News from your local MP Darren Jones - September 2018
It’s been summer recess during August, so I have had the opportunity take stock of our efforts in my first year (hopefully you’ve received my annual report update?), enjoy some time with my family and prepare for MPs returning to the House in September.
As always, fighting Brexit and its impact on Bristol North West will be high on my list of priorities.
In early August, I undertook a US-funded trip to the states to meet senators, congressmen and women, and held meetings about tariffs, Russia, NATO and our nations shared values. I was then paired with Albany congressman, Paul D Tonko, to see how they do things stateside.
Your Champion in Bristol
Thirteen headteachers based across Bristol North West have wrote to the Education Secretary about the detrimental impact of budget cuts on their schools. These heads have made it clear, our children’s education will be impacted by the existing cuts - and the additional £5 million of savings they are expected to find - with larger class sizes, fewer subjects at GCSE level and crumbling buildings. This situation is wholly unacceptable, and I share the concerns being voiced by our schools. I have followed up their letter asking the Secretary of State to listen to their experiences, review their funding and ensure our children and young people get the very best start in life.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, I recently met a local award-winner praised for her extensive voluntary work at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. Gillian leads the ‘Friends for Parents’ a volunteer initiative at the hospital and has volunteered for an incredible 31 years. The service provides everything parents might need while their children are in hospital - from delivering toiletry packs, to running errands for parents who do not want to leave their children’s bedsides. I would like to formally congratulate Gillian on being chosen as one of the NHS70 Point of Light award winners and one of the seven volunteers selected nationwide for their health and social care voluntary work. I speak on behalf of all of Bristol North West – and indeed Bristol – when I say thank you Gillian.
I have also signed a cross-party letter to the Secretary of State for Housing calling for the much-delayed housing green paper to be released without further delay. With 1.6 million on social housing waiting lists, 123,000 children in temporary accommodation and just 5,380 council homes built in England in 2017-18, the government are wasting time and must prioritise housing. Bristol City Council are bucking the national trend by building new council and affordable housing across Bristol North West (including just under 350 homes in Lockleaze) but much more could be done if the government supported these aims.
Thanks to everyone who joined a café or pub politics – I have more events coming up for you to attend http://darren-jones.co.uk/cafepolitics/. If you’d like to keep in touch with what I’m upto, please sign up to my e-newsletter at www.darren-jones.co.uk/sign-upor check out my Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/darrenjonesmp) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/darrenpjones). Outside of recess, you can also tune in on Wednesday nights at 19:30 for my weekly Facebook Live from Westminster.