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MP backs Small Business Saturday and visits Shirehampton Post Office

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones backed small businesses this weekend by taking part in the annual celebration of small, independent businesses by visiting Pickles and Poppets in Westbury-on- Trym.

Darren also visited Shirehampton Post Office in the run-up to the busy Christmas period. Darren met the team who have worked hard to ensure the Post Office  was back up and running as soon as possible after the previous office was significantly damaged following an attack on the building’s ATM machine.

As the post office team were making final preparations to make Christmas 2017 as easy as possible for their customers, Darren Jones MP was shown first-hand the wide range of services available for customers designed to take the stress out of the demanding festive season.

Darren said:

“I supported Small Business Saturday this weekend as these businesses, as well as our Post Offices, are the lifeblood of our communities. We need to support our family-run, independent and high street businesses, especially in the run-up to Christmas where there’s a temptation to shop online. To help you locate small businesses, the Small Business Saturday team have launched a new Apple and Android mobile app which has close to 30,000 small businesses listed all over the country. It is really easy to put in your location and find lots of small businesses near you to visit all year round”.

Following the visit to the Post Office Darren said:

“It was fantastic to meet the team and customers at Shirehampton Post Office, they provide such a valuable service to the local community. I am so impressed by their dedication and hard work and wish them every success during this busy period.”

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MP backs Universal Credit Reform Ahead of Budget

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones is encouraging the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, to make changes to Universal Credit in advance of tomorrow’s budget (22nd November).

Darren said:

“Universal Credit, as it stands, is a cruel and shambolic system forcing many into debt – it is coming to Bristol North West next year. The Child Poverty Action Group have advised in their new report ‘The Austerity Generation’ that working families stand to lose £930 a year on average from cuts in the tax credit system and £420 a year from cuts to Universal Credit – these are losses across the population, so the losses for tax credit and UC recipients would be much higher.

Families containing someone with a disability will be £300 a year worse off due to Universal Credit cuts; families containing someone with a severe disability will be £530 a year worse off.

I fully support the changes my colleague Debbie Abrahams has urged the Chancellor to adopt ahead of tomorrow’s budget. Austerity politics needs to get real before the country is unable to recover from the sustained impact on our most vulnerable”.

Amongst the changes backed by Darren include a significant reduction in the waiting period before claimants are awarded benefit, reconsideration of the payment of fortnightly benefits (rather than monthly), easier housing payments direct to landlords and  income level measurement for the self-employed.

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Darren speaks to LabourTube about Brexit, the NHS, how Labour can win back the working class and tech issues

Watch the full interview here:

Darren Jones MP attends Parliament to hear statement on BAE Systems job losses

I was in the Chamber today to hear from the Government on aerospace job losses. Whilst there are currently no job losses suggested in Bristol, a significant number of key workers in this space are reaching retirement age. The Government needs to secure jobs and investment, and help to train young people in Bristol to ensure we keep these high level skilled workers in Britain.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41566841

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Darren Jones MP backs campaign to scrap public sector pay cap for nurses

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones has backed the growing campaign for the Government to scrap the 1 per cent cap on public sector pay in the upcoming Budget.

As the Commons returned from summer recess, Jones met with frontline nurses as part of the Royal College of Nursing’s lobby of Parliament.
Read more

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Austerity and Public Services

I have been encouraged by how many constituents are actively engaged in the Bristol City Council Your Neighbourhood Consultation . Local events have been well attended with passionate views shared on the need to provide services that support residents across the city. The council needs to save £4.7million over the next three years, due to severe and ongoing cuts from central Government and the council’s legal requirement to set a balanced budget. The current proposals, which asked for views on libraries, school crossings, public toilets, Community Links and Neighbourhood Partnerships is of real concern to all of us. We all know the huge benefits that community facilities have, libraries in particular, in giving children and families access to learning and providing safe and free spaces for people of all ages to use and enjoy. I am also aware of the rising threat of social isolation and the role libraries have in supporting the most vulnerable in our communities. At the time of writing, I’m organising a libraries conference for representatives from each library in the area, alongside local campaign groups, to contribute to my own submission to the consultation. I am keen that as a group we work together to get the best deal for communities right across Bristol North West.

But it’s not just council services under threat. Southmead hospital, GP surgeries, children’s centres, schools, community and advice centres and so many more are crippling under the stress of Government cuts to public services. I’m busy meeting as many people and organisations as I can to see first-hand what this means to local people, and I’ll be raising this loudly in Parliament after Recess.

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Darren challenges the governments on their Brexit plans for the South West

Brexit could have up to a -6% effect on UK GDP (LSE European Institute). There are additional challenges for the South West, with parts of it set to lose guaranteed EU funding. With these issues looming on the horizen, Darren asked the government whether they were planning for them. He wrote to them

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what regional impact assessments his Department has conducted to measure the economic consequences of the Government’s model for leaving the EU; and what method of consultation and representation his Department has implemented with local authorities in the South West on negotiations with the EU and on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Robin Walker MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Exiting The European Union

The Department for Exiting the EU, working with officials across government, is undertaking a comprehensive programme of analytical work to assess, across a range of scenarios, the economic impacts of exiting the European Union for all areas of the UK. However, it would not be appropriate to publish details that could undermine the UK’s negotiating position with the EU.

As part of our commitment to hear from every sector and region in the UK, the Government and DExEU Ministers continue to engage extensively with regional stakeholders, and intend to continue this work throughout the exit process.

Ministers in the Department have visited the South West of England twice since the creation of the Department, and plan to return in the near future.

DExEU and the Department for Communities and Local Governments are working closely with the Local Government Association and regional partners across the country to understand clearly issues related to exit and to identify any regional implications.

In other words, there has been no concrete progress made on any of the processes Darren asked about.

 

Agree with Darren? Keep updated on everything he’s doing here: https://www.facebook.com/darrenjonesmp/?fref=ts

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Darren challenges the Prime Minister on Brexit

WATCH HERE:

At the moment, if we get no deal with the EU after Brexit we will be subject to WTO rules when trading with them. The Prime Minister had answered concerns about this by saying we could reform these rules.

Darren asked:

I thank the Prime Minister for her statement and note her efforts to reform the World Trade Organisation rules in order that they keep up with the services and digital sectors, which are crucial to the British economy. Does she agree that any reform of the WTO rules will take longer than the time we have left before the UK crashes out of EU without a trade deal in 2019?

The Prime Minister replied:

One point of my comments at the G20 was that we need to speed up how the WTO considers these issues. Looking at the trade rules around the digital economy is not being started from scratch; the WTO has been doing it for some time. We just need to ensure that we get on with it and get those rules set.

Agree with Darren? Keep updated on everything he’s doing here: https://www.facebook.com/darrenjonesmp/?fref=ts.