JUNE 2022: News from local MP Darren Jones

May 25 2022

Libraries are vital to communities

Your champion in Bristol

WE celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II this June. I hope that everyone has a chance to enjoy the extended bank holiday weekend to mark the occasion.

With 75 years of continuous public service, the Queen has upheld her constitutional responsibilities with integrity. The Queen has been our figure head during good and bad times, and I hope that all public servants can find inspiration and guidance from her remarkable service to our country.

It was great to see so many of you at the Henleaze Library’s 50th Anniversary celebration. I was delighted to have been invited to offer a few words about the enduring importance of literacy and local libraries. Even when the pandemic forced closures in 2020, the Henleaze library served our communities as a Covid test collection point. The reopening of libraries was a marking point in our Covid recovery, and I’m glad that children and adults can access books, films, and magazines at their local library once again. As we face future challenges, it’s apt that Westbury library has been fitted with cutting-edge solar panels. If you are not yet a Bristol Library member, I wholeheartedly recommend joining. To access libraries across Bristol and the online service, you can join for free at librarieswest.org.uk or your local library.

As people voted to replace the mayoral system, change is coming to the way Bristol is governed. The new system, where councillors form committees to take decisions, will start in 2024. The councillors will need to work together to make decisions in the best interest of our city, especially as we continue to face urgent problems with housing, transport and the climate emergency. If you choose to re-elect me as your local MP, whenever the next general election is called, I will continue to hold the council to account on your behalf.

Antisocial Behaviour (ASB) has become one of my top casework issues in recent years, and I’ve worked with constituents in every part of Bristol North West with serious ASB issues.

Being a victim of ASB can negatively impact our quality of life and well-being, and I want it to be easier and faster to deal with these problems. I’ve held meetings with Bristol City Council to understand the roadblocks to tackle ASB and have raised this issue once again with the Police and Crime Commissioner. I’ll be using our experience helping constituents with ASB and the feedback I’ve received from officials and others to push for action and debate on this in Parliament before the Summer recess.

Your champion in Parliament.

Last month, the Queen’s Speech set out the Government’s aims for the next year. It was the Prime Minister’s chance to set out his vision for Britain. Yet, in the bills presented, what we saw was mere tidying up of long overdue technical pieces of legislation and the laying of the foundations for the culture war approach to the next General Election, for example by scrapping the Human Rights Bill.

In the last parliamentary session, I worked as your MP and the Chair of the Business Committee to expose malpractice from P&O and energy regulation to Covid loan fraud and the Post Office-Horizon Scandal. I worked with colleagues from every political party to get the Government to be more ambitious in tackling climate change at COP26. Working with local dentists, we got the Government to commit to more funding for dental care in the South West. My casework team and I helped constituents with family in Ukraine and Afghanistan.

It was a busy year, and we carry over more urgent issues into the next session.

My focus will be on ensuring that the Government cannot ignore the challenges that families face in Bristol and across the country. That means pushing for real financial support to get us through the cost-of-living crisis and arguing for a stronger, fairer economy that works for the whole country. It also means making sure that we fund our police and justice system properly and that we have a real plan to support the NHS and repair our social care system. And it means empowering communities to make decisions about how housing, transport and climate action work in their neighbourhood and surrounding area.

Last month I travelled to Brussels to work with EU parliamentary counterparts on Ukraine, energy cooperation and the Northern Ireland Protocol. As the previous two years have proven, collaboration and partnership with the EU are crucial to our country. So, I’m proud to be one of the MPs in our Parliament working to repair this relationship. Later this month, I’ll work with colleagues to support cross-parliamentary work on data poverty and modern slavery. These are problems faced by people in Bristol North West and across the country that too often go unnoticed.

As usual, if you need my help or have a question, I am running telephone surgeries and regular fortnightly catchups on Tuesdays on Facebook. Please get in touch on darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk or call the office on 0117 959 6545 or visit
www.darrenjones. co.uk