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Jo McCarron introduced Labour's Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, and Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves, at the launch of Labour's economic plan for the South West.

The launch was held at Airbus in Filton, where Jo, Ed and Rachel were given a tour of the factory where Airbus assembles the wings for the A400M military transport plane, before holding a Q&A with local businesses.

Jo spoke about the basic choice facing the country in May: "A Tory economy that works for those at the very top – or a Labour plan rooted in the understanding that an economy is only on track when people across constituencies like Kingswood feel things improving for their own household budget."

She also spoke about the particular opportunities in Kingswood to expand the number of high-skilled, well-paid jobs: "We have three universities on our doorstep, as well as the beating heart of Britain’s aerospace industry. That position has already enabled the establishment and growth of the National Composite Centre in Emersons Green, and the neighbouring Science Park, where Ed visited with me recently to launch Labour's export review with Graham Cole. We need to help make sure that within the Kingswood constituency we continue building on Bristol’s great aerospace and engineering heritage."

Ed Balls and Rachel Reeves outlined Labour's plans to:

  • Cut then freeze business rates for small businesses, helping 181,000 properties in the South West. Paid for by scrapping a planned cut in corporation tax.
  • Devolve £30 billion of funding to regions across the country.
  • Establish a British Investment Bank to invest in small businesses which had struggled to borrow from the regular banks to fund their growth plans.
  • Guarantee an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the required grades by 2020.

Jo McCarron introduces Ed Balls and Rachel Reeves at Airbus

   Jo McCarron introduced Labour's Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, and Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves, at the launch of Labour's economic plan for the South...

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Jo McCarron, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, set up a meeting for residents with traffic officers from South Gloucestershire Council to discuss concerns about parking and traffic problems on Tower Road North and Station Road. The traffic officers agreed to amend proposals for a new residents parking scheme so it includes Tower Road North, to help reduce the number of cars blocking the flow of traffic while making it easier for residents currently struggling to park on their street.

A number of residents who Jo met with before Christmas raised concerns about the difficulty vehicles have on Tower Road North and Station Road when cars are parked on both sides of the road. There are new yellow lines at the ends of both roads, but not at the narrower parts of the roads where parked cars can be difficult to pass, causing significant queues and delays, especially because these are busy roads used by large numbers of lorries. With limited spaces it can also be very difficult for residents to park.

Jo arranged the meeting on site and invited local residents so the traffic officers could see the problems and speak to the residents about possible measures to improve the situation.

The residents agreed a residents parking scheme could help by reducing the number of parked cars, particularly during the day when more of the cars trying to park belong to non-residents, and when the most lorries use the road. The residents parking scheme will now be on the list of potential schemes local councillors can choose to implement at the Kings Forest Area Forum meeting on 23rd February. Residents will attend the meeting to speak about their concerns and how the scheme could help.

Residents also want something done to reduce the number of heavy goods vehicles using the roads – this in itself would ease the problem caused by parked cars, and the noise and pollution from the lorries is a longstanding concern.

Siston Parish Council has consistently raised this issue, calling for a “lorry routing condition” which would mean lorries have to use the ringroad instead of residential roads. But Parish Councillors have been told they don’t have the power to put that requirement on planning applications, and the traffic officers claimed at the meeting with residents that the number of heavy goods vehicles is not a problem based on the latest count carried out, which reported around 100 lorries per day.

Jo said, “It’s encouraging that the traffic officers came to meet with residents to discuss these problems, and that there is now a practical measure on the table that could help. I do, however, completely understand residents’ frustration about the number of lorries using the road. Their Parish Councillors know it’s a problem but are told they don’t have the power to deal with it – then Council officers tell residents there isn’t really a problem. Tower Road North is an important hub for local employment and trade and no-one wants to undermine that – residents just want more lorries to use the ringroad instead of relatively narrow residential streets. I will continue working with them to help make sure they have their say, and am helping to organise a new count of heavy goods vehicles on both roads.”

Jo McCarron helps residents have their say over parking and traffic problems

Jo McCarron, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Kingswood, set up a meeting for residents with traffic officers from South Gloucestershire Council to discuss concerns about parking and traffic problems on Tower...

Jo and the Kingswood Labour team are a step closer to staving off community safety cuts after Labour councillors secured agreement to protect - for a single year - Police Community Support Officers due to be cut. The campaign to keep our communities safe in the years to come goes on, but Jo and the Labour team have welcomed this progress.

South Gloucestershire Council is having to cut its spending by £80 million over the decade, and to implement those cuts councillors were faced with having to slash £277k from the Council’s community safety budget. The Council recently consulted on a range of options on what to cut to meet this savings target. In addition to the PCSO cuts, alternative options included cutting CCTV cameras, the Council's anti-social behaviour team, street marshals and work to stop high-risk sex offenders re-offending.

In the end councillors were recommended to wield the axe to PCSOs in a report that went to the Council’s Communities Committee on Tuesday evening. However, Labour proposed that none of the options should be pursued in the coming year. This one-year fix has been agreed by the Council’s political leaders, and the Communities Committee endorsed this position. The funds for this reprieve will come from blocking a planned increase in the money that the Council’s local Area Forums were to receive for local projects.

Jo McCarron said: “The last Labour Government created teams of police and community support officers in every neighbourhood across the country, working closely with residents to tackle the issues affecting their local community. It’s been disappointing to see so many of those PCSOs cut under this Government, and particularly concerning to see our local PCSOs next in line. Hundreds of residents across the constituency have signed up to oppose these cuts. The Labour team has listened, and worked to protect the community safety budget this year. But sooner or later, cuts to community safety will come, and people’s fundamental right to feel safe in their community will be undermined, unless the Government intervenes. 

"Labour has set out plans to put more money into frontline policing, by abolishing Police and Crime Commissioners, increasing the cost of gun licenses and driver offender training, and making forces join together to purchase equipment more cheaply, and we will put renewed focus on neighbourhood policing, putting strong policing teams at the heart of every community. Alongside the hundreds of residents who have already joined this campaign, we are calling on this Government to reassure local people that they share this commitment to keeping our communities safe.”

Click here to join the campaign to keep our communities safe.

Progress in Labour's bid to stave off community safety cuts

Jo and the Kingswood Labour team are a step closer to staving off community safety cuts after Labour councillors secured agreement to protect - for a single year - Police...

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