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Darren updates residents on Avonmouth Flies

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has been investigating the on-going fly problem in the Avonmouth area alongside the council and Environment Agency. Darren has met with a number of prominent businesses in the area to see their on-site practises and discuss local resident concerns.  Here’s Darren’s latest update:

Darren said:

Over the early May Bank Holiday weekend, I received hundreds of comments from residents across Avonmouth, Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston and Henbury – as well as some as far as Southmead and Henleaze- about an unacceptable increase in the amount of flies in the area.

Investigations have concluded that there was no particular infestation of flies, or a breach of Environmental Agency rules, but that is not to say that the number of flies in the area is acceptable.

I have since met with many companies in Avonmouth, including the Bristol Port, and have spoken with Bristol City Council, the Environment Agency, local residents and Avonmouth-based factory workers.

From the evidence available to me, I can only conclude that we now have too many waste processing companies in Avonmouth.

In only a few years, we have gone from processing tens of thousands of bales of black bin waste to hundreds of thousands. And whilst some businesses have high quality facilities in which to accept, process and transport waste bundles others do not.

My view, therefore, is that enough is enough. We can not accept any further waste processing facilities in Avonmouth and I call upon those we already have to invest in their facilities to ensure the highest standards of protection.

I have also recently supported legislation for new waste enforcement powers in Westminster and, in conjunction with Bristol City Council, I am seeking to find legal solutions to keep potentially polluting companies as far aware from residents.

Lastly, I want to see a diversification of the type of businesses and jobs in Avonmouth. We do not want Avonmouth to be the waste capital of Europe, we want good quality high paying long term jobs for local people”.

Anyone seeing an increase in flies should report this to the council’s Environmental Health team immediately. However, if you think the flies are coming from a regulated waste business then please report your concerns to the Environment Agency.

 

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Darren visits St Bede’s

On Friday 8th June, Darren visited St Bede’s Catholic College in Lawrence Weston.

Darren said after the visit:

“I really enjoy visiting local schools – it is always interesting to meet pupils and find out more about what they enjoy learning and to hear about their interest in what MPs do. I hope visits like these  inspire the next generation of young people across Bristol North West to aim high and get interested in politics.

As someone born in Lawrence Weston who now represents that same local area in Parliament, I think it is hugely important young people see others from their area that they can look up to and be inspired by”.

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

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Public meeting on YardArts Development

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones will be hosting a public meeting regarding the proposed YardArts development on Penpole Lane in Shirehampton.

Darren said:

“Following my survey, over 430 local residents have now contacted me to share their views about the proposed YardArts site on Penpole Lane. The majority are against the plans, or at least what we knew of them at the time of writing, and are concerned about more cars on a tricky junction, impact on local ecology and wildlife and residential use next to Kings Weston Estate.

Most respondents wanted to hear more from YardArts so I’ve arranged a public meeting from 6.30 to 8pm on Friday 29th June at the Shirehampton Methodist Church.

YardArts will be there and the landowner, who has recently been undertaking a number of permitted works as well as submitting a new planning application for self-store units, has been invited.

There will a brief round-up of my survey results, discussion of the YardArts planning application and the opportunity to ask questions.

The Church can seat just over 100 and hold a few more standing so please get there ready for a prompt 6.30 start to guarantee a space”.

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Darren backs local schools

On Friday 25th May, Darren visited two local schools – Henleaze Junior School and Kingsweston Special School.

Darren said after the visit:

“It was a delight to meet pupils, staff and governors and hear more about the challenges facing our education providers. More government funding is sorely needed to support our children’s education and to ensure these hard-working public sector workers are paid what they deserve. We are losing more and more teaching staff because they are over-burdened and under-paid.

I will continue to do what I can to champion lifting of the public-sector pay cap (which must funded by government not existing school’s budgets) and push the government to provide adequate funding for our schools and colleges”.

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

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Darren continues campaign for £50m transport fund

Ahead of his Gridlock Conference in July, Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones has written to all Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) members to encourage them to invest £50 million into his North Bristol Transport Fund initiative.

Darren said:

“North Bristol is undergoing intensive development alongside a transport system and road network that is struggling to cope with current, let alone future, demands. Congestion is rife and it affects my constituents and local businesses every single day, not just in respect of travel time and parking but also our continued failure to meet air pollution targets.

Transport is the number one local concern in North Bristol and anyone who uses our roads, buses and limited local rail network knows our infrastructure can’t cope with proposed development of thousands of new homes and new businesses. Walking is often not safe and cycle routes are inadequate.

With tens of thousands of new homes, plans to expand the Mall at Cribbs Causeway, the lifting of the tolls on the Severn Bridge and the potential for the Bristol Arena to move to North Bristol, we must get our transport solutions sorted now.

I’ve therefore organised a Gridlock Conference in early July with representatives of transport providers, transport campaign groups, developers and business representatives who will help develop a North Bristol Transport Plan.

This is a cross-party initiative and I’ll be working with Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors as well as Labour colleagues. But I am disappointed that the Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles, has refused to attend this meeting, or send anyone from his organisation.

For my North Bristol Transport Plan to work, we need a North Bristol Transport Fund. The LEP and the Metro Mayor have the ability to fund this, which is why I’m calling on them to get involved and to deliver for my constituents and for North Bristol.”

Local residents can sign up to support Darren’s call for a £50m North Bristol Transport Fund for road, rail, bus, cycling and walking improvements by signing his petition here.”

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Darren Talks With Police About Local Car Crime

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has recently received concerns from several constituents in the Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston and Sea Mills area about an increase in car crime and arson.

Darren said:

“ I am aware of multiple incidents of car theft and arson locally in recent weeks. Please be on your guard. I shared my concerns with the local beat teams – their positive and swift response is included below. I’ll continue to monitor this situation and encourage anyone with concerns or information to call the police on 101 or, if it is an emergency, 999.

You can continue to share your general views and experiences on my crime and policing-focused survey: http://darren-jones.co.uk/police/“.

Response from the Local Beat Team Inspector:

This is an issue that we too have recognised and have been monitoring. In terms of our response to this we have been raising our patrols in the area for reassurance and have also requested that a briefing document be prepared for the wider patrol units to ensure that we have a higher than usual Police presence in the area around the times the offences are being committed.

I would request that all residents are vigilant and do report any suspicious behaviour to Police. This will allow us to respond and carry out checks on persons which will help in disrupting the behaviour and reduce crime. We have a local Ward meeting this week on Thursday (17th) and I will request that officers attending this ensure they present on this issue. I will also request a letter drop be carried out in the effected roads to raise awareness and give Crime Prevention advice to the wider community.

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Darren Tours Avonmouth and Southmead Fire Stations

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones toured Avonmouth and Southmead Fire Stations on Friday 11th May.

Darren said:

“ It was great to meet two of the crews and see the stations at Avonmouth and Southmead last Friday. It’s clear that government cuts are having a wholly negative impact on the service that can be delivered and the service is expected to do more with less. Fire Officers shared their concerns about how these cuts could have life-changing consequences.

 I’ll continue to back calls for more funding for all of our emergency and public services alongside a (fully-funded!) lift on the public sector pay cap”.

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Darren speaks to BBC Bristol about Avonmouth flies

Darren spoke to BBC Bristol about what might be causing the increase in flies in Avonmouth and nearby areas, and what he’s going to do about it. Listen to the full interview here:

 

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Darren wants your view on YardArts Development

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones is seeking local residents views on the proposed YardArts development on Penpole Lane in Shirehampton.

Darren said:

“ Many local residents have contacted me about the proposed Yard Arts circus development on the edge of Kings Weston Estate on Penpole Lane (on land privately owned next to the small warehouse currently in place). I met with Yard Arts, local residents and the land owner on Saturday 28th April to hear each side of the story.

Yard Arts hope to install a circus tent, a coffee shop and various wooden cabins (much like a German Christmas Market) to put on creative and artistic performances for local residents. In addition, they want to provide a space for temporary housing for the artists who will perform to live in. It is not yet clear whether this temporary housing will be log cabins, metal trailers or caravans.

The landowner is keen to use the space next to the warehouse. He has failed to get planning permission on a number of occasions for other uses, and has therefore offered this space on an up to 10 year lease to Yard Arts.

Some local residents (including the Kingsweston Action Group, the cricket club and the football club) are against the proposals and support the current position in Bristol City Council planning policy that the area should remain only as a park / green space and not have further development on it.

I have made it clear that I will only support the Yard Arts development if it has the consent of local residents. I therefore need to hear your views.

Please can you let me know whether you support this idea, by completing my survey at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YardArts or by writing to my office. In that survey, you can also let me know if you would like to come to a public meeting to hear from Yard Arts, the land owner and Bristol City Council as well.

Please can you respond ASAP, as some have suggested that the development could start sooner rather than later”.

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MP visits Shirehampton Nursery to discuss rising childcare costs

Darren Jones (MP for Bristol North West) visited Snap Dragons nursery in Shirehampton on Friday 23rd March to hear from parents and staff about concerns with the Government’s intention to close the Childcare Vouchers scheme, and to move parents to a new Tax Free Childcare scheme.

Today, parents can claim vouchers from their employers to contribute to the cost of childcare. However, in the next financial year the Government will close the Childcare Vouchers scheme and parents will have to use a new Tax Free Childcare system. This will require parents to register on an online system, register each child and then make an online payment for each child per month. The Government will then “top up” the balance by 20% and the system will then pay the childcare provider directly. This change was originally due to take place in April, but following pressure from across the House last week, the Government delayed the roll out to October 2018.

However, Darren wants parents to be aware of the changes now – namely because the system is harder to use, and because many parents will find they receive significantly less childcare support, in effect increasing childcare costs for parents across Bristol. Click here to read more about the changes.

Commenting, Darren said:

“I’ve already had a number of constituents in my surgery at their wits end due to the new tax free childcare system. It doesn’t work, requires parents to re-register every three months and has put my constituents in real difficulties in paying their childcare providers. To make it worse, most parents don’t realise they could lose thousands of pounds in childcare support each year.”

“Supporting families and creating a parent-friendly workplace is one of my top priorities as a local MP. This flawed change by the Government will make it harder for working parents, not easier. And it will make it harder for parents wanting to return to work too. I will continue to call on the Government to get it right. But I also call on parents to get informed as soon as possible, so they aren’t left in difficulty when the childcare voucher scheme closes in a few months’ time.”

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