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Darren urges council to re-think Blaise parking charges

Hundreds of constituents have contacted Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, about the council’s consultation on charging a flat-rate of £2 for parking at Blaise Castle Estate and restricting parking on adjacent roads. The full proposals are available here.

Darren said:

“MPs can’t directly intervene in the council’s decision-making processes but we can ensure our constituents voice is heard – that’s why I have written to the parks team today summarising the feedback received. I continue to urge all users of Blaise Castle and local residents to respond to the council’s consultation. The consultation is open for comment until 30th July”.

 

 

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Darren continues to demand transport investment.

Labour MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has continued to call for large-scale improvements to transport infrastructure in North Bristol following a gridlock conference on Saturday 7th July.

Darren continued to put the needs of his constituents first by bringing together a wide range of experts and community groups from his constituency.

The group discussed the gridlock hot stops across the North Bristol corridor and how they may be impacted by further developments such as the proposed expansion of Cribbs Causeway, new housing developments at Filton airfield, the potential arena at Filton alongside the lifting of Severn Bridge Tolls. Attendees then debated how a Transport Fund for North Bristol could be spent to support solutions to the congestion faced by drivers, encourage more sustainable travel and boost the area’s limited rail, bus and cycle networks.

Ahead of the Gridlock Conference that he chaired, Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones had previously launched a petition calling on the region’s metro mayor, Tim Bowles, to commit at least £50m to a new transport fund for north Bristol and voiced his concerns about congestion with members of the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Darren encouraged the LEP to back plans 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 (with no assessment of how many extra cars this will bring) and the potential for the Bristol Arena to move to North Bristol, we must get our transport solutions sorted now. My Gridlock Conference brought together representatives of transport providers, transport campaign groups, developers, community groups and business representatives who by working together can help to develop a North Bristol Transport Plan.

I had hoped this would be a cross-party initiative – for the benefit of North Bristol. I was keen to work with the Conservative Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles alongside Labour colleagues and I remain disappointed that the Metro Mayor refused to attend this meeting. 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 continuing to call 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 opens school’s new woodland

As part of his mission to visit every school in Bristol North West, Darren Jones MP recently visited Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School in Lawrence Weston to open their new woodland – named the St Francis Woodland. Year 5 students were asked to plan where, working with the Woodland Trust, 420 new tree saplings would be planted. Then, with the help of many parents, each child in the school was able to plant two saplings. The children (and adults) really enjoyed the experience especially when worms were discovered!

Darren said after the visit:

” This is the first time I have been asked to open a new school woodland – I feel privileged as it is vital that children and young people learn about the natural environment and how to use, protect and enjoy it. I hope the new woodland thrives and this is the first of many planned in local schools”.

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

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MP chairs YardArts meeting – notes now available.

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones  hosted a public meeting with around 50 local residents regarding the proposed YardArts development on Penpole Lane in Shirehampton on 29th June – thank you to everyone who attended. The notes of this meeting are available to view/print below.

Darren said:

“Following my recent survey, over 450 local residents  contacted me to share their views about the proposed YardArts site on Penpole Lane. The majority were against the plans, or at least what we knew of them at the time of writing, and wanted to find out more. I therefore arranged a public meeting on Friday 29th June at the Shirehampton Methodist Church along with YardArts and the landowner of the Karakal site. There was an update received on plans from both parties as well as a useful Question and Answer session. Those able to attend said they found the opportunity useful to hear directly from both parties what they hope to do with the site.

A planning application will be going live from YardArts very soon – please make sure you submit any comments/concerns you have direct to the council so they can take them into consideration. Once the application is live you can do that via this link“.

Meetings notes available here: YardArts Notes 29 6 18

 

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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 champions local parks and open spaces

On Friday 29th and 30th June, Darren visited Lawrence Weston Moors with Avon Wildlife Trust and attended a wildlife walk with local expert, Steve England, and the Friends of Lamplighters Marsh. This follows Darren’s recent nomination to Groundworks for the Friends on-going efforts to protect and sustain the local environment at the Marsh.

Darren said after the visits:

” What a wonderful couple of visits in the sunshine – I was keen to find out, Bristol North West has the most green space in Bristol, from super parks like Blaise Castle, the Downs and nature reserves in Avonmouth, Sea Mills and Lawrence Weston to vital woodland habitats and ancient trees in Kingsweston, Blaise and Stoke Park. it is vital we protect, maintain and use these beautiful parks and open spaces. These spaces are so important as they help to keep us fit and healthy and encourage us to meet our neighbours and bond as community.”‬

 

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Free event being held in Bristol for EU Nationals

Are you an EU national concerned about your personal situation after Brexit?

Have you got questions about settled status?

Avon and Bristol Law Centre are hosting a Q and A with an EU Commission solicitor on Tuesday 31st July at Hamilton House.

The session is free to attend and will be geared towards EU nationals who have concerns about their rights as EU citizens.

Reserve your ticket here.

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Darren nominates Friends of Lamplighters Marsh for Award

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has nominated the Friends of Lamplighters Marsh (FOLM) for a Groundworks Community Award.

Darren said:

” This week, I have nominated the Friends of Lamplighters Marsh for the Groundworks Community Awards. Groundworks administer the Tesco Bags of Help Grants – last year the group were successfully awarded £3000. I have met the committee and volunteers on a number of occasions, including a walk last weekend, and have always been very impressed with their dedication and hard work to protect and enhance the marsh for local people.

The group meet on the first Saturday of most months at 10am at The Lamplighters pub for a working party, they also host many special events – they help local people meet other residents and enjoy healthy activities such as walks. The FOLM’s work is also a reflection of the excellent support they get from Bristol City Council’s Parks Team, Ground Services and the Shirehampton Community Action Forum. I hope the FOLM are successful in being recognised for their hard work”.

You can find out more about The Friends of Lamplighters Marsh (FOLM) here.

FOLM is open to everybody and is free to join.

How to nominate other groups:

Do you know a community group that deserves special recognition for making your local area a better place to live?

If so, please nominate them to receive a Groundwork Community Award. The form only takes a couple of minutes to complete.

Now in its second year, the Groundwork Community Awards honour the small local community groups making a big difference to everyone’s quality of life where they live but often get little recognition and support.

Nominate a community group by using this link.

The deadline for nominations is 22nd July.

 

 

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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.