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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 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 visits Henleaze Singing for the Brain Group

On Thursday 31st May, Darren – a registered Dementia Friend –  visited the Henleaze group of Singing for the Brain.

Singing for the Brain is a group activity which has been carefully designed by the Alzheimer’s Society for people with memory loss and their carers, in order to receive the many health benefits that are woven into the fun of singing. It is an enjoyable, friendly and uplifting activity giving many people a much-needed boost in confidence, all led by a trained facilitator.

The group meet for light refreshments and a chat beforehand to help people relax and get to know each other. Once the session starts, the group sit in a circle and do some exercises to warm up the voice. Then the fun really begins by singing a range of songs, either unaccompanied or sometimes using musical instruments.

If you wish to join the group, please note they meet on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Thursday of each month

You can find out more about the Singing for the Brain’s fantastic work here and more general information from The Alzheimer’s Society here.

Darren said after the visit:

“I signed up to become an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friend shortly after becoming an MP – I did this as I feel it is crucial there is wider understanding of dementia and how to support those with it.  I was therefore delighted to meet the local Singing for the Brain group and find out about the great work this group are doing with those suffering from dementia as well as their families. This community and person-to-person support is paramount and I know many of my constituents rely on it. I wish this group continued success and hope their numbers continue to grow as more people with dementia choose to access this invaluable support”.

If you think you or a family member may have Dementia talk to your GP who will refer you to the Dementia Wellbeing Service. They will allocated a navigator to take you through the system and provide support for you. You can also call the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22.

 

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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 meets First Bus and presses for changes to route 76

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones met the Managing Director of First bus, James Freeman, on 9th March 2018 and pressed for changes to the 76 bus route. The route no longer stops at Henbury School and has also affected residents travelling to Southmead Hospital and Henbury’s local vets.

Darren also shared his concerns about the impact of rising fares, the two-tiered fare system recently introduced and the poor service of route 2 through Henleaze.

Darren said:

“ James was aware of my concerns about the changes made to the 76 route. I wrote to him in advance of Friday’s meeting to push for at least some of the original route to be reinstated and drop-off and pick-ups at Henbury School. Along with local councillors, I also launched a petition which has been signed by over 545 local residents. I am delighted to hear First will be reassessing the changes they made.

I’m also aware from Henleaze constituents that route 2 is also a cause for concern with many services cancelled or erratic in arrival time. I made James aware of those issues and asked that he investigate.

I also shared my thoughts on the two-tiered payment policies First have recently introduced – these require customers to pay 50p extra for day passes if payment is not made via an app. Many people are not able to use app-based systems – these people are likely to be some of Bristol North West’s (and the cities) most vulnerable residents – the very people often least able to pay the extra charge.

I am clear that for people to be encouraged out of cars and onto public transport the service must be accessible, affordable and reliable”.

 

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Darren shares his views on Family Reunification for refugees

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has shared his thoughts on family reunification for refugees ahead of a debate on 16th March 2018.

Darren said:

“ A number of constituents have shared concerns about family reunion rules, the effectiveness of their implementation-  a number of organisations have also called for there to be an expansion of the criteria.  

I agree that more needs to be done to reunite families and I share concerns about the efficiency of the processes in place for those who are entitled to join family in the UK, particularly children. As we know, unaccompanied migrant children are highly vulnerable to trafficking, sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse.  

At the last General Election, I stood on a manifesto that promised to produce a cross-departmental strategy to meet our international obligations on the refugee crisis, and I hope this is something that the Government will consider. I believe we need effective action to alleviate the refugee crisis and continue to uphold the proud British tradition of honouring the spirit of international law and our moral obligations by taking our fair share of refugees.  

Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the debate on the 16th March 2018 due to prior diary commitments. However I did attend the opposition motion on refugees on the 24th January  2018. I also recently attended a fund-raising Ceilidh organised by Westbury Welcome to help refugee families arriving in Bristol North West. 

I will follow the Government’s response to the refugee crisis closely, and will continue to bear in mind the points my constituents raise when this issue is debated in the House of Commons in the future”.