News from Your Local MP
Posted by Dawn Primarolo, MP for Bristol South, at 14:09, Tue 29 May 2012:
Here’s the latest edition of my regular newsletter.
FREE RANGE KIDS CAMPAIGN
I was very honoured to be asked to host Sustrans’ Parliamentary Reception for their Free Range Kids campaign. The excellent Free Range Kids project calls on the Government to make our streets safer so children can walk or cycle for local journeys they make. The campaign has the dual benefit of improving children’s health and well being by raising their activity levels while also cutting congestion on our roads, particularly at peak times around the beginning and end of the school day. I’ve been a supporter of Free Range Kids since it was launched by Sustrans last summer and was pleased to see so many MPs from across the country attending the recent awareness raising reception. More information about the campaign can be found on the following website: www.sustrans.org.uk/freerangekids/about-free-range-kids SUPPORTING GOLDEN OLDIES
I recently met Grenville Jones, founder and chief officer of the Golden Oldies charity which runs singing sessions for older people in our region, including here in Bristol South. I’ve seen for myself how popular the sessions are with local residents who really appreciate the opportunity to get out of the house, meet friends and have a bit of fun with music. I’ve offered to help Grenville with his plans to expand Golden Oldies sessions to benefit even more older people. Further details about Golden Oldies can be found on their website: www.golden-oldies.org.uk
NEW COMMUNITY DROP-IN SERVICE
I was delighted to help launch the new South Bristol Community Drop-In Service at The Gatehouse Centre last Friday. This pilot project, funded by the National Careers Service, provides support to people aged 19+ to help them access advice and information on a range of topics but especially regarding learning and work issues. It’s great to have an approachable advice service like this in the heart of the community, especially during difficult economic times when many people are looking for work.
BUS PASS PETITION
I recently received a petition signed by over 4,000 people declaring their support for free bus travel for older people, and urging the Government to ensure the concessionary bus pass does not become means-tested in future. The petition highlights the importance of free bus travel for older and disabled people who use their pass to get out and about, keep in touch with family and friends, and take part in community activities. The previous Labour Government introduced the free bus pass which has proved hugely popular, however, I know some people are concerned free bus travel for older people is under threat following reports that the Lib Dems would scrap the universal free bus pass in the future. I was approached by Judith Brown, Chair of the Bristol Older People’s Forum, who asked if I would take the petition to Westminster, and I was very happy to present the petition to Parliament which means the Government is required to provide a formal response to the petitioners’ concerns.
ELECTED MAYOR FOR BRISTOL
Following the recent “Yes” vote for a Directly Elected Mayor of Bristol it will be interesting to see who comes forward as a candidate for this new position. The person elected to this post in November will have a unique opportunity to speak for all of Bristol and I hope the successful candidate will take the time to properly understand the concerns of residents throughout our city. It’s vital that the person ultimately chosen to be the Mayor works with all communities across Bristol, as well as existing councillors, for the benefit of everyone.
HAVE YOUR SAY ON NEW TRANSPORT PLANS
Public consultations are currently taking place regarding two new proposed transport schemes and you may wish to take this opportunity to submit your views. One of the schemes – known as “North Fringe to Hengrove” - is for a rapid transit route from Cribbs Causeway/Emerson’s Green through to the City Centre and on to Hengrove Park. The other scheme – known as the “South Bristol Link” - is for a highway and bus rapid transit route from the A370 to Hengrove Park. More information about the two consultations is available on the following websites: http://www.travelwest.info/nfh and http://www.travelwest.info/sbl
Meanwhile, a public inquiry is taking place regarding the proposed bus rapid transit route from Ashton Vale to Bristol Temple Meads. More information is available here: http://travelplus.org.uk/rapid-transit---ashton-vale-to-temple-meads/rapid-transit-ashton-vale-temple-meads
PORTAS PILOT IN BEDMINSTER
I was very pleased to hear that Bedminster has been chosen to become a pilot area as part of Mary Portas’s High Street Review. Only 12 areas across the country were successful in this first round of the competition which aims to regenerate Britain’s high streets. I would like to congratulate everyone in the ‘Bedminster Town Team’ who submitted the bid and will now receive £100,000 from the Government as well as tailored support for their plans to rejuvenate Bedminster’s retail areas. There are many planned improvements, including the following: tackling empty shops and anti-social behaviour in the eastern end of North Street and East Street, a review of car parking and shared space, a route of 25 pieces of locally made art and street performances from local theatre company, Show of Strength.
If you have any queries about these issues, or have a question you would like to ask about anything else, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Just email me at email@example.com, phone 0117 909 0063 or write to me at PO Box 1002, Bristol, BS99 1WH.
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