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Darren welcomes Cystic Fibrosis breakthrough

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has welcomed news that a deal has been agreed between Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the NHS to supply revolutionary drugs Orkambi and Symkevi to people with cystic fibrosis.

Following multiple communications supported by Darren last year, the MP had co-signed new letters in July (available below) to Vertex Pharmaceuticals and the Secretary of State for Health and Social, Matt Hancock,  requesting both parties urgently sit down together and resolve the negotiations regards Orkambi so those with cystic fibrosis can have access to this revolutionary drug.

Darren said:

“After 4 years of hard work from Labour MPs and cystic fibrosis (CF) campaign groups and charities an agreement has finally been reached for these life-saving drugs to be available to people in the UK.

Median life expectancy for someone with CF is just 47 – in the context of that stark figure four years was harrowingly long to wait – I am glad that wait is now over and these drugs will be available within a matter of weeks.

Whilst I’m delighted with today’s (24 10 19) announcement, the 10,400 people with Cystic Fibrosis in the UK should not have been keep waiting 4-years for this vital treatment to be available.

I thank NHS England and Vertex Pharmaceuticals for finally agreeing a deal that is fair to the NHS”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find out more about Cystic Fibrosis and the support available here.

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Darren slams cuts facing 100% of local schools

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones said:

“I’ve just received (25th October 2019) a briefing from the National Education Union which confirms Department of Education funding for local schools from 1st April 2020. Despite the government pretending otherwise, 100% of our schools will have less budget than they did in 2015!

I’ve visited nearly every school in my constituency over the last two years and I hear the same concerns at each one – we’re pushing overworked teachers out of the profession and forcing our kids to face larger class sizes with less staff available to help and less money for books, equipment and technology. This crisis is felt even more acutely with children who have special educational needs, young people with mental health needs and is also illustrated in the reduction of creative subjects being taught. Yet this Government continues to underfund and under-deliver on their responsibility to schools – all the whilst pretending austerity is over – and the nation’s children and young people.

Between 2015 and April 2020, our schools in Bristol North West will have faced a shortfall of £49,308 million. That’s – on average – £704 less per pupil than in April 2015. This is totally unacceptable and puts our kid’s futures at risk – education can’t and shouldn’t be done on the cheap!

Having just recently supported campaigns for improved nursery and sixth-form funding, I assure my constituents I’ll continue to do everything I can to achieve fair funding for our schools”.

Here are some examples of what these devastating cuts mean for our kid’s schools:

  1. Glenfrome Primary school, has been cut by an average £626 per pupil since 2015. Class sizes are above average. Class sizes rose from 25.0 pupils per class in 2015 to 28.4 in 2018. Cuts are above average. Cuts are equal to the salaries of 4 teachers. Funding is below average.
  2. Fairfield High School, Bristol has been cut by an average £855 per pupil since 2015. Class sizes are above average. Class sizes rose from 23.0 pupils per class in 2015 to 26.6 in 2018. Cuts are above average. Cuts are equal to the salaries of 17 teachers.
  3. Fonthill primary School has been cut by an average of £738 per pupil since 2015. Class sizes are above average. Class sizes rose from 26.9 pupils per class in 2015 to 28.9 in 2018. Cuts are above average. Cuts are equal to the salaries of 2 teachers.
  4. Stoke Park Primary School has been cut by an average of £520 per pupil since 2015, which has badly affected the school. Class sizes are above average. Class sizes rose from 23.7 pupils per class in 2015 to 27.3 in 2018. Cuts are above average. Cuts are equal to the salaries of 2 teachers.
  5. Sea Mills Primary School has been cut by an average of £654 per pupil since 2015. Class sizes are above average. Class sizes rose from 25.8 pupils per class in 2015 to 27.9 in 2018. Cuts are above average. Cuts are equal to the salaries of 2 teachers.

You can support the NEU’s campaign and find out about cuts to your local school here.

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

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Darren visits Lockleaze Hindu Harvest Festival

After the joining the event in 2018 – Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, joined the Sarodiya Durga Puja Harvest celebration again in Lockleaze.

Darren said:

“As the local MP and co-chair of Labour Friends of India, it was fantastic to join Hindu constituents for their annual harvest-themed festival again. It was a joyous and fun celebration and really felt supported by the local community and I thank the organisers for inviting me”.

If your Bristol North West-based club or group would like Darren visit, please send the request to his office via: darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk. Darren’s diary is pretty busy but we’ll do our best to find a suitable date and time.

 

 

 

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Darren visits Redmaids High School

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, visited Redmaids High School in Westbury on Trym on 11th October.

Prior to meeting students, Darren also met the two Deputy Heads and discussed issues facing the school including Labour’s conference motion on independent schooling and parking pressures at drop-off and pick-up time.

Darren said:

“I always enjoy my visits to local schools – this was no exception. I was put through my paces and asked lots of interesting questions! I was also honoured to be presented with a book – made and collated by year 8 and 9 students – inspired by Oxfam Educations ‘For the love of’ project which encourages young people to take action on climate change.”

 

 

 

 

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Darren celebrates Filton Avenue Nursery School

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones recently visited the 80th birthday celebrations of Filton Avenue State-Maintained Nursery School. Darren has also recently written to the new Children’s Minister, Kemi Badenoch, to ask for more money for state-funded nursery schools.

Darren said:

“Happy 80th birthday to Filton Avenue Nursery School. Bristol is one of only a few places to still have schools (with teachers!) to help prepare pre-primary school pupils, and they do a fantastic job at a time of insecure funding from government. Here’s to the next 80 years”.

 

 

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Darren’s quizzed by Scouts

Darren Jones MP was recently quizzed by the 18th Scout Group ‘Spitfire Explorers’ as part of their work to achieve their media badge. Darren met the group and was asked a series of questions by the scouts.

Darren said:

” It was fantastic to join the Spitfire Explorer Scouts – they put me through my paces and hopefully I have even persuaded some of them to run for public office or interview politicians in the years to come. UK Scouting is doing great work in Bristol and that must be celebrated”.

 

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Darren welcomes Google and Parent Zone to Stoke Park Primary

Darren Jones MP recently welcomed Google and Parent Zone to Stoke Park Primary to lead an assembly on internet safety.

Darren said:

” It was fantastic to join teachers, students, Parent Zone and Google UK at Stoke Park Primary for a recent ‘Be Internet Legends’ assembly.

The assembly included tips for students and their parents on how they can stay safe online whilst being confident using the technology we now rely on.

It’s so important that we teach children in Bristol to thrive in the digital age and I am pleased that Google and Parent Zone are leading the way on this important issue”.

 

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Darren calls for investment in nurseries

MP for Bristol North West Darren Jones has written to the new Children’s Minister, Kemi Badenoch, to ask for more money for state-funded nursery schools.

Darren said:

“Maintained nurseries face real uncertainty about their long-term funding. Although the Department for Education has announced a stop-gap spending package of £24 million, nursery providers in Bristol North West are still waiting on information from central government about how and when this will be spent”.

 

 

 

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Darren visits relaunched Southmead Children’s Centre

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, visited the newly re-launched Southmead Children’s Centre on Friday 30th August.

Darren said:

“It was fantastic to see the Southmead Children’s Centre open today: the centre is keeping the vital legacy of Sure Start alive and kicking with day care, family support and a soon to be launched forest school!

Well done to Bristol City Council, Mayor Marvin Rees, Councillor Helen Godwin and all the team for making sure these hugely important services are available to our local communities – at a time when councils up and down the country are closing children’s centres, we should be proud ours are being revitalised. It was also great to see the fab “Briony from Bristol” again – I need to get her views on the new series of GBBO!”