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Darren backs local shops – nominate your high street now!

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones MP has backed local high streets and urged the government to do more to protect local jobs and the heart of our local communities.

Darren said:

” We know our high streets and shopping parades are struggling – shops are closing across the country and I see the impact of vacant stores here in Bristol North West. Almost 70,000 retail jobs, including shop-floor roles, are set to be axed this year in Britain – according to a new report released by retail magnate Bill Grimsey. His review suggests high streets are facing “their greatest challenge in history”.

Just yesterday, a resident of Westbury-on-Trym shared their concerns about a vacant premise becoming a target for petty vandalism and the number of stores now empty in the village. I’ll be meeting with a representative from Westbury Business Association next week to discuss what I can do to help champion all of our high streets.

The government must urgently re-assess the support they are giving to small, family run shops, as well as the medium and larger chains who are not immune to these pressures, and the rates they charge them – high streets are the lifeblood of our communities.

I’m also working hard to bring infrastructure investment to Bristol North West – we know congestion, and irregular or unreliable bus, rail and cycle routes can put people off visiting a high street and only encourages them to visit out-of-town retailers and shop online. Our transport network must support local high streets and encourage use of public transport.

I am also urging residents to do their bit – shop locally, support locally-run businesses and nominate their high street for the Visa Great British High Street competition“.

#MyHighStreet

 

 

 

 

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Darren hosts first Business Forum on Modern Slavery

On 22nd June, Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, hosted a Business Forum with local employers, the council, charities and the police and called upon them to work with him to end Modern Slavery in Bristol and beyond.

Darren said:

“There are an estimated 10,000 to 13,000 people in modern slavery in the UK, however many experts agree that’s a huge underestimate. I’ve been championing victim’s rights since becoming Bristol North West’s MP – we have seen cases of modern slavery in Southmead and across the city. I’ll continue to make this a priority by supporting Bills that come through the House of Commons and hosting events such as my Business Forum today – it is only by drawing these issues out into the open that we’ll bring an end to this abuse of vulnerable people. I also recently wrote to the Gangmaster’s and Labour Abuse Authority to ask them to licence nail bar and car wash businesses (as known hot spots for modern slavery) in Bristol, to make sure they treat workers properly.  I have met victims at my weekly surgery – so this is an issue I take extremely seriously”.

Darren continued:

“I’m also continuing to fight unethical working practises wherever I see them including tipping etiquette in restaurants, changes to Asda employee’s terms and conditions and the hostile takeover of GKN amongst others. As the event heard on Friday, Bristol is continuing to lead the way on exposing cases of modern slavery but this great work will only continue if we all join forces – as our Police and Crime Commissioner said businesses and members of the public need to be the police’s eyes and ears and report their concerns”.

Speakers at the Forum included CEO of Unseen Andrew Wallis OBE, Sue Mountstevens Police and Crime Commissioner and Jaya Chakrabarti MBE.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees and Deputy Mayor, Asher Craig also joined the event to support calls for partners to work together and ensure Bristol acts as a positive example to other cities on how to tackle and eradicate modern slavery.

 

 

 

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Darren asks government about UK company participation in EU projects after Brexit

Currently, after Brexit the UK will for a time continue to contribute financially to EU Security and Defence projects. However, non-EU country companies are prohibited from bidding for EU security and defence projects. Mindful of the effect this could have on companies, Darren asked the Government Minister for Defence Procurement about this potential situation and whether it could be prevented.

 

Darren also asked how concern around funding for the Galileo project tied into concerns around defence funding in general.

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Darren speaks to BBC News about Brexit risk to Airbus UK

Airbus have today stated that they ‘require immediate details’ on what they will need to do as a consequence of Brexit, as ‘without these, Airbus believes that the impacts on our UK operations could be significant’. They’ve also specifically stated that a No Deal Brexit or an overly short transition period could impact their business in Britain.

Darren spoke to BBC about what this could mean for Bristol, and what the government needed to do to fix the situation.

 

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Darren asks for government for guarantees over Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce employ 3,000 people in Bristol. This week, they announced 4,600 job cuts, some of which will be in Bristol. Darren wrote to Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to ask how he was going to help strengthen the Aerospace industry, including Rolls Royce, in the future.

Darren wrote:

Dear the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP

 

Aerospace and the Industrial Strategy

 

3,000 people work at Rolls Royce Bristol, located to the North of Bristol North West.

Today, it was announced that 3,000 UK Rolls Royce employees will lose their jobs, including 1,500 by the end of the year. Some of these will be in Bristol.  Today, many of my constituents will be worried about their and their families’ future.

On 27 November 2017, you announced an Industrial Strategy which you said would ‘make the most of our untapped potential’ and bring ‘good jobs and greater earning power for all’. Aerospace is at the heart of this strategy. A sector deal forms part of a promise to ‘support our strong aerospace industry’, including to ‘anchor’ Rolls-Royce.

Since then, there have been some relevant developments.  Airbus has said that they might leave the country. GKN have been taken over and is likely to be split up. And it is increasingly likely UK firms will be shut out of Galileo contracts in the future on the basis that non-EU member states are banned from defence and security contracts. It is clear that the Government’s Industrial Strategy is failing to support and grow the UK aerospace sector, and that defence as well as civilian jobs are at risk.

57,000 people in the South West work in the aerospace supply chain. Will you please give them reassurance by explaining what you are doing to get the Industrial Strategy back on track, and what will you do to ensure UK remains able to trade competitively and efficiently after Brexit?

 

Kind regards,

Darren Jones MP, Member of Parliament for Bristol North West

And here’s what the government wrote in reply:

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Darren speaks to Bristol Cable about the impact of AI and automation

Darren spoke to the Bristol Cable – Bristol’s independent, cooperatively owned newspaper – about the impact of artificial intelligence and robots on society.

Writing on Facebook about the interview, Darren said that

The impact of AI and automation will be felt – these are issues that will affect all of us. It’s time the government properly engaged and understood the opportunities and risks of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Burying their heads in the sand won’t protect our data or hundreds of thousands of jobs.

You can read the full interview here: https://thebristolcable.org/2018/06/artificial-intelligence-robots-and-the-future-of-society-interview-with-darren-jones/

 

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Darren congratulates Marvin and his team for Bristol making Channel 4 shortlist

Channel 4 have started looking for cities to host their new national headquarters. Thanks to the work of Bristol City Council, led by Labour’s Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, Bristol are on the shortlist. On Facebook, Darren congratulated Marvin:

Great news! Well done to Marvin Rees and the team for getting us this far. Now to secure Channel 4 in Bristol!

You can read more about the shortlist here: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/may/30/channel-4-cities-national-hq-birmingham-manchester-glasgow-liverpool-leeds.

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Darren calls for new Anti Modern Slavery measures in Bristol

On Facebook, Darren wrote:

Bristol has had real issues with modern slavery: car washes and nail bars can be hotspots. I’ve written to the Gangmaster’s and Labour Abuse Authority to ask them to licence these businesses in Bristol, to make sure they treat workers properly. I’ll also be hosting a Modern Slavery-focused event in June to continue to raise awareness of these issues to the local business community.

You can read the full letter here:
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Darren signs letter to Prime Minister about Sainsbury’s pay cuts

Sainsbury’s are planning to reduce the income of 13,000 of their staff. Darren signed a letter to the Prime Minister, asking her to stand up and ask Sainsbury’s to halt this change. Here’s what Darren wrote about this letter on Facebook:

Ordinary people work hard to keep Sainsbury’s running. It’s unfair that 13,000 them could see their income slashed by up to £3,000 a year. That’s why I signed a letter to the Prime Minister asking that she calls on Sainsbury’s to halt this change.

 And here’s the letter itself:

Dear Prime Minister,

Taking home a fair wage should be the very least that a hardworking employee deserves.

That’s why we are appalled that unscrupulous contract changes at high street retailer Sainsburys will see 10% of their staff lose up to a staggering £3,000 per year.

Sainsbury’s is one of the high street’s most longstanding and well-respected brands. The pay rise that some of their employees will receive under these proposed changes should be welcomed. But under no condition should this be to the detriment of the estimated 13,000 employees who are set to see their wages slashed. We are completely dismayed that a company of Sainsbury’s reputation would use an increase in basic pay as a smokescreen for a whole array of deplorable decisions that will hit hardest their most dedicated, loyal and long-term staff.

Under the proposed changes, all employees will lose their paid breaks, there will be widespread cuts to premium pay including a shortening of nightshift premium hours and a scrapping of Sunday premium pay, and shop floor staff will no longer receive bonuses. However, the scrapping of the bonus scheme will not affect the CEO, Mike Coupe, or his fellow management team. Staff describe morale at the store as at an ‘all time low’, with many concerned that they cannot afford to stay in the job that they love, despite having worked at the organisation for decades.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, you assured the House that you would look at this issue, recognising the hard work that these staff put in day in and day out. We ask that you speak directly with the Chief Executive and call on him to ensure that no staff will face a pay cut under his contract changes, showing a fraction of the loyalty to his staff that they have shown to him.

At the time of writing, over 104,000 colleagues and customers have signed a petition at https://www.change.org/p/support-sainsbury-s-shop-floor-staff-s-working-rights-we-re-not-in-the-money calling on Sainsbury’s to reconsider their position. We acknowledge that this is a commercial decision, but, as a Prime Minister who actively calls for workers’ rights to be upheld, we ask that you join these signatories and stand up for the hardworking, longstanding and loyal Sainsbury’s staff who are being asked to work well for less.

We look forward to hearing what action you have taken on this issue.

Yours Sincerely,

Siobhain McDonagh MP

Co-Signatories:

Robert Halfon MP

Sir David Amess MP

Jeremy Lefroy MP

Tom Brake MP

Christine Jardine MP

Caroline Lucas MP

Dr Lisa Cameron MP

Stewart McDonald MP

Patricia Gibson MP

Carol Monaghan MP

Martyn Day MP

Neil Gray MP

Ben Lake MP

Rebecca Long Bailey MP

Tom Watson MP

Laura Pidcock MP

Ed Miliband MP

David Lammy MP

Frank Field MP

Joanne Platt MP

Joan Ryan MP

Luciana Berger MP

Wes Streeting MP

Liz Kendall MP

Stella Creasy MP

Karen Buck MP

Owen Smith MP

John Grogan MP

Jon Cruddas MP

Diana Johnson MP

Ian Murray MP

Virendra Sharma MP

Jo Stevens MP

Kerry McCarthy MP

Teresa Pearce MP

Stephen Morgan MP

Jeff Smith MP

Paul Flynn MP

Clive Betts MP

Madeleine Moon MP

Ronnie Campbell MP

Darren Jones MP

Helen Hayes MP

Susan Elan Jones MP

Thelma Walker MP

Jim Cunningham MP

Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP

Ian Mearns MP

Kate Green MP

Mohammad Yasin MP

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP

Alex Sobel MP

Paul Blomfield MP

Justin Madders MP

Paul Farrelly MP

Rosie Cooper MP

Kate Hoey MP

Rosie Duffield MP

Helen Jones MP

Alex Cunningham MP

Ian Austin MP

Gill Furniss MP

Stephen Pound MP

Kate Hollern MP

Marsha De Cordova MP

Gareth Thomas MP

George Howarth MP

Ellie Reeves MP

Mary Creagh MP

Paul Sweeney MP

Mike Kane MP

Grahame Morris MP

Vernon Coaker MP

Meg Hillier MP

Matt Western MP

Rachael Maskell MP

Stephen Twigg MP

Valerie Vaz MP

David Hanson MP

Tulip Siddiq MP

Gloria De Piero MP

Chris Elsmore MP

Steve Reed MP

Liz Twist MP

Emma Reynolds MP

Gareth Snell MP

Mark Hendrick MP

Anna McMorrin MP

Yasmin Qureshi MP

Julie Cooper MP

Jack Dromey MP

Jared O’Mara MP

Barry Sheerman MP

Naz Shah MP

Matthew Pennycook MP

Hugh Gaffney MP

Daniel Zeichner MP

Fabian Hamilton MP

Anna Turley MP

Ruth Cadbury MP

Yvonne Fovargue MP

Graham Stringer MP

Roger Godsiff MP

Gerald Jones MP

Mike Amesbury MP

Karen Lee MP

Maria Eagle MP

Helen Goodman MP

Debbie Abrahams MP

Sandy Martin MP

Danielle Rowley MP

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Bristol is the UK’s most productive digital tech city

A report has named Bristol as the city with the most digital tech turnover per worker. According to the report, which was produced by Tech Nation –  – Bristol’s digital tech turnover stands at £320 K per worker.

What’s more, this news means that Bristol’s digital tech industry is having a significant impact, with 26,999 digital tech jobs currently in Bristol.

Commenting on the news, Darren said that this was ‘another record breaking Bristol tech headline’.

You can read more about the report here, in an easy to use format – https://technation.io/insights/report-2018/bristol/