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- 12 December 2017
This Sunday I spoke at the Dignity not Destitution march supported by City of Sanctuary. We should be really proud of how our city welcomes those fleeing persecution and conflict, who are just looking for somewhere safe to call home, but there is still so much more we can do to support them. Here’s a very nice clip from the Red Cross of refugees from across the world who have settled in Bristol and are really positive about the city - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tFDd2GWl8g
- 11 December 2017
I was delighted to be asked to say a few words at the launch of Lucy’s Law last week. Lucy was a Cavalier Spaniel who was rescued from a puppy farm where, as a breeding dog. she was horribly mistreated. I’m supporting the Mirror’s campaign for Lucy’s Law which will make it illegal to sell puppies unless the mother is present, stopping sales by third party dealers who too often have no concern for the welfare of the dogs they raise and breed.
- 11 December 2017
I am pleased to support the cross-party pledge to divest parliamentary pension funds from fossil fuels. Two years on from the Paris agreement, and with the devastating impacts of climate change already apparent, there is no room for continued investment in companies whose business is incompatible with our climate obligations.
- 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.
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