director – Legal and Democratic Services this situation has been escalated to the council’s planning team with a response expected this week – I will update on this matter as soon as possible.

I would like to take the opportunity to advise, I will continue to do what I can to support the community. Equally, I would like to thank those residents who attended my Mince Pie Politics coffee morning in Stoke Bishop on Saturday morning to discuss their concerns with me”.

 

 

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Darren shares concerns about Portway Park and Ride

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has shared updates on the First Bus service that runs from the Portway Park and Ride to the city centre following complaints from constituents.

Darren said:

“Buses are fast becoming one of the key issues in my inbox. The West of England Combined Authority Mayor, Tim Bowles, (who is responsible for regional transport strategy and funding) has pledged to review the region’s bus services in the New Year, so I recommend constituents share their concerns and experiences with him, as well as First, so they can be fed-in to the consultation. I say this because, I don’t want any of the issues my constituents are facing on a daily basis to be forgot or drop down the agenda.

In the meantime, I shared some feedback on behalf so users of the Portway (902) Park and Ride Service, here is First’s reply:
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As the Manager responsible for the operation of service 902 may I firstly offer my sincerest apologies for the poor customer service that the constituent refers to within your email. It is essential that we receive feedback from our customers whether this be of a positive or negative nature so that we can make continued improvements to not just our service but into how we train our driving staff.

There is no doubt that there a some area of improvements that are required to the punctuality of service 902 with the month of September showing punctuality performing below the 95% expected journey levels at 88% with the remaining journeys 12% operating behind schedule.

Although we always aim to be 100% on time, some of the journeys mentioned within the email fall within the Traffic commissioners guidelines of no more than 5 minutes behind schedule.

As you will be able to appreciate the delayed works at Temple Meads is having a negative impact on not just the 902 service but a wider number of service throughout the Bristol area.

The journey that is mentioned where by the an empty bus returning to depot had passed was as a result of a defect with the vehicle on route to the P&Ride site which needed a mechanics attention, although it was safe to return to depot it would not have been suitable to use in service at the time.

We have a member of staff who is employed to regulate all the Park&Ride service and we have made the 902 his priority at the moment due to the impact of the Severn Beach line closure and the impact this is having on additional traffic and customers.

As a customer service provider we expect our staff to put the customer at the heart of everything that they do and clearly those standards on this occasion fell short of expectation.
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I know I said this about the 3 and 4 services last week, but I do hope bus riders start to see some improvements soon – especially as the price of day rider ticket purchased on the bus has now jumped again to £5. If constituents don’t see improvements- I strongly encourage them to send complaints to First and the Regional Mayor and be sure to copy me in so I can keep a track of what’s going on locally”.

To follow Darren’s work on Transport click here.

 

 

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Darren shares concerns about 3 and 4 bus routes

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has shared updates on First Bus services that run from Cribbs through Henbury, Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton, Sea Mills, Coombe Dingle and Stoke Bishop to the city centre.

Darren said:

“I’ve been made aware of a number of on-going problems affecting the number 3 and 4 First bus routes. I shared those concerns with First and have been advised:

Having reviewed the recent performance of the service, it is evident that it has been affected by driver shortage, traffic congestion and vehicle breakdown. To address the shortage of drivers we have recruited additional staff to plug the gaps which should be demonstrating improvements from this week.

The congestion is a more difficult problem to solve, especially on the run up to Christmas. However, I have identified common sections of the route that get delayed regularly and fed this information into the commercial team that develop the timetables. They have taken this information and will take it into consideration when providing new timetables for January.

With respect to the vehicle breakdowns, our Engineering team have put an action plan in place to improve the reliability of the current crop of vehicles.

There are no immediate plans to replace the vehicles, but given the Engineering plans, I expect these to be just as reliable as a new vehicle.

Finally, please accept my apologies for the difficulty in raising concerns with First. The team that handles complaints has a new leader and location which is aimed at simplifying the process and improving response times. This is relatively new, but is already having an impact.

Hopefully bus riders on the 3 and 4 should see an improvement soon. If not, get in touch with me by emailing darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk”!

To follow Darren’s work on Transport click here.

 

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MP comments on YardArts Planning Application.

Following the constituent survey and public meeting held earlier this year, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has submitted his comments on YardArts’ Planning Application for the Fairways site off Penpole Lane, Shirehampton.

 

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Darren shares response from council on Iron Bridge closure

A number of constituents have contacted Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, about the continued closure of the Iron Bridge in Shirehampton following damage caused by a lorry hitting the historic bridge back in November 2015.

Following these concerns, Darren attended a ‘Save the Iron Bridge’ event in January to support the concerns of residents and since site inspections were undertaken in April 2018, has contacted Bristol City Council to ask for an update.

Darren said:

“I know many of you, like I am, are rightly concerned about the continued closure of the Iron Bridge. The bridge is an iconic and vital connection between Kingsweston and Blaise Castle Estates and I have been in touch with your local councillor, Don Alexander, who is continuing to champion this issue at the council.

We’ve been advised by cabinet lead, Councillor Mhairi Threlfall, that since the inspections undertaken earlier this year, the council has now drawn together the works information required for bridge dismantling and removal, as well as the information to support a Listed Consent Application to enable these works to take place. A Heritage Statement is now required as part of the Listed Consent Application and that’s expected in late September. Planning permission is then required alongside a tender process to select the company who’ll undertake the works.

Based on these steps, Councillor Threlfall has advised she would expect the council to be able to undertake the required site works early in the next financial year“. 

 

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Darren calls on Regional Mayor to attend Transport Forum

Labour MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has continued to call for large-scale improvements to transport infrastructure in North Bristol by writing to the Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles, and inviting him to an upcoming Transport Forum.

You can reserve your tickets for the Transport Forum here.

Ahead of the Transport Forum on 19th October, Darren previously chaired a Gridlock Conferencelaunched a petition calling on Tim to commit at least £50m to a new transport fund for North Bristol and voiced his concerns about congestion with members of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Darren also encouraged the LEP to back plans to invest £50 million into his North Bristol Transport Fund initiative.

Darren said:

“Transport remains the number one concern in North Bristol and anyone who uses our roads, buses and limited local rail network knows our infrastructure can’t cope with proposed development of thousands of new homes, let alone the 16,000 additional cars a day once tolls on the Severn Bridge are removed. I am frequently told, walking is often unsafe and cycle routes are inadequate.

 My Gridlock Conference in July brought together transport providers, transport campaign groups, developers, community groups and councillors who by working together can help to develop a series of ‘asks’ for our Regional Mayor and the LEP. I now hope to build on that local knowledge and add to those ideas by hosting a constituent- focused event on 19th October.

The LEP and the Regional  Mayor have the ability to fund large-scale transport projects, which is why I’m continuing to call on them to get involved with these events and help to deliver for my constituents and for North Bristol.”

Residents can sign up to support Darren’s call for a £50m North Bristol Transport Fund for road, rail, bus, cycling and walking improvements by signing his petition here. 

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Darren raises concern at news of 16,000 extra cars on Bristol roads

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has continued to call for large-scale improvements to transport infrastructure in North Bristol following the release of information from Department of Transport that indicates Bristol can expect 16,000 additional car journeys every day following the removal of Severn Bridge Tolls.

Ahead of the Gridlock Conference Darren chaired in July, Darren had previously launched a petition calling on the region’s metro mayor, Tim Bowles, to commit at least £50m to a new transport fund for north Bristol and voiced his concerns about congestion with members of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). At the July conference, attendees discussed the gridlock hot stops across the North Bristol corridor and how they may be impacted by further developments such as the proposed expansion of Cribbs Causeway, new housing developments at Filton Airfield, the potential arena at Filton alongside the lifting of Severn Bridge Tolls. Attendees debated how a Transport Fund for North Bristol could be spent to support solutions to the congestion faced by drivers, encourage more sustainable travel and boost the area’s limited rail, bus and cycle networks.

Darren said:

“Since the announcement to reduce, and then remove, Severn Bridge Tolls, I have raised the issue of gridlock and air pollution with government time and again. I have also tried to engage with our Regional Mayor to tackle local transport.

Now we know – 16,000 extra cars are expected on our roads every single day – that’s 6 million a year – and with no thought for advance mitigation. It is no good for those responsible to say they are ‘looking into how to invest in our roads’. It also no good to just keep focusing on roads and cars!

I once again call on the Region’s Mayor, Tim Bowles, to invest in a North Bristol Transport Fund and protect the area from total gridlock by investing in road, rail, bus, pedestrian and cycling improvements.

I encourage those concerned about further traffic chaos to sign my petition calling for at least a £50m North Bristol Transport Fund: http://darren-jones.co.uk/transport-fund/.”

Local residents can sign up to support Darren’s call for a £50m North Bristol Transport Fund for road, rail, bus, cycling and walking improvements by signing his petition here.

Follow Darren’s work on transport here.

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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 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