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- 10 December 2017
A Greenpeace investigation has revealed that a ban on imports of millions of tonnes of plastic waste by the Chinese government from January could see an end to collection of some plastic in the UK and increase the risk of environmental pollution. There are no robust plans in place to cope with the impact of this decision by China, which is the biggest market for waste in the world, and the restrictions are likely to lead to stockpiling of plastic waste in the UK, more incineration and the risk of more landfill. I tried to raise this looming crisis with the Environment Secretary this week at Defra Questions, but was not called, so I raised it with Andrea Leadsom at Business of the House Questions which followed it. She talked about the tax on plastic bags and ban on microbeads, as example of the Government’s efforts to reduce plastic waste, which clearly isn’t going to make the 2.7 million tonnes of waste plastic we have been sending each year to China and Hong Kong disappear overnight
- 09 December 2017
I was disappointed that, in response to my written question on whether a licensing system or code of practice would be introduced for driven grouse shooting, the Government stated that they had ‘no plans’ for either. During the grouse shooting season – which ends today - thousands of birds are killed every day. It has also caused a dramatic decline in the number of hen harriers. The burning of heather on grouse moors results in degraded habitats, polluted water, increased flood risk and extra carbon dioxide emissions – estimated as up to 350,000 additional tons per year. I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate on driven grouse shooting last year and I will continue to campaign for a total ban.
- 09 December 2017
Great to see that Bristol City Council, the Department for Work and Pensions and N-Gaged Training have come together to put on a job fair for ex-employees of Palmer and Harvey, the groceries’ supplier that went into administration last week. It has been estimated that hundreds of staff who worked at local sites in St Anne’s and in Avonmouth have been made redundant as a result of this, and obviously coming just before Christmas this will be a particularly difficult time for them. If you’re affected, or know anyone is, then please let them know about this. The Employers Fair will take place next Monday 11th December at The Beeches Conference Centre, Broomhill Rd, Bristol, BS4 5RG between 11am and 1pm.
- 08 December 2017
Bristol Learning City launches search for more governors Bristol Learning City, a partnership of over 70 local organisations, has launched a new campaign alongside Business West and the free, online Inspiring Governance service to recruit more school governors. Local businesses and employees are being especially encouraged to consider the benefits of volunteering as a way to give back to local communities and support the city’s schools. The ‘Be a Governor’ campaign will highlight what new recruits are set to gain - including the opportunity to learn new skills, build networks and, if employed, boost their company’s reputation in the community. There are currently over 200 governor vacancies across local-authority maintained schools and many local academies are also looking for new governors. Business West will support the campaign by promoting the opportunities to businesses through their Skills West programme, including their members. Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and chair of th
- 08 December 2017
Academic staff from across Europe play a crucial role in British universities; as a sector it has hugely benefitted from the freedom of movement and cooperation that has come with our membership of the European Union. We must ensure we do not lose out on the contribution of the #BrightestMinds due to Brexit – including the world leading energy researcher from UWE featured in this clip. We need the Government to offer guarantees to academics that they will be able to remain in the country and continue their research.
- 08 December 2017
Great to meet up with local councillors Fabian Breckels, Asher Craig and Nicola Beech speaking to local residents and celebrating #SmallBusinessSaturday this weekend! It’s great to see that the Start Up Loans Scheme is helping set up small businesses in Bristol. For sports therapist Shawnika Sergeant, this money provided the necessary investment to help kick-start her Up & Running Sports Therapy clinic in St George. Remember buying local goods and services helps boost our city’s economy and creates jobs. - http://www.southwestbusiness.co.uk/…/finance-company-reach…/
- 07 December 2017
I was delighted to speak at a debate in the Westminster Hall on Deafness and Hearing Loss which, for the first time ever in a Parliamentary Debate, had a British Sign Language Interpreter and the debate can be viewed below. I state the need for accreditation of children’s hearing services and urgently requested that the Government removed the cap on Access to Work Grants to help support deaf people to get into work. At the same time, my neighbour Thangam Debbonaire MP for Bristol West spoke in the main Chamber in a debate on autism and mental health. Both bring up the same theme of how we can make Parliament more accommodating to all, so more people feel equipped to get involved.
- 07 December 2017
Today in the Chamber, I raised the case of Ma’ale Adumim, a settlement of 40,000+ people built on illegally occupied Palestinian land, which Israel now plans to annex. This follows Donald Trump’s provocative and, indeed, dangerous decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which has emboldened the Parliament there into thinking they are able to get away with doing this. While I was pleased that Alastair Burt, Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, said the British Government views the settlements as illegal, this has been said by successive governments for too long, without action to back it up; the Government must also condemn this annexation and work with allies to prevent further Israeli expansion. Trump’s action puts at risk the peace process and the possibility of ever achieving a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. The case of Ma’ale Adumim was covered in the New York Times here -https://www.nytimes.com/…/the-sleepy-israeli-s
- 07 December 2017
Over the past three months, the Big Lottery Fund has provided £18,882 of funding to 2 projects in Bristol East. The schemes in receipt of investment are 145th St Christophers Scout Group, which received £10,000, and the funding will be used by a community organisation to purchase a mini-bus to transport children and young people to a variety of outdoor and camping activities. The project aims to give people opportunities for social interaction. Friends of St George Park were awarded £8,882 to produce a plan to transform an old boating lake into a wildlife friendly park, supporting the vision to improve and shape the community space.
- 06 December 2017
I spent some time on Friday at the Tesco in Brislington supporting their Christmas food collection for Fair Share and The Trussell Trust. It’s always so rewarding to do this each year, and to see people’s generosity; some people donate a whole bag’s worth of food, while others clearly don’t have much money themselves, but still donate what they can. I would hope to one day live in a country where people aren’t forced to go hungry, but whilst they do please support your local food bank with whatever you can afford to give. https://eastbristol.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/
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