News from Bristol East

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- 26 November 2017
Busy morning yesterday speaking to residents of Fishponds and Eastville about local issues and getting people to sign my police cuts petition. Campaigning all year round, not just at election time!
- 24 November 2017
Great news that so many numbers of film and TV studio jobs are being created by South Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios. It’s yet another example of Bristol’s creative energy, and should add further weight to our case to become the new home for Channel 4.
- 21 November 2017
I had a useful meeting on Friday with the Principal of St Brendan’s Sixth Form College, along with some of their students. We discussed the challenges arising from the underfunding of 16-19 education, which has seen a real terms cut in spending per pupil of over £200 since 2013. The college is determined not to introduce any cuts to the curriculum so as to keep students’ options as wide as possible, but they have reached the limit of what they can do to make savings. I have lobbied the Government about unfair funding for sixth form colleges in the past, and have again written to the Chancellor about this in the run-up to the Budget. We also discussed what the college is doing to raise awareness of Meningitis, given the tragic deaths of two students in the last few years, and encourage take-up of the vaccine amongst students, who, along with babies, are the most vulnerable to this disease.
- 21 November 2017
This Guardian article provides a useful insight into what so many people in Bristol are already experiencing when it comes to the housing market – with high rents and unaffordable house prices. After seven years of failure to tackle this growing crisis, I hope the Government now takes on board the clear need to invest in house-building in the Autumn Budget, due to be announced tomorrow.
- 15 November 2017
Had a lovely and inspirational evening meeting the Bristol City Youth Council last week. Really impressive seeing these dedicated young people trying to bring about positive change in their local communities, and campaigns on issues like better PHSE in schools and opposing discrimination in all its forms. Those opposed to reducing the voting age to 16 should meet some of these guys!
- 10 November 2017
I am aware of the concerns around the possible impact on Thekla of new housing development nearby, and have been in contact with Thangam Debbonaire MP for Bristol West, whose constituency it is in, and Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, about the risk. It appears the planned developments near to Thekla are further away than existing housing and fortunately should not require any new constraints on Thekla to limit noise pollution. We need to tackle the underlying issue which means music venues across the country have come under threat by new developments springing up around them. I am sponsoring a new law that will be introduced soon by John Spellar MP, which will require property developers to take into account pre-existing businesses, like music venues, placing the burden on the developer, not the venue, to make sure that the venues and residents can co-exist in the same area
- 09 November 2017
This week is Living Wage Week. Currently over 5,000 workers in Bristol East are paid under the voluntary Living Wage of £8.75 an hour. That means that the average person living in poverty is working, but still can’t make ends meet. We must end the low pay scandal and ensure all employers pay a fair wage. This would also provide our local economy with a much needed boost, as we would have more people with higher disposable incomes to spend on local goods and services.
- 07 November 2017
The Three Crowns Pub has played a great role as a community pub serving the local residents of St George. Too many pubs across the country are being forced to close, please sign this petition to help save it!
- 05 November 2017
Following on from my article yesterday, it’s great to see Avon and Somerset Police are taking modern slavery seriously and now have three successful prosecutions against people who ran nail bars in Bath, with workers in shameful conditions. We must send the clearest possible signals that treating people in this way is not acceptable, and that exploitative employers will be caught and brought to justice.
- 04 November 2017
I’ve written in the Huffington Post on tackling a growing, but often overlooked, problem in Britain, that of modern slavery. People, who often have been trafficked into the country, speak little English and have no support network, or, in other cases, people with learning difficulties or the homeless and vulnerable, are taken advantage of by exploitative employers. Public attention and government action is necessary to tackle this, and I fully support the efforts of Unseen and Avon and Somerset Police to highlight the problem.
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