June 2018: Your Local MP
What a grand job, Jane
Remarkably, it’s already been one year since the last General Election. Over the Summer, you’ll be getting an annual report from me setting out what has happened in the past year. You’ll also be invited to join my new network, Powered by You, which will get you plugged into my work so that you can help set what I should be focussing on both locally and nationally on your behalf. And, if we’ve helped you in the past year as a constituency office, you’ll also be asked to give us feedback on our service. My small staff team based in Westbury-on-Trym do a fantastic job and work really hard to help as many people as possible, but we’re always open to hearing feedback to try and improve our service to you. After all, you pay for us through your taxes!
Your Voice in Parliament
As your voice in Parliament, it’s my job to make sure Parliament and the Government hears directly from you. That’s why I was so thrilled to speak in Westminster Hall on behalf of Jane Jackson from Henleaze who has been campaigning over so many years to get a small change in the law that gives grandparents some legal rights to see their grandchildren, following a separation or divorce of the grandchildren’s parents. Jane has done a fantastic job and it looks like she’s persuaded the Government to change the law! Well done, Jane!
I recently met with the Henleaze Social Care Support Group, which reminded me how much responsibility family members take on in caring for their loved ones. I’ve now had to raise the issue of overnight payments in Parliament. Care homes or individuals paying for overnight care used to be able to pay a fixed rate for night cover because, all being well, that worker could sleep for most of the night. But a court case has ruled that this is a breach of the National Minimum Wage rules. That’s fine, if it applied to future payments. But instead care homes and individuals are now on the hook for a six year back payment, which many can’t afford. I’m really concerned that this could put some care homes into bankruptcy, so I’ve been pressing the Government to step in.
In other news from Parliament, I attended a series of meetings in Brussels on science and research collaboration post-Brexit (if it happens!). The Science and Technology Committee will now put together our own agreement, including on immigration rights, for the Government’s consideration. I was delighted to support the campaign to force British Overseas Territories to become transparent in respect of the ownership of companies, assets and trusts – a key victory for tackling corruption and the flows of dirty money into Britain.
Your Champion in Bristol
The past month has been all about the kids. From young carers being awarded for their often unsung hard work, to inspirational local charities bringing joy to the lives of young people.
I was delighted to have attended the Bristol Young Heroes Awards – it was an inspirational evening and all the nominees deserve the recognition they received. And I also recently met with Flamingo Chicks and Light Year Foundation which are both based in Henleaze.
Flamingo Chicks provide dance classes for children undergoing treatment and for those with complex needs plus a support network for parents facing shared challenges. In just three years, the group has gone from start-up to seeing over 2,000 children coming through their classes each year.
Lightyear Foundation works to make science education more accessible for children in the UK. They help to break down the barriers to STEM participation for disabled children, at the same time as using science to help them deal with specific challenges and development issues.
If you’d like to keep in touch with what I’m up to please sign up to my newsletter at www.darren-jones.co.uk or check out my Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/darrenjonesmp) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/darrenpjones). You can also tune in on Wednesday nights at 19:30 for my weekly Facebook Live from Westminster. And if you’d like to book an appointment at my local surgery, or want me to come to a local event, then please get in touch with my office.
Darren Jones MP
Member of Parliament Bristol North West
"Your voice in Parliament. Your champion in Bristol."