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Darren continues to call for new crossing in Lawrence Weston

Following recently meeting with local residents and parents of students from Oasis Academy Bank Leaze, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has now written to the council and Curo, a Housing Association building new homes in the area, to highlight his concerns. Darren has also sent a letter to all staff and parents/guardians of students of Oasis Bank Leaze advising how they can support the campaign.

Darren has urged supporters to sign a community-led petition calling for a pedestrian crossing and 20 mph zone near Oasis Academy Bank Leaze.

Darren said:

“It’s great to see the community in Lawrence Weston campaigning for a safer school crossing and 20mph zone near Oasis Academy Bank Leaze. I have signed the petition, and wrote to the relevant decision makers, and encourage those who live near, or visit the area, to do the same.”

You can sign the petition here.

 

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Darren supports LGBT+ asylum seekers

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has signed a cross-party letter supporting calls for the Home Office to urgently review how it assesses LGBT+ asylum seekers claims where they may be forced to return to countries with anti-LGBT+ laws.

Darren said:

” I’ve signed a joint letter with regional Labour MPs and the Co-chairs of the LGBT+ Labour South West, calling on the Home Secretary to urgently review how it handles cases involving LGBT+ people from countries that have anti-LGBT laws.

No one, including Kenneth Macharia from Bristol who plays for the Bristol Bisons RFC, should be at risk of being deported back to a country where they face persecution and even death for being who they are”.

 

 

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Darren slams TV Licence decision

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has commented on the BBC Trust’s decision to align free TV licences for the over-75’s to Pension Credit from May next year.

Darren said:

” As we approach Loneliness Awareness Week, it’s clear older people in Bristol, and across Britain, face a loneliness epidemic, and millions rely on TV for companionship, news and connectivity. The Government’s decision to defund the BBC, and force them to scrap free licences for over-75s, was miserly, short-sighted and wrong. It is a clear breach of the last Conservative manifesto, and the 5,100 households in Bristol North West who stand to lose out will rightly feel betrayed. I share their anger.

Uptake for Pension Credit is also woefully low, and frankly the Government aren’t doing anything to ensure vulnerable pensioners get what they’re due now – I sincerely hope they plan to raise awareness of how to claim Pension Credit before any changes take place”.

You can find out more about the TV Licence changes and how to claim Pension Credit here.

Darren has written to the Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright to express his dismay at the betrayal over TV licences, on behalf of the thousands in Bristol North West who are projected to lose out.

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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 makes Carers Week Pledge

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, has pledged his support to Carers Week 2019.

Darren Jones said:

“Every year, #CarersWeek raises awareness and celebrates the contribution of the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers, and spreads the word about support available for those who are caring. This year is the 25th anniversary of Carers Week. I held a carers-themed surgery back in January to ensure I heard from constituents and the issues they are encountering as carers or those who have carers.

The focus of Carers Week this year is ‘Getting Carers Connected’. Everyone has a part to play in connecting carers and helping them to get the support they need to care without putting off their own health needs or losing important relationships with others.

This year seven major charities are coming together and will be Getting Carers Connected. They are Carers UKAge UKCarers Trust, Motor Neurone Disease Association, @Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, Rethink Mental Illness and Sense.

I’ve signed the Carers Week Pledge to do what I can to keep carers connected and reflect on their concerns in my work as your MP.

To find out more about Carers Week and the support available please visit: www.carersweek.org/about-us/about-caring “.

 

 

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Darren to host Great Get Together Picnic in Horfield

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones,  will be hosting a Great Get Together picnic, on Saturday 22nd June 12-2pm in Horfield.  

Come and celebrate your community and what we have in common by joining this Great Get Together Picnic with Darren Jones MP.

Bring the whole family, the dogs or come solo – you can turn-up with your own picnic or purchase drinks and food from the Ardagh Community Trust Cafe on the Common. Tea/Coffee and a cake from £3.20. There’ll be games for the kids (and the big kids amongst us).

There’s parking available and several buses stop nearby – please use public transport, walk or cycle where possible.

No tickets needed – just turn-up on the day.

 

 

 

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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 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 backs calls for new crossing in Lawrence Weston

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has met with local residents, signed and shared a community-led petition calling for a pedestrian crossing and 20 mph zone near Oasis Academy Bank Leaze. Darren will also be writing to the council and Curo, a Housing Association building new homes in the area, to highlight his concerns.

Darren said:

“It’s great to see the community in Lawrence Weston campaigning for a safer school crossing and 20mph zone near Oasis Academy Bank Leaze. I have signed the petition and encourage those who live near, or visit the area, to do the same.”

You can sign the petition here.

 

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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”.