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Darren writes to Education Minister

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones  has written to Nick Gibb, the Education Minister calling for him to listen to feedback from thirteen local head teachers and review the further cuts of £5m to education budgets in the constituency.

Darren said:

“Thirteen Bristol North West head teachers recently shared their concerns with the Education Minister Nick Gibb. In his reply he ignored their concerns so I have followed up asking that he urgently reviews the honest and measured feedback and stops ‘shifting the goalposts’ by quoting data that doesn’t reflect the real budget cuts or challenges our schools are facing. Our children’s education can’t be bought on the cheap”.

 

 

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Darren shares news of grants available

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones is encouraging good causes in Bristol North West to apply for a share of a funding pot worth over £3 million that has been raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery to support projects helping local people.

Awards of between £500 and £20,000 are available to both charities and community groups, with applications being open for the funding from 1 August until the 15 August.

This is the last chance organisations will have to apply for the funding in 2018, and so far, this year over 350 projects across Great Britain have been supported.  With previously funded initiatives ranging from community choirs for carers, to sports clubs, to wildlife conservation charities, this is a fantastic opportunity for groups to access funding to make a difference in the local community.

There are three trusts that groups can apply for funding through. Each trust focuses on a particular theme.

  1. Postcode Community Trust looks for applications on initiatives that will benefit communities through the delivery of grass roots health and wellbeing programmes;
  2. People’s Postcode Trust supports projects aimed at promoting human rights, employability and combatting poverty;
  3. while Postcode Local Trust focuses on proposals that aim to improve biodiversity and outdoor spaces.

Darren said:

“There are so many brilliant community projects right across Bristol North West that could benefit from this fantastic chance to secure funding, get an initiative off the ground or expand the reach of a service.  Across the three trusts there is scope for such a wide variety of organisations to benefit, and I’d strongly encourage them to visit the website, find out where their project could fit and get an application in.”

For more information and to apply for funding, please visit the trusts’ websites:

www.postcodetrust.org.uk

www.postcodelocaltrust.org.uk

www.postcodecommunitytrust.org.uk

 

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Darren sends annual report and invitation to join Powered by You

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has sent an annual report and invitation to join Powered by You to each household in the constituency. The annual report letter updates constituents in each ward as to Darren’s local and parliamentary activity over the past 12 months and invites them to take part in an annual survey and share their feedback on the proposed arena location in North Bristol. Constituents can also complete the survey here.

Darren said:

“It is really important that all of my constituents, especially those who may not contact me directly, have at least a yearly update on my work and get the chance to let me know their views on my work as well as key local issues such as the arena and congestion. This report is especially timely, as I am launching an innovative and exciting project called Powered by You – which will feature an online app and offline community meetings. I want to hear from every street in Bristol North West and hear from those constituents who for whatever reason don’t come along to my policy events,  meet me at surgeries or public events. I want to ensure that every voice is heard.”

Local residents can find out more and sign up to join Powered by You here.

Eagle-eyed constituents will also notice Darren has launched a charitable Trust, known as a the Henacre Trust with support from the Quartet Community Foundation. The Henacre Trust will award grants to young people across Bristol North West, to find out more and donate to the Henacre Trust click here.

 

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Darren to host family-themed Picnic Politics

Darren Jones MP is hosting a family-themed ‘picnic politics’ at Blaise Castle on Friday 31st August. If you would like to share your experiences of accessing childcare, school places, support for children with SEND and the challenges of being a modern working parent please stop-by.

Bring a picnic (and the kids!) and join Darren by the grassed area next to the play area and café from 1.30 -3.30. Well-behaved dogs on a lead are also welcome.

Darren said:

“I want to hear from local parents about their experiences – I know from being a new parent myself that being a modern parent is both rewarding and challenging – I want to know what’s working well for local families and what isn’t. Join me on Friday 31st to share your feedback in an informal setting’.

 

 

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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 meets Pickles!

On Friday 6th July, Darren joined local residents, Greenway Centre staff and Southmead Councillors Helen Godwin and Brenda Massey in meeting a new addition to the Greenway Café- Pickles McPrickles the Gromit.

Darren said after the visit:

“It was fantastic to see Pickles so at home at the Greenway Centre in Southmead and all in aid of Gromit Unleashed – a truly wonderful Bristol charity that benefits families right across our city. Visit Pickles, enjoy a snack in the café, seek out the other Bristol North West Gromit at Blaise Castle and be sure to donate to this great cause!”

 

 

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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 visits Southmead Community Centre and Westbury on Trym C of E Academy

On Saturday 30th  June, as part of his programme of summer fete visits, Darren Jones MP visited Southmead Community Centre and Westbury on Trym Church of England Academy.

Darren said after the visits:

“It’s the start of the summer fayre session! I popped by the excellent Southmead Community Centre and WOT PTA last weekend. These fantastic events are all down to the dedication of excellent volunteers – they work really hard to make these events a success for local families and the community – thank you!”

You can follow Darren’s work on education here.

 

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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 gets response from government on rectal mesh review

Currently, the forthcoming healthcare review covering vaginal mesh does not cover rectal mesh, which has similarly affected women. That includes many who were treated at Southmead Hospital. Darren recently wrote to the government to make it clear that he thinks that this is wrong. You can read the full letter Darren sent here.

Here is the reply Darren received from Lord O’Shaughnessy: