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Darren comments on crisis in council funding

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has commented on the continued crisis facing local government after years of government cuts. This follows reports that funding has been cut by 21% since the last Labour government.

Darren said:

“It’s a fact that with sustained cuts of this size, our council’s are constantly being asked to do more with much less. Demand for support with adult social care, child safeguarding and SEN have increased hugely but with less funding to provide these complex and vital services.

We can’t escape the reality that these cuts (of roughly 21% from 09/10 to 17/18) will have an impact on the services councils can deliver and, despite best efforts, the speed and quality at which they do so. Our council has worked hard to keep libraries open but has had to make tough decisions.

Our City Council Mayor, Marvin Rees, signed a joint letter in December last year, warning that council’s have reached breaking point.

As the IFS said: Current plans for councils to rely on council tax and business rates for the vast bulk of their funding don’t look compatible with our expectations of what councils should provide. Yet the government continue to keep their head in the sand while councils up and down the country – including in Tory heartlands such as Somerset – face financial crisis.

I will continue to do all I can, along with my Labour Bristol colleagues, to highlight the demands upon local councils and the need for investment into the crucial community services they provide”.

 

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Darren encourages schools to teach plastic awareness

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has written to all Primary schools in Bristol North West encouraging them to take part in a free scheme which teaches pupils in-depth knowledge of plastic waste and how to reduce it but also offers schools the chance to win up to £20,000 for a sustainability project.

Darren said:

” Today, I have contacted all 29 primary schools in Bristol North West, inviting them to take part in Asda’s Plastic Waste lesson plan and competition.

As we all know, plastic waste is a huge issue, both in the UK and globally. Tackling this problem is crucial and I will continue to press for action to reduce plastic pollution – that includes challenging supermarkets to use more recycled materials and reduce their own plastic waste. However, from the perspective of working with young people, I am pleased to see that Asda are looking to inspire the next generation to live sustainably and protect our planet, through an exciting ‘Plastic Mission’ challenge, which finishes with a poster competition, where schools can win up to £20,000 for a sustainability project.

The deadline for entries into the poster competition is 24th July, I urge all schools to get involved”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren’s column in Henbury and Brentry News

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones,  has published his latest column in Henbury and Brentry News. The column covers Darren’s work on:

 

 

 

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Darren visits University’s Physics Dept.

On Friday 15th March, Darren visited the University of Bristol’s Physics Department.

Darren said after the visit:

” I was delighted to work with PhD students from Bristol University last week, bringing my experience as a member of the House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee putting students through their paces in bringing to life how scientific research can help solve our greatest public policy challenges”.

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Darren visits Henbury School

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones,  has visited Henbury School.

Darren said after the visit:

“Last Friday (15th March) , I visited the new temporary headteacher at Henbury School to better understand the special measures Ofsted outcome, the change in leadership to the Greenshaw Academy, the proposed name change and the plan of action for the future.

Henbury is a great school with a huge amount to be proud of. It’s easy to become negative when a school gets a poor Ofsted and a change in leadership but I have to say that I was impressed with the plan of action for the future. Parents and pupils should be excited about what’s in store and I’m looking forward to visiting again soon to meet the new headteacher who has now been recruited”.

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

 

 

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Darren attends Library consultation in Southmead

Labour-run Bristol City Council saved all of the city’s libraries from closure in 2018 but, given the continued decline in government funding, they have asked for our help to look at innovative ways of running the service in the future. Along with constituents, Darren attended an event at the Greenway Centre in early March to talk about ideas to support Southmead, Westbury, Henleaze, Horfield and Lockleaze libraries.

Darren said:

“There were lots of great ideas about modernising our libraries across Bristol North West at the Greenway Centre with Bristol City Council. There are so many exciting opportunities for creating digital, community hubs as a central point of information, gathering and books! I am pleased to see the council thinking ‘outside the box’ and will do what I can to support this process”.

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You can find out more about the ideas gathering on: www.bristol.gov.uk/libraryideas

 

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Darren joins Redmaids team at LEGO League Final

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones recently joined an all-girl team from Redmaids School in Westbury on Trym at the UK’s first LEGO league final at UWE to celebrate their success on reaching the finals.

Darren said after the event:

“It was great to meet with the Redmaids School team at the national finals of the Lego League today, making it very clear that engineering, technology and coding is not just for the boys. Well done to everyone who reached this year’s final”.

 

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Darren backs Climate Strike marchers

Writing on Facebook, Darren said:

‪Solidarity with the #ClimateStrike marchers from Bristol and across the country today. You’re right: governments are failing to act urgently enough to climate change. I’ll keep pushing our government in Westminster on your behalf.  🌍

Our Parliament doesn’t debate climate change enough. Only Anna McMorrin MP and I have been able to force Ministers to give updates via Westminster Hall on the IPCC report and COP24. Each time we demand more urgency.

And my select committee (Science & Technology) is currently taking evidence on the technology requirements to meet our carbon emission targets (which should be strengthened). Again. A clear message from experts: you need to act more quickly.

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Darren supports Time to Talk campaign

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, showed his support for the national Time to Talk mental health campaign on Time to Talk Day on 7th February.

Darren Jones MP said:

“Today is Time to Talk Day, a chance for us all to think about how we can start honest conversations about mental health.

Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 of us, so I’ll be reflecting on how I can be more open about mental health, talk to others and break down stigma. Time to Change is a growing social movement run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. They’re working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. Since they’ve been running they’ve reached millions of people and changed attitudes and behaviour. But there’s still more to be done – that’s why I will continue to call for more accessible, high-quality and responsive mental health care and support wherever I can”.

You can find out more about local events and the Time to Talk campaign here.

 

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Darren congratulates local Primary Schools

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, congratulated local primary schools who have seen an increase in their students meeting Key Stage Two levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Darren has wrote to each primary school in Bristol North West who saw an increase but made special mention of three schools who had seen exceptional progress.

Darren Jones MP said:

” Despite the huge pressure and budget cuts to primary education, many of the primary schools here in Bristol North West saw an increase to their Key Stage Two results. That’s down to the dedication of school staff, governors and their pupils working against the odds to make sure students get the best chance to succeed.

Three of our local schools – Oasis Academy Long Cross, Blaise Primary School and Filton Avenue Primary School saw their results in reading, writing and mathematics jump by a massive 25% or more!

Well done to each school in Bristol North West who saw an increase in their results – I know these are hugely challenging times for teachers and their colleagues so I won’t stop calling for education to get the funding it needs so every child gets the best possible start in life”.

You can follow Darren’s work on Education here.