n FROM OUR MP
Darren Jones column
Happy New Year! As your representative in the House of Commons, I spend four days a week in Westminster and the rest at home here in Bristol. And to add to my Christmas and New Year plans, my wife and I were thrilled to welcome our first child (a little earlier than planned!) on December 5. So, I had a bit of paternity leave, apart from voting on key issues (which I have to do in person!). Your Voice in Parliament We’re now through the amendments stage of the EU Withdrawal Bill. This Bill takes us out of the EU and copies and pastes EU law into UK law. But it also gave Ministers the power to change any of those laws for up to two years, and to agree any trade deal, without a vote in Parliament. I supported over 30 amendments, seeking to protect important European derived laws around employment rights, gender equality, the environment and consumer rights. Sadly,
Buy baby bunting ... and daddy's gone a-voting! we lost most of them, but we did win the crucial amendment which requires the Government to bring any trade deal to Parliament for a vote before it can be agreed. We have up to 10,000 jobs in our part of Bristol which rely in some way on trade into and out of the EU, and of the 8,000 staff at Southmead Hospital some 17% are EU nationals. To protect those jobs, I have continuously fought against a Hard Brexit and will continue to do so, even when that means having to put Bristol North West first and having to break the whip. Other than Brexit, we had the Finance Bill which implemented the Budget. I published a detailed response to the Budget, which you can read on my website. I also raised my concerns in the House, and made it clear that with national debt up, economic growth down, productivity down and the prospective of no pay rises for up to 17 years, that the message from this budget was dire. And the lack of money for policing and other public services, at a time of rising concerns around local crime, is also very worrying. Avon and Somerset Police have been clear their services are at a ‘tipping point’ and they cannot continue to provide the same response when faced with sustained funding cuts. The Government failed to respond. Your Champion in Bristol In December, I stopped by Westbury-on-Trym for two events. Firstly, for Small Business Saturday, when I managed to pick-up some nursery bunting and was pleased to support local, independent businesses. And secondly, I had the pleasure of opening the Christmas Fair in the village in the week before the big day. Well done to Sharmila and the team for organising such a great event. I’ve also been continuing to ‘door knock’, including a recent stop in Henleaze. I knock on doors all year-round and not just at election time!
We're online too!
Got News? Call 0117 9082121
Lastly, I'm in the process of setting up a "Community Action Network" for Bristol North West. And I'm looking for volunteers to be my eyes and ears in every local community. You'll help set my constituency priorities, and you'll help make sure that local issues get flagged as quickly as possible. It doesn't matter who you vote for, or whether you're a member of a political party or none. You just need to have a couple of hours spare a month, and a desire to want to make your community empowered. If you're interested in volunteering on this project, please drop me an email. Alongside surgeries, I host events in local venues. To find out more and sign-up to my e-newsletter: www.darren-jones.co.uk. You can also tune in “Live with Darren Jones MP” on my Facebook page (Darren Jones MP) Wednesdays at 7.30pm.
Here's to 2018!
Darren Jones MP Member of Parliament Bristol North West "Your voice in Parliament. Your champion in Bristol."
Published on Dec 20, 2017
Published on Dec 20, 2017
Local newspaper filled with news, views and advertising for local people and businesses in Henleaze & Westbury-On-Trym.