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Kerry McCarthy
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News from Bristol East

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- 02 January 2018
I’ve been at Temple Meads Station this morning talking to commuters who are facing yet another rail faire increase this year. The price of train tickets has risen by 32% since 2010, a steep rise which has vastly outstripped inflation. The state still puts billions of taxpayers money into improving our country’s rail network, but it’s the privately owned companies who make hundreds of millions of pounds in profit each year. Labour are campaigning for a cap on rail fare increases, and ultimately for the franchises to be brought back into public ownership. Please share this video if you agree.
- 26 December 2017
I hope everyone had a very pleasant Christmas! For Boxing Day and January sales, when stores are busy and tempers can become frayed, it’s important everyone remembers to treat retail staff with the respect they deserve. Findings from the trade union USDAW show that a worrying number of shop workers face violence, threats and abuse, and that this increases particularly during the post-Christmas sales. This is clearly unacceptable and I hope we all remember to treat staff with respect all year round.
- 20 December 2017
After several cat deaths in my constituency in recent years – as well as the current unusually cold weather – it’s important to highlight the danger of antifreeze to cats. Only one tablespoon of antifreeze – or just walking through an spillage - is enough to cause a cat irreversible kidney damage and ultimately kill them. I’m campaigning for the Government to make manufacturers add a bittering agents to their antifreeze so that cats are less likely to drink it, or ideally to switch to recipes that are non-toxic for animals. I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate on the topic in 2014 and wrote again to the Government last week. The Government has continually failed to act, and unfortunately the reply I received stated that they still have ‘no plans’ to resolve the problem. They argue that clear labelling is enough – however cats tend not to read labels, and nor does this protect against deliberate poisonings. Therefore, in the meantime please make sure to keep antifreeze securely st
- 20 December 2017
On Monday Labour’s amendment to review changes to the banking levy, which would save banks £4.7 billion, and instead allocate the money to children’s services was sadly defeated due to Tory and DUP opposition. In Bristol we’ve seen government funding for children’s centres fall by over 40% in 6 years. Children’s services provide a crucial lifeline to many families, and particularly for children from deprived backgrounds where all the evidence shows that they are really important in increasing life-chances and improving social mobility. Despite these cuts, I’m delighted that Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol has kept to his manifesto commitment of ensuring all children’s centres in Bristol remain open.
- 18 December 2017
Today the independent review into the tragic death of Bijan Ebrahimi was published by the Safer Bristol Partnership, which examined and responded to the ways in which the Council and other local organisations interacted with Mr Ebrahimi prior to his murder in July 2013. It follows a similar review into the police response by the IPCC, and the jailing of two police officers. It is clear his case was deeply mismanaged. Over a period of some years Bijan repeatedly told the police and the authorities that he felt at risk, but his complaints were disregarded, and they failed to give him the protection he needed. The finding of institutional racism on the part of the Council is one that the Mayor takes very seriously. I have also spoken to him about Council policy on rehousing vulnerable people, although I appreciate housing shortages make this difficult. I hope the lessons of this tragic case can be learned to ensure such serious failings are never repeated.
- 16 December 2017
Just had a productive meeting with Brislington Labour Councillors and library campaigners about the future of Wick Road Library. Discussed a lot of options, and much to take forward. #LoveMyLibrary
- 14 December 2017
Fantastic news that Bristol City Council is the first local authority in the country to introduce a levy on disposable coffee cups in all cafes in council buildings. The UK throws away 2.5 billion coffee cups a year, creating approximately 25,000 tonnes of waste which can’t be recycled through most collections. I’ve been calling for a levy on single-use plastic for some time – which includes coffee cups because it’s their plastic lining that makes them difficult to recycle - and I welcome the Government’s call for evidence on how this might be done. The Environmental Audit Committee (of which I’m Deputy Chair) has been conducting its own inquiry into disposable coffee cups, and will produce its report early in the New Year.
- 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
- 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
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…/
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