News from your local MP Darren Jones - December 2018
As I write, the Government is falling apart and the Prime Minister’s job is on the line. I have to say I’m furious. This isn’t an episode of the West Wing, its real life.
And – in my view – the Government should be ashamed of the mess we’re in. So much is at stake. The 585-page draft UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement has also now been shared with MPs and the nation. As your MP, and as a member of the House of Commons EU Scrutiny Select Committee, I’ll be studying it closely. But I have some bad news: this isn’t the “deal”, it’s only about how the UK should leave the EU and what happens in any transition period. The Prime Minister’s “deal” on the future UK/EU relationship was a mere seven pages that committed to nothing at all. So this is just the beginning of the end, not the end of the Brexit process! As you will all know, I think Brexit is bad for Bristol, the Prime Minister doesn’t have a majority of the House and politics seems pretty broken – which is why I support you have the final say on the Prime Ministers’ deal when it’s ready. This is something I promised in my election address and I’ve stuck 100% true to my word ever since.
Alongside the continuing distraction and chaos of Brexit, I held two important environmental debates. The first focused on intensive farming in the UK. Intensive farming in “megafarms” is the practice of farming large numbers of animals in close confinement, leading to animal welfare, environmental and human health issues. In the debate, I described the way in which itis harmful and laid out how Brexit could make farming conditions even worse and lower animal welfare standards. I also hosted Parliament’s first debate on climate change since the launch of the UN’s report stating that we only have 12 years to prevent catastrophic damage due to climate change. The report received global attention but was not put forward for debate by the Government. With the help of Zac Goldsmith MP, I successfully applied for a debate considering the report in the context of the recent global increases in extreme weather. Given the scale and speed at which it is increasingly affecting humanity, I used the debate to call for increased attention and action on climate change. I have also signed an important cross-party letter to the Prime Minister calling on her to adopt a target of zero net emissions by 2050 and will keep raising this issue in the House of Commons.
Your Champion in Bristol
As your Member of Parliament, it’s a real honour to represent our collective thanks to those who fought for us to protect our way of life, and to think of those that continue to do so – that’s why I joined a local Remembrance service in Shirehampton this year. I feel it’s particularly important to reflect on how Bristol North West has been affected by war and the sacrifice constituents past and present have made. I joined veterans and representatives of the Armed Forces in the procession from St Mary’s Church and laid a wreath on behalf of the House of Commons. To ensure I meet as many veterans and local families as possible, I have pledged to attend a different local service each year.
Thanks to everyone who attended my café politics at Horfield Leisure Centre in early November. We had an interesting discussion on a range of local and national issues including Brexit, public services, local transport and housing.
To find out about the things that matter to you, I door knock across the constituency - in the next couple of weeks I’ll be pounding the pavements with Lockleaze Councillor Gill Kirk and Estella Tincknell and Beat PCSO Charlotte - I hope to see some of you then.
Several constituents have contacted my office recently about the plans for an all-weather accessible path in Stoke Park. Whilst I fully support initiatives to connect key pedestrian routes in ways that are suitable for wheelchair users or families with pushchairs, I do understand concerns around the planning of investigatory works in the park before the consultation findings had been released. The council have now released headline consultation findings and assured me no final decision will be made on the proposed path, or its route, until all responses have been considered in full.
I’m also aware that your Lockleaze councillors have been working hard to support residents affected by parking issues in Aurora Springs in Cheswick Village. As the Mayor has now taken on the brief for city transport, I will be sharing resident’s continued concerns at my next meeting with him. I hope the council can progress plans for a parking scheme that meets the needs of residents soon.
Lastly, I want my constituents to be able to make change happen. That’s why I recently launched my Powered by You app. This mobile app is a quick and informal way to talk with other residents and share your views and ideas with me. Powered by You aims to bring together residents from across Bristol North West, to discuss local and national issues, working together to organise local campaigns and help create change. You can sign-up to download the app by visiting www.poweredbyyou.org.uk
If you would like to get in touch with me about any local or national issue, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, write to Darren Jones MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA or sign up to my monthly newsletter via www.darren-jones.co.uk/sign-up. You can also find me on Facebook (fb.com/darrenjonesmp) and Twitter (@darrenpjones). You can also join my weekly Facebook Live chat on Wednesdays at 7.30pm.
I’ll also be hosting more of my regular café and pub politics sessions in the local area after Christmas so keep an eye on my website and Facebook page for details and in the meantime, let me wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.