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Darren backs Lift The Ban

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, has spoken out in favour of allowing asylum seekers the right to work – and contribute to the UK by paying taxes – whilst their applications are assessed.

At present, the law prevents asylum seekers from working whilst their claims are assessed and that can take years. All the whilst, asylum seekers get just £37.75 per week loaded onto a card to live on as well as (often very basic and crowded) accommodation. In cities, where costs are high and £37 will just about feed a person, asylum seekers struggle to use public transport, buy toiletries and clothe themselves and have to rely on charities for the very basics. They are prevented from earning more money to improve their situation.

Darren said:

“Today, I’ve received an interesting report from ACH that ran a pilot project in Bristol focused on supporting asylum seekers with job-hunting skills such as writing CV’s, employment rights and linking them to variety of local employers. The project found:

1- Most asylum seekers have the levels of English that would be required in the workplace.
2- Asylum seekers often had high levels of education and skills from their home countries and have training and work experiences that would be of use to the UK.
3- Everyone in the project wanted to contribute to the UK instead of taking government money and being unemployed. There were high levels of attendance at all visits with employers and meetings.

By stopping asylum seekers from working, I sense we’re frankly cutting off our nose to spite our face and creating a group of people who feel powerless to change their situation or contribute to a country they wish to make their home. This has got to change – we must lift the ban”.

You can find out more about ACH by visiting: www.ach.org.uk/

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Darren contacts Government on Avara

Darren wrote to the Government on his concerns around the future of the Avara site near Bristol. This is what he said:

Dear Secretary of State,

A number of constituents have contacted me regarding the insolvency of Avara Avlon Pharmaceutical Services Ltd, a pharmaceutical company that employs 270 people in Bristol.

The constituents who have contacted me are concerned about the cost of the clean out and clean-up of the site they use, and the fact that taxpayers may have to foot the bill for doing this. I am told that Avara Avlon is classed under the Control of Major Accident Incident (COMAH) Regulations as upper tier due to the inventory of toxic materials. In order to close the site in a safe manner all flammable and toxic material will have to be removed from site, the chemical plant and storage tanks cleaned and the effluent waste safely disposed of, and then the site can either be mothballed or demolished. The demolition option will require skilled personnel as there is a significant amount of asbestos in the older plant and buildings to be dealt with. The land will then need to be returned to as near original condition which may involve the removal of contaminated soil.

The constituents who have contacted me request that there is a change to the law to make it illegal to transfer ownership of a high hazard site to a third party without firstly posting a bond with either a Government department or agency, to cover all costs associated with closing down, cleaning out and remediating a site.  That would then stop the bill being picked up by the Government in the future – is this something that the Government will consider introducing?

Thanks for taking the time to read my email and I look forward to receiving your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Darren Jones MP

Member of Parliament for Bristol North West”

And here’s the Government response:

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Darren backs Unions in Heart Unions Week

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Darren took the opportunity to have a photo with Labour South West colleagues demonstrating support for Heart Unions Week, the TUC’s week of activity focusing on the good work that unions do.

Darren wrote on Facebook:

I often meet with union organisers in work places right across my constituency: from Unite the Union at Airbus/GKN/Rolls Royce, USDAW at Tesco’s distribution centre and Unison at Southmead Hospital. And this week GMB secured a great deal for workers at Hermes, who also have a site in Avonmouth.

Unions aren’t as popular as they used to be, and young people aren’t signing up as members as much as they did. But they can play a vital role in securing better pay and work conditions, and offer lots of training and development opportunities for those that want to learn new skills.

If you aren’t a member of a trade union, and want to find out more please visit: www.tuc.org.uk/about-heartunions-week

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Darren calls for Living Wage at Sports Clubs

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones has backed the campaign to call on Rugby Clubs to pay their staff the living wage. Shockingly, 6 in 10 football clubs don’t – this is despite an average turnover of £233 million.

Darren said:

“Everyone working should get paid the per hour living wage. It’s concerning and unacceptable that a number of very well-off football and other sports clubs don’t pay their staff the living wage – despite making billions of profit between them. This must change and I am proud to support that campaign by signing this letter in advance of the Six Nations”.

 

 

 

 

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Darren demands People’s Vote in light of Airbus concerns

Airbus employ 14,000 people in the UK, including 3,000 at Filton near Bristol. Today their chief executive criticised the UK Government’s handling of Brexit, calling it “a disgrace”, and saying that there was a possibility of them moving out of the country. That would have implications for hundreds if not thousands of Bristolians, damaging the network of manufacturing businesses in the area.

The matter came to Parliament in an urgent question, and Darren criticised Brexit’s impact on jobs and called for a People’s Vote.

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Darren asks for £1bn for nurse training

Cuts to nursing bursaries are resulting in negative outcomes for student nurses and patients who rely on there being sufficient staffing. Darren wrote to the Health Secretary to ask him to fund nurse training properly.
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Darren calls for experiences of unfair tipping

Darren is supporting a campaign to end unfair tipping practices, which is looking for your stories of unfair tipping. On Facebook, Darren said:

Together with More United, a cross-party campaigns group, Peter Aldousand Stephen Lloyd MP I’m running a campaign on unfair tipping. In the past, we’ve seen employers take up to 100% of tips, and even charge employees more money than the tips they received. It’s time we put a stop to these practices.

Share your experiences of this here:https://moreunited.typeform.com/to/wOit2u

We look forward to hearing from you; get in touch at darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk if you have any questions about this, or indeed about any other area of Darren’s work.

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MP visits Tesco Usdaw members

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones visited the Tesco Distribution Centre to tour the facility and meet with Usdaw reps.

Darren said:

“It was great to meet Usdaw members at Tesco Distribution Centre in North Bristol a couple of weeks ago.

I have an increasing number of distribution centres in the area and this one will process 0.5m crates of food in one day with 1200 staff onsite.

Tesco and Usdaw seem to have a good worker/management relationship and I’m going to start visiting other  major warehouses in the area next year to make sure other workers are getting the same rights on pay, health and safety and rights at work”.

 

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MP backs Small Business Saturday in Henleaze and visits Lockleaze and Avonmouth Christmas Fayres

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones backed small businesses last weekend by taking part in the annual celebration of small, independent businesses by visiting the new independent bookstore ‘Max Minerva’s’ in Henleaze.

Darren also visited both Avonmouth Community Centre and Lockleaze Sports Centres for their annual Christmas Fayre.

Darren said:

“I supported Small Business Saturday once again this weekend as these businesses, as well as our home-based and small traders, are the lifeblood of our communities. We need to support our family-run, independent and high street businesses as well as local events, 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 a 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”.