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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”.

 

 

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Darren attends first-ever Autism Awareness session for MPs

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, has attended the first-ever Autism Awareness session, run by the National Autistic Society, held for MPs on 1st May.

Darren said:

“Approximately 700,000 people in the United Kingdom are autistic, and with 2019 marking ten years of the Autism Act, it is an opportune time to learn more. From discussion with adults and parents of young people with autism, there is a fairly wide range of autistic experiences and in order for me to better support my constituents who have autism, MPs need to understand how it affects people”.

The aim of these Understanding Autism sessions is to improve awareness and understanding of autism, so that MPs can better champion the issues that matter to autistic people in their local area as well as in Parliament. Darren is also working with Bristol Autistic Spectrum Services to host an autism-focused surgery in May.

 

 

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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.

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Darren congratulates Lockleaze and Manor Farm volunteers

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has congratulated two local volunteers who were recently awarded the Lord Mayor’s Medal for their commitment to volunteering in Lockleaze and at Manor Farm Boy’s Club.

Darren said:

“ It’s fantastic to see two local volunteers recently awarded a medal by the Lord Mayor for their hard work. Well done to Vicky for her contribution to Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust and to Rob for his efforts at Manor Farm Boys Club. I am genuinely pleased to see both of these Bristol North West volunteers recognised for their dedication and tireless energy”.

 

 

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Darren welcomes Avonmouth Station grant

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has welcomed news of a £13,930 grant from Great Western Railway to Avonmouth Station.

Darren said:

“It is great news that five community projects in Bristol have been awarded over £70,000 funding for improvement schemes by Great Western Railway. Avonmouth Station Community Food Growing & Learning Space has been awarded £13,930 to develop the existing garden space at Avonmouth station to become a fully operational community food growing and learning space, overseen by Incredible Edible Bristol who are working with Feeding Bristol CIO and Bristol City Council towards a ‘Zero Hunger Bristol’.

It’s wonderful to hear that produce from the garden will be shared with the local community via Avonmouth Community Centre’s free/subsidised Lunch Club, the North Bristol Foodbank and the Bristol Jam Plan which serves homeless shelters. These local organisations work incredibly hard and their services are in great demand – anything that helps gets healthy food to vulnerable residents is to be welcomed. Well done to all involved“.

To follow Darren’s work on Transport click here.