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Darren Calls For Customer Protections To Accompany Energy Efficiency Vouchers

Darren wrote to Kwasi Kwarteng MP, the Minister for Business Energy and Green Growth, raising concerns about the lack of costumer protection offered during legacy energy efficiency home improvement programme. For this green growth policy to be effective, steps need to be taken to ensure that quality, professional local providers are not edged out of the market by dodgy traders and that people have recourse to action if something does go wrong.

Commenting on the need for customer protections, Darren said

Improving the energy efficiency of our homes is vital and I welcome Government funding to start this process. But consumers need to know they’re using a trusted trader and that they can complain and get compensation if something goes wrong.

 

You can read the full letter below:

arren cals

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We’re hiring! Administrative Officer

I’m hiring a temporary admin assistant to help with the increased demand for help from constituents over the pandemic period. We’re looking for an exceptional candidate to join our team on an initial 4 month fixed-term contract to help us offer the best possible constituent-service experience during this busy time. This Administrative Officer will help our team respond to constituent enquires, ensure casework and policy questions are administrated correctly and help us with print and postal mail-outs.

Due to the increase in requests for help and assistance during the pandemic period, our team are hiring an Administrative Officer for an initial four month fixed term period for 20 hours per week. Depending on demand, this may be extended to a six month fixed term contract.

The Administrative Officer will help the constituency team to:

  • Contact constituents to confirm address and contact details;
  • Set up new files for casework and policy requests on our case management system;
  • Print and post letters to constituents as required.

The successful applicant will need to demonstrate: 

  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Evidence of good customer service;
  • An ability to manage busy and competing priorities;
  • IT literacy (including Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel); and
  • An ability to use Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom.

The role is Bristol based but can be completed remotely. Line management and supervision will be primarily conducted over Slack and Microsoft Teams.

The roleholder will be provided with an office laptop, laptop stand, screen, keyboard, mouse, headset and desk chair to facilitate working from home. A fixed allowance of £26 per month will be paid each month to contribute to additional utility costs of working from home.

If the roleholder is unable to work from home we may be able to provide access to our Westbury-on-Trym office subject to our COVID-secure risk assessment.

Upon appointment you will be required to comply with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, undertaken by the Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO). See Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO) page for further info. MPs generally pay staff in accordance with IPSA guidelines.

Closing Date: 10 August 2020

Interview/Start Dates: TBC (most likely w/c 17th August and will be online)

Start date: ASAP

Application Details

Please e-mail darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk with ‘APPLICATION: Administrative Officer’ in the subject heading.

In the body of your e-mail, please explain how your work and/or other experience evidences the requirements set out in the role description. Please attach an up-to-date CV with references (references will only be contacted with your agreement).

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Darren elected Chair of BEIS Select Committee

On Wednesday, May 6th, Darren was elected by his fellow MPs in the House of Commons to chair the Business Environment and Industrial Strategy Select Committee. This was the first real usage of the new virtual Parliament online ballot and Darren ran a campaign that priorities cooperation and collaboration between MPs during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond.

Speaking about his election victory Darren said:

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Darren demands support for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises hit by the Coronavirus

On March 21st, Darren called for proper support to be given to charities, social enterprises and the voluntary sector. Along with almost 250 MPs and Peers, Darren asked the chancellor to update the support offered for organisations impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic to include charities and other groups.

Update: On April 8th, the Chancellor outlined plans to support Charities and the 3rd sector with dedicated Coronavirus funds. Details here. Darren continues to push for a broader and more inclusive safety net for any charity or 3rd sector group affected by Coronavirus.

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Darren visits Bristol Port

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, visited Bristol Port on Friday 17th January.

Following the visit, Darren said:

“I visited Bristol Port this morning to hear about the latest developments for flood sea defences, to take a look at the welcome upgrades to the SIMs Metal site and to hear from the owners of the port about their investment into monitoring air pollution and investing in renewable power generation and cleaner processes on site.

Avonmouth is a strategically important industrial zone but, as always, it’s my job to not only support good work opportunities and a successful local economy but also ensure local businesses are acting ethically, cleanly and with an understanding of their impact on local residents.

Keep an eye out for the Air Pollution consultation soon (we’ll post it on my social media) and do contact me by emailing darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk if you have any concerns or questions.”

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Darren warns against dangers of no deal

The Government have been forced by Parliament to publish their central planning assumptions document for a n0-deal Brexit — it includes “lorries facing waits of between 1.5 days and 2.5 days to cross the border,” disruption to medical supplies and shortages of certain kinds of food, and isn’t even the worst-case scenario. The human cost of no deal is enormous, and no responsible government would be pushing ahead with this kind of reckless strategy. We know the dangers, and I’m determined to stop them taking Britain over the precipice.

You can read the original ‘Yellowhammer’ document at the link here

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Video: Darren comments on threat of no deal

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, commented on the government’s continued move towards a no deal Brexit following concerns from the former Chancellor Phillip Hammond.

Darren said:

” I agree with the former Chancellor when he says Boris (and Dominic!) are sabotaging any negotiations with the EU to further a hardline ideology. Crucially, this reckless ‘do or die’ ideology doesn’t have the support of Parliament and wasn’t on the ballot in 2016. As recently as March this year, Gove admitted that most leave voters hadn’t backed Brexit with a no deal in mind. Raab repeatedly said at the time no deal wasn’t an option.

No deal is a disaster for the country and for my constituency – with circa 1400 jobs predicted to be lost. As I said again on Sunday Politics back in July, the only way to resolve this is to go back to the British people and ask – now there is detail of what’s realistically on offer and the consequences – how they want to proceed, and then get on with it.

Boris has made several spending pledges since becoming PM, I’m keen to understand where all this ‘new’ money is coming from. Quite rightly, Labour has been asked these questions when they’ve made pledges – yet time and again there’s no detail from Boris (and much of the money seems to be recycled from existing budgets).

At some point, whoever is in government will need to face the reality that any form of Brexit will make the UK poorer and a no deal will be catastrophic for our country’s prosperity – false promises and empty spending pledges won’t be enough to save this country from job losses and an increasingly-likely recession.

Boris needs to stop channeling his time in the playground at Eton and remember he has the country’s future in his hands”.

 

 

 

 

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Darren comments on drop in GDP

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, comments on the drop in UK GDP announced on 9th August 2019.

Darren said:

“Boris has no mandate from Parliament or the British public to crash out with a chaotic no deal Brexit, but if he does, we’ll be seeing a whole lot more headlines about economic contraction as we slide closer to recession.

Let’s not pretend otherwise – stats like this ultimately equal job losses and a drop in our prosperity. If we leave with no deal, food prices will rise sharply, the pound will slump (even further that it has) and we will see formerly strong businesses go bust – sadly some of them will be here in Bristol. There will be significant knock-on impacts in whole supply chains and the service and retail industry.

No deal means playing Russian roulette with the UK – any MP who is happy to do that, is clearly putting ideology before their constituents, the very future of our United Kingdom and the country’s economic prosperity”.

 

 

 

 

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Darren visits GKN and Airbus

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, visited GKN and Airbus on Friday 26th July.

Darren said:

“I held an important meeting, and tour of the A400M site, with Unite the Union, GKN and Airbus today.

I will not put my constituent’s jobs and prosperity at risk – I remain fully committed to backing our aerospace industry, its supply chain and fighting a no-deal Brexit which would be disastrous for the sector, and its employees”.

 

 

 

 

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Success at getting fair redundancy payments for Avlon staff

Back in March 2019, Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, first wrote to the Government sharing his concerns about Avara’s Avlon site, and their 270 staff. The Avlon site is situated just outside Darren’s constituency. A number of constituents and their family members were employed at the site.

Avara Avlon Pharmaceutical Services Ltd, the company who now own the site, had become insolvent. Since that time it become clear, despite assurances when the company was sold 3 years ago by AstraZeneca, that staff would get above-statutory redundancy payments, which they had been contractually entitled to with AstraZeneca, only statutory redundancy payments were offered by Avara.

Darren has since written to the relevant government department (BEIS) and AstraZeneca, met with Unite union reps and former employees and raised this matter in Parliament on 11th July. Darren also applied for an Adjournment Debate with the Minister of 4 occasions (each attempt was unsuccessful) and worked with The Times to raise awareness of this gross unfairness. The Times have since ran several pieces on this matter this week.

Following these efforts, and those of former employees and Unite, Darren received for following statement from former owner, AstraZeneca:

Statement from AstraZeneca (17th July 2019):

We have decided to set aside funding of up to £12m, to be administered independently, to make sure our former employees at the Avlon site receive full severance should the ongoing administration of the site not generate enough funds to cover redundancy costs.

AstraZeneca remained closely involved in helping secure a future for the Avlon site following the sale to Avara, which was made in good faith in 2016. We have been engaged with the receivers since the company fell into administration. Last week, the deadline for bids for the site was reached and, since then, it has become apparent that there may not be sufficient funds to meet the redundancy costs of our former employees. 

Our success relies on the commitment and talent of our employees and our many partners in the UK and around the world who share our passion for science and for making a difference to the lives of patients.

Darren said:

“I’m delighted that after months of hard work from workers and unions, and my interventions with Astra Zeneca and the government, that workers are being paid the redundancy packages they deserve.

Whilst it should not have taken this level of intervention before employees got what they had been promised, I thank Astra Zeneca for listening, responding and making the right call.”