September 2018: Your Local MP
Battling for more money for schools
Your Voice in Parliament
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, congress men and women, and held meetings on 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 state side.
Your Champion in Bristol
Thirteen headteachers based across Bristol North West 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 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 hope I speak on behalf of all of Bristol North West – and indeed Bristol – when I say thank you Gillian.
I am continuing to voice the need for much-needed investment in North Bristol’s infrastructure to the West of England Combined Authority Mayor. Following my recent Gridlock Conference, I will be hosting a constituent Transport Forum in mid-October to seek your views on the current transport system and, more importantly, what ideas you have to improve it. I will then be writing to the Regional Mayor to share your ideas and continue to campaign for at least a £50m Transport Fund. Keep an eye on my website for Forum details.
Thanks to everyone who joined a café or pub politics – I have more events coming up http://darren-jones.co.uk/cafepolitics/ If you’d like to keep in touch with what I’m up to, please sign up to my e-newsletter at www.darren-jones.co.uk/sign-up or 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 7.30pm for my weekly Facebook Live from Westminster.